Just one of these controversial stories is the accident that allegedly occurred in Siberia in the summer of 1982 on the section of the Urengoy-Surgut-Chelyabinsk gas pipeline. The main experts on this issue at the end of the last century were the Americans Thomas Reed, who is a military expert and political scientist Peter Schweizer. They claimed that the gas explosion that had occurred was the result of a well-planned CIA operation. The action was made possible by the information of one of the secret Soviet agents - a KGB officer who became an employee of French intelligence.
Thomas Care Reed was born in 1934 in New York. In 1956, he graduated from Cornell University with honors, becoming a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While still a student, I studied the program for training Air Force reserve officers, and from the end of 1956 I worked as a technical officer in a project to develop the Minithman rocket head. At the same time he studied, having received as a result a master’s degree in electrical engineering. Later he worked in the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, was a participant in the nuclear tests of the 1962 year. In 1973, he was appointed Assistant US Secretary of Defense, and in 1974, as Head of Operational Management and Long-Term Communications Systems. From January 1976-th to April 1977-th year was the US Air Force Minister and at the same time director of the Office of National Intelligence. He took an active part in the political life of the United States, the author of several books.
History about how in the 1982 year, the United States learned about the strange explosion in Siberia, the flash of which was recorded by American satellites, described in detail in the recently published book about the “cold confrontation” of the great powers called “Over the abyss ...”. As the authors of this work narrate, the first version of the Americans was a nuclear explosion, but their assumption was debunked by the absence of a corresponding electromagnetic pulse. And then from the leadership of the CIA received information about their participation in the events and assurances of the safety of further developments for the people of America.
To assess the veracity of the information presented, we first consider in detail the version of the American side expressed in the already quite distant eighties. So, on the basis of a detailed analysis of the largest technical achievements of the USSR, even in the 70s, the American leadership decided that a significant proportion of these successes was achieved thanks to copying the technical innovations created in the West. Therefore, a number of measures were invented and put into service, among which the main was the reduction of computer and software supplies to our country. The purpose of this was obvious - to suspend the processes of leakage, as well as the brazen duplication of another's property. However, this did not help and “foreign” engineering thought continued to “work” on the opposite political camp. Channels of leakage were discovered only a few years later, when one of the KGB officers, someone Vetrov, who was an employee of the KGB T intelligence department and was engaged in analyzing the intelligence obtained, was recruited by French intelligence. Subsequently, he became an agent for Farewell. The photographs provided to them and a huge number of documents fully disclosed all the nuances of the USSR industrial espionage program. In addition, according to the French, Lieutenant Colonel of the Winds revealed to them the names of two hundred secret agents of Line X, who throughout the world were engaged in theft and purchase of information about various, often secret, developments and technologies for the Soviet Union.
Disillusioned with the ideals of youth, Vetrov in the spring of 1981 passed the first information packet to the French counterintelligence agent Alexander de Paul. He was assigned the agent name "Farewell". Over the next two years, the traitor handed over about four thousand secret documents containing the entire program of Soviet scientific and technical intelligence, a complete list of 450 employees involved in collecting information, and the names of more than seventy KGB sources in Western countries. French President Francois Mitterrand, who tried to gain trust from the United States government, handed over Vetrov. He sent several dozens of Soviet agents from his country; after that, calculating the “mole” was a matter of technique, since the circle of persons with access to documents was limited. By this time, the KGB lieutenant colonel was already serving his sentence in a camp near Irkutsk for the premeditated murder of his colleague. In August, 1984 of the year Vetrov was put in a Lefortovo prison and charged with treason. 23 February 1985 year traitor was executed.
At the next economic forum, held in July 1981 year in Ottawa, Mitterrand hurried to share with Reagan their successes. But the Americans decided not to rush to block the discovered channels, but to use them for their own purposes, supplying rivals with disinformation acceptable to them. In August of the same year, Vetrov’s documents were handed over to the CIA. And soon the White House adviser Gus Weiss was invented a plan for the transfer of data on non-existent technology. The implication was that the fictional technical device would work without interruption for some time, so as not to arouse suspicion, and then give a control failure. This idea was approved by the president of the country.
The circumstances for the Americans were extremely successful. Just at the same time, large-scale work was carried out on the construction of one of the largest gas pipelines. This line was needed to supply gas from the USSR to Western Europe. According to one version, the CIA planted a KGB agent in Canada with an automated control system used in pipeline engineering networks, the chips of which already had a built-in defect. Another version of the development of events claims that they were Trojans - computer viruses contained in a stolen program used to control various elements of the pipeline: turbines, pumps, etc. The control systems for the Soviet gas pipeline were supplied by engineers of the Canadian company Cov-Can and the French Thomson-CSF.
As it was conceived by the heads of the special services, the short-term inspection did not reveal any irregularities and flaws. During the pilot operation, during the next testing of new systems in the pipeline, a depressurization and leakage occurred, resulting in a powerful explosion. Information about human victims remained unknown. Also, the explosion thundering in the Siberian wilderness remained secret for the Soviet public, because due to the existing censorship, reports of industrial accidents were hushed up. The authors emphasize that the Soviet media did not mention any major accident or man-made disaster of that time, including the release at Mayak and the explosion of a space rocket at Baikonur. After the incident, Soviet experts tested and tested all technologies taken from the West for a long time and thoroughly. The lieutenant colonel of the Winds, who became in fact the culprit of the incident, was executed, and the answer of the West was the arrest of more than one hundred and fifty disclosed traitor agents of the USSR
Here is the version of the American side, presented by T. Reed and P. Schweizer. She received a wide public response and caused a number of reciprocal publications, refuting the arguments of the authors, who love to tell in their works about the nuances of the information war between the two superpowers. Domestic experts and specialists also did not stand aside and after careful consideration of the data on the circumstances of the alleged accident, brought to the readers a mass of inconsistencies and false facts, which became the basis of the explosion legend.
