10 Times TV Broadcasts Were Hijacked With Cryptic and Scary Messages

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 take over 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, explicit content during the Super Bowl, and men who just think the cable bill is too damn high.

  • The Max Headroom Incident

    The Max Headroom Incident
    Video: YouTube

    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.

  • Solidarity TV

    Solidarity TV
    Video: YouTube

    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. 

  • Zombie Alert On The Steve Wilkos Show

    Zombie Alert On The Steve Wilkos Show
    Video: YouTube

    It started off as one of the typical 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 2013an 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."

  • Southern Television Broadcast Interruption

    Southern Television Broadcast Interruption
    Video: YouTube

    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 six minutes. Most people generally believe this is a hoax, 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?

  • Mayday Interruption

    Mayday Interruption
    Video: YouTube

    In Australia in 2007, a broadcast of Canadian television series Mayday brought a chilling television broadcast interruption. For six minutes, a haunting audio loop started playing unexpectedly, repeating over and over, "Jesus Christ, help us all Lord."

    Even now, it's unclear if the act was intentional, or if it was an actual glitch of some kind. After a short time, it was discovered that the audio was from a news program that aired the previous year that showed a civilian pleading for his life as insurgents fired on his truck. 

  • Art Bell Radio Station Hijacking

    Art Bell Radio Station Hijacking
    Video: YouTube

    Talk show host Art Bell was hosting his radio show in 1997 when he received a call from someone who claimed to have worked for Area 51. The caller is nervous, paranoid and seemingly on the run as he claims he doesn't have much time before the government finds him and shuts him down. The oddest thing about this is that as he starts revealing secret information, Art's whole radio station is taken off the air.

    They can't explain why it did that, but many theorists claim it was the government who took over the broadcast to stop the man from revealing too much. Things got even weirder a few months later with a person claiming to be the same man called in and admitted it was all a hoax, but the general public who had listened to him talk dispute the fact that it was the same man at all, but rather just another way for the government to cover up the leak in information.