General Question

Inspired_2write's avatar

Is it possible that those false alarms going off in Hawaii and other places are not accidents but rather planned exercises to test their systems for readiness?

Asked by Inspired_2write (5099points) February 7th, 2018

Since the threat of North Korea ?
This could be a way to test their warning systems, in case of a very real threat?

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29 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Wow I wondered too. Better explanation than aliens or North Korea nuke.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Possible? Sure. More likely, we are witnessing the sad incompetence of one of our most important defense systems, at a time when they may be needed most.

The US military runs constant drills, to be as ready as possible. It’s unlikely that they wouldn’t simply call it a drill. In fact, calling it a drill would perhaps save face.

I read two articles (about the first incident) that stated that a person involved was absolutely sure we had incoming. I am not upset with him. He was doing his job.

The plausibility, of a nuclear weapons alert is questionable, to me. The weapons are so powerful now, I doubt a warning would be helpful.

johnpowell's avatar

Yeah, I don’t buy this. It is easy enough to test this shit without making the populace think the next time is just another fuck-up.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m only aware of the first incident. Have there been more? I’ve been under a rock, sorry.

Zaku's avatar

It is widely reported that the false alarm in Hawaii was during a planned drill. Just one person didn’t realize it was a drill, and ordered the public warning to go out.

seawulf575's avatar

I doubt they were planned, but there have been stranger things to happen. To terrify an entire city just to see how they would respond? Seems an odd and dangerous thing to do. However, I really have to wonder why they have missle warning systems as public address warnings. Geographic location?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Planned or not , we all learned a lot from the exercise.
1)Communications were paralyzed by people using their phones to call everyone else they know. When the lines were busy, they called even more. We effectively launched denial of service attacks on ourselves.
People! Stop it! If there is an emergency use your phone for emergency purposes only. There is no need to call everyone. You are tying up a precious resource.
2) People learned they really are not prepared for a disaster. Some are taking it to heart and are getting a few supplies. Most are not. Too bad.
3) We now know the system works.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Theoretically possible, and actually not a bad thing.

Of course, the cynical paranoid explanation is that these are all organized by the government and the military to scare us into obeying everything the government says, in preparation for a military takeover.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Wouldn’t it have said that it was a test then? I got a presidential emergency test alert about a year ago on my phone. some IPAWS testing thing. Right before the election in 2016, that November. Not sure what it was but it said it was a test, is my point.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Yes. Most tests of emergency broadcast systems, are obvious that it isn’t a real situation.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Most are but if this Hawaii thing was a test it wasn’t obvious at all. Kind of a bad way to test unless they were testing citizen response and not just testing how well their systems work.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It was a drill but the last person in the chain didn’t say, “This is a Drill”. Then someone hit the send button.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I honestly wish I had experienced it. I think it would have been quite a learning opportunity into how I would react in a real scenario. If it was intentional it was both dangerous and also brilliant. I don’t believe it was intentional though.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I wonder if anyone killed themselves? If the circumstances were right, and I got the message, I would consider it…

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course it’s possible, but my bet is that it isn’t likely. The incidents were almost certainly accidents of human error.

MrGrimm888's avatar

People killed themselves when they played “The War of the Worlds,” on the radio…....

Darth_Algar's avatar

Possible, I suppose, but unlikely. Tests of emergency systems are ether done on a regular schedule or are announce, precisely to avoid the clusterfuck of mass panic like we saw in Hawaii.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yeah, I think a few people did. If you honestly thought you were going to die in a missile attack, which is bad way to die, you might want to go out on your own terms…

Kind of unrelated, but there was a Russian soldier who was going to be captured by his enemies who most likely would have beheaded him and live-streamed it or something crazy like that, but, even though he put up a good fight, he killed himself to avoid that. It was inevitable. So, as I said above, getting blown up by a missile isn’t a good way to die (if there is one) so someone might want to just do it quicker. (You might not die, could end up with other severe wounds depending on where you are in relation to missile)

But, the warning only lasted for 40 mins so maybe not enough time for someone to make such an extreme decision

Inspired_2write's avatar

@Aethelwine
Yes Japan did too. Here is link to that story.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/world/asia/japan-hawaii-alert.html

Noticte also that Japan and Hawaii would be greatly affected if North Korea launched a missile.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Inspired_2write Thank you for sharing the link. I was not aware.

Zaku's avatar

I like how this thread goes:

OP: Is it possible that those false alarms going off in Hawaii and other places are not accidents but rather planned exercises to test their systems for readiness?

