To solve this puzzle requires stripping away different layers of

1. First task is to find what place is situated at the location indicated
by the map co-ordinates. Many will realize it is somewhere in England
without doing any searches. A good atlas or, better still, Google Earth
pinpoints the locale as Woking, England - specifically the town-center
of Woking.

2. Using Google Earth, to zoom in on this area, reveals several photo
boxes. Clicking on these, results in exposure to photos of a replica of
a “seven-metre-tall silver Martian striding down a street in Woking”.
This was created by British artist Michael Condron and the sculpture
has been designed following the descriptions of Martians in H.G.
Wells' novel, “The War of the Worlds”, which tells the story of an
alien invasion at or near Woking.

3. A web search for “Michael Condron Woking Martian” leads to
Condron’s web site - Here there are
pictures of the sidewalk/square around the sculpture. One link is of
the figure in the photo quiz. It depicts one form of bacteria that were
destructive to Martians, in the novel. In total, there are  eleven
different slabs, with inlaid metal designs, embedded in the pavement.
All illustrate bacteria.

4. What does this have to do with Hallowe’en? I searched “War of
the Worlds Woking Hallowe’en” and found the answer. On October
30, 1938, the CBS radio network series, Mercury Theatre on the Air,
did a special Hallowe’en episode.  Directed and narrated by Orson
Welles, the story was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel “The War
of the Worlds”. It was quite frightening to many listeners because the
opening section was narrated like an actual newscast and was not
interrupted by commercials. People panicked, believing this actually
was a report of a Martian invasion. This was an excellent example of
the power of radio, before television. The combination of sound
effects or music, plus effective voice inflection could really stir the
listener’s imagination and emotions.

Don Draper
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The coordinates are those of the War of the Worlds Monument
in Woking, England, the birthplace of H. G. Wells.

The picture of the bacterium that ultimately defeated the Martian's attempts
to take over the earth, is carved on a stone as part of the monument.

H. G. Wells' classic War of the Worlds was performed on the radio
on Halloween Eve, October 30, 1938
The broadcast created a major panic when people tuning in late
believed they were listening to a real news report of a Martian invasion.
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
Quiz #231 Results
The Martian Tripod
neighbors, family or friends to calm their fears. Of
course, the real story was not as fantastic as the
radio drama: all that had occurred was that the
Superior Portland cement company's sub-station
suffered a short-circuit with a flash of brilliant light,
and the town's lights went dark. The more
conservative radio-listeners in Concrete (who had
been listening to Edgar Bergen's program on another
station) calmed neighbors by assuring that they
hadn't heard about any "disaster". Reporters heard
soon after of the coincidental blackout of Concrete
and sent the story over the newswire and soon the
town of Concrete was known worldwide.

Edgar Bergen and Don Ameche, who were
continuing their Chase and Sanborn Hour broadcast
Michael Condron's War of the Worlds Sculpture
How Don Solved the Puzzle
War of the Worlds Plaque
(and subsequent interruption) of the music as being 'inside' the narrative.

Seattle CBS affiliate stations KIRO and KVI broadcast Orson Welles' radio drama.
While this broadcast was heard around the country, it made a deep impact in Concrete,
Washington. At the point where the Martian invaders were invading towns and the
countryside with flashes of light and poison gases and the lights were going down,
there was a loud explosion and a power failure plunged almost the entire town of 1,000
into darkness. Some listeners fainted while others grabbed their families to head into the
mountains. Others headed for the hills to guard their moonshine stills. One was said to
have jumped up out of his chair and, in bare feet, run two miles to the center of town.
Some men grabbed their guns, and one Catholic businessman got his wife into the car,
drove to the nearest service station and demanded gasoline. Without paying the
attendant, he rushed to Bellingham, Washington (50 miles away) to see his priest for a
last-minute absolution of sins. He reportedly told the gas-station attendant that paying
for the gas "[wouldn't] make any difference, everyone is going to die!"

Because phone lines as well as electricity were out, residents were unable to call
New York Times Headlines
October 31, 1938
Typing the GPS coordinates
into Google Maps gives you
the location of
the Woking, England
town center.
You told me that a few Quizmasters have asked for more challenging puzzles. I think
you have one with Condron's stainless steel and concrete slab of a Shigella bacterium
at the Woking site of the Martian Walking Engine.

