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Radioactive sheep boost claims of secret Israeli nuke test

Radioactive isotopes discovered by scientists in Australian sheep have added gravity to longstanding claims that a mysterious flash above the Indian Ocean 39 years ago was actually an illegal Israeli nuclear weapon test.

On September 22, 1979, US satellite Vela 6911 detected a ‘double flash’ near the Marion and Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Ever since, there has been speculation that it was actually a nuclear weapon test carried out by Israel. According to the memoirs of then-US President Jimmy Carter, this was also the assumption of American generals who briefed him on the incident. The official position of the Israeli state is to neither confirm nor deny having a homegrown military nuclear program

Now a new paper, published in the Science & Global Security journal, says radioactive isotope iodine-131 had been discovered in the thyroids of Australian sheep in the month following the so-called ‘Vela incident.’

Christopher Wright of the Australian Defense Force Academy and nuclear physicist Lars-Erik De Geer, who used to work for the Swedish Defense Research Agency, have analyzed thyroid samples that were sent monthly to the US in 1979. The information on test results was only recently made available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The isotope levels found in the sheep affected by rain four days after the incident, “would be consistent with them having grazed in the path of a potential radioactive fallout plume from a 22 September low-yield nuclear test in the Southern Indian Ocean,” the paper states.

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