War of the Worlds: Ecuador Edition 1949

From the Miami Herald:

But in the tiny Andean nation of Ecuador, the stunt was pulled off so convincingly that even the authorities seem to have fallen for the story — with tragic results.

Jorge Ribadeneira was 19 when Radio Quito staged its own version of the alien invasion. It was Saturday night, and the station was broadcasting a live concert when the musicians were interrupted to announce that an enormous cylindrical object had crashed just north of the capital.

Moments later, Leonardo Paéz, one of Quito’s best known musicians and radio personalities, was rushed to the scene. As Paéz broadcast “live” from Cotocollao’s central plaza, a long “green arm” emerged from the alien craft, and then Paéz was fried by a bolt of light.

Ribadeneira, now 83, recalls frightened family members rushing home with news of Paéz’s death. Ribadeneira said he was almost certain it was a radio drama, but he couldn’t get his relatives to listen. When they went to visit neighbors, their worst fears seem to be confirmed.

“There were people running around all over the streets and the army and police were heading toward Cotocollao,” Ribadeneira said. “My family came back home tremendously frightened.”

Soon, Ribadeneira’s family had joined the throngs of other Quiteños trying to get out of the city as the radio reported that the alien clash with the armed forces was expected to release a toxic cloud.

1 thought on “War of the Worlds: Ecuador Edition 1949”

  1. Read Ivan Eguez’s ficitionalized account of the same incident in his novel La Linares. It’s a hoot. So is the rest of the novel. Mike Waag

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top