Television and radio are broadcasting mediums that have captured the world for decades. Before there were plasma screens in every living room, there were radios. Ever since the early 20th century, we have felt at ease being connected and widely informed through a broadcasting medium. We all do it: come home from the office or school or any place else, and go straight to our favorite spot on the couch and turn on our televisions. On the contrary, what if you were sitting down watching your favorite program when reality was warped right before your very eyes and that same broadcasting platform was used for something else. What if you saw or heard something eerie pop up while watching your favorite show? Would an unexplained broadcast interruption bother you? In this list, we will go through the 15 eeriest broadcast interruptions. These interruptions include intergalactic beings, zombie apocalypses and even declarations of war all made public on our very own television set or radio.
15 Max Headroom Pt. 1
The first time America was ever met with the iconic Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion was during the 9 o clock News on WGN in Chicago, Illinois. On the night of November 22nd, 1987 Chicago viewers were watching highlights from the Chicago Bears v. Detroit Lions game earlier that evening. Pictured above the screen suddenly went black for about 15 seconds when finally, Max Headroom popped up on screen. Of course this wasn’t the real animated character Max Headroom but rather a man in a Max Headroom mask and sunglasses. The unforgettable metal background shifted behind the mysterious hijacker, as nothing but white noise played before the intrusion was corrected by the network. Though the broadcast intrusion happened for no more than 30 seconds, Chicago took notice, however the 9 o clock broadcast wouldn’t be the last we would see of the golden haired villain.
14 Naughty Content On The Disney Channel?! WTF
On a Tuesday morning in early May, 2007 at around 9:30 am, several parents and children were watching the Disney Channel show Handy Many. It was just like any other Tuesday morning broadcast of a children’s show, much like the still of a clip showed above, when something unusual happened in New Jersey. The broadcast was interrupted by a scene from an X rated film! Yes you, read that right, a children’s show was interrupted by a completely uncensored X rated film. The broadcast lasted for several minutes uninterrupted. Comcast, the cable network responsible for the mix up, has never commented on how or why the intrusion happened, nor will they comment on how many homes it reached. So how does something this disturbing happen? Our best guess is the local cable company providing the service for that region might have mixed up the broadcasting from an adult channel to a children’s channel. However, why did it just so happen to be a children’s show? There are also possibilities it was a 3rd party trying to play a gross prank. Either way, the parents and children who were witness to the interference are unlikely to soon forget.
13 What Do Playboy TV and the Old Testament Have in Common?
On the night of Sunday, September 6th, 1987 Playboy’s television broadcasting network was intentionally sabotaged with a bizarre text only religious message appeared on screen. During Playboy’s broadcast of a film called Three Daughters the screen went black. Then appeared a white text that said “Thus sayeth the Lord thy God. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Creepy right? The passages were reportedly taken from the books of Exodus and Matthew. Law enforcement finally were able to pinpoint where the signal intrusion came from, made traceable by the equipment used, serving as a digital fingerprint for the guilty party. 3 years later a man named Thomas Haynie was finally identified as the culprit, allegedly Haynie also interfered with a broadcast on American Exxxtacy that same night.
12 "It's Our Duty to Boycott the Election!"
In 1985 a state-run Polish television station was hijacked by a communist party that called themselves Solidarity. It was a broad political party that believed in pushing for worker’s rights and social justice. This was following the Polish government largely increasing the price of food, while the working wages remained the same. Before the 1985 hijacking several things had occurred between Poland and the political party. For an entire 2 years the Polish government decided to impose Marshall law in order to eradicate the party, whom at the time was affiliated with by a third of those who were legal working age. Finally, in 1985 a standard news broadcast was being aired when a text appeared on screen over the broadcast. It read “enough price increases, lies and repressions. Solidarity Torun.” The logo for Solidarity also popped on the screen, finally before the broadcast cut out the screen said “it is our duty to boycott the election.” Later, four astronomy students at Poland’s University of Torun were found to be the hijackers.
11 Who's That Old Couple On Screen?!
On a sunny July day of 2007, ABC broadcasting affiliate WJLA’s signal was jammed and something eerie popped up on the screen. As viewer’s were enjoying daily broadcasting, a grainy old photo of an elder couple popped up on the screen. The picture remained stagnant on the screen for several seconds with no sound before it was jerked off screen. Creepy right? Officials from the cable company say that it was just a genuine programming mix up from an earlier advertisement for the Oprah Winfrey Show. However, upon researching this topic I was compelled to find a video or otherwise a photo. Strangely enough, all videos on YouTube matching the eerie description of what took place on July 13th, 2007 were taken down. One was still up but was not viewable due to restricted access. Due to the wide range of viewers WJLA has on a regular basis, surely a large amount of people saw the broadcast and had to have documented it somewhere. Strangely enough, it’s as though every single account from this eerie intrusion has been suspiciously removed, despite it’s so called innocent explanation.
