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Was Hawaii’s ‘Nuclear False Alarm’ a Psychological Operation?


The notorious “duck and cover” drill was performed on two generations of Americans, and with documented psychological implications (Image Source: Nuclear Secrecy)

Endure over the span of nearly 50 years during the Cold War era. By now, it is extremely well-documented just how US government agencies and the military would routinely subject the public to unethical human experimentation and psychological warfare, often performed illegally and without the knowledge or consent of its ‘test subjects’ in the population. Funding for these operations would normally come from the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, or from private corporations involved in the defense industry.

In fact, the fear of nuclear annihilation was shown to have psychologically scarred children who were growing up during the Cold War, according to a number of key studies performed later.

Are the US government and its military still capable of performing such acts psychological warfare against the American people?

Indeed, it may have happened again – as recently as January 2018, when Hawaii’s emergency warning system was triggered, sending its 1.4 million residents into a potential panic-stricken mode. Although this event was widely reported by the US mainstream media, and especially CNN (who happened to have a camera crew at the government’s coded warning bunker right before the crisis unfolded) – few journalists dared to question the authenticity of event.

The Hawaii scare was also timed right in the midst of US tensions with North Korea. Over the next 48 hours, the mainstream media ran lots of ‘nuclear drill’ stories, and general public were left with a certain conscious (and subconscious) impression.

Studies now reveal some of the lasting effects of this seemingly random incident…

RT International reports…

A false alarm ‘incoming missile’ alert sent to people in Hawaii in January 2018 had a lasting effect on anxiety levels, a new study has shown. People who were less anxious beforehand were most affected by the incident.

“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” the erroneous text message said. “Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” It took 38 minutes before a second text was sent out confirming the first alert was a false alarm.

An analysis of Twitter activity before and after the event reveal insights into the anxiety levels felt by the people in Hawaii at the time of and after the event.

“Our results suggest that the experience may have a lingering impact on some individuals well after the threat is dispelled,” said psychologist Nickolas Jones from the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Researchers examined over 1 million tweets from 15,000 Twitter users who they determined were likely in Hawaii at the time of the false alarm. They looked at the language used in their tweets sent from six weeks before the incident to 18 days after it. The team had a list of 114 keywords associated with expressions of anxiety, like ‘afraid’ and ‘worried’.

As you’d expect, anxiety levels increased during the event, rising by 3.4 percent every 15 minutes until the all-clear was given. Researchers were surprised, though, to see that the anxiety persisted after the false alarm message was spread.

“This suggests that cancellation of a threat doesn’t immediately calm reactions to the situation. Amazingly, some people did not know whether the corrective tweets were believable,” said one of the researchers, Roxane Cohen Silver.

The event had a different impact on users depending on how anxious they were before the false alarm, with those who had been identified as having low anxiety levels appearing to be more affected after the event, as their “anxiety increased the most and lingered the longest, relative to other groups, before stabilizing to a new baseline level 2.5 percent higher than what it was before the missile alert,” the paper reads.

Those who were identified as being anxious before the event were shown to be 10.5 percent less anxious afterwards. It isn’t clear why this was the case, but researchers suggest it may be that these people may have recognized how much worse things could have been and experienced relief.

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