This microbe and other microorganisms destroyed the Martians in H. G. Wells novel. I
have worked with this pathogen in the laboratory and know that it causes really
"scary" infections. Maybe this fits with Halloween scares. Here are a couple of websites
you may find of interest.
                                                                                               Stan Read
Detail of
Walking Machine
Monument at Martian Landing Site
Grover's Mill, NJ
panic, as Hand writes, as "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of

Many listeners were apparently confused. It must be noted that the confusion cannot be
credited entirely to naïveté. Though many of the actors' voices should have been
recognizable from other radio shows, nothing like The War of the Worlds broadcast
had been attempted in the United States, so listeners were accustomed to accepting
newsflashes as reliable.

The problem is that the working script had only three statements concerning the
fictional nature of the program: at the beginning, at 40 minutes, and at the end. In fact,
the warning at the 40-minute mark is the only one after the actors start speaking in
character, and before Welles breaks character at the end. This structure is similar to
earlier Mercury Theatre broadcasts: due to the lack of sponsorship (which often
included a commercial message at the 30-minute mark during an hour-long show),
Welles and company were able to schedule breaks at will, depending on the pacing of a
You might mention in the answer about the difference between traditional longitude and
latitude and gps coordinates.                                                                
Mike Dalton

Very cool - would not have found this without the listed coordinates!       
Nicole Blank

After spending quite some time doing searches for "paramecium concrete" and
exploring ONeills Woking pub (which made me hungry for fish and chip and a cold
Guiness), I realized that the H.G. Wells Centre was nearby.  Ahhh, the bug that killed
the aliens!                                                                                       
Evan Hindman

Here I thought the Martians landed in Grovers Mill, New Jersey and come to find out
they landed in Woking, in the UK.  Who knew?

I haven't read the original but the radio play was broadcast on Halloween in 1938.  This
must be a mosaic of one of the bacteria released by the Martians when they attacked.
Imagine my surprise when I typed the latitude and longitude into Google Earth and I
ended up in England.  I didn't expect that.                                     
Milene Rawlinson

THANK YOU GOOGLE EARTH!!! Saw Jina last week and since I had already
answered the quiz, she said to answer this week's quiz and put her name with mine...
still the operater, that Jina!                                    
Mr. Rick and Quiz Angel Jina Yi

Took some digging, but I believe that is at the HG Wells Centre in London, maybe
under the Martian statue.  Orsen Welles performed his radio broadcast on Halloween of
War of the Worlds in 1938.                                                             
Blair Chambers

Neat!  Making us work a little bit for this one, I see!!  ;)  

Here's something funny - if you are really into bacteria, you can own your own stuffed
toy - it's the new Beanie Baby!  ;)

Yes, I love this catalog! ;)                                                                       Beth Long


Well, the coordinates led me to the H G Wells Centre, where I can have my Asian
wedding party or stage a prize fight, so this must be on the sidewalk out front.  (One
hundred and eleven years ago, HG Wells immortalised Horsell Common in Woking,
Surrey as the setting for the first Martian landing in his classic novel The War of the
Worlds)  H G Wells wrote "War of the Worlds" which was broadcast on 30 Oct 1938
by Orson Welles and it scared the bejebers out of a lot of people.
Marilyn Hamill

I have part of the quiz in that I know the place is Woking, England.  It is where the
Martians were have to first landed in the radio program WAR OF THE WORLDS.  It is
also the home of the first crematorioum in the UK.  I just have to figure out what that
piece of stone with the design has to do there. I know the first Doomsday book was
either written or started there.  i did learn it was a book to compute the taxes owned to
the landowner. I have already forgot what King started the process.

Can you give me another clue regarding the stone?                              
Sharon Martin

You may have lost me on this one; the only connection I see is that this image
celebrates a story of terror and death, both looming large in the celebration of
Halloween. A bacterium, presumably something paramecium-like, from Michael
Condron's sculptural representation of H.G. Wells's "War of the Worlds," in Woking,
Surrey, England. Bacteria caused the demise of the Martians.

It was a great excuse for me to re-read the story, the first time in probably forty or
forty-five years, and even if I have missed the point of this thing, I'm grateful to you
for bringing me back to this old favorite.                                                
Peter Norton
The bacteria continues up the
Martian leg symbolizing the
defeat of the enemy.
Hear original broadcast.

