Seven decades on from WW2...as living memory fades, the dark corners of the web are teeming with tales of the bizarre. Dr. Sam Willis, a UK-based historian, and Robert Joe (RJ), a Korean-American urban explorer, combine their talents to embark on a journey to set the record straight. They're one of the oddest partners since Mulder and Scully, and just as determined to get to the truth that's out there. Whether its reports of Nazis dabbling in the occult, the world's worst man-eating crocodile attack, or a long-lost train carrying stolen gold, a path of twists and turns will show us that, when it comes to war, truth is often weirder than fiction.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Nazi Weird War Two - The War of the Worlds (radio drama) - Netflix
“The War of the Worlds” is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on Sunday, October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898). It became famous for allegedly causing mass panic, although the scale of the panic is disputed as the program had relatively few listeners. The program began with the theme music for the Mercury Theater on the Air and an announcement that the evening's show was an adaption of The War of the Worlds. This was followed by a prologue read by Orson Welles which was closely based on the opening of H.G. Wells' novel. The next half hour of the one-hour broadcast was presented as typical evening radio programming being interrupted by a series of news bulletins. The first few updates interrupt a program of dance music and describe a series of odd explosions observed on Mars. This is followed soon thereafter by a seemingly unrelated report of an unusual object falling on a farm in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. Another brief musical interlude is interrupted by a live report from Grover's Mill, where police officials and a crowd of curious onlookers have surround the strange cylindrical object. The situation quickly escalates when Martians emerge from the cylinder and attack using a heat-ray, abruptly cutting off the panicked reporter at the scene. This is followed by a rapid series of increasingly alarming news bulletins detailing a devastating alien invasion taking place across the United States and the world, climaxing with another live report describing giant Martian war machines releasing clouds of poisonous smoke across New York City. After a short break, the program shifts to a more conventional radio drama format and follows a survivor dealing with the aftermath of the invasion and ultimately discovering that the Martians have been defeated not by humans, but by microbes. The illusion of realism was furthered because the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a sustaining show without commercial interruptions, and the first break in the program came almost 30 minutes after the introduction. Popular legend holds that some of the radio audience may have been listening to Edgar Bergen and tuned in to “The War of the Worlds” during a musical interlude, thereby missing the clear introduction that the show was a drama, but research in the 2010s suggests that happened only in rare instances. In the days after the adaptation, widespread outrage was expressed in the media. The program's news-bulletin format was described as deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast and calls for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission. The episode secured Welles's fame as a dramatist.
Nazi Weird War Two - Research - Netflix
In a study published in book form as The Invasion from Mars (1940), Princeton professor Hadley Cantril calculated that some six million people heard “The War of the Worlds” broadcast. He estimated that 1.7 million listeners believed the broadcast was an actual news bulletin and, of those, 1.2 million people were frightened or disturbed. Media historians Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow have since concluded, however, that Cantril's study has serious flaws. Its estimate of the program's audience is more than twice as high as any other at the time. Cantril himself conceded that but argued that unlike Hooper, his estimate had attempted to capture the significant portion of the audience that did not have home telephones at that time. Since those respondents were contacted only after the media frenzy, Cantril allowed that their recollections could have been influenced by what they read in the newspapers. Claims that Chase and Sanborn listeners who missed the disclaimer at the beginning when they turned to CBS during a commercial break or musical performance on that show and thus mistook “The War of the Worlds” for a real broadcast inflated the show's audience and the ensuing alleged panic are impossible to substantiate. Apart from his admittedly-imperfect methods of estimating the audience and assessing the authenticity of their response, Pooley and Socolow found, Cantril made another error in typing audience reaction. Respondents had indicated a variety of reactions to the program, among them “excited”, “disturbed”, and “frightened”. However, he included all of them with “panicked”, failing to account for the possibility that despite their reaction, they were still aware the broadcast was staged. “[T]hose who did hear it, looked at it as a prank and accepted it that way,” recalled researcher Frank Stanton. Bartholomew grants that hundreds of thousands were frightened, but calls evidence of people taking action based on their fear “scant” and “anecdotal”. Indeed, contemporary news articles indicate that police were swamped with hundreds of calls in numerous locations, but stories of people doing anything more than calling authorities involved mostly only small groups. Such stories were often reported by people who were panicking themselves. Later investigations found much of the alleged panicked responses to have been exaggerated or mistaken. Cantril's researchers found that contrary to what had been claimed, no admissions for shock were made at a Newark hospital during the broadcast; hospitals in New York City similarly reported no spike in admissions that night. A few suicide attempts seem to have been prevented when friends or family intervened, but no record of a successful one exists. A Washington Post claim that a man died of a heart attack brought on by listening to the program could not be verified. One woman filed a lawsuit against CBS, but it was soon dismissed. The FCC also received letters from the public that advised against taking reprisals. Singer Eddie Cantor urged the commission not to overreact, as “censorship would retard radio immeasurably.” The FCC not only chose not to punish Welles or CBS but also barred complaints about “The War of the Worlds” from being brought up during license renewals. “Janet Jackson's 2004 'wardrobe malfunction' remains far more significant in the history of broadcast regulation than Orson Welles' trickery,” wrote media historians Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow.
Nazi Weird War Two - References - Netflix