East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Hole at the Subaru Telescope Not from Bullet

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***Updated at 4 p.m. to include information from the Hawai’i Police Department. ***

After completing an investigation on Monday, the Hawai’i Police Department says that damage to the Subaru Telescope was not from a bullet.

Police say the reported “bullet hole” was damage caused by a bolt from an adjacent wall.

According to HPD, the damage had been there for about six months.


The case opened for the incident will be closed as unfounded.

*** Original story posted at 12:49 p.m. ***

Subaru Telescope officials say a hole found in the door of its observatory is not from a bullet. Instead, the hole has been confirmed to match an intake manifold cover on the wall.


“In the evening of Saturday, June 6, 2015, a round hole was discovered on one of the side doors of the Subaru Telescope’s building on Maunakea,” Subaru Telescope Director Nobuo Arimoto said in a statement. “The detailed inspection on June 7 at the start of the night shift and 8 in the morning found and confirmed a match between this hole and an intake manifold cover on the wall. The day crews knew the presence of the hole at the time of the severe winter storm earlier this year. The wrap around effect of the wind could be very severe at times, which can swing the heavy metal door to create this kind of dent on the door.”

Arimoto’s announcement closely followed a release from Mauna Kea Hui, who earlier Monday morning responded to the recent “bullet hole” finding in the door of the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea.

“On behalf of Mauna Kea Hui we would like to offer our assistance in this matter and we will monitor the ongoing investigation of the Hilo Police Department moving forward. The Mauna Kea Hui strongly objects the use of a firearm or weapon, regardless of intent, above those lower areas where hunting may be permitted. To do so is absolutely unacceptable! The Mauna Kea summit is a Sacred Temple of Akua and such behavior is a serious desecration of our spiritual practice and belief.”


Sunday morning, the Hawai’i Police Department initiated an investigation into the findings of what appeared to be a “bullet hole” found at the observatory.

Police said that they believed the incident happened between Friday and Saturday evenings.

“We at Subaru Telescope are relieved that this is the case and regret the confusion caused by earlier reports. The police have also been notified of the discovery,” Arimoto said.

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