The broadcast caused a mass panic in the United States of America as many believed that it was in fact a news report about a real Martian invasion. James Wainwright, who was then 21, did not hear the broadcast but read about it in the newspapers the next day. On 23 September 1947, Professor Jeffrey Carlson told him that there was a theory that the broadcast was used as a cover story for the discovery of an actual alien spaceship. However, Wainwright dismissed this theory, branding it "crazy." (TOS novel: From History's Shadow)
- In reality, The Mercury Theatre on the Air was broadcast on CBS Radio.