Test Alert by Verizon Warns Customers to 'Take Shelter'

It was not quite the "War Of The Worlds" broadcast of a Martian invasion in New Jersey.

Still a Verizon "emergency" alert that the company texted on Monday to its wireless customers in three New Jersey counties jangled some nerves and triggered hundreds of calls from concerned residents to local and state offices.

The company warned of a "civil emergency" and told people to "take shelter now." Trouble was, the message was a test, but it wasn't labeled as such. Verizon later apologized.

In 1938, Orson Welles' "War Of The Worlds" radio broadcast of a fake Martian invasion in Grovers Mill, N.J., touched off a panic among those who believed they were hearing a real emergency announcement.