I grew up in rural NWPA, surrounded in forest. I took an early interest in cryprozoology and sharks and have read many books on various crypto subjects such as Bigfoot and Megalodon over the years. I am not a professional writer or a journalist, but I do the best I can. I have a quirky, obscurely dry and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor than can get me in trouble. Some love me and some hate me, but I am who I am.

Most Americans are familiar with the 1938 radio spoof by Orson Wells’ Mercury Theatre that utilized the premise of an alien attack as described in the HG Wells book, The War Of The Worlds.

Apparently radio station Star 94.9 out of Alabama inadvertently started a bit of a panic with a similar situation.

Story as reported by the Times Daily:

Station offers apology

The programming director at Shoals Radio Group said he is puzzled over how a promotion for a local radio station managed to excite many students and parents into believing bombs would be exploding Thursday at area schools.

Rumors of school safety being in jeopardy steadily increased after the promotion began Monday. The promotional broadcasts were to bring attention to a format change at Star 94.9. The rumors prompted some parents to keep their children at home Thursday instead of attend class as usual. Police and school officials increased patrols in schools in an attempt to ease fears.

No problems were reported at any school in the Shoals.

Shoals Radio Group owns Star 94.9.

“We certainly apologize, but we had no intention to cause any problems or create concerns about schools,” said Brian Rickman, regional director of programming for the radio group. “We are truly taken back by how out of context this has been taken. We could not have foreseen this happening.”

The promotion, which will end today with the announcement of a format change, is built around the premise that aliens have taken over the radio station’s frequency and are trying to figure out what type music appeals to humans.

Star 94.9 has operated with a Top 40 music format.

Rickman said none of the promotions “even remotely hint that schools are going to be attacked and there is no mention of bombs.”

He said the station has fielded dozens of calls. Local school and law enforcement officials have heard from concerned parents and students, too.

Some school officials have called the promotion a hoax and said it was in bad taste considering society’s heightened sensitivity to school violence.

Continue reading here….

In the Wells broadcast, there was widespread fear and panic. People were even calling police to claim they saw the alleged aliens or their ships.

It just goes to show you that a good fake alien invasion works every time. One important aspect is the fear it causes. I’ve always been of the opinion that if the Governments of the world ever came out and admitted alien visitation, it would result in chaos. This sampling from Alabama still proves that point to a degree.

Before claiming that you’d be OK with such and admission, remember, it’s never happened, so can you really know for sure how you’d react.

Here’s a little survey I prepared, let me know what you think.

How would you react if the gov announced alien visitation?
pollcode.com free polls 

Thanks to the Times Daily for providing content.

Associated Content:

GT: Ancient Aliens Debunked
GT: Would We Know If Aliens Were Here?
GT: The Televised Alien Broadcast Of 1977

  • BW

    Scott, it also seems a bit premature to assume that everyone would lose their cool. I sometimes have the impression there is a cadre of people “out there” just looking for a good excuse to freak out.

    If the only aspect of “disclosure” was an announcement that the government believed “they” were “out there” but there were no immediate other effects, most people would just go back to work because bills would still have to be payed, aliens or no aliens. It would become a steady topic of conversation at work sites, but otherwise, life would still have to go on.

    People all over the world experienced conquest and occupation by enemy forces during the Second World War. A lot of brutal things went on and long periods of chaos were commonplace. Even so, many survived and simply carried on. I think after an initial period of being shocked by the announcement, most people on earth would react the same as those who have undergone the shock of invasion and conquest.

    It would be interesting, though, to see who “comes out” and would want to play the role of collaborator, heh.


  • I would say it not so much causes fears, as reveals them. In both cases there is an underlying paranoia, a sense of expectation of a disaster.

    In 1938 there was already the looming threat of Germany was flexing its influence over Europe and North Africa, testing the waters for war.

    Today we have the ever present threat of terrorism.

    Each broadcast played perfectly into the fears of the day.

  • Scott_McMan

    Where did I say “everyone”? I said it would result in chaos and I stand by that.

