|On Saturday, November 26th, 1977 at 5:10
p.m. in the United Kingdom, a mysterious voice who called himself
"Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command" performed an illegal broadcast
on live television during the height of an evening news program.
The transmission lasted for over five minutes.
This weird electronic
voice - accompanied by a strange pulsating sound, echoes, and eerie
distortions - overrode the normal audio broadcast signal in order to
recite a lengthy statement warning viewers of an impending global
disaster should humanity continue on its present course. (The hijack
did not effect the video portion of the news broadcast and the illegal
voice transmission was superimposed over the existing audio).
Near the end of what authorities have termed as a "rogue transmission,"
parts of cartoon dialog can be heard, including the “Looney Tunes” theme
song, the sound of an explosion, strange chatter, and other noises.
The illegal broadcast was investigated by UK authorities who were unable
to determine the source of the signal or who might have sent it.
assumed that the broadcast was a hoax perpetrated by someone who sent a
signal powerful enough to override the station's VHF transmitters, but
in the past 30 years, no one has ever claimed responsibility for the
The incident caused some alarm locally, and attracted considerable publicity in the next day's Sunday newspapers, with the IBA immediately pronouncing that the broadcast was a hoax.
The IBA confirmed that it was the first time such a hoax transmission had been made. The event was reported around the world with numerous American newspapers picking up the story from the UPI press agency.
The broadcast also became a footnote in ufology as some chose to accept the supposed 'alien' broadcast at face value, questioning the explanation of a transmitter hijack.
Within two days of the report of the incident in the Times, a letter to the editor published on November 30th, 1977 asked "[How] can the IBA - or anyone else - be sure that the broadcast was a hoax?".
An editorial in America's Eugene Register-Guard commented "Nobody seemed to consider that 'Asteron' may have been for real". By as late as 1985, the story had entered urban folklore, with (false) suggestions that there had never been any explanation of the broadcast.
Although this broadcast is considered by most to be a hoax perpetrated by someone, the message is still important.
Full transcript of the message:
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
We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to
your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth.
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.
This is in order that you may share in the great
awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius.
Age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only
if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow
Be still now and listen, for your chance may not come again.
All your weapons of evil must be removed. The time for conflict is now
past and the race of which you are a part may proceed to the higher
stages of its evolution if you show yourselves worthy to do this.
have but a short time to learn to live together in peace and goodwill.
Small groups all over the planet are learning this, and exist to pass on
the light of the dawning New Age to you all.
You are free to accept or
reject their teachings, but only those who learn to live in peace will
pass to the higher realms of spiritual evolution.
Hear now the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic
Command, speaking to you. Be aware also that there are many false
prophets and guides operating in your world.
They will suck your energy
from you - the energy you call money and will put it to evil ends and
give you worthless dross in return.
Your inner divine self will protect you from this. You must learn to be
sensitive to the voice within that can tell you what is truth, and what
is confusion, chaos and untruth.
Learn to listen to the voice of truth
which is within you and you will lead yourselves onto the path of
This is our message to our dear friends. We have watched you growing for
many years as you too have watched our lights in your skies. You know
now that we are here, and that there are more beings on and around your
Earth than your scientists admit.
We are deeply concerned about you and your path towards the light and
will do all we can to help you. Have no fear, seek only to know
yourselves, and live in harmony with the ways of your planet Earth.
of the Ashtar Galactic Command thank you for your attention. We are now
leaving the plane of your existence. May you be blessed by the supreme
love and truth of the cosmos.
A speaker interrupted transmissions for six minutes and claimed to be a representative of an "Intergalactic Association". Reports of the incident vary, some calling the speaker "Vrillon" or "Gillon", others "Asteron".
The broadcast took over the sound only, leaving the video signal unaltered. At that time, the Hannington UHF transmitter was unusual in being one of the few transmitters which rebroadcast an off-air signal received from another transmitter, rather than being fed directly by a land-line.
As a consequence it was open to this kind of signal intrusion, as even a relatively low-powered transmission very close to the transmitter could overwhelm its reception of the intended signal, resulting in the unauthorized transmission being amplified and rebroadcast across a far wider area.
The IBA stated that to carry out the hoax would take "a considerable amount of technical know-how" and a spokesman for Southern Television confirmed that "A hoaxer jammed our transmitter in the wilds of North Hampshire by taking another transmitter very close to it."
Broadcast Signal Intrusion Incident
Similar incidents have occurred which are similar to the Vrillon incident. On November 22nd, 1987, WTTW had its signal hijacked by an unknown person wearing a Max Headroom mask.
This was the second incident of that night involving the interruption of a television station's broadcast signal, with the first taking place during WGN-TV’s News at Nine.
While WGN-TV’s analog transmitter is atop the John Hancock Center and thus engineers were almost immediately able to thwart the video hacker by changing the studio-to-transmitter frequency, WTTW's transmitter was atop the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) which made it harder to stop the hacker before almost two minutes of the interruption.
These stations are two of only three existing victims of what is called broadcast signal intrusion. Subscription television network HBO was the other victim; its signal was intercepted during a movie broadcast in April 1986.