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What you are about to read may sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but it is true and could happen. Take the time to ask yourself what you would do, and how you would handle something like this.

The next Pearl Harbor or 9/11will not announce itself with a searing flash of nuclear light. Noir will it appear with thousands of people dying of the plague or its genetically engineered twin. You will hear what sounds like thunder off in the distance. As you wonder what it was, the civilized world will have become unhinged. Fluorescent lights and television sets will glow eerily bright, even though they are turned off. The smell of ozone mixed with smoldering plastic will fill the air as electric wires arc and telephone lines melt. Your cell-phone, Palm Pilot, or MP3 player will feel warm to the touch, with their batteries overloaded.

Then you will notice that the world sounds different. It has turn eerily quiet, and the background noise of civilization has faded away. The pounding drum of internal-combustion engines has stopped. Like being in a time machine, you have just been thrust backward 200 years. A time when the only electricity was a lightning bolt from the sky. You quickly realize that the world you know is gone, and nothing works, and find the only way to get around is to walk or ride a bike. Unless you are lucky enough to have one of the few diesel engines that still work, but this to will be short lived. With no gas pumps working, their time is limited to the fuel they have, and then they will be just like all the rest.

What happened, was five hundred miles away high up in the atmosphere, a nuke had exploded. The Electro Magnetic Pulse had just acted like a giant continental time machine turning us back to the technology of 200 years ago. Electromagnetic Pulse or EMP is the eminence of gamma rays that interact with the surrounding air, shooting off electrons. The electrons scatter wildly, creating a rolling electrical field that travels through the air at the speed of light. It can burn up all electrical equipment. The computer in your car, your radio, your TV, your cell-phone, power transformers, every computer will be a paperweight. If it has a circuit board, it is toast. Plugged in or not, turned on or not, it dose not matter, EMP flows through the air.

The second concern is known as the "late-time EMP effect," and may be the most worrisome aspect of high security devices. It occurs in the 15 minutes after detonation. During this period, the EMP that surged through electrical systems creates localized magnetic fields. When these magnetic fields collapse, they cause electric surges to travel through the power and telecommunication infrastructure. This string-of-firecrackers effect means that sites such as telephone switching centers and electronic funds-transfer exchanges, would be attacked through their electric and telecommunication connections. The Guards would find themselves helpless, and have nothing left to protect.

Why the semiconductor Fails

The electrical field produced by the EMP only lasts a very short time before it quickly tails off. The electric field has a rise time of about 1 nanosecond, and even with such a short pulse. The effects can be tremendous. Failure of semi-conductive chips happen very quickly. Semiconductor devices fail when they encounter an EMP because of the local heating that occurs. When a semi-conductive device absorbs the EMP energy, it displaces the resulting heat that is produced relatively slowly when compared to the time scale of the EMP. Because the heat is not dissipated quickly, the semiconductor can quickly heat up to temperatures near the melting point of the material. Soon the device will short and fail. This type of failure is call thermal second-breakdown failure.

EMP Hardening

It is very hard to harden something that is being used. But the theory is that an enclosed metal container is protected. It has to be completely sealed, even an opening a fraction of a millimeter will mean failure. What most pour men do is use a metal trash can with a tight fitting lid. They line the in side of it with a non-conductive material. (cardboard) Nothing can touch the metal of the can, or everything is toast. Things that most people would put inside, laptop, radio, CD player, and 12V-power inverter. The first emergency frequencies to operate will be AM 640 and AM 1240. These are clear channel stations, and part of the original Emergency Broadcast System.

Things that will work after EMP

Diesel engines wont miss a beat, and keep running through the EMP. The new stuff will fail because the fuel system is computer controlled.
Old cars pre 1975 give or take by model.
Elect cook stove, but the timer and digital clock is toast.
Hot water heater
Washing Machine (If not digital)
Most all elect motors (If not on at time, if on 50 50 chance)

You get the idea, but it wont do much good with out power.

Statement of Dr. George Ullrich to the Congressional Hearings.

Dr. George Ullrich, the Deputy Director at the Defense Special Weapons Agency in the Department of Defense.