10 What Happened During the 2006 Lebanon War?!
On the morning of July 12th 2006, a group known as the Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, fired rockets onto the Israeli border. This act was predated all the way up to 20 years prior when Israel occupied parts of Lebanon. The Hezbollah fighters were a group that was dedicated to ridding Lebanon of any occupants, right next to Israel on the list of enemies was America and France. This act would lead to a 34 day conflict, known as the Lebanon war. Over 1,000 Lebanese people’s lives were lost as a result of the conflict, most of them being civilians. During the time of this conflict, Israel hijacked Hezbollah’s program Al Manar TV to leave them a chilling message. The intrusion, shown above starts off grainy and hard to see, however, once the image clears we are able to see the graphic war images. Israel broadcasted military videos of dead Hezbollah fighters. In the final seconds, we see an image of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, 3 gunshots are heard and a voice says “your day is coming.”
9 "Jesus Christ, Help Us All Lord!"
On January 3rd, 2007 Australian viewers of the Seven Network were at home enjoying a documentary called Mayday. Mayday is a Canadian documentary cataloguing the various cases of air disasters. While viewing the program, the audio to the show cuts out and is replaced by an eerie loop of just one phrase. In a thick, near southern, American accent the television repeated over and over “Jesus, Christ help us all Lord” for nearly 6 minutes. If that doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, watch the video above taken and uploaded by a viewer of the incident. The incident caused shockwaves and eventually lead to claims by the network, they denied any intrusion at all claiming the audio was from the original broadcast. They also claimed the voice said “Jesus Christ one of the Nazarenes”. The eeriest part of all of it? We can clearly hear in the video above the voice says “Jesus Christ help us all Lord”, why would the network deny not only the intrusion but what was said?
8 Czech Television Accidentally Broadcasts Nuclear Explosion! Yikes!
Some of us may be unfamiliar with Czech television, but one Sunday morning, the previously routine programming of a show called Panorama gained world-wide attention. The show Panorama is designed to attract tourists to the area with scenic shots of Prague and other popular parts of the area. On the morning of June 17th, 2007 however, those watching Panorama watched in horror as the camera picked up on a lot more than green rolling hills. In the video above, we see a routine image of panoramic landscape, when suddenly a bright white/yellow flash covers the screen. Was it a glare? As the bright white light starts to uncover the frame, to everyone’s horror we see a large mushroom cloud of smoke. There on live Sunday morning broadcast, Panorama had just captured footage of an atomic bomb. The hijacking was so seamless and realistic it that it took government officials several minutes to confirm that Prague had not just been bombed. We would later learn, it was a twisted performance piece by a group called Ztohoven.
7 You Will See Such Pretty Things
By the time 2008 rolled around broadcast hijacking was not a hugely popular thing despite technological advances. However, during a news broadcast following the presidential election black, white and grey bars appeared on screen. The screen read “we present a special presentation” with the words mirror imaged below, as seen above. Ok, but who was we? The video went on to read “you will see such pretty things”. Following that statement, the video shows several disturbing images of human heads. The black and white images flashed and then the screen read “you are ill, we just want to fix you”. As if we were being spoken to by an omniscient group of people even more shocking statements emerged on screen. The next text read “what hides in your mind?” only to answer their own question with “we have already seen it.” The broadcast interruption operated on such a high frequency it reportedly caused hallucinations and vomiting. Eerily enough both were addressed in the video with the warning that we would “see such pretty things” and that we were “ill”.
6 War of the World, Not the Tom Cruise Version
We all saw the War of the Worlds in 2005 with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, but well before this Hollywood blockbuster was the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938. Before Welles graced the silver screen with his claim to fame Citizen Kane he was a Broadway actor, starring in everything from The Cradle Will Rock to Macbeth. The night before Halloween 1938 was a night America wouldn’t soon forget thanks to the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles. The broadcast was so good, so realistic and done in such a fashion that citizens actually believed it was happening inciting widespread panic. The broadcast was a fictional tale of an alien invasion here on earth. However, with mounting tensions pushing us toward World War II, America was already at the edge of their seat. It is unclear to this day how it was possible that so many people didn’t realize the broadcast was fiction, because it had been promoted prior to the event. Needless to say, upon hearing the broadcast people went mad. There’s even rumors that the broadcast was responsible for people fleeing their homes, and even committing suicide.
