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Any reader who has enjoyed sci-fi flick War of the Worlds will doubtless sympathise with the inhabitants of the Romanian village who legged it en masse when confronted with multicoloured lights in the night sky.

Every man, woman and child from the eastern hamlet of Cristinesti took to the hills after convincing themselves that they were about to be invaded by aliens. Local Costel Roman told Romanian daily Adevarul: "Everybody was out on the streets and wondering what to do if the aliens landed. We believed we were seeing UFOs and some old legends from around here about clocks stopping, animals going crazy and a previous UFO landing in the area suddenly came to our minds. We were terrified."

Mercifully, the authorities decided to do a quick police investigation before deploying a flying wing bearing nuclear weapons. This proved a good move, since the lights were quickly identified as disco illuminations from the nearby town of Herta. The officers eventually persuaded villagers that the greatest threat they faced was from dodgy eastern European drum'n'bass and that they should return to their homes.

Costel Roman summed up the general feeling of relief when he said: "We were so happy when we heard we had escaped an alien invasion." ®

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