10 Really Strange Radio and TV Interruptions

6 min read
Broadcast Satellite

Imagine this: You’re watching your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite radio station and all of a sudden some weird message pops up from out of nowhere, warning you of your impending doom or something similar. Or, imagine turning on the radio and hearing strange noises followed by someone speaking in a foreign language. Sounds like something straight out of the Twilight Zone doesn’t it? But, it has actually happened–more times than we care to know about. Here are ten of those times it has happened.

10. Alien Interrupts Saturday Evening Broadcast

Alien Conspiracies
Source: Pixabay

Southern Television viewers along with news anchor Andrew Gardner got quite the surprise on Saturday, November 26, 1977, when an alien by the name Vrillon decided to interrupt the regularly scheduled broadcast with a message of his own:

“This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies… We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disaster which threatens your world, and the beings on our worlds around you.”

He then urged viewers to get rid of their weapons of evil because it was time to move away from conflict and move toward peace and goodwill. He also warned of false prophets who would “suck your energy from you – the energy you call money and will put it to evil ends and give you worthless dross in return.”

“We are deeply concerned about you and your path towards the light and will do all we can to help you,” he concluded.

According to The Independent, it was all just a hoax. Strangely enough, no one has ever come forward and taken responsibility for it.

9. Max Headroom Interrupts Doctor Who

Max Headroom
Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you were around during the 80s, you’re sure to remember the TV character Max Headroom. Perhaps even some of you remember the time when he–or at least someone who looked like him–hijacked the TV signal during a broadcast of “Doctor Who.” It was on November 22, 1987, and Chicago viewers who were tuned in to “Doctor Who” were suddenly bombarded with a broadcast of a man disguised as Max Headroom. For about a minute and a half, the intruder ranted, screamed and moaned while playing with gloves and being spanked by a woman dressed as a French maid. Unfortunately, the guy was never identified, and no one knows the motive(s) behind his actions.

8. Zombie Alert Interrupts the Steve Wilkos Show

Source: Pixabay

If you live in Montana and are a faithful viewer of the “Steve Wilkos Show,” you might remember when his show was interrupted in 2013 by what started out as a normal alert, but quickly turned into something much more bizarre. A computerized voice began saying that the world was on the verge of a zombie apocalypse and the zombies were rising from the dead and attacking people. The voice then went on to warn people to stay away from the zombies because “they are considered extremely dangerous.”

7. Playboy Channel Gets Hijacked by a Religious Network

Source: Pixabay

It was a Sunday night in the fall of 1987, and the programming on Playboy TV was briefly interrupted by a technician–who happened to be on duty at the time–who worked for the Christian Broadcasting Network. He told viewers they needed to repent and seek salvation. The following text appeared on the screen: “Thus saith the Lord thy God. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
It took the FBI three years to find out who behind the hack. The technician, named Thomas Haynie, was convicted under a then-new satellite jamming law. He was sentenced to probation.

6. Super Bowl Gets Interrupted by Porn

Super Bowl
Source: Wikimedia Commons By John Seb Barber from Leeds, UK [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Speaking of the Playboy channel, did you know that the 2009 Super Bowl was interrupted for a brief but memorable 37 seconds with a very graphic X-rated movie? Those who were watching a standard-definition feed of the game saw the flick. The guy behind it was a Cox Communications employee who worked as a liaison with Comcast. He ended up getting three years of probation and a $1,000 fine. Seems like he should have gotten way more than that. After all, there probably were kids watching the game.

5. The Sound of Music

Source: Pixabay

No, this isn’t about the 1960’s film. It’s about a series of strange recordings heard by NASA astronauts in May 1969. According to Phys.org, the astronauts reported hearing strange whistling noises that lasted about one hour. The sounds were recorded and transmitted to mission control in Houston. One of the astronauts on board, Eugene Cernan, could be heard describing the whistling sound as “outer-space-type music.” According to a NASA engineer, the sound was likely caused by radio interference. However, Astronaut Al Worden, who flew on Apollo 15, disagrees. “Logic tells me that if there was something recorded on there, then there’s something there,” he said on a Discovery channel show that’s part of a series called “NASA’s Unexplained Files.”

4. The Unexplained Broadcast Signal

On Air
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Arielinson [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

According to the New York Post, there has been a mysterious signal broadcasting from a radio station in the middle of Russian swampland since the 70s. The radio station, known as MDZhB, plays a strange buzzing noise–referred to as “The Buzzer”–every hour of every day. Then, once or twice a week, a man or woman will come on and read some words in Russian. “There’s absolutely no information in the signal,” David Stupples, a signals intelligence expert, told the BBC, according to the New York Post.

FUN FACT: Wanna listen to this mysterious broadcast? Just tune in to frequency 4625 kHz and you’ll be able to hear it.

3. Number Stations

Radio Station
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Maximilian Schönherr [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

If weird radio broadcasts are your thing, tune in to number stations. Number stations broadcast repeated strings of numbers, letters, tones, buzzes, or melodies. Oftentimes these broadcasts are both random and non-stop. Some people believe they’re spy networks, although no one really knows for sure. Regardless, they are not only mysterious and captivating, but they’re also inspiring. According to NPR radio station KCRW, quite a few of these broadcasts have been the inspiration behind some of the world’s artwork and folklore.

2. Mysterious Radio Station Repeatedly Played English Folk Song

Sheet Music
Source: Pixabay

If you tuned in to a mysterious radio station from somewhere in Cyprus from the mid-1970s to 2008, you likely heard a couple of bars of the English folk song titled the Lincolnshire Poacher. At the beginning of every hour, the station would play the following lyrics twelve times in a row:

“Oh ’tis my delight on a shining night
In the season of the year
When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire
‘Twas well I served my master for nigh on seven years…”

Afterward, a woman’s voice would read groups of five numbers. Oddly enough, no one was ever able to pinpoint exactly where in Cyprus the broadcast emanated from nor who was behind it.

1. The Political Message

Polish Flag
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Guillaume Speurt from Vilnius, Lithuania [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

In the fall of 1985, four astronomers in Poland interrupted a broadcast in the city of Torun with superimposed messages that read “Enough price increases, lies, and repressions. Solidarity Torun,” and “It is our duty to boycott the election.” The men’s motive behind it was to show their support for Solidarity, the labor movement, and to protest against the government, whom they say was treating some of its citizens unfairly. The men, who happened to be high-ranking scientists, were eventually caught but were only fined and placed on probation.


Have you ever witnessed any strange radio or television broadcasts? Please share your experiences with us below. We’d love to hear from you!