The employee who sent out a false missile alert in Hawaii earlier this month thought it was a genuine exercise and that the drill they were taking part in was anything but.
The employee has still but not been named since they sent out the phone alert at 8.08am on January 13, sparking mass panic across the state.
It went uncorrected for 38 minutes until a second alert was sent out to confirm it was a false alarm.
The mistake has been under investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ever since and mystery has surrounded what exactly went wrong.
On Tuesday, the Commission revealed that the employee was taking part in a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency drill at the time.
The employee has still but not been named since they sent out the phone alert at 8.08am on January 13, sparking mass panic across the state
The wording of a recording blasted through the Civil Defense where they worked said: ‘This is not a drill.’
Because of that, the employee pressed the button. They ignored the ‘exercise, exercise, exercise’ that followed.
After hitting the button to send out the alert, they were asked if they were sure they wanted to proceed.
With the ‘this is not a drill’ still in their mind, they proceeded.
The employee made the claim in a written statement but has not been interviewed by the FCC.
Initially, Hawaii’s Governor said the employee ‘pressed the wrong button by accident’ during a shift change.
It is not clear what caused the 38 minute delay between the first message, which issued the alert, and the second which cleared it up.
Authorities scrambled to tell television and radio stations that the alarm was false and they corrected it on Twitter within 12 minutes but the second phone alert took much longer.
The alert took 38 minutes to correct on phones. It sparked mass panic across the state