Remember reading about the panic caused by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds Halloween radio broadcast in 1938, when people all over the country thought the audio drama was a recording of an actual alien invasion? Well, something like that happened just last week in the town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, when a promotional stunt pulled by a local radio station suddenly wasn't so funny anymore.
To publicize their new programming changes, radio station Star 94.9 aired a comic transmission from "The Commander," who converses with a robotic companion through a computer speech simulator about "changing the frequency." Some listeners who misunderstood the message thought it was signaling a real-life attack of some kind. Here's the broadcast that caused all the commotion:
According to Tuscumbia's Times Daily, calls quickly poured in to the station and the local police as rumors began to circulate about a bomb threat at a local school (nothing about a bombing was mentioned in the broadcast). As the panic made national news, including The Huffington Post and CNET, the station published an apology on their Facebook page... but in the same post, suggested they might pull similar stunts in the future, provided they got enough Facebook likes in response.