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Researchers: Radioactive Australian sheep bolster nuclear weapon test claim against Israel via

Newly uncovered data from radioactive sheep has provided “robust” evidence that a “double flash” detected nearly 39 years ago from a remote island group was a nuclear explosion.

The Minister for Arms Control, Winston Peters, has asked officials to brief him on the findings after they were highlighted by Wellington health researcher Professor Nick Wilson.

Since soon after the flash was detected by optical instruments from a US “Vela” satellite high above Earth in September 1979, there has been debate about whether it was a nuclear explosion – and speculation that it was a weapon test by Israel. Some believe it was simply a meteoroid hitting the satellite.

The flash was located in the vicinity of the tiny Marion and Prince Edward islands in the South Indian Ocean, about halfway between Africa and Antarctica.

“A new publication sheds further light on the Vela Incident of 1979,” said Wilson, of Otago University at Wellington, “and adds to the evidence base that this was an illegal nuclear weapons test, very likely to have been conducted by Israel with assistance from the apartheid regime in South Africa”.

“This would have been a violation of the Limited Test Ban Treaty …,” said Wilson, an epidemiologist and member of the Australia-based Medical Association for the Prevention of War.

He urged the Government to ask Israel to comment; ask the United Nations to investigate; help finance South Africa to look into the apartheid regime’s involvement; and ask the United States to release classified documents about the Vela incident.

Israel has dismissed the claim that it was responsible for a nuclear explosion in the South Indian Ocean in 1979.


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