What the Hell Happened in Hawaii?

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Early this morning, residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert on their cell phones and on their television screens: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER.” If that wasn’t enough to spark panic in a state where Cold War-era nuclear-attack alert sirens have been undergoing testing, the warning ended with those five dreaded words: “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Following several minutes of panic and confusion, various authoritative sources confirmed that the alert had been sent in error. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took to Twitter to say that she had “confirmed with officials” that there was no ballistic missile threat. U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) issued a statement noting that the “Earlier message was sent in error,” and that the