First-Hand Account from Hawaii: ‘Angry and Demanding Answers’

There are so many troubling things about the horrifying, panic-inducing “false alarm” about an incoming ballistic missile attack on Hawaii, it’s hard to know where to start. I know nothing about such things but it seems to me it should be harder to trigger an incoming-this-is-not-a-drill message than it is for me to delete a cat video.

On its face, the explanation from Mr. Miyagi, the head of the Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency (yes, his name is Mr. Vern Miyagi), that a mistake was made during a shift change, and that someone “pressed the wrong button,” is laughable. Is it really that easy to cause mass panic?


Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer David Mougin, who lives in Hawaii and now works for the Navy as a civilian now, says people are not happy. People tend to let [things] slide, partly ‘island culture’ but…it seems that people are not going to let this one slide,” he said.

Mougin says it was pretty much chaos. [There were] instances of people packing their cars, taking their pets & children and literally heading for the hills or valleys, thinking they’d be safer than at home. People were…running across the campus of University of Hawaii to seek shelter and reports of people leaving restaurants (without paying bills) and shopping malls to head outside (exactly what they shouldn’t be doing),” he said.



The question that unfortunately comes to mind is what would have happened if President Trump was watching “Fox & Friends” instead of golfing? Would he have ordered an attack on North Korea? Taken other ill-advised action? Or would the generals with whom he has surrounded himself taken control?

The bottom line is it should not be that easy to send people running (to where?) for their lives. Mougin says military and ex-military were pretty much resigned to what was going to happen. “My military contacts here were much less panicked and most that I know, including myself decided to ‘shelter in place’. Not much you can do to prepare for a missile attack if you’ve only got 20 minutes—the time it would take for a missile to get here. I was resigned to the fact I can’t do much about it…and was actually happy I was with my wife so we could ‘die together,‘ I joked. She didn’t think I was funny and was on her phone calling her kids to tell them she loved them.”

Whatever happened should never happen again.