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This was on Halloween, remember, and well, in my middle-western childhood, that was the season for pranks, for soaping windows, putting Farmer Peckens' cow up in the belfry, at least dressing up in a sheet and spooking the neighbors with a pumpkin head. Well, in that notorious broadcast, I said "Boo!" to several million people over a full network, and the pumpkin head was a flying saucer from Mars. The trouble was: an awful lot of listeners forgot what day it was... Now, no news commentator was ever so convincing as our real-life actors were at their various mythical posts throughout the nation, describing the horrendous arrival of the Martian invaders. One of them could do Franklin Roosevelt so you couldn't tell the difference, and when he got on, supposedly to tell the nation to remain united and not to panic, then everybody took to the streets. Thousands and thousands anyway, all over the country, many for some obscure reason with towels on their heads. Now, what good a towel is gonna do, I can't imagine... There were all sorts of reactions... All of the inhabitants of one apartment building waited in the street, while one man up on the roof -- this is really true -- watching through a pair of binoculars described the approach of the dreaded Martians as they stalked across Manhattan toward the Bronx. As far away as San Francisco, there was a lady, her clothes torn to ribbons, who staggered into the police station -- which is also absolutely true -- gasped: "I just... I can't describe it, but it's hell...", and then she took poison. She couldn't face the shame of it, luckily she lived. It's true. Here in Hollywood, John Barrymore. Remember John Barrymore? The greatest of all great actors, the last of them. He also had the radio on. He put down his highball, lurched out to his private kennels, where he kept a clutch of great danes, opened the gates, said: "Fend for yourselves!", and gave them their freedom. And then there was the great old movie director, Woody Van Dyke, who was also a reserve officer in the Marines. Well, when the word came to Woody, he dropped everything, jumped in his car, drove to Marine headquarters to report for active duty. Which reminds me of what happened to the Navy. In New York harbor, the fleet was in, and after the broadcast, all shore leave was canceled. I've really got a bad conscience about that. The motorcycle cops in New Jersey, it was a warm Sunday night, all the cars were out, all the radios were on. But the cops on their motorcycles didn't have any radios. So, just imagine the picture: suddenly in front of the astonished eyes of the whole Jersey police force, every car on the highway is going 90 miles an hour. And not one car is willing to pull over, they won't even look at the cops, they're all making for the hills. In the Li'l Abner country, they not only made for the hills, they stayed there, they really did. Years later, I met a Red Cross worker that told me it had been his job to try to persuade whole families that the Martians weren't in control, and it took six weeks to get them back. True."
In the aftermath of the reported panic, a public outcry arose, but CBS informed officials that listeners were reminded throughout the broadcast that it was a performance. Welles and the Mercury Theatre escaped punishment, but not censure, and CBS is believed to have had to promise never again to use "we interrupt this program" for dramatic purpose. However, many radio commercials to this day do start with the phrase "We interrupt this program". A study by the Radio Project discovered that some who panicked presumed that Germans — not Martians — had invaded. Other studies suggest that the extent of the panic was exaggerated by contemporary media. When a meeting between H.G. Wells and Orson Welles was broadcast on Radio KTSA San Antonio on October 28, 1940, Wells expressed a lack of understanding of the apparent panic and it was, perhaps, only pretense, like the American version of Halloween, for fun. The two men and their radio interviewer joked about the matter, though with embarrassment. KTSA, as a CBS affiliate, had carried the broadcast. War of the Worlds and the panic have become examples of mass hysteria and the delusions of crowds.
It has been suggested War of the Worlds was a psychological warfare experiment. In the 1999 documentary, Masters of the Universe: The Secret Birth of the Federal Reserve, writer Daniel Hopsicker claims the Rockefeller Foundation funded the broadcast, studied the panic, and compiled a report available to a few. A variation has the Radio Project and the Rockefeller Foundation as conspirators. In a theatrical trailer for his film F For Fake, Welles joked about such theories, jesting that the broadcast indeed "had secret sponsors".............
There has been continued speculation the panic generated by War of the Worlds inspired officials to cover up unidentified flying object evidence, avoiding a similar panic. U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the first head of UFO investigatory Project Blue Book wrote, "The [U.S. 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."
Originally posted by Haza32
this is the portrait i believe i saw
Originally posted by darrenb
why would it just be one news channel in britain
why wouldnt he broadcast on every channel in every part of the world at the same time so it couldnt be dismissed so easily
Originally posted by SystemResistor
They are referring to the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by Haza32
Looks sort of like the bad guy from Fist of the North Star to me! So whats the significance of this fellow, and what exactly was the fallout from the apparant near disclosure of this persons existance? I have never heard of it, or seen this picture before, and I would have expected to have seen it referenced elsewhere, if there had ever been a snafu or panic caused by it, or any thing related to it
Originally posted by Haza32
The reason why the government will not show any more evidence of E.T life form is because of what happened just after it hit. People in masses were causing a huge fallout, panic like you could never imagine, suicide cases have been known.
Originally posted by stirling
It has been well and truly proven since the late forties that intelligently controlled vehicles transit our airspaces and atmosphere with relative impugnity.