Other Radiation Effects

A high-altitude detonation presents a double radiation threat to space based assets. Systems not protected by the Earth's shadow are exposed to the direct weapon outputs (gamma rays, x-rays, neutrons) and can be upset or damaged immediately if their range from the weapon is such that the radiation environments exceed electronic device tolerance levels. The second threat comes from the weapon-produced electrons that enhance the earth's natural Van Allen radiation belts. Satellites that repeatedly transit these enhanced radiation belts in their orbits will eventually exceed their total radiation dose tolerance and will degrade, then fail.

Weapon debris carries a significant percentage of the energy of the detonation and this radioactive material releases enormous numbers of high energy electrons through beta decay. This phenomena creates an artificial "trapped electron" radiation belt. The size and intensity of the belt is highly dependent on the yield, altitude, and latitude of the detonation. The energies of the weapon-induced trapped electrons are significantly higher than those of the natural environment. For example, a 50 kiloton (KT) weapon detonated at a 120 km altitude (75 miles) can produce electron densities several orders of magnitude higher than the natural electron environment in low earth orbit. These elevated electron densities can last for months to years and significantly increase the total ionizing dose accumulated by space assets that transit these belts. This increase in total dose accumulation can dramatically shorten the lifetime of satellite systems. Projected lifetimes of up to ten years can be reduced to a mere two months after such an event.

EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse)

Electromagnetic Pulse or EMP is the eminence of gamma rays that interact with the surrounding air, shooting off electrons. The electrons scatter wildly, creating a rolling electrical field that can send voltage spikes and surges of current racing through power lines, communications cables and radio towers. It travels through the air at the speed of light, like the radio stations you pickup on your radio. It can burn up all electrical equipment. The computer in your car, your radio, your TV, your cell-phone, power transformers, every computer will be a paperweight. If it has a circuit board, it is toast. Plugged in or not, turned on or not, it dose not matter, EMP flows through the air.

What will happen?

This would produce damage that you would not recover from simply by turning a switch. It would probably destroy large transformers. These very large transformers are made to order, and if you need one. They will build you one, but not in this country. We do not build the big ones anymore, they will build you one over in Europe or Scandinavia, and it will take maybe a year-and-a-half to 2 years to get it. So it is not like you are going to recover from this tomorrow.

What this would do is to produce a society in which the only person you could talk to. Would be the person next to you. Unless you happened to be a ham operator with a vacuum tube set, which, by the way, is 1 million times less susceptible to EMP than your present equipment that the hams use. In addition, the only way you could get anywhere was to walk, because you see, if the pulse is intense enough, it turns off all the computers in your car. There will be no electricity, so even if the car ran, you could not get gas. If you happen to have a car that still has a coil and distributor, you are probably okay, because those are pretty robust structures compared to today's cars with so much microelectronics in them.

What would happen to you

EMP could, compared to a nuclear attack on the city, kill many more Americans in the long run from indirect effects of collapsed infrastructures of power, communications, transportation, food, and water. Can you imagine our country with 285 million people, no electricity, and there will be no electricity, no transportation, no communication? The only way you can go anywhere is to walk, and the only person you can talk to is the person next to you. What would we do?

How many of our people might not survive the transition from that situation to where you had established a sort of infrastructure that could support civil society as we know it today. Degradation, and this is really minimized, degradation of the infrastructures could have irreversible effects on the country's ability to support its population, and then millions could die. That is true.

Electromagnetic pulse would be like a giant continental time machine turning us back to the technology of 100 years ago. It is very obvious that the population of today in its distribution could not be supported by the technology of 100 years ago. The population will shrink until it can be supported by the technology.

Stop and think about it for a minute. Even if the power came back on very few things would work. If it had a circuit board in it, it is not going to work with out being replaced. Gas pumps have a circuit board, and even if you had a replacement on the shelf. It would be burned up just like the one in the pump. Remember this flows through the air, and will destroy every circuit board in every warehouse, on every shelf. The thought of replacing something as simple as communications would be over whelming. Every phone switching station would have to be rebuilt, and every phone would have to be replaced. Everyone would need a new radio, and the radio station would have to be rebuilt. With no replacement parts this would take an extended period of time. Remember the only person you can talk to is the one standing next to you. we would be back in the Pony Express days. If people could join together to set one up.

