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Missouri residents were surprised Tuesday night to receive an “emergency alert” on their mobile phones that referenced Batman’s hometown of Gotham City. Minutes later, residents received an all-clear message that explained what was really going on, but it was certainly a mystery worthy of Batman’s iconic foe the Riddler. 

A Comic Book Worthy Moment

On Tuesday night in Missouri, a state-wide emergency alert went out with a puzzling message that had residents scratching their heads. The alert went out around 4:52 pm, right as many people were preparing to end their workday. The message read, “GOTHAM CITY MO PURPLE/GREEN 1978 DODGE 3700 GT MO UKIDME.” 

References Abound

While some, like this writer, wondered if Gotham City was closer to Earth City or Eureka, MO, others quickly picked up on the reference. For those who don’t know, Gotham City is Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne’s, crime-ridden hometown. Purple and green are the main colors his famous enemy the Joker enjoys the most, and “UKIDME” was the license plate on a car used by the villain’s goons in the 1989 Batman film.

Shortly after the original emergency alert went out, a second message hit residents’ phones, this time alerting them that the first message was merely a test. That second alert was sent to residents’ phones at about 5:21pm, so residents only had to live with the mystery for about 30 minutes before all was explained.

It’s good to know that the Joker isn’t out and about in Missouri bringing his unique form of chaos and havoc on the streets. It’s also good to know that at least one person in charge of the emergency alert system has a pretty wicked sense of humor and an on-point grasp of famed comic book characters. There may be a town not from St. Louis named Metropolis, IL, but as of this writing, there is still no Gotham City, MO.

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