The root cause of doubts about the veracity of foreign writers was the complete lack of information about the catastrophe in the Soviet press and relevant archives, despite the efforts of the initiative group to find at least some clue related to the events described. Official sources only shrugged their shoulders in bewilderment, completely denying the existence of an explosion in the considered section of the gas pipeline during the designated period. However, the CIA website has a separate page dedicated to the “Farewell Dossier”, in which it is written in black and white that specially modified programs and defective chips were actually introduced at a number of engineering and chemical plants in our country in order to disrupt technological processes. In addition, substandard parts, thrown from the West, were used in certain types of military equipment, and turbines with a hidden defect were supplied for gas pipelines. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to verify the authenticity of this information today, and there is no official confirmation of the involvement of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the events in question.
One of the initiative groups of researchers of Soviet history under the leadership of Vera Viktorovna Glushkova (daughter of the founder of computer technology, Academician V.M. Glushkov), deciding to dot the i, asked for explanations from large specialists who had a direct bearing on the construction of gas pipelines in our country . Expert explosives, doctor of technical sciences, professor V.D. Zakhmatov from 1980-th to 1982-th years constantly worked as part of a team engaged in the practical development of explosive technology cutting and welding of individual segments of gas and oil pipelines. In parallel, he participated in the elimination of all emergencies in a specified period of time. But at the same time, neither he nor any of his unique team had even heard of the explosion on the Urengoy-Chelyabinsk gas pipeline mentioned.
He is a participant in the elimination of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant of the first category. Currently lecturing around the world, is a member of the International Antiterrorism Committee, is an independent consultant on emergency situations in Europe. Author of more than two hundred scientific papers.
An authoritative scientist told that the accident did happen, but none of them could have happened as a result of sabotage. Their causes were mainly a violation of technology when laying pipes in difficult marshland and safety regulations during these works. In addition, the expert emphasized that the information on technical innovations obtained by the Soviet Union, which could be used for personal purposes, was never directly used. The information was obtained only in order to compare and on the basis of this create your own devices, if possible a little better than foreign ones. Nobody would allow a primitive copying; besides, it would be simply humiliating for the proud Soviet scientific thought that has always been at the forefront of world progress.
Another issue that puzzled specialists was the fact of using the program to automate gas pipeline operations. All experts who speak on this issue stated that this is a complete absurdity, since the computerization of the technologies in question was introduced only by the end of the nineties. And at the beginning of 80, automated control systems were a rarity even in the United States; on domestic gas pipelines, all processes were controlled by dispatchers, who manually controlled the systems around the clock.
Following the story of foreign authors, it is possible to note another discrepancy, consisting in the fact that the explosion on the gas pipeline, in their opinion, was caused by some kind of malfunction that damaged pumps and valves, which led, in turn, to a sharp increase in pressure inside the system . Every person dedicated to the subtleties of a gas pipeline’s operation knows that the system is equipped with valves for its entire length in case of an increase in pressure above permissible critical norms for any reason. And these valves work regardless of the operating modes of the pumps and control systems in general.
The next point for doubts about the reality of the events being described was the force of the explosion, which was equated to three kilotons. Specialists - gas specialists and physicists - unanimously declared that in the open space an explosion of such power is simply impossible. Drawing an analogy, we can recall the explosion that occurred in the 1989 year in Bashkortostan on the section of the Western Siberia-Ural-Volga gas pipeline. According to the expert, its cause was mechanical damage left by the excavator during construction work long before the tragedy, and operator error. Then a dangerous gas-air cloud was formed due to the terrain features, the explosion was quite powerful and destructive, killing 575 people who burned in two trains passing by the pipeline, but still did not reach up to three kilotons. The explosion of such a force is hampered by a large number of physical and natural factors, which makes it possible only on theoretical models.
Information received from another expert on this issue, Major General Vasily Alekseevich Pchelintsev, who in the eighties was an employee of the regional KGB department of the Tyumen region, and now an honorary member of the local veterans' council, contains only information about the explosion that occurred in April (and not in June 1982 year) near Tobolsk. But the cause of the incident lies not in the Western intrigues, but in the usual Soviet negligence. The explosion on two threads of the gas pipeline occurred due to the absence of weighting pipes for concrete loads, which would not allow them to rise to the surface in soft ground of a marshy area, and also because of a violation of the technology of joining pipes with compensating temperature changes links. As a result, with the onset of spring heat, pipes began to emerge to the surface, and temperature differences only aggravated the problem. One of the pipes cracked, and the gas escaping under high pressure gave such a powerful jet that it was able to cut a string of another gas pipeline running twelve meters away. The flames from the fire were noticed by the pilots of the plane that was flying nearby. The circumstances described took place in reality, but Pchelintsev described the explosion, which was mentioned in many Western publications, as absolute nonsense.
Therefore, it turns out that the story of the large-scale explosion of the gas pipeline in June 1982 is no more than another element of the information war, which has received a second wind today due to the urgency of the problems of cyber weapons and cyber siblings at the modern level of information technology development.