It wasn’t too long ago that I was scrolling through Instagram, when I noticed a friend in Hawaii mention something about “an attack.” These Trumpian times have left me blasé AF, so I pretty much ignored it and kept on scrolling. My mistake.
What turns out to have been a panic-causing false alarm was actually the result of a drill gone awry, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The false alert was sent to TV and radio stations and cell phones earlier in January. And for the 38 minutes it took officials to retract the warning, many Hawaiians and Americans (and Diana Ross) feared the state where Obama was born was under nuclear attack.
Regulators explained on Tuesday that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s midnight supervisor thought the missile was the real deal, having mistaken a drill for an impending attack. Reportedly, a recorded message was played, which included the normal drill language: “Exercise, exercise, exercise.” But for some reason, the message also contained text saying, “This is not a drill.” Kind of a major SNAFU, if you ask me.
Apparently, other employees knew the event was a drill, but the one who issued the false alert “claimed to believe” it was an actual attack. The as-yet-unidentified employee has refused to cooperate with the investigation, apart from a written statement. According to the Associated Press, the employee has since been fired and is said to have had performance issues in the past.