Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion

“Well, if you’re wondering what’s happened, so am I.” -Dan Roan, the WGN sports anchor interrupted by the intrusion

Imagine watching your favorite TV show and all the sudden a creepy guy in a masks interrupts the signal, forcing you to watch some lewd material that you definitely did not ask for. This exact incident happened in November 1987 on Chicago TV network WTTW. The interrupted show in question: Dr. Who.

The intrusion itself includes a man in a Max Headroom mask mocking the TV network WGN. He holds up a phallic-shaped object, waves it around, and later gets “lazily spanked” by someone with a fly swatter. Throughout the intrusion, the intruder continues to reference the show Clutch Cargo TV show. His voice is distorted, almost robot-like. The intrusion lasts for approximately a minute and a half.

(13:27) “That went on for a very long time. Like literally, I just keep remembering it and I’m getting goosebumps right now.”

The bizarre broadcast interruption was investigated by the FBI, but not much time and effort was placed on the federal crime as no one was hurt, nothing “bad” happened, and there really weren’t any leads for investigators to follow. To this day, it is still unknown who is responsible for the intrusion.

Was it a disgruntled employee? A rival station?

Listen to host Skye and team member Caity discuss what they believe happened in the Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion!

We highly recommend watching the intrusion here.

Sources for this episode include Motherboard and Wikipedia.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and Buzzsprout.

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