Friday, October 31, 2008

70 Years Ago Today: Orson Welles Presented H.G. Wells, "War of The Worlds"

By Orson Welles
The Mercury Theatre on the Air
CBS Radio

     Note—In January of 1953 UFO reports collected by the Air Force under the names of Project Sign, Project Grudge and Project Blue Book were analyzed by a panel commissioned by the CIA, known today as the “Robertson Panel” named for its chairman, Howard Percy Robertson, a physicist, and CIA employee; also director of the Defense Department Weapons Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG).

Other panel members included:

Luis W. Alvarez - physicist (and later, a Nobel Prize winner), University of California, Berkeley
Samuel A. Goudsmit - Brookhaven National Laboratories physicist
Thornton L. Page - astrophysicist, deputy director of the Operations Research Office, Johns Hopkins University.
Lloyd V. Berkner - physicist, Carnegie Institution

There were additional “associate panel members” which included Dr. J. Allen Hynek.

Ironically, Welles’ version of War of The Worlds, or more accurately the panic that ensued figured prominently in the recommendations by the panel to begin a “debunking campaign” (re UFO reports) which some believe continues to this day! The panel suggested a PR campaign, using psychiatrists, astronomers and assorted celebrities to significantly reduce public interest in UFO's. It was also recommended that the mass media be used for the debunking, including influential media giants like Walt Disney Corporation—FW.

1 comment :

  1. I had know Idea that this happened. I used to listen to the LP of the War of the Worlds and was terrified by it.
    I found the news paper cuttings to be absolutely riveting


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