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Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons and Nuclear Nightmares: From Fiction to Fact

Warday is a 1984 novel written by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka (and with Strieber himself playing the key role in the story). It makes for grim and disturbing reading. It’s an excellently written book, too; a book that tells the story of a limited nuclear attack on the United States, but which still kills more than sixty million people – from the initial atomic blasts, famine and starvation, radiation, and a wave of out-of-control influenza. The United States is devastated by what is known as Electromagnetic Pulse weaponry.  Strieber and Kunetka skillfully tell a story that could, one day, become all too real. In Warday, the United States is a shell of its former self, with chaos, death and destruction rampant. Warday makes it very clear that had the confrontation between the United States and the old USSR escalated beyond a limited one, the result would have been unthinkable: complete and utter obliteration in the northern hemisphere. There’s a reason why I’m bringing this up, as you’ll soon find out. But, first, some background to the story. Here’s a brief summary of Warday:

“The former Undersecretary of Defense tells Strieber that the United States was deploying Spiderweb, an advanced anti-ballistic missile system which could use an orbiting particle beam to destroy both land and submarine launched missiles. To prevent its deployment, the Soviets destroyed the Space Shuttle Enterprise with a hunter-killer satellite. The Soviets then detonated a set of six large nuclear warheads in space above the United States, causing a massive electromagnetic pulse that crippled electronics across the country. The Soviets then launched a limited first strike using satellites to deploy their warheads. In response, the U.S. president, aboard Boeing E-4 NEACP, authorized a counterattack, destroying Moscow, Leningrad, Sevastopol, and the capitals of the Soviet Republics. Shortly afterwards, the NEACP, crippled by the electromagnetic pulse, crash-landed in North Carolina, killing the President but leaving other survivors including the Undersecretary. The ‘limited attack’ by the Soviets destroyed Washington, D.C., San Antonio, and most of Long Island, and ICBM missile fields and major air bases in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, killing about 7 million people. The subsequent firestorms and fallout destroyed most of Brooklyn, Queens, Baltimore, and most of southwest Texas. The Soviet Navy also launched nuclear attacks that destroyed about 90 percent of the United States Navy. The duration of the war was 36 minutes.”

And here’s some background on EMP technology. As Interesting Engineering note: “EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, are intense bursts of electromagnetic energy that can be utilized to damage electronics. Man-made nuclear EMPS are impressive weapons of war that are sparingly used due to their highly destructive nature. There are natural EMPs that can be caused in small form due to lightning or in large form due to geomagnetic storms. Man-made EMPs are generally created through nuclear explosions. Essentially, these weapons emit a pulse that damages or destroys the electronic systems in an object due to damaging current and voltage surges.” state: “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is an instantaneous, intense energy field that can overload or disrupt at a distance numerous electrical systems and high technology microcircuits, which are especially sensitive to power surges. A large scale EMP effect can be produced by a single nuclear explosion detonated high in the atmosphere. This method is referred to as High-Altitude EMP (HEMP). A similar, smaller-scale EMP effect can be created using non-nuclear devices with powerful batteries or reactive chemicals. This method is called High Power Microwave (HPM). Several nations, including reported sponsors of terrorism, may currently have a capability to use EMP as a weapon for cyber warfare or cyber terrorism to disrupt communications and other parts of the U.S. critical infrastructure. Also, some equipment and weapons used by the U.S. military may be vulnerable to the effects of EMP.”

There’s a reason for me bringing up this issue. Over the last four or five years I’ve received accounts from people who have had graphic EMP-type dreams that spiraled into total nightmares. And it has happened again – just a few days ago. Of course, this may all be due to the fraught state the world is in right now. Most of those I spoke with, however, didn’t see their dreams as “just dreams” (as one put it), but as glimpses of a terrible, catastrophic future of the real kind. Let’s hope not. Certainly, there’s a down-to-earth reason for it (that you can find it here).


Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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