1947
1947

Atomic Mist Invades Eindhoven

Een zwarte dag voor Eindhoven declared the headline on the front page of the Eindhovensch Dagblad. The accompanying article reported that the Dutch town might be destroyed the next day by an atomic mist blowing into the town because of an accident at the nearby N.V. Philips factory, unless the situation could be contained. The article proceeded to offer nonsensical advice in case the worst should occur, such as to sit on a thin pole with your arms and legs stretched out in front of you. But most people didn't read beyond the headline, and the result was widespread panic. Thousands of people attempted to flee. Even the RAF base at The Hague phoned the police, wanting to know if they should avoid flying over the area. The situation only began to calm down when the mayor went on the radio, emphatically assuring everyone that the story was false. The event is remembered as one of the more notorious media-created panics in the history of the Netherlands.