Shooting forward to 2010, an April Fool's prank published in a Jordanian paper has set off an alien panic. As The Jordan Times explains, the Al Ghad paper published a fake, front-page article on April 1 stating that UFOs landed in Jafr (approximately 300km from the capital, Amman), which lit up the town, messed with communications, and "sent fearful residents streaming into the streets" as 10-foot-tall aliens visited.
According to Mayor Mohammad Mleihan, when folks read the report: "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." A security official even admitted that an emergency plan was almost enacted. There's no word on how the residents and officials figured out that they were duped. The Mayor is considering a lawsuit, but does admit that the paper called and apologized for the joke. Meanwhile, Al Ghad's editor Moussa Barhoumeh says: "We meant to entertain, not scare people."
Just goes to show the power of the prank. I wonder: If aliens do descend, will these folks believe it, or will they just think it's Al Ghad crying wolf again?