Wednesday, February 20, 2013

EMP: The Reality

Was it a coincidence that North Korea detonated a miniaturized micro-nuke on the day that Chris Awalt and I released WICK 2: Charm School?  Probably.  Even though the book posits the detonation of a miniaturized micro-nuke - designed by Russia and built in North Korea - used to cause a HEMP (High-altitude Electro-Magnetic Pulse).  But, I'd still have to assume that Kim Jong-un didn't order the detonation of a nuclear weapon just to boost sales of our book.  But if he did, thank you, Kim... you ruthless, tyrannical bastard.

(And as I write this, Russian bombers are circling Guam, Russian nuclear subs are shadowing our coasts, and bomber squadrons are playing cat and mouse over the arctic)

It seems like the cat is out of the bag on North Korea's nuclear program, or at least maybe it is starting to claw its way out of the bag.  For years, so-called "experts" in the United States pooh-poohed the NK nuke program (at least publicly), claiming that the nukes being detonated were extremely low-yield and therefore, not a threat.  What they weren't telling people, was that they were low-yield because they weren't designed to destroy cities with brute force.  They have been miniaturized and designed specifically to be delivered as an EMP weapon.  Their purpose is to destroy infrastructure and bring about massive loss of life from the resulting chaos and panic.

Pardon me while I take a detour for a moment…

Always remember what I’ve been telling you for years… “Governments are in the business of preventing panic” everything else is window dressing and is ancillary to the prime directive.  When you drive to work and you are pulled over by a policeman, he is not stopping you for speeding… no, he is not… he is insuring a safe and panic free environment for commerce to take place.  You might think that governments are only interested in banning guns insomuch as guns are likely to be used to threaten government, but, in reality, they’re not too concerned about that.  They have weapons that will make you think rats are eating your skull from a mile away.  They want to ban guns because if you are afraid that your daughter Molly is going to be shot at the day care, then you might pull her out of the day care and raise her yourself.  That cannot be an option.  If enough people did that, it would result in economic panic, and government must act everywhere and in every place to prevent panic.

If 50,000 people are brutally killed in automobiles every year, that is a cost of doing business… as long as a bunch of these deaths don’t happen at once.  So in reality, it’s about density of deaths, not value or cause or motive.  However, if 3,000 people die in a building because someone crashes a plane into it, then something must be done.  If people are afraid, they don’t go to work and the sea of financial tomfoolery overwhelms the dikes.  It’s not about the number of deaths, always remember that.  It’s not even about the real odds of something happening.  It’s whether or not you feel like the odds are that you are going to die by partaking in a particular activity.  Forgive my careful and considered use of exaggeration, but you are somewhere near a gazillion times more likely to die by being ripped into pieces in an automobile accident than you are likely to be shot by a crazed gunman at work or hit by a plane at work.  But you are not a rational, thinking human being (if you are part of the masses.)  You are a lemming, likely to panic and ruin everything.

Taxing, spending, legislating, welfare, wars, etc., are all just means to embiggen and entrench government in the face of perceived threats to the national stupor.  Government wakes up every morning and asks “are people buying stuff?  If not, why not?”  Then plans are drawn up to quell public fear, satiate hesitation, and grease the skids for the next big shopping day.  That’s the way it works, and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you it.

But enough of that.  Back to the EMP thing.

The first book in the WICK series (it is FREE in the US, by the way) hints (like I am doing) that an EMP attack is possible, and even likely.  But you don’t have to believe that to enjoy the book.  It is fiction, you know?

(By the way, WICK is doing smashing business, increasing jobs and providing for national economic stability.  WICK has been ranked among the Top 20 bestsellers in its categories for some time and has 112 reviews with 4.6 out of 5 stars for a rating.  That’s phenomenal for an indie book, so don’t say we aren’t doing our part to prop up the system, y’all.)

So I decided to include the little Appendix from WICK about EMP and the likelihood of it, for your consideration:

EMP: The Reality

In keeping with our intention from the first volume of the W1CK series to steer as close to the actual geo-political and scientific facts as possible in creating the overall mythology for the W1CK universe, we introduce into WICK 2: Charm School the frightening specter of an EMP attack on the United States.  Though the Electromagnetic Pulse has figured somewhat prominently in apocalyptic fiction over the years, and though there have been some novels that have focused very singularly on the threat, the very pressing and real threat of a High-Altitude EMP (HEMP), or Non-Nuclear EMP (NNEMP) is little known by the average American.  Very simply (and I will put this as plainly and as cartoonishly simple as possible) an EMP is a destructive burst of electromagnetic radiation.  This burst can instantaneously destroy almost every pillar of the digital/electronic/computer society.  While there are paid pundits, and professional naysayers, and government agit-props who are in the business of pooh-poohing or minimizing any talk of the threat of an EMP attack, anyone who is truly in the know recognizes that any technological nation’s most susceptible Achilles heel is their electrical and computer infrastructure, and that infrastructure, in most cases, is helpless against a targeted attack via electromagnetic pulse.

