The Mystery of the Hawaii Missile Alert Is Solved and You'll Be Afraid to Know the Answer

A couple of weeks ago, something very embarrassing happened in Hawaii, I mean more embarrassing than having to own up to their Congressional delegation.


There was a comedy of errors as no one was sure how to override the warning and the Governor, who could override it, had somehow misplaced his password to access the system. Getting the password shouldn’t have been a big deal, as there were photographs of the command center with the system passwords affixed to computer monitors by sticky note.

Jeffrey Wong, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s current operations officer, shows computer screens monitoring hazards at the agency’s headquarters in Honolulu on Friday, July 21, 2017. Hawaii is the first state to prepare the public for the possibility of a ballistic missile strike from North Korea. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)


Then we had the ritual Blame-Trump ripple in the media, nevermind that it was a state system and a state employee and a state readiness test with no federal involvement.

The FCC started an investigation and the State of Hawaii employee refused to cooperate.


Now the truth comes out.

The Federal Communications Commission says a Hawaii employee who mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile thought an actual attack was imminent.

The FCC said Tuesday that Hawaii has been testing alert capabilities, and the employee mistook a drill for a real warning about a missile threat. He responded by sending the alert without sign-off from a supervisor.

I don’t suppose we’ll ever know how a fully alert, non-somnolent person could mistake an alert in an ongoing drill for the real thing and launch an alert without telling anyone…if they were fully awake and non-somnolent, that is.


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