With the Baltimore Ravens just scoring their fourth touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers and going to a 28-6 lead the crowd got something they didn’t expect – the power went out with just over 13 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. For Louisiana Superdome and Superbowl officials it was an embarrassing moment. With over 100 million viewers watching one of the world’s premiere sporting events, it was something truly out of the ordinary. Perhaps, so much out of the ordinary that we can go for those extra yards seeking an answer for why it happened and bring up the extraordinary – like the power outage that happened in the Science Fiction movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. In the 1951 classic, extraterrestrials arranged a world-wide power outage to get the attention of world leaders. Did we just witness something extraordinary happen at the Superbowl?
The background of the power outage is pretty straight forward as explained by the Chicago Tribune:
At 7:38 p.m. CST, early in the third quarter of the game, the overhead lights affixed to the stadium roof over the 49ers' side went out. Subsequently, lights on the Baltimore Ravens' side went out, too. A few minutes later, the public-address announcer told the fans, "We are experiencing a temporary delay in electrical service."
Chicago Tribune Reporters were able to get in touch with the power company and explained what they learned:
New Orleans electric utility Entergy Corp said it was not the cause of a partial loss of power. The company said the problem that caused some lights to go out in the Louisiana Super Dome was due to an issue with the Super Dome's own equipment.
Is the source of the power outage simple mechanical breakdown – an out of the ordinary event? Or perhaps like the San Francisco 49ers seeking a hail Mary pass at the time, we go for the extraordinary.
In the Day the Earth Stood Still, an alien called Klaatu comes up with the idea of a 30 minute power outage to get the attention of Earth governments so that they allow scientists to meet to discuss the alien’s proposals for nuclear disarmament and world peace. With more than seventy years elapsing since the first UFO sightings and alleged communications with extraterrestrials, could aliens have lost patience with the US government? Could aliens have chosen to demonstrate their power by orchestrating a power outage at the New Orleans Superdome during the biggest moment in the US sporting calendar? Coincidently, the Superdome power outage was approximately 30 minutes, just like in the movie. On the other hand, it may have been little more than an out of the ordinary breakdown of the Super Dome's electrical equipment. One thing is clear, February 3, 2013 will be remembered as the Day Superbowl fans stood still.