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10 Oddest Television Broadcast Hijackings of All Time

6. In 2007, during a broadcast of the preschool show, Handy Manny, in Lincroft, New Jersey, the show was replaced with A child-inappropriate video. Comcast, the cable network, promised to get to the bottom of it and make sure it would never happen again.

Handy Manny
Image credits: Nelvana

What would you do if your child was watching a cartoon and suddenly a child-inappropriate, sexual video started appearing right on the TV screen? Well, it happened in 2007, when in Lincroft, New Jersey, parents and children were watching during the broadcast of the preschool show Handy Mandy on the Disney Channel.

The broadcast was suddenly replaced by a completely uncensored, X-rated film. It lasted for several minutes playing uninterrupted. Comcast, the cable network, promised to get to the bottom of the incident. However, they never commented or revealed how the intrusion happened.

The best guess is someone hacked the cable network and played a prank, or it could have been a broadcasting mix-up from an adult channel to a children’s channel. (Source)

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7. On November 26, 1977, a broadcast in a television station in southern England was hijacked by a man referring to himself as “Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command.” He interrupted the regular programming for six straight minutes to give a message about humanity’s failure. The man behind this incident was never found.

In 1977, the broadcast of a television station in southern England was hijacked by an eerie man. The evening news was being broadcast on the TV when suddenly the anchor’s voice began to distort and a buzzing, deep voice interrupted.

A man started speaking in an English accent and started referring to himself as “Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command.” He said he has been trying to make contact with our brothers and sisters before us.

For years we have seen them as lights in the skies, and now he speaks to us in peace and wisdom. He said that we are on a destructive path that needs to be stopped, and it’s time to put down our weapons as the time of war has passed.

His speech lasted for six long minutes, and the message ended with the station’s regular broadcasting of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Later, the station apologized for the interruption, and they described it as a breakthrough of the sound broadcast.

Many viewers were terrified of aliens contacting us through the TV. As of now, no one knows who was the man behind the message that was considered to be a hoax. (Source)

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8. In 1938, on the night of Halloween, a New York radio station called Columbia Broadcasting System was playing War of the Worlds. During the broadcasting, music interrupted the play and news started broadcasting about explosions on the surface of Mars and a UFO landing in New Jersey.

On Halloween night, 30 October 1938, a New York radio station known as Columbia Broadcasting System was playing an hour-long drama, War of the Worlds, based on a novel of H.G Wells.

It was a normal radio broadcast, suddenly, a piece of music interrupted the play with the news that explosions have been seen on Mars. Then, the music continued and reported that a UFO had been seen landing in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

People listening to the broadcast believed the news and started calling the police. According to the New York Times, there were traffic jams of people trying to evacuate the East Coast. However, the media exaggerated the situation. Very few people believed the news.

Later, it was revealed that the news interruption was part of the play. Either way, the War of the Worlds radio broadcasting prank is still remembered today. (Source)

9. In 1985, a Polish television station was hijacked by a communist party, Solidarity. It was a political party supporting workers’ rights and social justice. During a news broadcast, Solidarity hijacked it and displayed its message “Enough price increases, lies, and repressions. Solidarity Torun.” Later, the hijackers were tracked down and fined for owning unlicensed radio equipment.

In 1985, a state-run Polish television station was hijacked by a Polish trade union or a communist party that advocated for worker’s rights and social change. It was a broad political party that called itself Solidarity.

This happened after the Polish government increased the price of food while the wages of the workers remained the same. In retaliation, the workers would go on strike and would lock themselves into the work yards. Then asked diplomats for their support.

After watching this, four astronomy students at the Poland’s University of Torun used a home computer, a synchronizing circuit, and a transmitter to send the message in support of the labor movement.

During a news broadcast, a text suddenly displayed on-screen reading “Enough price increases, lies, and repressions. Solidarity Torun.” Later, the four students were caught and fined for owning an unlicensed radio, a transmitter, and the publication of materials that can cause public havoc. (Source)

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10. On June 17, 2007, a show called Panorama was being broadcast on Czech television. During the broadcast, an explosion occurred on some Panorama land which was captured on live TV. Later, it was revealed that a few hijackers interrupted the broadcasting and displayed fake footage of an atomic bomb explosion.

On June 17, 2007, a group of radical artists panicked the viewers of Czech television on a bright Sunday morning. A show called Panorama was being broadcast on Czech television, which shows scenic views of Prague and other popular parts of the area to attract tourists.

But this time, people were terrified rather than being attracted to the Panorama lands. While watching the green rolling hills, the viewers were surprised to see a large cloud of smoke appear on their TV screens, as if an explosion had happened on these Panorama lands.

The footage of the atomic bomb blast was captured on live TV. Later, it was revealed that a few hijackers displayed fake footage of the atomic bomb explosion to prove the point that the perception of reality could be manipulated by the media.

Despite their harmless intentions, the group of hijackers was charged for spreading false information. Nevertheless, the hijacking was so realistic that government officials had to confirm that Prague has not been bombed. (Source)

Also read: 10 of the Most Interesting Prison Escape Stories

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