HAWAII: FCC Says False Nuclear Missile Alert Was Sent Deliberately By Worker Who Misheard Drill Message

The Washington Post reports:

The emergency worker who sent a false public safety alert on Jan. 13 warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack on Hawaii believed that a ballistic missile was truly bound for the state after mishearing a recorded message as part of an unscheduled drill, according to a preliminary investigation by federal officials.

A combination of human error and improper safeguards led the worker to deliberately send the alert message, which sowed widespread confusion and fear for 38 minutes, the Federal Communications Commission said in its report Tuesday.

The mistake began with a night-shift supervisor who decided to test incoming day-shift workers with a spontaneous drill. The supervisor managing the day-shift workers appeared to be aware of the upcoming test but believed it was aimed at the outgoing night-shift workers. Thus the day-shift manager was not prepared to supervise the morning test, the FCC said.

According to the report, the recorded test message repeated the word “exercise” three times but also included “this is not a drill.” 

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    So now they’ll replace the human error with machines….Skynet will be ever so pleased.

    • boatboy_srq

      Lord Dampnut IS proof that humans can’t govern themselves. Skynet or VIKI, the machines do have a point.

  • Boreal
  • gaycuckhubby
    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Ok, that’s a new one.

    • bkmn

      Who trains peacocks to be support animals? If it was not trained through a real training program I would support the denial by the airline.

    • Bambino

      I know how she feels. I was assigned an elephant as my emotional support and the bloody airline slam their phone down on me! Heartless bastards!

      • Bad Tom

        The lettuce bills must be elephantine!

      • boatboy_srq

        Support elephants are only allowed on AF1 in 2018.

    • Mike C

      I wonder if this my neighbor. There’s a woman in my neighborhood in Brooklyn who walks a peacock on a leash. I feel sad for the bird.

    • edrex

      i have never met a supportive peacock. in my experience they have all been pessimistic, snarky things, who tell me that my clothes are no longer age appropriate. (my only rejoinder is to point to their tails and mutter ” ’nuff said.”)

      • Bambino

        I met many supportive peecocks over the years.

        • edrex

          i think they’re all wet blankets. just out to piss all over my dreams.

        • Rambie

          That’s a different breed of ‘cock

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      I went thru the same thing when my support alligator was denied.

      • boatboy_srq

        They confiscated your luggage again?

      • David Walker

        NSFW, but then…it’s Bette as Soph…

        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          damm she is a treasure

      • Boreal

        Should have brought a comfort crocodile instead.


        • PickyPecker


      • Robincho

        The bastards at United made me check my dead vulture. Any sane person could see that it was carrion…

        • Ragnar Lothbrok


    • Slippy_World

      Katy Perry had a dif take on that

    • Moebym of the Returners

      Some local radio personalities mocked unusual support animals on their show not long ago, and one of the funnier ones he invented was “layover llama”.

    • Uncle Mark

      Those fuckers denied my taking my best friend, “my support bear,” on the flight for free, too. I was perfectly willing to let him sit on my lap the whole time.

      • Joe in PA

        “Sitting” on your lap? They were afraid of all the “bouncing”.

        • Uncle Mark

          Well, the pilot better mind all that turbulence then

  • bkmn

    I have trust issues with the FCC considering who is in charge today.

  • Sam_Handwich
  • another_steve

    I used to occasionally fuck up on the job. The worst that happened was that I was called before my superiors, insulted, psychologically and emotionally whipped and then sent back to my office with the admonition to sin no more.

    I really feel for this Hawaii guy.

  • Harveyrabbit

    “They then must click “yes” when the system asks “Are you sure that you want to send this Alert?”

    Makes me think of ….


  • bkmn

    O/T – the opioid crisis, what can we do about it?
    Why not visit a tactic that has worked in the past – encourage cities, counties, states, universities and colleges to divest from the companies that are purposefully profiting from this crisis?
    Ohio is currently suing 5 companies for their role in the crisis, why not get other entities to do their part by divesting?


    • David Walker

      Your point is well-taken and, therefore, traitorous. You are suggesting that Big Pharma be boycotted? How will congress function without the campaign contributions? Yes, human lives are involved, but so is money. Given the best government money can buy, I would be surprised to hear anything more than “there’s an opioid problem in rural America.” Ohio is to be lauded for the lawsuits. I don’t know how they managed to do the right thing. But on any kind of national level?

