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1930s
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koala
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject: 1930s Reply with quote

On the night before Halloween in 1938, Orson Welles directed the Mercury Theatre in their live radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's classic novel, The War of the Worlds. By mimicking a news broadcast, the show was quite realistic sounding for its time, and some listeners were famously fooled into thinking that an actual Martian invasion was underway in the United States. There was widespread confusion, followed by outrage and controversy. Some later studies have argued that the extent of the panic was exaggerated by the contemporary press, but it remains clear that many people were caught up, to one degree or another, in the confusion.

There has been continued speculation that the panic generated by the War of the Worlds broadcast inspired officials to cover-up UFO evidence, to avoid a similar panic. Indeed, U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt wrote in 1956, "The (government's) UFO files are full of references to the near mass panic of October 30, 1938, when Orson Welles presented his now famous The War of the Worlds broadcast."
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