5 Max Headroom Pt. 2
You all remember Max Headroom from above right? We warned you that you hadn’t seen the last of this infamous signal pirate. Max Headroom was able to penetrate yet another signal that same night about two hours later on WTTW at around 11:30 pm in Chicago. However, this time he was much more successful. The signal of an episode of Doctor Who cutout to once again show us the man in the mask with the moving metal background, but this time he talks. He starts off by calling Chuck Swirsky a nerd and a “frickin’ liberal.” He then holds up a Pepsi can and shouts the Coke slogan “catch the wave”. Undoubtedly an homage to the fact that the real Max Headroom was a Coke spokesperson at the time. Before you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, the masked t.v. bandit congratulates himself for stealing CBS going on to say he’s created a masterpiece for all the world’s newspapers. Then before the broadcast cuts out the mysterious man in the mask has his pants down and is being spanked by an off screen female. He shouts “they’re coming to get me!” before the signal cuts out for good.
4 Coast to Coast Am's Spooky Area 51 Caller
Art Bell was the host of a radio talk show called Coast to Coast AM. Bell was no stranger to the discussion of strange topics like aliens, conspiracy and the occult. However, on September 12th, 1997 even Art Bell would get the shock of his life when this mysterious call came in. Previously in the show Bell was trying to encourage callers to call in whom had been employees of Area 51 to discuss what goes on at the mysterious fortress. At around 1 am, Bell got a frantic call from a man claiming to be a very recently medically discharged employee of Area 51. During the eerie call, the unidentified male is in hysterics, letting us know he doesn’t have much time because “they” will triangulate his location soon. The caller reports that those who work in Area 51 have made contact with “extra dimensional beings” whom are what we refer to as “aliens”. He warns us that they are not who they appear to be, infiltrating parts of our military and government trying to get the population down to a manageable number that is “easier to control”. The line then went dead.
3 Steve Wilkos Warns Us About Zombies?!
During an episode of the Steve Wilkos Show in Great Falls, Montana a broadcast interruption right out of the movies took place. The emergency warning noise radiated through the television sets as a blue ribbon with white text appeared. The text read that the affected counties were being given an official emergency notice. After the familiar warning noise cleared a voice said “the bodies of the dead are attacking the living”. Yikes! You read that right, according to the broadcast a full on zombie apocalypse was happening in Montana. However, the broadcast didn’t stop there. The voice then told us that any attempt to apprehend the bodies or make contact with them in any way was ill advised because they were considered “extremely dangerous.” The emergency alert reached such a wide audience, an official statement had to be given that the alert was false.
2 A Message From Vrillon
This next broadcast interruption was referred to drably as the Southern Television broadcast interruption by most people. However, though the name of the scandal doesn’t do the scandal any justice, could any name really be fitting of the events that took place on November 26th, 1977. At around 5:10 pm a news broadcast was interrupted by a voice claiming to represent an “intergalactic association”, he called himself Vrillon. This extraterrestrial with an English accent spoke to us in occasional static over the grainy and ever changing on screen photo. The voice mentioned that he had made contact with “brothers and sisters before us” as a means of respect. Vrillon engaged us in a speech that lasted nearly 6 minutes, detailing that if we do not stop the destructive path we’re on that we would be stopped. The warning message recited that we were to put down our weapons and that the time of war had passed. Before the speech was over the being that called himself Vrillon told us that there was a New Age of Aquarius and that unless we released ourselves from our guns and false idols we would not make it to the next level of evolution.
1 The Kaluga Incident
In the 60’s the U.S.S.R. was no stranger to broadcast signal intrusion. However, unlike most incidents on this list, this particular broadcast interruption from 1966 could’ve been the event to start a nuclear war. Though recordings of the incident are long gone, what could’ve happened as a result of the intrusion will haunt you forever. It’s reported that in 1966 an unidentified young male hacked into Kaluga’s broadcasting system to make a frantic announcement that a nuclear war had broken out with the United States. This broadcast was made during an infamous period of tension between the United States and the U.S.S.R. known as the Cold War. Just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, had the U.S.S.R. felt they saw any truth in the broadcast, a nuclear war could’ve been the consequence. Most people believe that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest we had ever come to the end of all civilization, however the Kaluga Incident could’ve done the very same.