75 Years Since "War of the Worlds" Broadcast, Hoaxes Live On
It has been three quarters of a century since Orson Welles' infamous broadcast about an alien invasion.
For the radio adaptation of H.G Wells' classic 1898 novel "The War of the Worlds", Howard Koch produced a modernized version in the form of a faux news broadcast complete with special bulletins and an announcer giving live updates as though it were a real event.
The broadcast went out on October 30th 1938 and was read by Orson Welles who provided a chilling and convincing performance as he told terrified listeners that invaders from Mars had arrived and were slowly taking over the planet.
The broadcast gained legendary notoriety because it was so convincing that many people at the time believed that the invasion was actually happening. There has been much speculation over the years as to whether the extent of the panic experienced following the broadcast had been exaggerated by the press, but the fact remains that it caused quite a bit of panic.
"I'm not denying at all that people weren't emotionally engaged," said associate professor Michael Socolow. "I'm not even saying they weren't scared - I'm saying the reports of panic or terror were enormously exaggerated."
According to 81-year-old Grovers Mill resident Robert Sanders, Jr. who recalls the broadcast first-hand, the street outside his house had become jam-packed with vehicles as people rushed out to catch a glimpse of the invaders. Reports also suggested that one resident named William Dock even fired a gun at a local water tower because he believed it to be an alien war machine. Continue reading at 75 Years Since "War of the Worlds" Broadcast, Hoaxes Live On
War of the Worlds [Blu-ray]
The War of the Worlds
Federal Heights, CO - 6/5/2002 - unedited: I was at home on the evening of Wednesday June 5, 2002 watching television. I decided to go for a walk around the little lake in Bell Roth Park at approximately 10:00 PM. When I got to the East side of the lake, I noticed three orange-ish lights in the distance to the West South West. I watched the three lights doing aerial maneuvers for a short time then they looked like they were coming in my general direction. I was curious but not afraid. They got to, possibly, a couple of miles from me and made a sharp turn to the North like they were following Federal Blvd. toward Northglenn. I remember wondering if my mother, who lived up in that direction was up and watching the lights too.
After a few moments, they came toward me again and stopped directly above where I was standing at the top of the berm by the lake. I became mildly alarmed when they started coming and by the time they got to me, I was terrified and began looking for a place to hide. I ran toward the childrens playground at the base of the berm. A bright white light shone down, then blinked off and then the lights were gone. When I got back home, my husband asked me where Id been and told me that hed walked around the lake at least three times looking for me. I was confused and felt like Id been drugged. - MUFON CMS
The 1949 St. Louis Exorcism
Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen Exorcist [Blu-ray] the 1973 horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. He's only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school on which the film and William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel were based.
But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs in St. Louis to recount the supernatural incident. The university hosted a panel discussion Tuesday on the exorcism, which involved the treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library, with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks.
"I'd like to believe it's the real thing," said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. "But you just can't know. That's part of why we're here. It's the pursuit of truth. And it's such a great story."
The university scholars and guest speaker Thomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school's former Alexian Brothers Hospital, emphasized that definitive proof that the boy known only as "Robbie" was possessed by malevolent spirits is unattainable. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse - or fabricated the entire experience.
Like most of religion's basic tenets, it ultimately comes down to faith.
"If the devil can convince us he does not exist, then half the battle is won," said the Rev. Paul Stark, vice president for mission and ministry at the 195-year-old Catholic school. He opened the discussion with a prayer from the church's exorcism handbook, imploring God to "fill your servants with courage to fight that reprobate dragon."
Some of the non-students in the audience spoke of personal connections to an episode that has enthralled generations of St. Louis residents.
One man described living near the suburban St. Louis home where the 13-year-old boy arrived in the winter of 1949 (his Lutheran mother was a St. Louis native who married a Catholic). Another said she was a distant cousin of Father William Bowdern, who led the exorcism ritual after consulting with the archbishop of St. Louis but remained publicly silent about his experiences - though he did tell Allen it was "the real thing."
Bowdern died in 1983.
Bowdern was assisted by the Rev. Walter Halloran, who unlike his colleague spoke openly with Allen and expressed his skepticism about potential paranormal events before his death a decade ago.
"He talked more about the boy, and how much he suffered, and less about the rite," Allen said. "Here was a scared, confused boy caught up in something he didn't understand.
"He told me, 'I simply don't know,' and that is where I leave it," the author added. "I just don't know."
Allen zealously protects the anonymity of "Robbie," despite others' efforts to track him down to this day.
Gary Mackey, a 59-year-old accountant who left work early to attend the campus event, said he also is unsure whether "The Exorcist" was a work of fiction or instead a riveting real-life account of barely comprehensible forces.
He does know this: He cannot forget the movie that he saw with a buddy four decades ago. They drove 100 miles from their home in Louisville, Ky., to the nearest theater showing it across the state line in Cincinnati.
"I saw the movie when I was 19 years old and it scared me to death," Mackey said. "I think it's the scariest movie ever made." - AOL
The Devil Came to St. Louis
POSSESSED: The True Story of An Exorcism
Black Flying Humanoid
Kodiak, Alaska - 8/18/2013 - unedited: I was driving home around 8:30pm. It was still light out. I was on Rezanof St. heading toward Benny Benson when I noticed movement from a black object over the tree tops just about over the Mission Beach area. I turned left on Benny Benson and pulled over on Mission Rd. to get a better view. Two people came out of a house to their vehicle. I pointed it out to them. They asked me if it was a person. I told them I had no idea. It headed out over the ocean. I drove over to Mission Beach and parked. I called my husband at home. Our home overlooks the water. I watched it until it was almost a dot. I went home. My husband saw it with binoculars and watched it until it was out of sight. It headed straight out to sea. There is nothing out there but open water. You could pick out what appeared to be two legs and two arms held out in front. When it was at the correct angle. At first it appeared to be facing somewhat south but then it turned a bit and headed out to sea. - MUFON CMS
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