Try to Imagine a “Nationwide Katrina Event.” It Could Happen.

A few months ago, I read Dr. William Forstchen’s new novel, One Second After, in which he describes in Tom Clancey-esque style what could happen if the United States were crippled by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by a “rogue nation” like North Korea or Iran detonating a nuclear warhead in the atmosphere over the United States.

His thesis is as chilling as it is simple: A container ship parked out in international waters in the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific or the Atlantic could launch a cheap but effective Scud-type missile with a cheap but effective nuke payload (according to the info he presents, it wouldn’t have to be a significantly large one) up into the atmosphere above the U.S., where it detonates. Boom. The resulting EMP would be enough to take down our nation’s electrical grid. And if that happened, he argues, the U.S. would be hurled back into the 18th century, technologically speaking, and daily life here would become a true nightmare with folks just trying to find (or steal) enough food to say alive. Check it out.


  1. Bill Kennedy

    Did you enjoy the book? Would you classify it as Science Fiction?

  2. Augustine

    All these apolitical stories about killer EMPs are overblown out of proportion (pun intended).There's no H-bomb big enough to produce an EMP that would encompass all the lower 48. Yes, local power grids would be disrupted, but quickly restored, since the damage would be basically blowing up fuses at substations, not damaging the grid beyond repair.Even the most mundane electronic devices would survive an EMP, especially those in a metal case. Which would come back to work as soon as power is restored.Finally, an EMP achieves no military objective. It's actually a "wasted" H-bomb, more likely to encourage an annihilating response than anything.

  3. Snerticus

    EEK! It probably has nothing to do with this topic, but it does seem a bit coincidental…This morning after I came home from work I saw a short blurb on Fox News about a Russian submarine found off the east Coast of the US (the map looked like it was about 200 miles off the Georgia coast) and no one knew why it was there.Kinda scary now that I've seen this blog!

  4. Patrick Madrid

    Bill, yes, I did. He's not as good a fiction writer as Tom Clancy or Stephen King (few are), but he is good enough, and his story is very plausible. I'd recommend it.

  5. Matt G

    This is hardly news. It was the plotline for Goldeneye for goodness sake. Forstchen mentions the defense strategy, an anti-ballistic missile system, and claims that the United States "failed to use it". He makes it sound like the system that is in place is a failure, which is an absolute misdirection.Our Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system is capable of shooting down satellites, as shown in this video.The "failure" is Mr. Forstchen's belief that we should have used it to destroy the North Korean missile as it was being tested. Rather it was decided that such a move would not be politically expedient.

  6. Patrick Madrid

    Matt, who said this was "news"? Forstchen's thesis about the effects of an EMP is certainly scientifically verifiable, and the scenario he writes about in his book is plausible. And given current events, it's worrisome. I think you're overreacting a bit to this blog item.

  7. Mr. H.

    I heard Mr. Forstchen on Bill Bennett's Morning in America program.Their discussion was a an eye-opener. And a bit scary.Mr. H

  8. Donna

    May I ask in the middle of this blog for prayers for our country? We need to pray for an end to abortion and an end to thoughts of euthanasia. We need to pray that our country does not become a socialist country. Thank you for your prayers.

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