Again, speaking as plainly as possible, without a bunch of gobbled-gook techno-speak… if an EMP attack, even a simple and fairly unsophisticated one, were to take place over America, depending on the location and the yield, the country would very likely be tossed back in time about 150 years almost overnight.  And this with over 250,000,000 people living precariously and dependently on a system that requires not just the Internet, but electrical circuits, power transmission, transformers, water pumping stations, and the electronically controlled manufacture and distribution of almost 100% of the goods and services that keep those humans alive.  This book and series is not about an EMP attack, but an EMP attack is in the book, and we wanted you to know that such a thing is real, possible, and maybe even imminent.

In the past decade, with advances in miniaturization and other computer technology, several nations, including terrorist states like North Korea, have obtained information and material that would enable them to construct what are called “Super-EMP warheads.”(1)  According to the Washington Times, reporting from the Congressional Record, in the summer of 2004, “a delegation of Russian generals warned the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Commission that secrets had leaked to North Korea for a decisive new nuclear weapon—a Super-EMP warhead.”  This information “leaked” from the former Soviet Union, where such technology—and the ability to deliver it—has already existed for some time.  In the fall of 2012, not long before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, the North Koreans successfully tested an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile capable of reaching the United States.

Why would a delegation of Russian generals warn the United States government about the leaking of Super-EMP technology to North Korea?  There could be any number of reasons.  Perhaps they are just good men, desiring to keep the world at peace.

The United States Congress empaneled an “EMP Commission,” and in written testimony before the United States Senate in 2005, a staffer for that commission stated:

“The EMP Commission sponsored a worldwide survey of foreign scientific and military literature to evaluate the knowledge, and possibly the intentions, of foreign states with respect to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. The survey found that the physics of EMP phenomenon and the military potential of EMP attack are widely understood in the international community, as reflected in official and unofficial writings and statements. The survey of open sources over the past decade finds that knowledge about EMP and EMP attack is evidenced in at least Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Taiwan, Sweden, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran, North Korea, China and Russia.

Many foreign analysts–particularly in Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia–view the United States as a potential aggressor that would be willing to use its entire panoply of weapons, including nuclear weapons, in a first strike. They perceive the United States as having contingency plans to make a nuclear EMP attack, and as being willing to execute those plans under a broad range of circumstances.

Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings describe the basic principles of nuclear weapons designed specifically to generate an enhanced-EMP effect, that they term "Super-EMP" weapons. "Super-EMP" weapons, according to these foreign open source writings, can destroy even the best protected U.S. military and civilian electronic systems.” (2)

The EMP Commission and the Power Grid

The EMP Commission, paid for by the tax dollars of Americans, examined the impact of a HEMP on America’s critical infrastructure.  This commission determined that every aspect of that infrastructure, all of which is now dependent on the electrical grid and the Just-In-Time (JIT) delivery of fuel and supplies, could be destroyed or critically impaired in a way that threatened the very existence of “U.S. civil society.”  Communications, transportation, financial services, emergency services, energy distribution, distribution of water and food, and even the military infrastructure, were at risk.

From the report of the EMP Commission, they concluded:

1.       HEMP-induced functional collapse of the electrical power grid risks the continued existence of U.S. civil society

2.       Early-time HEMP (E1) transients are likely to exceed the capabilities of protective safety relays

3.       Late-time HEMP (E3) could induce currents that create significant damage throughout the grid

4.       The national electrical grid is not designed to withstand near simultaneous functional collapse

5.       Procedures do not exist to perform a “black start” after an EMP attack, as restart would depend on telecom and energy transport, which depend on power

6.       Restoration of the national power grid could take months to years

7.       HEMP-induced destruction of power grid components could substantially delay recovery

The EMP Commission’s overall power system conclusion was that “widespread functional collapse of the electric power system in the area affected by EMP is likely.” (3)

Now, subsequent to this report, a bill was introduced into Congress by Representative Trent Franks entitled the SHIELD Act.  This act warned of “catastrophic consequences” should Congress fail to act to protect America’s vital infrastructure.  That bill has been continuously and purposefully blocked in Congress.

