I was a year out of the U.S.Army when this happened, which while serving we had monthly and sometimes weekly NBC (Nuke, Bio, Chem.) classes. I learned about this incident about ten or so years ago, and praise this Russian officer for having the clarity of mind for his decision to not panic and to asses the data using logic, logic which was something the Russians at that time didn’t practice much of. Andropov was on his death bed administrating from a hospital surrounded by old guard Russian brass who would had loved to gone out in a blaze of glory, well at least in their minds at that time. As much as I hate to admit it, I was relieved when Andropov died and Gorbachev was in charge of the CCCP. At least he understood that any all out conflict with the U.S. would be a no win situation, and as for Russian military spending “trying to keep up the Jones’s” (the U.S.) was bankrupting the country.
As for the late Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, a monument should be erected to honor his bravery when he had just minutes to mentally weigh the future of Humankind and his own military career.
Like the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”.