Is it really possible       
One of the members of the Russian Duma was Vladimir Lukin, he said, If we really wanted to hurt you with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an SLBM,'' which if it was launched in a submarine at sea, we really would not know for certain where it came from. ``We would launch an SLBM, we would detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country, and we would shut down your power grid and your communications for 6 months or so.''

Quote from the Congressional Record of June 9, 2005  

I talked a little bit about what EMP is. It produces a large number of Compton electrons above our atmosphere which are trapped by the magnetic fields around the Earth. They move at the speed of light. The prompt effects are such that if the voltage is high enough, all electronic equipment within line of sight is damaged or destroyed. These are called prompt effects. And, of course, satellites are very soft because it costs about $10,000 a pound to launch a satellite; so they do not launch a lot of hardening on the satellite if they do not need to.

So all of the satellites within line of sight would be taken out by prompt effects. It would not go so high, by the way, as the satellites that are 22,500 miles above the Earth. But it would pump up the Van Allen belts so that satellites that were not in line of sight would die very quickly and one could not reconstitute the satellite network by launching new ones because they also would die quickly.


Iran has conducted tests with its Shahab-3 missile that have been described as failures by the Western media because the missiles did not complete their ballistic trajectories, but were deliberately exploded at high altitude. This, of course, would be exactly what you would want to do if you were going to use an EMP weapon. Iran described these tests as successful. We said they were a failure because they blew up in flight. They described them as successful. Of course, they would be, if Iran's intent was practicing for an EMP attack.

Congressional Record of June 9, 2005

Terrorists and EMP

Terrorists could steal, purchase, or be provided a nuclear weapon and perform an EMP attack against the United States simply by launching a primitive Scud missile off a freighter near our shores. We do not need
to be thinking about missiles coming over the Pole. There are thousands of ships out there, particularly in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, and any one of them could have a Scud missile on board. If you put a canvas over it, we cannot see through the thinnest canvas. We would not know whether it was bailed hay or bananas or a Scud launcher. You cannot see through any cover on a ship. The Commission on the Emerging Ballistic Missile Threat chaired by Secretary Rumsfeld before he was Secretary, and Dr. Bill Graham, the chairman of this commission was his vice-chair, found that ships had been modified so that they had missile-launching tubes in ordinary freighters. You can read that in their report.

Scud missiles can be purchased on the world market today for less than $100,000. Al Qaeda is estimated to own about 80 freighters, so all they need, Mr. Speaker, is $100,000, which I am sure they can get, for the missile and a crude nuclear weapon.

Certain types of low-yield nuclear weapons can generate potentially catastrophic EMP effects. These certain types of weapons are weapons that have been designed for enhanced EMP effects. They may have little explosive effect, but very high EMP effects over wide geographic areas, and designs for various such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a quarter of a century. We are certain that the Chinese have them.

Of course the Russians have them; they developed probably better or at least as good designs as we developed. We designed them, by the way, but never built them. The Russians we understand have both designed and built them, and we now believe those designs to be pretty widespread out around the world.

If it were launched from the ocean, we would not know who launched it. So against whom would we retaliate? Even if we knew who launched it, Mr. Speaker, if all they have done is to disable our computers, do we respond in kind, or do you incinerate their grandmothers and their babies? This would be a really tough call.

Responding in kind might do very little good. There is no other country in the world that has anything like our sophistication in electronic equipment, and no other country in the world is so dependent as we are on our national infrastructure. So this is a real problem and a big incentive to use this weapon without fear of retaliation, as Vladimir Lukin says, with no fear of retaliation. EMP could, compared to a nuclear attack on the city, kill many more Americans in the long run from indirect effects of collapsed.


Life as America has known it has been deleted.

Congressional Record: June 9 on EMP (House)