Author Topic: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake  (Read 6977 times)

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Offline Rifleman62

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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-ballistic-missile-threat-alert-false-alarm-live-updates/

Hawaii emergency officials say alert of ballistic missile threat was mistake - Last Updated Jan 13, 2018 1:52 PM EST

HONOLULU -- Hawaii emergency management officials say a push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii on Saturday was a mistake. The emergency alert sent to cellphones said in all caps, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it's a false alarm and that the agency is trying to determine what happened.

"State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR! There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii!" the City and County of Honolulu said in a statement Saturday.

NO missile threat to Hawaii.

— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 13, 2018


Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted the alert and said she confirmed with officials that there was no incoming missile.

HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE. pic.twitter.com/DxfTXIDOQs

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 13, 2018
The alert stirred panic for residents on the island and across social media.
.
This is a developing story and will be updated.

Apparently the warning went on for 35 minutes before it was announced it was a mistake. Scary. to the families.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 14:17:12 by Rifleman62 »
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 14:17:18 »
Tweet by Matthew Fisher of Postmedia:

Quote
Matthew Fisher‏ @mfisheroverseas

Received a "ballistic missile inbound. this not a drill" warning on my phone here at Honolulu airport. So did everyone else here & at Hickham air base/Pearl Harbor naval base next door. 9 minutes later everyonetold that it was false alarm.  1st time i've had such a warning!
1:32 PM - 13 Jan 2018
https://twitter.com/mfisheroverseas/status/952247018235162624

Thank goodness most people today do not remember this December 7, 1941, US Navy message:


https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/fdr.html

Today's false alarm is a real wake-up call and very many systems had better be looked at very, very closely (and made as secure against hacking as possible).

Mark
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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 14:19:25 »
On the bright side, they get to see how people react when it's not a drill... without it being the real thing.

It would be interesting to read the lessons learned from an Emergency Measures perspective.
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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 14:38:06 »
This is very odd. Warning of a missile launched and inbound should come from a national source.

During Gulf 1 the NDOC would get warning of a launch, followed within a very short period of time by a report of area of launch and predicted impact. We had a system operating that allowed us to pass this to our HQ in the Gulf almost instantly. And the HQ would pass it on faster than I can type this.

Offline Quirky

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 14:41:59 »
Had to end sometime. The traffic on Oahu is unbearable.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 14:57:23 »
Today's false alarm is a real wake-up call < snip >

The first false alarm I recall came during a Partridge Family song,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu4r79l8P8I

"After 40 minutes and six incorrect cancellation messages, the accidental activation was terminated."

Love the creepy piano music they return to after "the accidental activation was terminated".  :)

1971: "The operator, W. S. Eberhardt, who has worked 15 years at the center, said afterward: "I can't imagine how the hell I did it."

2018: "Someone pushed the wrong button."
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 16:14:47 by mariomike »

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 16:24:43 »
I know I’m not the first to say this, but I’m glad Trump was golfing.
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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 17:17:21 »
I know I’m not the first to say this, but I’m glad Trump was golfing.

Why? I thought this was Hawaiian State Government mistake, not a NORAD/PACOM mistake.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 17:22:32 »
Why? I thought this was Hawaiian State Government mistake, not a NORAD/PACOM mistake.

I'm with you on this. National assets would have determined this was a false alarm and that no response was required.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 17:35:56 »
Isn't it amazing how Trump comes up in everything.  I am so tired of hearing his name.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 17:40:01 »
Why? I thought this was Hawaiian State Government mistake, not a NORAD/PACOM mistake.

Yes, but doesn't the US President get most of his intelligence from social media? [/sarcasm]  And likewise makes most of his pronouncements via same.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/us/hawaii-missile.html
Quote
. . .

Officials cancelled the alert, sent out by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, nearly 40 minutes after it was issued in a scramble of confusion over why it was released — and why it took so long to rescind. Outrage was immediately expressed by state officials and among people who live in what is normally a famously tranquil part of the Pacific, as well as tourists swept up in the panic.

“The public must have confidence in our emergency alert system,” the governor, David Y. Ige, said. “I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future.”

Officials said the alert was the result of human error and not the work of hackers or a foreign government. The mistake occurred during a shift-change drill that takes place three times a day at the emergency command post, according to Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for the agency. He said a new procedure was put in place hours after the mistake requiring two-step authentication before any such alert is sent out.

. . .

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has been holding “are you ready” drills. As a chain of islands, Hawaii is subject to all kinds of threats — hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis — but officials have made clear that none is more urgent now than the threat of an attack by North Korea, given how little time there would be between an alert and the detonation of a bomb.

