So Hawaii just got a scare. In case you missed it, here is a screenshot going around.

Screenshot of Emergency Alert warning issued in Hawaii - Jan 13, 2018
Screenshot of Emergency Alert warning issued in Hawaii – Jan 13, 2018

 

Theories flew instantly, as expected. But I’m sure there is a valid, simple explanation for what happened.

CNN was on hand to get the report from Gov. David Yutaka Ige (D).

CNN report (captured Jan 14, 2018)
CNN report (captured Jan 14, 2018)

So….. “someone pressed the wrong button” during a “routine” shift change.

OK, so I guess we should expect these accidental warnings more frequently as shifts continue to change. That seems problematic.

Hawaii Emergency Management claims to have attempted to contact media by telephone to explain the error, and 20 minutes later “tweets” were used to call off the alerts. I was not aware that during a time of imminent ballistic missile strike that I am meant to keep checking my Twitter feed. I guess I’ll add that to the survival guide.

A full 38 minutes later, the Emergency Alert system sent another message to announce the False Alarm (caps theirs).

Emergency Alert Retraction
Emergency Alert Retraction

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took the opportunity to speak out after the event and expressed some misgivings.

“We’re still waiting on the details,” said Gabbard, when asked about the cause of the error. “The officials that I’ve spoken to said it was an inadvertent message essentially sent out as a mistake. The reality, and we’ll get to the bottom of that, but the reality and what I hope people across this country and the leaders of this country here is that this is a real threat facing Hawaii.”

She also went on the attack against President Trump and others.

“The reality is that every American needs to understand that if you had gone through what the people of Hawaii just went through, what my family and so many families in Hawaii just went through, you would be angry just like I am,” said Gabbard. “I’ve been talking about this threat from North Korea for years.

She continues.

“It points to the failure of our leaders that we are sitting here in a state where this text message is a very real thing,” she said. “Today’s one was a mistake, but the reality is that this threat is very real. The people of my home state live with this. They live with the reality of this message popping up on their phones. Donald Trump is taking too long. He’s not taking this threat seriously.”

So was it a mistake? Not everyone is convinced.

Some theories suggest that a North Korean missile was detected and shot down, but the story is being covered up. Honestly, this makes no sense. A successful interception of a ballistic missile, especially one potentially fired by an adversary, therefore unplanned, would be a huge feather in the cap of the US military.

Unless of course they didn’t want the weapon known.

Which brings up a corollary to the theory. Not everyone is convinced the “Zuma” payload launched last week by SpaceX was lost. Some have posited that Zuma may be a powerful laser or directed energy weapon. If so, it would explain the need for a backstop story.

What it doesn’t explain is why the backstop story is so poor. Such a weapons test would have been in the works for a very long time, giving ample opportunity to construct a better cover story.

Another theory posits the message was intentional, but false.

It would work like this,

  1. Send out Emergency Alert
  2. Wait and watch how residents react
  3. Retract the Alert
  4. Claim user error and promise to prevent future errors.

But why would anyone do that? Why would the government want to know how the public would react in a crisis situation? How does any of this theory make sense?

Special Interest Area 2

Societal Resilience and Sociopolitical (In)stability

This topic area focuses on the relationship between events and stability.

The Department of Defense hopes to better anticipate and potentially mitigate instability and conflict through basic scientific research on factors that affect resilience to “shock” events (e.g., violent attacks, economic turbulence, social unrest, public health crises, environmental change). (http://minerva.defense.gov/Research/Research-Priorities/)

Yes, this is part of an actual US Department of Defense project that been going on for quite some time. So it’s quite conceivable that the public would be monitored for 30 minutes or so in order to gauge reactions.

Don’t believe me? Go check it out. This is the stuff the government DOESN’T hide.

The Minerva Initiative
The Minerva Initiative

Then again, maybe it really WAS a missile defense test after all. As American Everyman points out, Lockheed Martin just happens to be shopping a new system to Japan.

Aegis Combat System

AEGIS ASHORE

Aegis Ashore is the first operational land-based version of the Aegis Combat System, a sophisticated collection of phased-array radars, fire control directors, computers and missiles.

Aegis Ashore is built on the solid, proven cornerstones of the Aegis Combat System’s Baseline 9 configuration of hardware and software, which incorporates BMD 5.0 CU, the latest iteration of the proven Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) software.

Aegis Ashore is an affordable solution to implement the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach plan to protect our European allies, our U.S troops and our assets from ballistic missile attacks.

As it happens, Lockheed Martin has improved the system, and added another component.

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Next Generation Aegis Ashore Solution

MOORESTOWN, N.J.Jan. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — In a landmark demonstration, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) connected key components of its Aegis Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) technologies, validating the ability to greatly increase operational performance, efficiency and reliability of Aegis Ashore.

And on January 10 of this year, Japan got its demonstration. And you will never guess where it took place.

Japanese media gets 1st look at Aegis Ashore test complex, impacts must be assessed

KAUAI, Hawaii — The possible impact of electromagnetic waves from land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems requires careful evaluation despite U.S. guarantees that the systems do not affect civilian communications or human health.

An Aegis Ashore test complex here was opened to Japanese news organizations for the first time on Jan. 10, local time (Jan. 11, Japan time) on the occasion of a visit by Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. This came in the wake of a decision by the Japanese government in December last year to buy Aegis Ashore systems from the United States to counter the growing threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs.

The complex is inside the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, the world’s largest missile test facility with a total area of about 8.3 square kilometers. It is located on the eastern shore of the island, about a 50-minute car ride from Lihue, Kauai’s largest town, and is surrounded by forests and farmland.

In this scenario, it is possible that the January 10 meeting lead to a demonstration a few days later. If everyone at Hawaii Emergency Management wasn’t informed in advance, it is quite possible that someone there noted an CORRECTLY warned against an incoming attack.

When the miscommunication was discovered a few minutes later, the attempts to build a hasty cover story could explain the “official” explanation.

Of course, it’s possible this was a combination of things; a sales pitch and a Minerva project rolled into one.

Either way, Hawaiians have to getting raw nerves by now. Back in December, Hawaii began testing its nuclear warning sirens again.

Hawaii sounds first nuclear warning siren since Cold War

The first taste of Duck and Cover was in the middle of last year, as we covered here:

Governments start re-hashing “duck and cover” to build fear

We will continue to update this story as new information comes in.

 

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