How the World Learned About the Pentagon’s Sky-High Nuclear Testing

<a href=””>Mark Wolverton</a>:<blockquote> Sometime in the summer of 1958, Hanson Baldwin, a longtime military correspondent for The New York Times, uncovered the Pentagon’s latest, biggest secret. Dubbed Operation Argus, it was the brainchild of the eccentric Greek-American physicist Nicholas Christofilos, a response to the fears of a possible Soviet missile attack that gripped the United States in the wake of Sputnik the previous autumn. Argus would detonate atomic weapons in outer space, creating an artificial radiation belt in Earth’s magnetic field that would supposedly fry incoming Soviet warheads in flight. Already, in utmost secrecy, an enormous naval task force was assembling in the remotest spot on the planet, the frigid South Atlantic, to launch nuclear missiles from the rolling deck of a ship in a crazily ambitious Cold War gamble.