Exclusive: Augusta couple recounts bracing for false ballistic missile threat in Hawaii


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A local couple, in Hawaii during the false missile threat, recount the moments of fear as they braced for the end.

The alert sent Hawaii into turmoil and Jeff Hadden and his wife found themselves in the middle of it all.

“We don’t know if it’s 8 minutes or 20 minutes, but there’s a bomb, a missile, headed to us. Seek shelter immediately.” Jeff Hadden told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Hadden says he was wrapping up at the gym, when he heard the sirens.

He stopped someone on the street, who showed him the alert on their cell phone.

As he raced back to the hotel, where his wife was asleep on the 10th floor, he saw people throwing themselves on boats to get off the island. He says people were doing anything they could to try to survive.

Before shooting up 10 flights of stairs to Roxanne, Hadden received some chilling advice from the concierge.

“If you can’t get back down, get in the tub and put something over you, because the glass when the missile hits and all the glass bust. The glass will kill you.” Hadden said.

The couple attempted to send their family messages to say their last goodbyes.

“You’re not going to survive a nuclear bomb,” said Hadden.

Then they braced for what they thought was the end.

“The front desk said we just heard and confirmed it is not real. It is a false statement.” He said.

Hadden says anger rushed through him, because too much damage had already been done. Just in the 38 minutes between the first and second emergency alert.

He says in the hours after the nightmare was over, he learned that people died from heart attacks and car accidents.

With no luck at getting a flight back home, Hadden and his wife tried to return back to their vacation mindset. Still, nothing could distract them, or make them forget, the morning someone accidentally pressed the panic button.

“Absolutely horrible. I saw people suffer for an oops. That’s a bad mistake,” said Hadden. “That’s a really bad mistake.”

Hawaii is the only state capable of sending cell phone alerts about incoming ballistic missile threats.

Hadden tells NewsChannel 6 to may be sometime before he returns to Hawaii.

Watch the entire raw interview below

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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