Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds in 1938 famously terrified millions, who thought they were hearing news coverage of an actual alien invasion.
Amazingly, the same thing happened again — twice. When the play was broadcast in Chile in 1944, it caused a panic in which the governor mobilized troops. In Ecuador, a 1949 performance panicked tens of thousands and led angry listeners to set fire to the radio station.
In the United States, Welles was not punished for his broadcast — but CBS had to promise never again to use news “interruptions” for dramatic purposes.