On Oct. 30, 1938, Orson Welles narrated an adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds over the radio. Produced in documentary style, the episode (as part of Welles's The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio production) became infamous for causing widespread panic to the U.S. radio-listening audience.
Although the impact of the radio show - that depicted realistic news bulletins of a Martian invasion - is debatable, according to a new book written by LA Times journalist Annie Jacobsen, Welles's War of the Worlds adaptation was the inspiration behind the "flying saucer" that was reportedly recovered near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The remains of the "spacecraft," and its "extraterrestrial" pilots, were then moved to Area 51, Nevada, in 1951.
No, aliens didn't intercept Welles's broadcast (that we know of), according to Jacobsen it inspired Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to create the mother of all hoaxes.
DNEWS VIDEO: HOAXING UFOS
Around the beginning of the Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Russia, tensions were high. The U.S. had demonstrated its nuclear weapon prowess on Japan only two years earlier, thereby ending the Second World War. So, in an attempt to gain the upper hand - yet lacking in the atomic bomb department thus far - Stalin built a flying saucer-like aircraft, piloted by grotesquely deformed children made to look like aliens (big head, "gray" alien-style), and crashed it in U.S. territory.