Huntsville woman's horror in Hawaii

Text alerts warning of inbound missile read 'This is not a drill'

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 2:12 PM

Hawaiians woke up to emergency alerts on their phones today about an imminent ballistic missile attack which they later learned was a false alarm.

The emergency alert was sent to people's mobile phones in Hawaii at about 8:08 a.m. local time with the startling words, "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

A mistaken alert went out Saturday warning of a missile headed toward Hawaii.

Melissa Harman and her husband, who live in Huntsville, were on a trip in a Hawaii when it happened.

Harman says both she and her husband do have a military background, but they never would have expected anything like this on their last day of vacation.

"I bolted out of bed and was like Matthew, did you get that alert," Harman said. 

Harman described the atmosphere as chaotic, and even though the alert ended up being a hoax, the fear was real.

"[There was] worry, the condo next to us you could hear screaming, the lady next to me was saying, 'oh my God, we're under attack," Harman said. 

Harman said the most concerning part for her, was the delay in hearing from the Hawaiin government about weather or not the alert was actually a threat.

"The conversation needs to be had [about] whats going on, I mean this is a real threat," Harman said. 

A spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command, Dave Benham, told ABC News in a statement that no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii was detected.

"Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible," Benham said.

When asked for comment on the emergency alert, a spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement to ABC News, “We see absolutely nothing from NORAD in terms of a missile warning and refer you to the state of Hawaii”

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