Some of you may be familiar with this one but for those that aren't, here's a quick rundown of the events of Sunday November 22nd 1987
- During the sports section of the 9pm news broadcast on Americas WGN network, an unauthorised signal over powered the stations transmitters and was broadcast for over a minute. The signal had no audio, but the video was of someone in a Max Headroom mask gesturing at the camera. Some stills of this are shown below
- The second of these incidents occured during the evening broadcast of Dr Who on WTTW. This time the signal had audio and viewers were witness to a unintelligble rant from the 'fake' Max Headroom character, a video of this interuption can be seen below
We have cleaned the audio up as much as possible in this version of the video, the original source we took ours from is www.fuzzymemories.tv if you want to compare it to the original
I have included this translation and explanation for some of what is said in the tape, any corrections or suggestions are more then welcome, just leave a comment….
Because he's a freaky nerd
I think I'm better than Chuck Swirsky
Catch the wave
Your love is fading
Humming Theme Tune To Catch Cargo
I still see the X
Oh my piles
(Appears to be a sound effect of somebody crapping their pants)
Oh, I just laid a giant masterpiece for all the greatest world's newspaper nerds
My brother is wearing the other one
But its dirty
They're coming to get me!
(Female Asistant) Bend Over Bitch
Oh, do it!
Chuck was a sports broadcaster with WGN -TV at the time of the incident
Catch The Wave
Catch The Wave was the slogan being used at the time by Coca Cola. The Max Headroom charcter was advertising for coca-cola at the time and we've dug up one of these adverts with the slogan in below
Clutch Cargo Theme Tune
The theme tune the pirate hums during the broadcast is to the american animated TV series Clutch Cargo
I just laid a giant masterpiece for all the greatest world's newspaper nerds
The WGN station that was originaly attacked is short for Worlds Greatest Newspaper, could the pirate be an ex WGN technical employee?
A few things we noticed that nobody else seems to have picked up on. After the pirate says the line 'Oh my piles' what at first appeared to be interference and distortion, is actually a sound effect of somebody crapping their pants! This makes the next line ' just laid a giant masterpiece for all the greatest worlds newspaper nerds' make even more sense.
Another discovery we made after enhancing and filtering the audio is that his female assistant actually speaks towards the end of the video. She says the line 'Bend over bitch'. This was something that we noticed towards the end of the process, it was so subtle it was almost missed!
This is an amazing incident made even more so by the fact that it is captured on tape! Whoever did this had to have had some quite advanced knowledge and equipment, but in my opinion all the evidence points to a disgruntled TV-Station employee. I cant really see that the pirate took control of 5 seperate transmitter locations using a DIY microwave transmitter, I think this was done internally by a disgruntled employee.
I think that after being discovered and thwarted in his attempt to take over his original target WGN the pirate attatcked WTTW as a last resort, the introduction to his video message would have made much more sense if it had have been broadcast as intended in the middle of a sports programme. The majority of the message comes across as rubbish, but it all sounds like insider talk to me, little jokes that only employees of the station would understand.
Wouldn't surprise me if the TV station had a very good idea of who the culprit was…..
Maybe one day, the truth will be known 🙂
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