    • Or!
      Or, do what we did in the early 20th century. Allow patent medicines to contain small (SMALL) amounts of various opiates and cocaine. Apparently before Prohibition and the War on Drugs began, substance addiction was not very common.

  • Bambino

    Warning:This is not a drill drill. Prepare accordingly.

  • boatboy_srq

    1939: the US freaks out when Orson Welles reads War of the Worlds on radio.

    2018: insufficient safeguards make civil defense and DoD officials step so close to nuclear destruction that only a round of golf preventing Twitler seeing the news and responding saved the entire Earth feom being so badly charred the Martians wouldn’t want to land in the first place.

    • you’d think all the trillions we’ve given the DoD to keep track of what’s where would’ve worked. “Dood, somebody says there’s a missile flying to Hawaii right now!” “OK Bro, let’s check the satellite and radar stuff and see if it’s on its way. Nope, nothing on the screen. It must be a fake report.”

      • boatboy_srq

        “It’s nothing; just a squadron of B-17s coming in from the mainland.”

        Hawai’i is NOT the place to misread the AEW data.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    O/T I can’t wait to not watch….


    • Treant

      Hopefully you’ll use an off-off-off-brand online feed so they don’t count the view in their numbers.

      I’m hoping this is the least-watched and most-boycotted SOTU in history.

      • Robincho

        I would watch it, normally, but there’s this Filipino back-alley cockfight tonight, and, well, YOU know…

        • Treant

          …that you really like cocks. Yeah, I’ll be there as well.

    • Uncle Mark
    • Stephen Elliot Phillips


  • Bad Tom

    IT IS ALWAYS more than one screw up in a row that causes a disaster.

    • David L. Caster

      Often it is a single small misstep or thing that starts a cascade of failures.

  • Adam Stevens


  • gaycuckhubby
    • Moebym of the Returners

      LOL talk about putting a bandage on the problem.

      • Treant

        Talk about doing absolutely nothing about the problem, but filling government coffers.

        FTFY. 🙂

    • Treant

      Over on Kos, it used to drive one of the women nuts. She was an anti-porn person who violently hated the trafficking of women and porn in general (I failed to see the connection directly but could agree with the trafficking thing). All porn must be banned. Without exception.

      I used to ask her if that included my hairy daddy man-on-however-many-hairy-daddy-men porn, but I never got an answer other than an expletive.

      • lymis

        I once had someone explain that yes, gay porn still exploits women, by normalizing porn in general.

        Not sure how that works, but hey.

        • Treant

          OK. I mean, maybe “not in front of my salad,” but I am in no way normalizing heterosexual porn. And heterosexuals don’t watch man on man porn…or they’re not really hetero.

        • BobSF_94117

          So do nature documentaries.

      • Max_1

        But, but… breasts!

        • Treant

          But, but…huge erections springing from a thick nest of black pubic hair that are shortly to bury themselves in another man’s hairy ass!

          OK…er, bunk. I’ll be in mine…

    • Uncle Mark

      So, how does having the state charging an “admission fee” not make human trafficking more profitable? Now the state has a blackmail list.

    • This bill is written by an idiot. It looks like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox would be illegal.

      “It is unlawful for any person to distribute or sell any product that makes content accessible on the Internet unless the product possesses an operating digital content blocking capability that renders obscene content, including obscene items, obscene performances, or obscene exhibitions, inaccessible. Such person shall make reasonable and ongoing efforts to ensure the proper functioning of the digital content blocking capability and shall ensure that the following content is inaccessible: (i) child pornography as defined in § 18.2-374.1, (ii) any image created or disseminated in violation of § 18.2-386.1 or 18.2-386.2, and (iii) any website that facilitates the commission of an offense set forth in Article 3 (§ 18.2-344 et seq.).”

  • TuuxKabin

    I’m glad that was cleared up.

  • Mike

    Human error? No, not really. Human stupidity and incompetence is more like it. What’s next for this guy, a run to be Hawaii’s next Republican nominee for US senator? Stupidity and incompetence are all a Republican needs and he’ll go far.

  • Treant

    OT: Before I go back to work and let this perk for a bit, a very OT question.

    Does anybody have any suggestions on a good soldering iron? Mine is a piddly old 30W and, over the years, the tip has worn away. It heats too slowly anyway so I won’t bother replacing the tip.

    Price is an object, this isn’t a device that I use that often, so even general wattage or feature suggestions are welcome.

    • David L. Caster

      Drop by iFixit.com and take a look in the tools section. They have a complete soldering station for under $50 that can be used for general electronic repair and construction. Might be an over- or under-kill for your needs though.

