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Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol are saying "Holy smokes, Batman!" this week after an emergency alert was mistakenly sent out to mobile devices statewide.
The erroneous message, meant to be part of a test of the state's blue alert system on Tuesday, read "Gotham City MO purple/green 1978 Dodge 3700 GT," seemingly a direct reference to the type of vehicle used by the Joker's gang in the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman.
The alert also mentioned a license plate saying "UKIDME," yet another reference to the iconic DC Comics villain immortalized in that film by Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson.
Soon after the message was sent out, the highway patrol sent out a message on its official Twitter account with a visual of the error, writing, "This was meant to be a test message, THERE WAS NO ALERT."
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"Today, a routine test of Missouri's Blue Alert system was inadvertently sent to wireless devices statewide. The Patrol regularly tests the Blue Alert system to ensure it works properly when needed," the release read.
"During the test, an option was incorrectly selected, allowing the message to be disseminated to the public. There is no Emergency Alert at this time. The Patrol appreciates the public's understanding and support of the Emergency Alert program."
This was meant to be a test message, THERE WAS NO ALERT. pic.twitter.com/VZMfEHI28c
— MSHP General HQ (@MSHPTrooperGHQ) January 18, 2022
Presumably, someone within the highway patrol knows quite a bit about Batman lore, and specifically the ride and preferred colors (purple and green) of the Dark Knight's arch-nemesis the Joker.
Following Nicholson's iteration, the character has since been portrayed by two more actors on the big screen, each earning an Academy Award for their respective portrayals.
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Heath Ledger posthumously won a Best Supporting Oscar for his turn as the vicious clown-faced villain in 2008's The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan.