In the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1983, in a moment of extreme tension in the Cold War, it was an alarm warning that the US had launched five nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles. The detection system based on satellites was new and Petrov didn’t completely trust it. Petrov didn’t send the computer warning to his superiors. He checked to see if there had been a computer malfunction and it really was.
That episode along with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis are considered to be the closest the U.S. and the Soviets came to a nuclear exchange. This special man’s story was not publicized at the time. His life was simple. He never considered himself a hero and he received a number of international awards only during the final years of his life. But more than that, even his death don’t get noticed at the moment when he deceased. He died in May but it’s only now when the fact was discovered and made a worldwide news by a German political activist, Karl Schumacher, who tried to contact Petrov to wish him a happy birthday. Sometimes, the humanity don’t give the appropriate honor to his heroes !