      I could make more helpful suggestions if I knew what your application was. Soldering irons come in many varieties and power levels. I tend to stay away from the gun-type units as they are too bulky for electronics use. If you are really slathering on the solder where heat dissipation is a problem you might need something pretty strong.

      • Treant

        Overkill, a bit. 🙂 I build small electronics boards, usually involving resistors and LEDs. The occasional oscillator. A battery charger. Nothing extremely small-die or particularly challenging.

        Heat dissipation is never an issue (I’ll sink the heat via aluminum fins on an LM chip or change the design or not build that), so I never need to slather on the solder. Just solder two fine wires together so they don’t break.

        My vision is poor, so even under a magifying lens, I’m also never working that small and can’t handle SMD/SMT components because I can’t see the pads.

        • David L. Caster

          With the advancement of technology comes improving access to cameras that act like microscopes. This category of tool is great for precision electronics construction and enables working with tiny parts. Instead of looking through an eyepiece one looks at a screen and it really helps with small parts. Many of these connect to a computer through USB.

      • Treant

        This iFixIt.com site is awesome! Thanks!

        • David L. Caster

          Certainly welcome.

        • David L. Caster

          I have two very nice tool kits from them. Nice stuff. I’m building out my set from things I get there.

      • Ric Kelley

        Thanks! My Asian doesn’t use a manual husband could use this!

  • i don’t understand why anyone fears the Norks. really. for a lot of reasons, they will never launch anything anywhere. one of the bigger ones is China, who would never let that happen and who are much better with intel and spy stuff in the region than we are. another is that the Leader is enjoying being the leader of probably the biggest black market economy in the world. if it’s immoral, illegal, or improper but profitable, you can find it in NK. and of course the bottom line is that if the Norks were to send a missile to any more free state, the West and specifically this country would bomb them back to the stone age, and probably not even use nukes to do it.

    i feel so sorry for the North Korean people. they don’t deserve any of this. their society is the result of paranoia on the part of more politically powerful nations, and a stupid cold war that never made any sense. yet the people there are strong, stronger than i think most people understand. a friend of mine is a scholar of Asian studies and has been there a few times. he tells me that they are amazing people, given what they are subjected to.

    • boatboy_srq

      DPRK may not launch anything of their own, but they sell their weapons to lots of people who shouldn’t be allowed to own sharp sticks. THAT is the global threat: DPRK munitions in the hands of loons.

  • TKW

    Stupidity will be our downfall. As witnessed both in Washington and Honolulu…

    • canoebum

      An expression in Buddhism says the Three Poisons which afflict mankind are anger, avarice and stupidity. Of these, stupidity is the most dangerous.

  • TuuxKabin

    I’m glad that was cleared up.

  • Menergy

    disqus is acting up again badly, at least on my iMac…..but I still manage to maneuver through the comments although sort of manually renewing, not click on “show 2 new comments” —

  • ChrisMorley


    Fun News from Normay’s newspaper Verdens Gang.

    Donald Trump’s pro golfing partner says he ‘cheats like hell’ on the course

    – LPGA pro Suzann Pettersen: ‘I just laugh’ at president’s tactics

    – Trump is not only US president known for cutting corners on course


    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Not only did Bill Clinton behave similarly, but even his commentary – which Donald Trump claimed was not fully respectful of women – clearly was not.


      No media outlet has ever quoted a Bill Clinton golf partner that Bill Clinton, in conversation on the golf course, respects women. None.

      Sad !

  • Jay George

    OT http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E
    Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*

  • Faalhaas

    Stupidity will be our downfall. As witnessed both in Washington and Honolulu…

  • lymis

    While this makes more sense than the original story, it still makes one wonder why they told the original story in the first place. If you squint, you can sort of see this scenario in that story, but it ends up being pretty much a lie.

    “It was a drill gone wrong” was pretty much left entirely out of the first explanation.

  • Leo
  • Leo
  • 🐾vorpal🐾

    OT: I came up with a script to generate Monica Cole (of One Million Moms) tweets. She has now been rendered obsolete.

    Example output:
    Ch*lp t*w*r. B*x*m? *ns** d**ry? Gl*z*? M*cky str*b b*th c**n w*nt br*v* *pcry *y*r! Gl*m*. Br**r str*d ch*f b**st *t* n*t pl*ss! J*ck M*nt fl*ck c*rg*. Thr* *ct*c? S*p*! P*p*. *str* *f* H*rry p*c* d**l. G*ll n*v*m sk*v* M*r** Q*rt* pl*y* l*ss b*k*n f*y*! L*b** l*w* r*m*r!!!


