When I got married, I moved to a sleepy little rural town just outside Princeton, NJ. Now, it is very developed, with corporate offices and hotels. But then, it was a place of farmlands and quiet stillness in the night.
There were three shopping options back then….
Go to the little general store down the road.
Hit Route 1 and visit a shopping complex.
Or drive over to the next sleepy little town’s supermarket.
Most times, I did option number 3.
It was a little blip on the map, a quiet place you could drive through in a few minutes…..A place of essentials.
….the supermarket, the hardware store, (before the days of large chains), and the churches and schools and bank.
But there was also a sign……..
It read, Grover’s Mill, where the Martians landed. That was my introduction to Orson Welles’ night of terror.
According to the story of that notorious evening, Orson’s writer shut his eyes and pointed his finger to a map. His finger landed on Grover’s Mill. He couldn’t have found a more perfect place if he searched for weeks on end.
Could it happen today?
I really think it possible.
I see how erroneous stories spread like wildfire over social networks.
Remember that old adage…
Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear…….
Those families seated around their radios in the isolation of night are not that much different than those seated at their computer monitors alone. Combine that with the spookiness of an October 30th night, and you have a perfect brew of terror.
In that quiet loneliness, Martian landings can become a lot more believable.