‘Wrong button’ pushed during ‘shift change’ blamed for false Hawaii missile alert

An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” was a false alarm caused by an employee pressing the “wrong button” during a shift change, according to Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the initial emergency alert read.

While the message caused concern on social media, the Hawaii Office of Emergency Management quickly responded on Twitter, saying, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”

“It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift and an employee pushed the wrong button,” Gov. David Ige told CNN.

A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also posted to Twitter, reassuring citizens that she has confirmed with officials that “there is no incoming missile” and told CNN’s Jake Tapper the alert was “inadvertent.”

Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement that there is no threat: “USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” the statement read. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”

White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the alert to the Department of Defense.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also took to Twitter on Saturday in the wake of the false alarm.

“There is no missile threat,” the Democratic senator tweeted. “It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”

On Saturday, FCC head Ajit Pai said the department is “launching a full investigation into the false emergency alert that was sent to residents of Hawaii.”

21 comments

  • WHATAMORON

    I just want to say to everybody I need to post something that sound smart and makes me look like I’m funny. I like to go back over and over and read my post and convince myself that I am funny and my life has meaning.

  • Just an amused observer!

    I know, I know it is all Pres. Trump`s fault. The snowflakes are having a Hawaiian meltdown. I thought they were in peace talks with the South thanks to the president`s hard line diplomacy. How could this be? Of course it does not hurt to have practice drills, we used to have them all time when I was a kid in school and we had to craw under ours desks. Never knew if they were real or not. Some people actually built bunkers during that time. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The threats have been and will always be there.

  • joe just joe

    The new guy who came in for the next shift apparently thought it was already time for lunch…and pressed the launch button instead of the lunch button.

  • Karate Kid

    Mr. Miyagi is taking full responsibility. How awesome is that? Daniel-san does not need old prune or young flower, just balance. Wax on… War with Asians averted. Now we need to fix post Clinton Haiti and Puerto Rico. Can we just annex them to keep the murk going? I don’t mind 52 states that could harden our collected resolve. Shrunken economies in once prosperous places only happen when you restrict the freedoms of the majority. Newark and Chicago are not paradises. Guess what they have in common?

  • Fredric

    Dem Sen. Schatz was out of the loop, had no knowledge of the situation but did hot breath twitter. It took 38 minutes, time enough for the missile(S) to sight see the planet twice to react.

    These systems should require redundancy actions to avoid this. Think double key and distance between sending locations.

    This was only a drill to see how people would react. Hawaiians passed but the public service failed.

    • Highwaymen

      In this age of instant information, this had to be a planned event. Which it is nice to think that our “sides” are starting to work together. Most of our citizens treat each other with respect and feel a familial bond at the end of every conversation that is not directed at personal identity. Out of all the social constructs in the history of mankind? I would rather be a random American in this era than anything else. Look what we’ve overcome together. The Romans, Aztecs, and Egyptians would be amazed.

  • Highwaymen

    We’ve had these events in the past, but this one has very curious timing. Given the wording in the story, I am guessing that certain circles are finally coming to terms with reality and are realizing the benefits of putting their emotions aside to shore up our society on the DL. Only disturbed failures with fringe moral beliefs would hate the country that gave them so much freedom. This looks like a clandestine stepping stone to get some old freedoms back that we have lost. It is a lot better than creating power vacuums all over the world so a few can live in excess here and scold our freedom.

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