We've all heard the message.  "This is a test of the emergency alert system, this is only a test, if this was an actual emergency instructions would follow."  And then it goes on for a bit, followed by sqwak and the bleeps.  We grew up hearing it, and if you're like me you might have wondered what a real message would sound like.   Back in 1971, a real authenticated message was sent out.  Here's what it sounded like.

 

Turns out what happened was a guy who had been doing the job for years at civil defense loaded the wrong tape.  That simple.  In this video, you could hear the radio announcer Bob Sievers desribe what they knew.... which was nothing.  You can hear the stress in his voice, a little frustration, and restrained panic.  Imagine yourself in that situation.  The world could be ending.  This could be the beginning of a nuclear holocaust!  Nope, some guy loaded the wrong tape.

A lot of folks say it took 10 years off their life, those panicking five minutes.  Read more about it conelrad.com.