Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident


I got a copy of Max Headroom TV Series to remember old times, and I decided to check wikipedia about it, and I found something really interesting, the

Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident

Ohh shit yeahhh, and there is the original video for you

but first... let's see what the Chicago Tribune of November 30, 1987 said about it...

Dr. Who, the galaxy-roaming "Time Lord" of Channel 11-WTTW's series, came up against some real science a week ago Sunday night and lost. Somebody with a rare knack for electronics and a strange sense of humor took over WTTW's signal. For 88 seconds-- it must have seemed much longer --fans of Dr. Who watched Max Headroom, the high-tech TV caricature, gabbling unintelligibly and being spanked on his bare behind with a fly swatter.

Earlier the same joker had interrupted WGN-Channel 9's highlights of the Bears game with the ghost of Max Headroom. Both stations and the Federal Communications Commission are doing all they can to find this invader of the airwaves and correct him or her, not with a fly swatter.

The meeting of Dr. Who and the electronic pirate is a science-fiction fantasy in itself. To his doting fans, Dr. Who seems like a real person; to just about everybody, the video invader seems fictional-- a weirdo who uses amazing technological skill to perpetrate a silly stunt involving a parody of a parody, and now has technicians busily thinking up new ways to prevent such stunts. Scientific progress does seem to be more fun than it used to be.

This is the **Original Upload** - now with an Improved Quality!

During a broadcast of the Dr. Who episode "Horror of Fang Rock" on WTTW Chicago Channel 11, on Sunday November 22nd, 1987, at around 11:15pm, a Video "Pirate" wearing a Max Headroom mask broke into the signal and transmitted one of the weirdest, unauthorized things ever to hit the Chicago airwaves.

Earlier in the evening on the same day, during the Nine O'Clock News on Channel 9 (Yes, a completely different channel) the Max Headroom Pirate also broke in - although it was for a much shorter time and there was no audio.

Needless to say, Dan Rohn (the sports reporter) was a bit flustered.

And no, he was never caught.

My Take: The guy was probably high and/or drunk. Even with the audio distortion, his ramblings don't make much sense. Here's what I am able to make out:

"He's a freaky nerd!"

"This guy's better than Chuck Swirsky." [another WGN sportscaster at the time]

"Oh Jesus!"

"Catch the wave..." [reference to a Coke commercial at the time of which Max Headroom was a spokesperson]

"Your love is fading..."

"I stole CBS."

"Oh, I just made a giant masterpiece printed all over the greatest world newspaper nerds." [??]

"My brother [mother?] is wearing the other one."

"It's dirty..."

"They're coming to get me..."

(Note also that he appears to be wearing a [rude word deleted] on his middle finger.)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008



So true... But, who can live without it?
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