On 26 September 1983, Petrov stood on duty outside Moscow when the alarm began to sound. A false alarm but Petrov does not have to know this. At that time, relations between America and the Soviet Union were extremely tense. The Soviets have just shot down a passenger plane travelling from what New York to Seoul, thinking he is a spy plane. Eventually, even if it was not sure of this, Petrov told superiors it is a false alarm following his instincts-and managed to avoid a holocaust.