    My thoughts are regarding the short period of time after. Over the long haul, I have no idea what would happen.

    “Most people would just go back to work”? “Most people” would only hear what they wanted to hear as we see most every day. These radio broadcasts prove that. They would then react accordingly and a great deal of cases, they would panic.

    Bottom line is, I left it open to interpretation. Many will read it and see it as invasion, while others will see it merely as admission.

    All JMO….

  • Scott_McMan

    Good point Henry. I’d have to agree with that assessment.

  • BW

    You don’t explicitly use the word “everyone”, but

    Before claiming that you’d be OK with such and admission, remember, it’s never happened, so can you really know for sure how you’d react.

    certainly uses the word “you” in the sense of addressing the audience at large.

    And the audience for paranormal topics is part of the assumption regarding reactions, IMO. I honestly think for a lot of people, there is little interest in the paranormal, be it UFO’s, Bigfoot, ghosts, or whatever. There could very well be a huge “so what?” reaction lurking out there as long as said paranormal-activity-become-reality wasn’t affecting them personally and not likely to do so.

    Short term vs long term . . . well, people might stay glued to Twitter, the ‘net, TV, whatever, until it became clear that other than having proof that there “is something out there”, not much was going to immediately change — and then the “so what?” reaction will kick in.

    I’m not convinced about the chaos part. Some people would freak out — agreement — but enough to generate real chaos — as in a breakdown of society, however temporary — I’m not convinced.


  • The Oshmar

    I think if there were aliens announcing themselves to us that most people would start to horde goods, food, water, gas etc, this would cause shortages as most people don’t already have stocks. With shortages comes riots as people try to gain more resources, riots damage infrastructure and the issue amplifies. I think this may play a part in what Scott is saying.

    You know what they say, civilization is only a couple of missed meals away from anarchy.

  • Burgonet

    In my more cynical moments, I assure myself there is little or no difference between such hysteria and alleged sightings of paranormal phenomena.

    In my enlightened ones, I remind myself that humans live and react to a world of cues and stimuli. Without a grounding in critical thinking, it’s entirely possible to mistakenly believe in much as ‘fact’.

    Still, flights of fancy are frankly good fun, aren’t they?

  • Scott_McMan

    BW, are you that sure of your own reaction, as I assume you are coming from the standpoint of not panicking?

    Yes, when I use the word “you”, I am addressing everyone, but using the word you to make it more personal. However, I am asking them, not telling them.

    I sometimes structure what I write to relate something that isn’t always clearly evident. It’s up to each individual to decide how they will perceive what they see. Overall, you argue that fear and chaos would be the exception, I say it’s the rule. You can’t change human nature. At least 30% of the panic would come from people only hearing or reading part of a message. I can attest to this because it happens here every day. Photos or videos attract the eye and many just don’t want to read and find out that there may be more to it than is gleaned from a picture. They then comment in an ill informed manner. This is just one example of the short attention span, overactive nature of mankind. My theories about the chaos I predict are proven time and time again throughout history in both large and small scale samplings.

    You have something very right in understanding that the main stream (although made more aware in recent years) typically have no interest in anything we report on or write about here. Quite honestly, the majority are too busy wrapped up in their own world to bother with it. Then there’s the overly passionate, who develop a misleading sense of what’s important in life or the fact that few care. Your bluntly clear, “so what?” is very apropos, as most people have their noses planted in a smart phone frantically punching keys to text something they could easily say by calling the intended party and possibly avoid ramming into the car in front of them.

    Here’s the clincher! Lets say what I meant was that aliens were landing and the gov was informing the people. How would they do that? likely it would be handled thru EBS and then everyone is going to see or hear it. Just the nature of EBS gets your pulse racing. When you hear those unmistakable tones that come right before an announcement, you know it’s either some type of emergency or a test. Either way, for a moment or two, you have that light-headed feeling come over you. If it’s not a test, well, it’s already got you working toward that state of confusion and panic because of the fear manifesting inside you. This is like putting your feet into the starting blocks or revving your engine with only one direction in mind and it ain’t the one where you drift off to sleep. It’s the one that leads to all out panic and yes…chaos.

