In a story that seemed to be reminiscent of a 1938 Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, which sparked panic across the United States, a Jordanian news publication may be sent to court after Jordanian residents fell for their UFO hoax, according to the Associated Press
On April 1, the Al Ghad newspaper published a front-page article about a UFO landing near the town of Jafr, which is only 185 miles from Amman. The newspaper said the UFO lit up the town, disrupted communications and the aliens were 10 feet tall.
The news report sent residents out to the streets screaming and even Jafr’s Mayor, Mohammad Mleihan, believed the story and sent local authorities on a search for the extraterrestrials, reports [url=http://www.kgan.com/template/inews_wire/wires.international/399e0eed-www.kgan.com.shtml t=_blank]CBS News
The Jafr Mayor said that he may sue the daily newspaper for its “big lie” but said the newspaper had called to apologize about the inconvenience that was caused by the joke.
“Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them,” said Mleihan.
One Jordanian security official, who spoke on the condition anonymity, said an emergency plan was nearly enacted due to the false news story.
Moussa Barhoumeh, Al Ghad’s managing editor, said the report was completely blown out of proportion, reports the Sydney Morning Herald
, “We meant to entertain, not scare people.”