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December 1979

Interagency Intelligence Memorandum, US Director of Central Intelligence, NI IIM 79-10028, 'The 22 September 1979 Event' [2004 Release]

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

This study begins, as the National Security Council requested, by assuming that the September 22, 1979 Vela event was a nuclear detonation. It discusses the possibility that the detonation could have occurred due to an accident, and noted the Defense Intelligence Agency’s suggestion that the Soviet Union might have had reasons to conduct a covert test in violation of its treaty commitments. But most of the study is concerned with other possibilities to explain the incident – a secret test by South Africa or Israel, or India, or Pakistan, or a secret joint test by South Africa and Israel. The 2004 version, in some instances, contains more information through page 10 than the 2013 version.


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CIA Freedom of Information Act Release, 2004. Obtained and contributed by William Burr for NPIHP Research Update No. 25.


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)