Television broadcast hijackings must be an incredibly scary thing for the audience. Imagine watching your favorite show and suddenly getting bombarded with a weird and cryptic message that you don't understand or creeps you out. As technology continues to advance, it has become harder and harder for rogue individuals to hijack television airwaves to get their message across. This is a list of some of the oddest television broadcast hijackings ever and as you will see, a lot of the major ones are from the 1980s. You'll find a little of everything on this list of weird TV events, ranging from deranged madmen to supposed alien broadcasts, porn during the Super Bowl, and men who just think the cable bill is too damn high.
The Max Headroom Incident
It was a television signal hijacking right out of a horror movie. On November 22, 1987, Chicago saw one of the most disturbing television interruptions ever. During a broadcast of Doctor Who, viewers were suddenly bombarded with a pirate broadcast featuring a man disguised as television character Max Headroom. For close to 90 seconds, viewers were terrified by the man's almost unintelligible ranting as he chanted Coke slogans, moaned and screamed while playing with gloves, and was spanked by a woman in a French maid outfit. The most terrifying thing about the whole ordeal is that the man has never been identified and his motives remain unclear. He's still out there somewhere, probably laughing his head off about the whole ordeal.
In September 1985, four astronomers in Poland used a home computer and transmitter to interrupt a broadcast in the city of Torun. They superimposed messages over state-run broadcasts that read "Enough price increases, lies, and repressions. Solidarity Torun," as well as "It is our duty to boycott the election." The men did this to show support to the labor movement, Solidarity, and to protest against unfair government treatment. The four men were eventually caught, but because they were such high-ranking men in the Polish scientific community, they were only given probation and a light fine.
Steve Wilkos Show Interrupted by Zombie Alert
It started off as one of the stereotypical, annoying alert broadcasts you hear right in the middle of your favorite show, but a short time into the announcement, it was clear something was wrong. During a broadcast of the Steve Wilkos Show in Montana in 2013, an alert starting scrolling across the screen. It looked normal until a computerized voice starting talking about how they were in the beginnings of a zombie apocalypse and the dead were rising and "attacking the living." It was nice enough to end with a warning to stay away from the zombies because "they are considered extremely dangerous." It makes you wonder: if something like this did happen in real life, is this how they would spread the news?
Southern Television Broadcast Interruption
Were we visited by some unknown alien species back in 1977? If you believe the Southern Television broadcast interruption that occurred in the United Kingdom, that's exactly what happened. Everything was broadcasting as normal, when suddenly things went haywire and a voice started speaking, saying he was a representative of an Intergalactic Association that had come to deliver a message to Earth.
The voice said that all of our weapons of evil had to be removed and we only had a short time to live in peace. The transmission lasted for an incredibly long six minutes and has cemented itself in popular culture. Most people generally believe this is a hoax (keyword: generally), but due to the fact that a culprit was never discovered, who's to say it wasn't really an alien trying to get us to be a little more peaceful?