Zaku: It is widely reported that the false alarm in Hawaii was during a planned drill. Just one person didn’t realize it was a drill, and ordered the public warning to go out.

seawulf575: I doubt they were planned [...]

LuckyGuy: Planned or not [...]

elbanditoroso: Theoretically possible [...]

SergeantQueen: Wouldn’t it have said that it was a test then? [...]

Tropical_Willie: It was a drill but the last person in the chain didn’t say, “This is a Drill”. Then someone hit the send button.

Darth_Algar: Possible, I suppose, but unlikely. [...]

I guess this is just another example of what happened – you can tell people there is a planned test, and it can not be noticed, surprisingly often. ;-)

SergeantQueen's avatar

Why am I being called out?

Zaku's avatar

@SergeantQueen Like the others, your replied seemingly without noticing that the answer to this question has been publicly reported, as I (and later Willie) pointed out. (There was a planned drill at the emergency service. One employee didn’t hear the part about it only being a drill, and caused an actual alert message to go out to the public.)

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Zaku

The question rather seemed to be about the public warning itself, not the routine drill for the employees.

Zaku's avatar

@Darth_Algar Looks to me like the question is asking about the actual events and whether it “could be a way to test their warning systems”. The answer to what happened has been reported, and can be stated as yes or no depending on how you phrase it, but there is no question about what happened. i.e. Yes in fact it’s not just possible but certain and thoroughly reported that there was a drill for the purpose of testing the warning systems. The part about actually sending out a warning to the public as a real alert was no, absolutely not a planned test, which caused a lot of distress especially because they found they weren’t prepared to send out an “oops – false alarm” message right away.

I wasn’t trying to give people a hard time, but it struck me anyway as somewhat amusingly ironic that it sort of parallels the confusion about the alarm, that even when people mention what we know about it, others don’t read it that way and keep speculating.

Response moderated (Spam)
Darth_Algar's avatar

The question clearly mentioned the false alarm and warning systems. It did not address procedure. So I’m really not sure how it could be read any other way.

Zaku's avatar

Huh. I don’t get what you’re thinking, either. Interesting how two people can both think something is clear, yet not really know what the other is thinking.

Breaking down the question and applying it to what we know happened, as if the OP knew what had been reported about it:

“Is it possible that those false alarms going off in Hawaii and other places are not accidents…”
– Ok, so this would refer to the false public alarm, which is very clearly reported as being the result of one person thinking a drill was real.

” ... but rather planned exercises to test their systems for readiness?”
– So given what was reported, what would this mean? I can think of two things: 1) Dr. Strangelove devised a test where they tell one employee with a record of dubious competence to intentionally pretend not to understand the drill is a drill and send out a public warning, and not to let the emergency agency be prepared to issue a retraction quickly, to see what happens when the public and other governments start to panic about a missile warning. 2) Dr. Strangelove decides to run a drill where a missile warning is sent out and let sit for a bit, and then a cover-up story will be presented that it was just one employee messed up and no one thought about needing a retraction message available on short notice before.

It doesn’t sound to me like this is what the OP is asking, as the question details read:

“Since the threat of North Korea ?”
“This could be a way to test their warning systems, in case of a very real threat?”

Because such a test would not just test the warning systems, and if they wanted to do that, they could have it say it was a test in the initial message, and/or be ready to post a prepared retraction message right after that.

Now, there is one or two other questions which the OP does not seem to have in mind, which might be:

“Could this be a way to test what public and international reaction would be like following a public missile alert?”
– To which I would say, er yes, in theory, but it seems unlikely, particularly because of the risks involved for the relatively small intended gain.

or “Could this be a way to cause a public and international reaction for some perceived political or strategic gain?”
– To which I would say, um yes, in theory, though it’s reckless and hopefully not something that would be done. Our government and others have pulled false flag operations in the past. Even with the warmonger clown in the White House, I like to think this isn’t something that would be done, and it does seem much more plausible that it was just a mistake as has been reported in fairly convincing detail so far.

Inspired_2write's avatar

To clarify…actually do you trust the media’s reason.
Once is an accident but two false alarms !
This sounds like testing done to check their systems and problems with alerting the Public.
Don’t believe everything that is reported as is..behind that story is the truth.
What happens if found out later that the Governments did that on purpose?
I look at the coincidence of the two countries that would be directly damaged if an actual missile was launched from North Korea.
These are not accidents , especially in this area of high security.
It was a planned exercise.

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