SOUTH AFRICA: Superbolt?

A "nuclear"mystery deepens

When a two-pulse burst of light flashed in the atmosphere over the remote southern seas off South Africa on Sept. 22, a U.S. Vela reconnaissance satellite registered the intensity and transmitted the data back to earth. After a month of scrutiny, the U.S. Government surmised that the light may have been caused by a relatively low-yield nuclear explosion. Suspicion fell on South Africa, whose haughty denials did little to quell international fears that the Pretoria government had succeeded in developing a nuclear weapon.

However, noting that the burst of light was not followed by any detectable radiation, as...

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