Before the advent of the Internet and widespread existence of a coordinated “hacking” culture, a strange and eerie incident occurred during a November 22, 1987 broadcast on WTTW-11 Chicago of Dr. Who, when a still-unidentified hacker took over the station’s broadcast replacing a brief section of the evening’s program with a creepy montage of a masked Max Headroom figure spouting bizarre, and often unintelligible, statements at the camera. To date, how the perpetrators hijacked the television station’s broadcast is unknown and the culprit(s) have never been found or identified. All that remains is an inexplicable video recording of the event and a mystery that has lingered for more than two decades.
I think I’ve posted about this before, but this article from last week (!) has some details about the identities of the signal jackers that I hadn’t seen before.
This, to me, was always some kind of ultimate goal… to have a pirate signal so strong that you can knock a licensed broadcast off the air. Weird to think that because of the way the internet has gone, everyone can broadcast. Constantly and with relatively little governance.
If I had been born 20 years later, would I have been obsessed with getting hella viral video views instead? Or is it even weirder that now my livelihood more or less relies upon making stuff that people want to watch?
Eh. There’s no bigger moral here, I guess. I just think it’s a cool story.