Read original transcript.
Bacteria Slab
Soil strata thrown up
by the alien projectile
The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series
Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on
October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network.
Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells'
novel The War of the Worlds.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast was presented as a series of simulated
news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual Martian invasion was
in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air
was a 'sustaining show' (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the dramatic
effect. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic
in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated.
In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The
program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers
and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but
the episode launched Orson Welles to fame.

Some listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast, and in the atmosphere of tension
and anxiety leading to World War II, took it to be a news broadcast. Newspapers
reported that panic ensued, people fleeing the area, others thinking they could smell
Answer to Quiz #231
November 1, 2009
Comments from Our Readers
In The War of the Worlds, civilization is saved from a conquering Martian invasion by
Earth's smallest creatures, to which they have no resistance.  Bacteria are represented
here by eleven different slabs with inlaid metal designs, which form part of the overall
paving scheme.  One slab appears to be crushed under the Martian Walking Engine's
The War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast
October 30, 1938
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Margaret Paxton                Dave Doucette
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Peter Norton                Jocelyn Thayer
Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.                Diane Burkett
Rober Edward McKenna, QPL
Spooky, Spooky, Yes Indeed!

On Halloween in 30th of October 1938,
Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater crew,
Performed on radio the H.G. Wells "War of the World,"
Causing confusion and fear to more than a few.

A Movie of the same title made much later,
Portrayed unusual machines creating destruction,
Each with a snake like arm ending in a menacing eye,
That reeked devastation in every direction.

These "eyes" of distruction seem to be,
Portrayed as "The Thing on the Ground,"
Cast in the sidewalk at the H.G. Wells Center,
Located in South East England, where it was found.

Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate


The Ballad of The War of the Worlds

Twas a bit of a scare
On Halloween night
The Martians were landing
And ready to fight.

We rolled out the army,
The navy, marines
We well held our ground
'Gainst their fighting machines.

Just when they'd destroyed us
Mom Nature stepped in
Twas not destroying machines,
But germs did them in.

Colleen Fitzpatrick
Understudy to Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate
Thanks to long time Quizmaster Stan Read for suggesting this quiz.
Woking, England
51 19' 14.23'' N, 0 33' 25.44'' W
Click on "More" and
check "Photos" to get
pictures of the town
poison gas or could see flashes of
lightning in the distance.

Richard J. Hand cites studies by unnamed
historians who "calculate[d] that some six
million heard the CBS broadcast; 1.7
million believed it to be true, and 1.2
million were 'genuinely frightened'". While
Welles and company were heard by a
comparatively small audience (in the same
period, NBC's audience was an estimated
30 million), the uproar was anything but
minute: within a month, there were 12,500
newspaper articles about the broadcast or
its impact, while Adolf Hitler cited the
51 19' 14.23'' N, 0 33' 25.44'' W
Halloween Quiz #2 of 2.
narrative. Furthermore, the
show's technique of jumping
between scenes and
narratives made it hard for
the audience to distinguish
between fact and fiction, so
it is understandable that they
were no more likely to
perceive the three statements
of the fictional nature of the
program as being 'outside'
the narrative, than they were
to perceive the introduction
What do these have to do with Halloween?
Comment from Quizmaster Stan Read
Submitter of This Week's Quiz
The photo is a picture of
Michael Condron's
Sculpture of the
Martian Tripod from War
of the Worlds.
on NBC, are often credited with "saving the world". It is said many listeners were
reassured by hearing their tones on a neighboring station.

When a meeting between H.G. Wells and Orson Welles was broadcast on Radio KTSA
San Antonio on October 28, 1940, Wells expressed a lack of understanding of the
apparent panic and that it was, perhaps, only pretense, like the American version of
Halloween, for fun. The two men and their radio interviewer joked about the matter,
though with embarrassment. KTSA, as a CBS affiliate, had carried the broadcast.
In 1895, H. G. Wells was an established writer and he married his second wife,
Catherine Robbins, moving with her to the town of Woking in Surrey, England. Here he
spent his mornings walking or cycling in the surrounding countryside, and his
afternoons writing. The original idea for The War of the Worlds came from his brother,
during one of these walks, pondering on what it might be like if alien beings were to
suddenly descend on the scene and start attacking its inhabitants.