Meanwhile, North Korea continued to perform ballistic missile nuclear tests, and the same people who blocked the SHIELD Act and who continued to minimize and scoff at anyone who dared mention the very real threat of an EMP attack against America, took the results of the North Korea tests and spun those as well.

Let me explain… you see, some useful fools in the military and elsewhere, denying the reality and facts concerning the development of miniaturized “Super-EMP” technology, continued to broadcast faulty information to the public.  The lie went like this… they reported that since the North Korean tests resulted in remarkably smaller “megatonage” than even the nukes that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, then those tests were to be deemed as failures, and therefore the risk could then be ignored.  All the while, other experts in government and in the intelligence infrastructure in America were reporting that the signature of the North Korean tests matched perfectly with the signature of a “Super-EMP” warhead being detonated.

Reports surfaced from many security experts that North Korea had indeed miniaturized its nuclear warheads so that they could deliver a “Super-EMP” via ballistic missile to the United States.  In May 2009, according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst and president of EMPact America, a citizens lobbying group trying to motivate some action in the American government to do something about the threat, the North Koreans, using technology and plans delivered to them by the Soviet Union, concluded a successful test of a “Super-EMP” weapon “capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states.” (4)

As expected, North Korea’s nuclear tests were declared to be failures by the same gaggle of pointy-headed agit-props and paid pundits who were working to stop the SHIELD Act.  Dr. Pry believed that the weapon tested by the North Koreans, though it was lower in its megaton signature than traditional nuclear devices delivered by Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, because of its “Super-EMP” technology, was capable of emitting more gamma radiation than a 25-megaton nuclear weapon.  Pry claimed that the naysayers, because they were told that the North Korean nuke only put off just three kilotons (not even megatons) of signature, claimed publicly that the test had failed.

In the same reports, Pry “said that a group of Russian nuclear weapons scientists approached him in 2004 when he served as staff director of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, to warn the United States that the technology to make that weapon 'had leaked' to North Korea, and possibly to Iran.” (5)

This is the same information that was given to the Congress, at the same time, by a delegation of Russian generals.

So, what is going on here?

These nuclear weapons scientists, according to Pry, “told us that Russian scientists had gone to North Korea to work on building the super-EMP weapon.” (6)  These weapons were tested in 2006, and again in 2009, and apparently the missile to deliver the weapons was successfully tested in 2012.

Dr. Pry finished his interview ominously, “The U.S. society and economy are so critically dependent upon the availability of electricity that a significant collapse of the grid, precipitated by a major natural or man-made EMP event, could result in catastrophic civilian casualties,” he said. “This vulnerability, if left unaddressed, could have grave, societal altering consequences.” (7)

Again, why are the Russians, both military generals and nuclear scientists, trying to warn America about an inevitable EMP attack by North Korea?

There are many reasons that this could be happening.  Remember, numerous Russian defectors going back to the 1960’s have warned that hard-line communists from the former Communist bloc were engaged in a long-term deception plan focused on destroying America within 20-25 years of the planned collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 (See W1CK 1 for details on this plan):

1.       There could be opposing forces from within the former Soviet Union, vying for power or the supremacy of a particular ideology.

2.       Plotters—hardline Communists from the former Soviet Union—could be using the North Korean developments, along with the warnings from prominent officials, to insulate themselves from retaliation (at least buying time) when an attack comes.  Perhaps if authorities in the U.S. military are focused on North Korea as the power behind an attack, time will be wasted on retaliatory strikes against them instead of focusing those attacks on the real culprit… powers that be within the former Soviet Union.

3.       The whole charade of a benevolent Russia trying to be friends with America is being maintained while the material for the attack is being manufactured and advanced within North Korea by Russia.  Good cop, bad cop.

So we, as in most things, have these opposing forces… one side has been trying to warn America that an attack is achievable and even imminent, while another side is hard at work obfuscating and minimizing the real facts and science behind the threat.

In America, the dialectic can plainly be seen.  Any mention by anyone of the scientific facts concerning the imminent threat of an HEMP attack against America is immediately labeled as a “Right-wing conspiracy theory.”