    # Twatter limit: leave three characters for final '!!!' outrage.

    # File of words to use.

    # Monica's IQ: she can only use words this long.

    # Monica's punctuation.
    PUNC=(' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '? ' '! ' '. ')

    # Read in the words into an array.
    read -ra WORDS <<< `sed "/^.{$(($IQ + 1)),}$/d" "$WORDS_FILE"`

    # Seed the RNG.
    RANDOM=$$$(date +%s)


    while [[ $X -lt $NUM_CHARS ]]; do
    # Punctuation.
    if [ "$X" -ne 0 ]; then
    RAND_PUNC=${PUNC[$(($RANDOM % ${#PUNC[@]}))]}

    # Next word.
    RAND_WORD="${WORDS[$(((($RANDOM << 15) + $RANDOM) % $NUM_WORDS))]}"

    # Capitalize it if need be.
    if [[ "$RAND_PUNC" != ' ' || $X -eq 0 ]]; then
    RAND_WORD=`echo ${RAND_WORD:0:1} | tr '[a-z]' '[A-Z]'`${RAND_WORD:1}

    # If it fits, it prints.
    let "NEWX = NEWX + ${#RAND_PUNC} + ${#RAND_WORD}"
    if [[ $NEWX -lt $NUM_CHARS ]]; then
    # Monica-ize it.
    MONICA_WORD=`printf "%s" $RAND_WORD | sed "s/[aeiouAEIOU]/*/g"`
    printf "%s%s" "$RAND_PUNC" "$MONICA_WORD"

    printf "!!!n"

    • Lars Littlefield

      Ah, yes. Congrats on your well-formed C code. Accept no substitutes.

      • 🐾vorpal🐾

        It’s bash script :-).
        I didn’t want anyone to have to compile.

        • Lars Littlefield

          Well, I’m major duh. Yes, I finally noticed the #!/bin/bash

          . Forgive me. I’m old.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            >> Yes, I finally noticed the #!/bin/bash
            It’s the real shebang!

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            Consider this my “tsk, tsk”:

            for run in {1..6}; do echo -ne "07"; done

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            for run in {1..3}; do echo LOL; done

    • Boreal

      You should market it to the AFA. Solves two of their problems: letting a woman speak and paying her for it. They’ll appreciate the beauty of your godly solution. 😉

    • Treant

      I love you and I need to be inside you.

      • 🐾vorpal🐾

        If all it took was me writing 51 lines of code for that, I would have done it long ago!

        • Treant

          I wrote a program to manage my soap batches, soap recipes, and a lye calculator.

          Down on your knees, boy.

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            Already down, waiting, and ready to be programmed / instructed, Sir!

          • Treant

            While true = true {

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            int hardLevel = 1;
            while (current_time() 9000) cry_for_mercy();

          • Treant

            Private Sub cry_for_mercy(optional bConcern as Boolean = False)
            if not bConcern then
            MsgBox(“Take it! Take it hard!”)
            Exit Sub
            hardLevel = hardLevel /2
            End If
            End Sub

            //* Do we have to tell our spouses we’re having an alternating C++/Vb.Net affair?

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      echo Hello Vorpal!
      echo How are you?

    • Pip
  • Leo

    BREAKING: Former Glee star Mark Salling dead of apparent suicide: TMZ

    • Lars Littlefield

      Seems he was caught with more than 5,000 images od child porn on his computer and a thumb drive. Also, they were of 3 to 6 year old children. Hmmmmmmm . . .
      Was to be sentenced on March 7th.

  • edrex

    these days nothing is a drill.

  • SpiderPIG

    OT: Just noticed this week’s episode of Law & Order: SVU is titled “Info Wars”. (!?!?!)
    …Oh boy.

  • JWC

    well at least they have identified 2 weak areas to correct

  • BobSF_94117

    ….the recorded test message repeated the word “exercise” three times but also included “this is not a drill.”

    So everyone stopped for a few moments and did jumping jacks.

  • Westcoast88

    So why did they lie to us the first time?

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    An “unscheduled drill.”

    Sad !

  • caphillprof

    If this were a test why wasn’t the system placed in test mode to prevent the public alert???

    Do we really want an employee who won’t act when the time comes?

    “This is not a test.”