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Ralph J's Experience

Experience description:   

     I was a very young pastor in Lincoln, Nebraska, just out of seminary. I was praying late one night our church chapel when I felt a tremendous terror: even though I was lying face down, face in arms, it was like I could “see” a Satanic figure entering the front doors of our church, walking down the main aisle of the sanctuary getting ready to turn left toward the chapel area. I have never, ever experienced such utter horror and fear. I was praying frantically, confessing any sin, but suddenly found myself desperately screaming in prayer for the safety of our country. After a long time, quite late at night, I felt it was over and that we were OK. At the time, I had the strong impression (and had told others later) that some unauthorized person or group in the Soviet Union was about to pull the nuclear trigger (or had pulled it—I couldn’t decide which). I naturally had doubts about my discerning such an event, because it all sounded so implausible. But at the same time I couldn’t account for my prayer experience that was so unspeak­ably real and powerful.

I do remember that the next morning I opened the door to a beautiful very warm day; I remember thinking how warm it was for that time of year.  Tiny leaves were just beginning to open on a tree next door.  I recall thinking (I was still almost shaking): “What would all this look like if . . . ?”

     That week I told friends about this prayer experience. Five of them independently told me that they had felt it necessary to pray for the safety of the country that week, something that was very unusual for them, so I felt that I wasn’t the only one that sensed the danger. I have had a few other similar experiences like this (like for personal protection or healing), that proved to be valid, but never, ever anything so intense and terrifying.

     I always wondered what in the world was going on during that time, but never had any possible answer until 2006 when I read a summary of book written by a former naval intelligence officer, Red Star Rogue, which describes a sub-based launch of a nuclear missile NW of Hawaii on or about 7 March, 1968.

     So, ya gotta wonder, Who ultimately controls the destinies of nations!

[I sent this account to the writer of a financial news blog, Byron King who had summarized the book].  

     He replied: "Yes, you gotta wonder! Wow, what a story. Red Star Rogue has a section about the wife of the submarine captain. According to the authors, at the exact same time that the submarine K-129 exploded and sank, the captain’s wife was at some social event in Vladivostok . She was mingling with her friends, in a 'Navy Wives’ Club' sort of way. All of a sudden, she just went nuts. She had a complete breakdown, collapsed on the floor, and started babbling incoherently and sobbing uncontrollably. There was no organic medical reason for this. It just plain happened. Looking back, she came to realize that her breakdown occurred, to the day and hour, when her husband’s ship exploded and sank, and everyone died. According to Red Star Rogue, there were witnesses and medical records to back it up." 

       Red Star Rogue is a novelized account of a bizarre conspiracy by the very powerful, Michail Suslov (a Kremlin king-maker and ruthless communist ideologue) and a younger protégé, just as ruthless, whom he just appointed to head up the KGB, Yuri Andropov, who later became the leader of the Soviet Union.  The plan involved the take-over of a primitive nuclear missile submarine, of the kind that had been given to the Chinese at the time, to launch a nuclear missile at Hawaii and blame it on the Chinese.  This, they planned, would set off a nuclear exchange between China and the US, leaving the Soviet Union essentially in control of the world.  On or about 7 March, 1968, a group of special forces joined the Soviet sub without notice, took over the sub, moved to an unexpected location NE of Hawaii, punched in the launch codes and launched the missile.  The liquid-fuelled missile exploded on launch, blowing the sub in half, sinking it immediately. (Something like this apparently happened to a super-cavitating VA-111 Shkval  torpedo, sinking the submarine K-141 (Kursk) on 12 Aug 2000).  

In 1974 the CIA spent a huge amount of money to build the specially-designed super-ship, the Glomar Explorer to salvage the Soviet sub and apparently succeeded.  The CIA allegedly put out a cover story that they did not recover anything of significance. (Later, as a good will gesture, American officials presented the sub's ship's bell to the Soviets. The bell came from a part of the sub the CIA said they failed to recover!)

   There are some criticisms as to the accuracy of some details in both the CIA narrative and of Red Star Rogue, but given the cover stories put out by the CIA on the recovery of this sub and its location, the book seems plausible in most details. It is worth noting that several extremely near-misses of a nuclear holocaust occurred during the cold war, but have not been widely reported for fear of criticism of our defense measures and politicians responsible for them.

(See http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1690247)

 I did some follow-up research on my recollections of this prayer experience.  I was in doubt about the timing of my terrified prayer time about the rogue nuclear attack—I couldn’t find any personal contemporary records since I really hadn’t started a diary that early—but I do remember the first traces of new leaves emerging on a big tree on the W edge of the little house on the NE corner of the church property.  I came to wonder if my prayer time was later than the March 7th date in Red Star Rogue, since my only plausible, datable recollection was the leaves maybe one-half inch extended, though they may have been more than that.  Normally, leaves don't reach that stage until about a month later (April), but 1968 was an unusually warm winter, and the preceding week was extremely warm--enough to bring out tree leaves. (The official story from the CIA says the sub was lost in April of 1968).  In any case, I remember the tiny leaves and the extremely warm morning.

I did some checking on the Lincoln weather a month preceding the prayer experience about the nuclear strike.  I found this with dates, hi-lo temps & precipitation:


Hi: 66

Low: 31

precip. 0.02"





So, in other words, my memory of a warm sunshiny day was correct.  The temperatures of the preceding month seem high enough to produce early leaves.  The “growing season” of 1968 was 211 days, one of the longest recorded, the record being 217 days.  For an average Feb in Lincoln, the average min temp is 17.2, max 39.3.  For 1968 the high temps seem higher than that:  41.4 vs. 39.3.   The previous week in March, however, was quite warm (66,35,47,67,60,66) with a only 43 degree low on the night before I saw the leaves.  So it is entirely plausible that I saw fairly advanced leafing that bright, very warm morning.   The book says that the launch took place in the “darkness” of 3/7/68 just after 8 PM.  With 4 hours time difference between central and Hawaii time, 8 PM would have been about the time I think I remember starting to pray, midnight CST or slightly before.

So, anyway, my attempt to associate my memories of this prayer experience with the available (conflicting) information about the Soviet K-129 sub seems plausible, at least to me.  Certainly the terror and specific memories of that experience are indelible in my mind. I firmly believe that the same God who revealed future events with stunning precision to the prophets of the Bible, continues to do so today--if we will listen, and share the experience.  As a professor, one of my research interests is near-death and OBO experiences.  Since they are universal (all cultures) and fairly consistent in content, it seems reasonable that they describe a reality that ought not to be denied.  Recently, the world's most prominent atheist, Anthony Flew (editor of the prestigious Dictionary of Philosophy) changed his mind, in some part because of the testimony of near death experiences.   (Below: a diagram of the K-129 Soviet sub.  Note the 3 missile tubes in center).