Southern Television broadcast intrusion (lost real-time footage of television hijack; 1977)

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Hanningtontransmitter.jpg

The Hannington transmitter, which was hijacked in 1977.

Status: Lost

The Southern Television hijacking was a television intrusion incident that occurred on November 26th, 1977, at 5:10 p.m. The hijack managed to override the UHF audio signal transmitted by the Hannington transmitter, while distorting the UHF video signal that was transmitting ITN News with news reporter Andrew Gardner.

Details

Following the hijack, there was no agreed-upon version of the pirate broadcast's content, save that it involved an individual claiming to be an alien - variously remembered as "Gillon", "Vrillon" or "Asteron" - calling himself a representative of an "Intergalactic Association" and briefly warning viewers that they only had a short time to either learn to live in peace and remove all "weapons of evil", or end up leaving the galaxy altogether.[1][2][3]

Ultimately, the message was much longer and (coincidentally or not) referenced several core tenets of the New Age spiritual movement, claiming that mankind was on the verge of entering a new Age of Aquarius if only they would eschew the evils of commerce and instead open their hearts and minds to the universe's 'cosmic truth and love.' [4] The speech lasted around six minutes, with the audio returning to normal during an episode of Looney Tunes. The hijacker’s identity remains unknown.

Availability

There was some confusion regarding what media of this broadcast intrusion was missing. For years, it was assumed that both the audio and the footage of it occurring in real-time were publicly available, thanks to a frequently circulated video. However, the commonly seen video is a fake. Evidence confirming this includes how the reporter in the video is Cliff Michelmore during a report for local Southern television news, rather than Andrew Gardner reporting for ITN News. Additionally, a Cartoon Network logo can be seen in the Looney Tunes footage, Cartoon Network not even existing until 1992.[5] Ultimately, no known footage of the event occurring has been found.[6][7]

However, the broadcast intrusion's audio has been found. On 16th August 2008, YouTuber ParaNormal uploaded both the intrusion, and two news reports concerning the incident.[8] A higher quality version was also available on the MB21 website.[9]

Gallery

Videos

Audio of the hijack.

Images

See Also

References