The fifth page of an emergency preparation pamplet issued by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency features a picture of a rocket lifting off. “Nuclear Threat — Unlikely But Cannot Ignore It.”


https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/files/2017/09/20170921-Preparedness-brief-SEPT-2017.pdf
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 17:40:33 »
Trump probably told everyone to calm down and not worry since North Korea is opening talks with the South and seem like maybe they're finally getting it.

But like I alluded to in the politics thread nothing combats complacency like a life threatening scare.  I've seen a number of posts from people who allegedly  had family in Hawaii calling them screaming and crying.
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Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 18:09:19 »
I'm with you on this. National assets would have determined this was a false alarm and that no response was required.

Agree. There are enough radar and detection systems to make the authorities aware there was no missile. Trump doesn't factor in.

Offline Pieman

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 18:11:25 »
Quote
Had to end sometime. The traffic on Oahu is unbearable.
Oh man! That's no joke!

I happen to be in the area and got to watch the action unfold. The message went out to anyone with a smart phone in Hawaii. They took over 30 minutes to send out a message saying false alarm.

There were two kinds of reactions I'm seeing, mostly via after action comments on social media. Those who panicked and those who waited for some kind of secondary confirmation.  A couple people noted that planes were still landing at the airport, so that would seem odd if a nuke strike was incoming. People staying in hotels likely had a big fright as a lot of the hotels immediately told everyone to stay in their rooms or seek shelter. Some didn't even buy into that and checked twitter and stayed in bed. People going out shopping dashed into stores before they officially open. Apparently Costco was flooded...which would be a pretty good place to hunker down actually.

Overall, a lot of pissed off people in Hawaii today, ha!

For myself, I did not notice the alert on my phone for 25 minutes after it went out. So, I was like, slow missile? I then noted the air strike sirens were not going off, which they test once a month here. So, I checked twitter and found it was a fake alarm. I feel like I kind of missed out on the fun.








« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 18:15:48 by Pieman »
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 18:13:31 »
Anyway less than twenty (13 - 15) minutes from launch to bang.

Imagine waking up in the morning with your phone buzzing with a text msg which says ......

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Offline Inspir

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 18:16:27 »
This is very odd. Warning of a missile launched and inbound should come from a national source.

When I worked in Alberta I had a position that gave me access to the Emergency Public Warning System. I do not recall any similar federal system as I believe each province had their own.

I could literally call a phone number, enter my pin, choose which kind of Emergency it is (weather, disaster, civil, etc), give a voice recording, hit # and it would automatically broadcast. In the event of a national emergency I imagine each province would be contacted to activate their systems.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 18:33:56 »
Agree. There are enough radar and detection systems to make the authorities aware there was no missile. Trump doesn't factor in.

Trump always factors in  ;D



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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 18:57:46 »
I'm being flippant on my Trump remark of course- it's a given that there would be confirmation at a national military level on anything going real. I jsut find this to be a painful reminder of just who the national command authority is, and who we're counting on for sober, considered, deliberate action in the event something escalates for real. Once can hardly mention nuclear weapons in this day and age and not immediately think of Trump and Kim Jong Un. Nuclear conflict feels more 'real' today than it has at any point in my life. Granted, to those of you who were of age during the cold war this is old hat...
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 19:12:23 »
I'm being flippant on my Trump remark of course- it's a given that there would be confirmation at a national military level on anything going real. I jsut find this to be a painful reminder of just who the national command authority is, and who we're counting on for sober, considered, deliberate action in the event something escalates for real. Once can hardly mention nuclear weapons in this day and age and not immediately think of Trump and Kim Jong Un. Nuclear conflict feels more 'real' today than it has at any point in my life. Granted, to those of you who were of age during the cold war this is old hat...

This is old hat. I lived the Cold War days as a kid (70s-80s). While a nuclear weapon detonating is no joke, we are currently talking single digit numbers in play between the US and NK- hardly "the end of humanity" stuff. I remember when thousands of weapons were in play. There was no point, IMHO, hunkering down in a shelter to delay dying by a week of two at most. Better to go out at minute one on ground zero, IMHO.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 19:17:18 »
I was a 22-year-old second lieutenant during the Cuban Missile Crisis and I was pretty sure I was going to die. To make things worse, I was on a course at the RCSA in Shilo and my troops were in 1 RCHA in Gagetown, and if I had to die, I wanted to die with them.

Offline Bird_Gunner45

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 20:33:36 »
Trump always factors in  ;D



Sorry HT!

Unfortunately irrationality and opportunism is a trait that knows no political affiliation.  The state of Hawaii issuing a false alarm has no bearing on Trump.  Sad that people can't be rational

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 21:07:37 »
I was a 22-year-old second lieutenant during the Cuban Missile Crisis and I was pretty sure I was going to die.

