JOPLIN, Mo. — Across the state thousands of Missourians received a puzzling message on their phones Tuesday… ‘Emergency alert’ from Gotham City about a suspicious vehicle with the license plate UKIDME.

This was neither joke nor riddle, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, but rather an unfortunate accident. Around 4:52 p.m., cellphones buzzed with an automatic alert reading, “GOTHAM CITY MO PURPLE/GREEN 1978 DODGE 3700 GT MO UKIDME.” 

That’s the car driven by the Joker’s goons in the 1989 ‘Batman’ film. Fortunately, one didn’t need a Caped Crusader to solve this mystery.

Minutes after the alert was sent, state police sent word the alert was a test message accidentally sent across the state.

Capt John J. Hotz states in a media release, “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. 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.”

Numerous jokes and memes began appearing almost immediately on social media, like the following image, “marked safe…”.

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