There is very little doubt among those who are experts on the subject that an EMP attack against America will have a very serious impact on infrastructure.  Some say it will toss America, in the blink of an eye, back into the 1950’s, while others who have a better grasp on the entangling dependencies and susceptibilities of the system, whisper under their breath that it may be more like the 1850’s after an EMP attack.  In whatever camp of opinion you might fall, you might ask yourself… Can America feed and maintain almost 400 million lives on the technology that was available in 1950?  Which is to say, how many of those 400 million lives, dependent every single day on goods and supplies produced thousands of miles away and delivered “Just-in Time” to a social system that has become structurally dependent on unsustainable resources for those lives to continue, will be lost within a single year due to that crippling dependency on technology?

 WICK 2: Charm School is just a fiction book.  It is provided for your entertainment and information.  It is not a science book, and we are not scientists or physicists.  Our desire has been to provide a story and framework that establishes a plausible collapse theory within the auspices of that story.  Read it as entertainment if you like.  We just wanted to make it as real (and suggestive) as possible.  In the end, WICK 2 is not really a “post-apocalyptic” book.  It is a book about people… real humans (though fictional real humans) who are forced to deal with an issue that other real humans would rather deny or ignore.

We have given a particular political tinge to the thinking of our characters, but that is a matter of choice driven by what we see as the best alternative explanations in such a fictional world.  When Dostoevsky created Raskolnikov, or Camus created Meursault, they did not make them empty-headed puppets—they gave them perspectives and then tried to make their choices fit the story of the conditions around them.  We believe that we have written in such a vein, in the best tradition of literary fiction.  Perhaps we will find out one day that our story is too overblown to track with history’s progress.  Or perhaps someday the lights will go out, and you will find yourself glad that you read something with characters that made a difference to you, a book that allowed you to take some lessons into your life.  In either case, we hope that you enjoy the reading first… and then, just possibly, learn some truth somewhere in these pages, truth gained by examining life through the eyes of others.

Michael Bunker and
Chris Awalt
January 2013


***(2)*** Statement, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, EMP Commission Staff, before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security. March 8, 2005

***(3)***BY WILLIAM A. RADASKY, PH.D. P.E.  





The WICK Series in e-book format can be bought all over the world:

WICK 1 at (US and India)
WICK 1 at (United Kingdom)
WICK 1 at (France)
WICK 1 at (Spain)
WICK 1 at (Italy)
WICK 1 at (Japan)
WICK 1 at (Canada)
WICK 1 at (Brazil)
**WICK 1 is also available in Audiobook format at,, and iTunes

WICK 2 at (US and India)
WICK 2 at (United Kingdom)
WICK 2 at (France)
WICK 2 at (Spain)
WICK 2 at (Italy)
WICK 2 at (Japan)
WICK 2 at (Canada)
WICK 2 at (Brazil)

WICK 3 at (US and India)
WICK 3 at (United Kingdom)
WICK 3 at (France)
WICK 3 at (Spain)
WICK 3 at (Italy)
WICK 3 at (Japan)
WICK 3 at (Canada)
WICK 3 at (Brazil)

WICK 4 at (US and India)
WICK 4 at (United Kingdom)
WICK 4 at (France)
WICK 4 at (Spain)
WICK 4 at (Italy)
WICK 4 at (Japan)
WICK 4 at (Canada)
WICK 4 at (Brazil)

All 4 books are now available at Amazon in Paperback format as well.  The collected Omnibus Edition should be available by the end of July, 2013.

If you know anyone in any of these countries who might enjoy or benefit from the WICK series, please send them this post so they will have the appropriate links.  Thanks!

Michael Bunker

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onbigturtlecreek said...

This is great information, though most people will continue to play ostrich. I'll be passing it on. Thanks.

Bill Peck said...

Thank you Michael, very sobering, or at least should be.


Bcave said...

A 26 year old with nukes. There is something to think about.

Also, consider the impact on other countries that dislike US 'policing' world wide. They have the choice to EMP the USA ... or let North Korea be their fall guy. How hard is it to see their return vs risk?

China would have all the assets they need and see their cost of oil imports drop drastically. Russia would miss the cash flow to some extent, but having the US Military off their backside would be priceless during a vodka toast.

Know your enemy and know yourself... Sun Tzu says it all.

Got 200db EMP shielding?


Lux said...

I did not see a link to the commissioned report so here it is:

Also, you might need a faraday cage to protect some of you electronics:

Oh yes and you might want to prep up on the basics needed to survive since all the supply chains including grocery stores and the minicipal water supplies shut down after an EMP event:

Just a few public service announcements.