Much of the The War of the Worlds takes place around Woking and nearby suburbs.
The initial landing site of the Martian invasion force, Horsell Common, was an open
area close to Wells' home. In the preface to the Atlantic edition of the novel, he wrote
of his pleasure in riding a bicycle around the area, and imagining the destruction of
cottages and houses he saw, by the Martian heat-ray or the red weed. While writing the
novel, Wells enjoyed shocking his friends by revealing details of the story, and how it
was bringing total destruction to parts of the South London landscape that were familiar
to them. The characters of the artilleryman, the curate and the medical student were
also based on acquaintances in Woking and Surrey.

In the present day, a 7 meter (23 feet) high sculpture of a tripod fighting machine,
entitled 'The Martian', based on the description in The War of the Worlds, stands in
Crown Passage, close to the local railway station, in Woking.
Orson Welles' Obit
New York Times
October 11, 1985
Time Magazine Articles,21428...
Twenty-five years ago Herbert
George Wells was a youngster of
42. His name stood for exuberant
modernity, trailblazing science and a
freely roving intelligence always
starting up some new species of
Utopian hare. But most of all it stood
for exciting tales—plausible
narrations of improbable happenings.

From Young Wells
Jun. 18, 1934

The cause of this amazing,
nationwide panic last Sunday night
was a broadcast by Orson Welles's
CBS Mercury Theatre of the Air of
The War of the Worlds by H. G.
Wells (no relative). Author Wells's
classic pseudo-scientific thriller
about how the men from Mars
invade earth in a flying cylinder (at
first thought to be a meteorite) was
first published in 1898.

From "Boo!"
Nov. 7, 1938

To most of 1,200,000 U. S. radio
listeners who ran for the exits,
peered down the pike for Martian
invaders or otherwise conducted
themselves oddly on the night before
Halloween 1938, the Orson Welles
broadcast based on H. G. Wells's
The War of the Worlds remains a
booful, baleful memory.

From Anatomy of a Panic
Apr. 15, 1940

Wells was the last of the high-level
saturation prophets. His success as a
futurist was based on a supreme
confidence in man's worst instincts.
For Wells, an atheist, theological
good and evil did not exist. Original
sin resided in the pinkish gray folds
of the brain and expressed itself
through brutish linkage, which
operated the prehensile thumb.
Given tools enough and time, Homo
sapiens would turn the most
charming toy, the most fetching
theory, into a weapon.

From The Days of the Prophet
By R.Z. Sheppard
Aug. 20, 1973

In 1938, he [Orson Wells] elevated
radio drama by bringing the Mercury
Theatre to the air and, on October
30th, offered a Mischief Night
adaptation of 'The War of the
Worlds' -- a sensation when
thousands of listeners took fright,
and flight, from the story of a
Martian colonization of America.

From That Old Feeling: Mercury,
God of Radio
By Richard Corliss
Aug. 27, 2001

Out of the rubble rise giant alien
ships that walk on three spindly legs
and whose deadly heat rays not only
destroy civilization as we know it
but also threaten to split up Tom
Cruise's latest movie family. The
new film is a toss-up with George
Pal's very watchable 1953 version:
the special effects are even better
here, the drama even lamer.

From Running from the Rays
By Richard Corliss
Jul. 03, 2005

None of [the best picture nominees]
had special effects and this was an
exceptional year in that sense. But it
was also a year that brought us the
last Star Wars, one of the best
Batman ever made; it brought us
Narnia, the great King Kong, and I
got a chance to squeeze War of the
Worlds in there, where I worked
very hard not to allow the special
effects to upstage the characters in
the movie.

rom Spielberg at the Revolution
By Desa Philadelphia
Mar. 14, 2006

And it was all fiction, the
culmination of two years of secret
planning by television journalist
Philippe Dutilleul and his colleagues
at the French-language public
broadcaster. The ensuing panic
didn't quite approach that created by
Orson Welles' War of the Worlds
[EM] acknowledged as the model
for the Belgian prank [EM] but more
than 30,000 phone calls flooded the
broadcaster's switchboard, and the
channel's website crashed as
concerned viewers sought

From Belgium's "War of the
By James Graff
Dec. 15, 2006