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US computer goof alerts planes for Soviet 'attack'

By With Analysis from Monitor Correspondents around the world, Edited by Debra K. Piot / June 6, 1980



Washington

Air Force were put on alert for three minutes this week because a faulty computer showed a multiple Soviet missile attack on the United States, the Pentagon announced Thursday. It was the second time in seven months that a computer problem triggered a US alert by indicating that missiles were on the way.

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A Pentagon spokesman said that because of the false alarm on Tuesday, one Air Force plane took off from Hawaii while some Strategic Air Command aircraft were readied for takeoff with their engines running. He also said the White House was informed, but the alert was called off before the information could be transmitted to either President Carter or Defense Secretary Harold Brown.