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It may have only been a couple of hours, but the idea that a decent hoax with fairly limited resources managed to fool the MOD into thinking we were being invaded by aliens, is a little scary:

A “war of the worlds” rag week hoax by aircraft engineering apprentices was treated as a real alien invasion of Britain – for a few hours at least, according to newly released Ministry of Defence files.

The army’s southern command, four police forces, bomb disposal units, RAF helicopters and the MoD’s intelligence branch were all mobilised in the early hours of Monday 4 September 1967 to meet the threat.

They went into action after the police and RAF were flooded with calls from the public reporting the discovery of six small “flying saucers” in locations in a perfect line across southern England from Sheppey to the Bristol Channel.

It was not until a Scotland Yard bomb disposal squad with orders to check one of the objects with portable X-ray equipment arrived at Bromley police station, south London, that the hoax was uncovered – the Ever Ready batteries were a bit of a giveaway.

Just imagine what someone could do if they really tried!! In this light the whole Project Blue Beam conspiracy theory seem like massive overkill (in addition to it being a bit silly and a possible Star Trek rip-off).

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