I was 8.

50 years later I read, "During the standoff, US President John F. Kennedy thought the chance of escalation to war was "between 1 in 3 and even," and what we have learned in later decades has done nothing to lengthen those odds."
"The resulting war might have led to the deaths of over 100 million Americans and over 100 million Russians."
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/cuba/2012-07-01/cuban-missile-crisis-50

« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 21:17:41 by mariomike »

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 22:21:18 »
mariomike:

From a review in the NY Review of Books (full text subscriber only, please excuse the length of the excerpts):

Quote
The Nuclear Worrier
Thomas Powers   
January 18, 2018 Issue

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner   
by Daniel Ellsberg

...By the time he received his first clearances to know official secrets about types and numbers of weapons, the handful of first-generation bombs, assembled one by one by hand at Los Alamos, New Mexico, had been replaced by more and better devices. Fat Man, the fission bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, was blimplike in shape, weighed about 10,000 pounds, and exploded with the energy of 20,000 tons of TNT. By the late 1950s the first few fission bombs had been replaced by ever-expanding numbers (soon to be thousands) of thermonuclear fusion weapons, small enough to fit in the nose cone of a missile or under a jet fighter, and roughly a thousand times more powerful than Fat Man. RAND did many studies for the Pentagon on the best way to defend America with these superweapons, and the best way to fight a war with them.

Ellsberg’s initiation into the secrets did not happen in a day, and it took him awhile to realize that there were many levels of clearances, each more secret, more tightly held, and shared with fewer people than the last. Beyond Top Secret, the highest clearance known to exist by the general public, were the code-word clearances for what is now called “sensitive compartmented information.” These permitted an individual to know certain specific secrets, like the fact that the United States had developed tools—spy planes and reconnaissance satellites—to photograph the Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could carry thermonuclear warheads. The number of Soviet missiles was not the one hundred argued by Air Force alarmists in the Pentagon or the fifty claimed in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in June 1961.

In September of that year Ellsberg learned that the United States would not find it hard to destroy the Soviet missile force. Only four ICBMs were ready to go and they were all at the missile-testing site in Plesetsk, about five hundred miles north of Moscow and a hundred miles south of the White Sea. The four missiles were liquid-fueled and took a long time to prepare for launch. They were standing up in the open and were close enough together to get all four with a single nearby hit. To know this you had to have code-word clearances for Talent and Keyhole, the systems of overhead reconnaissance that filmed the vulnerable Soviet missile force.

There is a widespread belief, Ellsberg writes, that “everything leaks; it all comes out in the New York Times.” That, he says, “is emphatically not true.” Even analysts at the heart of the secret world are not cleared for many categories of secret information and are not cleared to know that they are not cleared. While Ellsberg was being initiated into these secrets he did not know that his own father had once enjoyed an early version of a code-word clearance, a “Q” clearance that protected the secret work on fusion weapons in the years after World War II. Ellsberg’s father told him this in 1978, when he also confessed that he had resigned in 1949 from a bomb-related engineering job—“the best job he’d ever had,” Ellsberg writes—because he wanted no part in building anything a thousand times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima...

The Doomsday Machine addresses three subjects. The first is the history of Ellsberg’s work at RAND on nuclear war planning just before and during the Kennedy administration, when he discovered what Air Force General Curtis LeMay, commander of the Strategic Air Command, had planned and prepared by 1960 to do to the Sino-Soviet bloc in the event of war...

The sudden and utter destruction of the Soviet Union was the goal of LeMay’s strategic thinking. The SAC’s actual plan never included one bomb big enough to destroy all of Russia, but it promised the same result with many, many bombs. When Ellsberg started to work at RAND the immensely complicated and seldom-changed American plan for nuclear war was spelled out in Annex C of a document called the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP, pronounced Jay-SCAP). Annex C was very closely held by planners and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so closely that not even the secretary of defense or civilians in his office were ever shown or informed about the plan or told even the name of the document by order of the Joint Chiefs.

That was still the case when the Kennedy administration arrived in 1961. None of them had ever heard of the JSCP, Annex C, or its recent successor, the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP, pronounced Sy-OP). The reasons for this secrecy had to do with service rivalries, technical complexities in executing the plan, and the personality of LeMay, who had made up his mind that he would know and decide when a nuclear attack on Russia was necessary, and what ought to be on the target list. Freedom from meddling was what LeMay wanted, and the Joint Chiefs had helped him to get and keep it.

