Just like Welles’, his radio program told a story about a local alien attack that sounded like radio news. Just like in the United States people panicked. Many people ran into the streets, but they didn’t know what to do. Even the army and police were fooled.
Many trucks full of soldiers and police went to the north to look for the aliens. When the people in the streets saw the trucks full of real soldiers, they really believed the aliens were real.
Many people went to church and prayed to God.
When people found it was just a fictional story, they were angry.
Hundreds of people went to the radio and newspaper company building. They threw stones at the building and broke windows.
Then they broke the door down. They went inside and broke the printing machines.
They set fire to the building. There were 50 company employees in the building. They called the fire department and the police, but no one answered. The police and firefighters all went to the north to fight aliens, so no one could help them. Most of the company employees ran to the rooftop and jumped to another building.
Leonardo Paez also escaped but his nephew, his girlfriend and 4 others died in the fire.
Paez left the country and never returned to Ecuador.
It was a terrible end for Paez. Orson Welles was much luckier.
So, why did he do it? Why did he fool thousands into panicking?
After Welles’ War of the Worlds show, the police came and questioned everyone. Welles said he didn’t want to fool anyone.
He thought that everyone would know it was a fictional story.
Sixteen years later, Welles changed his story. He said he wanted people to be fooled.
He wanted to teach everyone a lesson. He thought people were too easily fooled. He wanted people to think more.
He wanted everyone to know that they cannot trust information only because it’s on the radio. Many people think Welles has failed. He hasn’t taught us anything. People are still easily fooled.
Nothing has changed.
Today, many people believe anything they see on the TV.
Welles may have failed to make people think more about what is real and what is fiction but he continued to be very successful.
The War of the Worlds was just the beginning for Welles.
Later, Welles became one of the most famous movie directors of all time