  • Scott_McMan

    O, yes, it’s all part of the “chaos” aspect. Some will just break down, some will go out with guns looking for aliens, some will start hoarding, some will start trying to steal from the hoarders, etc…a hundred different reactions, but all fit under the heading of “chaos”.

    You hit it right on the head with that last statement. How many times have we heard someone say, “I’m starving” after not eating for a few hours. This maybe just a figure of speech, but it’s also a subconscious trigger. And of course, you meant hunger as just one of many triggers that could fit such a statement.

  • BW


    Unless mortal danger was imminent, yeah, I’m confident I would not panic — I’d much more likely be in the crowd of “if it ain’t changing my life immediately, then it is just another (if atypically interesting) data point out there.”

    Your comments about reactions of society at large are, I think, very dependent on what the specific situation might be.

    If the “announcement” is outright invasion, War of the Worlds style, with people dying left and right, well, yes, there would be a general panic and chaos.

    If the announcement were simply a somber one by our government stating that something unknown had been encountered and might be seen flying around but that there was no overt danger, I think a lot of people would say “how ’bout that!” and go back, as you so aptly phrased it, to putting their nose back into their smartphone.

    And there is a wide range of intermediate situations.

    Some would attempt to profit from the situation by rioting or looting. But unless the government was being put down by the aliens, any disruptive activity like that would be quickly squelched by the local police, the state police, and National Guard, FEMA, and if required, the regular army. And you can be sure they’re reviewed the scenarios to do so — if only because some foreign power or group might succeed some day in generating a panic based on false announcements of any kind, not necessarily being about UFO’s or aliens.

    Of course, I can’t be sure that I’m correct in my assessments, but — as I mentioned, invasions done by other “earth powers” are pretty frightening and lethal, but many societies survived these horrors in World War II — and those events included long disruptions of food and water distribution. I speak from some knowledge — my mother was a refugee from invasion in 1940 and endured a fair amount of hardships. She said the only thing that was really frightening is when a train she was in got strafed. But along the way of being refugee, other people helped out, and her and her mother eventually returned home and endured a four year occupation by enemy forces that had also caused her father to disappear for four years as a prisoner of war — they didn’t know his status for months. Somehow, people endure and society carries on.


  • Scott_McMan

    To be blunt, I don’t believe you. To assume that you’d know your reaction is absurd. Many don’t know true fear until it actually hits them, in fact, I’d say most fit that category. But to be fair, the way you view it does help me understand your claim. Your scenario of “there’s something out there we can’t identify” isn’t
    exactly an admission that aliens are visiting our planet. Who would panic over such a statement? In my article, I allowed for interpretation, but I wasn’t that general about what would be said.

    There is no argument that given the opportunity after such a conflict as WWII, life would indeed get back on track, whatever that means. However, with an invading force from a distant star, we’re not talking about Russia here. Unless they somehow succumbed to a WOTW type virus, (which I’m sure they plan for), there’s not a whole lot we’re going to do to stop them. Odds are against us and that means, if anyone survives, there will never be any sense of normalcy again. Those who survive will end up as either slaves (if part of the plan) or nomads on the run.

    Something else that might go along with an announcement, but probably wouldn’t is: “They come and go at will and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

    So, an alien race is coming to our planet at will and nobody can do a thing about it….gets you thinking, then what comes next?

    I don’t think we’re ever going to agree on this. However, I enjoyed the debate and enjoy your intelligent responses.

  • BW


    Believe what you wish.


  • Kathy Stuart

    I know exactly how I would react because a number of years ago I had an encounter with an aerial vehicle, fairly close (about a hundred yards), that I simply could not identify. As I moved to get a better view I lost sight of it and when I came back out into the open it was gone. Since I could longer see it I walked back home and went to bed. There seemed no reason to get stupid.