Ellsberg began to pierce the veil of secrecy while working on a study of war preparations in the Pacific. The plan he discovered was basically the Strategic Air Command’s plan, which was essentially LeMay’s. Herman Kahn’s term for it was “wargasm.” As drawn up by LeMay’s team the first SIOP called for nuclear strikes on just about every city in Russia and in China. Why China, too, if the war was with Russia? The answer, stripped to plain language, had nothing to do with politics: one plan was all the planners could handle at a time.

The first SIOP in December 1960 planned an overwhelming knockout blow. Moscow alone was targeted with at least eighty nuclear weapons, and every Russian city with a population greater than 25,000 would be hit by at least one. China would get the same, for no particular reason. Ellsberg was surprised to discover that the planners had not been afraid to add up the probable number of dead. Over the first six months following the initial strike they estimated that about half the population of Russia and China would die of radiation effects alone—a total of about 380 million people. Three things about this plan convinced Ellsberg to do what he could to stop it: its magnitude, its all-or-nothing character, and the fact that General LeMay had reserved to himself the power to decide when to order the attack...

TThe first day of the Cuban Missile Crisis caught Ellsberg by surprise, just as it did almost everybody else. What alarmed him most was President Kennedy’s threat to respond to any launch of a missile from Cuba on any country in North or South America with “a full retaliatory response on the Soviet Union.” Ellsberg knew what was in the SIOP. “I wondered if the speechwriter had any idea what he was saying,” he writes. Scores of millions would die in a day, hundreds of millions within six months or a year. Ellsberg called up his friend Harry Rowen in the Pentagon, flew to Washington the next day from California, and joined the analysts and officials trying to think their way through the challenge raised by Nikita Khrushchev’s secret move to base thirty-eight Soviet missiles in Cuba. What follows is Ellsberg’s rich personal account of the crisis, including many new details, to join the others already published.

The big new thing in Ellsberg’s book, the important contribution he makes to our thinking on the danger that never goes away, began with a conversation with Rowen about odds: What had been the real chance that we would go to war in 1962? In the first few days of the crisis Ellsberg had convinced himself that the chance was really quite small. Khrushchev, in Ellsberg’s view, was in a box—if push came to shove in the Caribbean he couldn’t win, and if he chose to fight anyway Russia would be reduced to a vestigial state.

Ellsberg had been arguing about this with Rowen and Herman Kahn and many others for two years, and the logic was clear—you can’t use nuclear weapons if your victim can come back at you, which the United States was prepared to do to the Soviet Union in overwhelming fashion. Khrushchev was facing something like a desperation move in chess; he could push that last piece out there but the American response would be check and mate. So Khrushchev had to back down, in Ellsberg’s view. Rowen thought the same thing, and so did the Joint Chiefs and Paul Nitze, one of the principals on the Executive Committee making the decisions. “At thirty-one,” Ellsberg writes, “I was overconfident that a leader who was outgunned would back down under threat.”

In fact, that’s the way it worked out. Khrushchev backed down. When things were still tense Rowen had remarked that he thought the Executive Committee, which included the president and his top advisers, had been putting the chance of war too high—maybe even ten times too high—not one in a thousand (Rowen’s estimate) but one in a hundred. Then a day after the crisis ended Rowen told Ellsberg he had been way off. Nitze had confided to Rowen that he had been guessing the chance of war at “one in ten,” and he was the optimist on the committee—other members thought the chance was even higher than that.

Ellsberg’s first reaction was “puzzlement.” Nitze knew the facts and he understood the logic of nuclear confrontation. War couldn’t possibly make sense in Khrushchev’s position. But then Ellsberg’s eyes opened to the thing that has obsessed him ever since: the Executive Committee had chosen a course of action that they believed risked a one in ten chance of a nuclear war that would kill hundreds of millions of people [emphasis added].''..
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/01/18/daniel-ellsberg-nuclear-worrier/

A book I shall read.  The reviewer, Thomas Powers:
https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Powers/e/B003J78VLG

Mark
Ottawa
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 22:31:32 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2018, 22:24:22 »
I guess my wife is correct.  I must be totally insensitive.

I lived through the Cold War and can honestly say that I never once felt afraid of nuclear obliteration.  Strangely enough I still don't.

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Re: Hawaii Ballistic Missile Threat Warning 13 Jan 18 - Big Mistake
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2018, 22:49:05 »
I thought it was a remote possibility, but still one that could happen.

As a nuclear target analyst (I got the qualification four moths after I was commissioned because I had led the threshold test for the 1 RCHA officer professional development programme and got loaded on the course as a reward(?) so I spent a week in Shilo working with gee whizz material) I knew much of the data available to the public was wildly exaggerated, but it still was sobering. It still is.