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Wookietim

This is weird....

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So, I like to keep an ear to the ground for odd things. Lately I have been hearing a string of odd reports from several directions and several geographic locations - basically a series of truly weird emergency broadcasts.

The specifics tend to be unique in each but it usually boils down to someone sitting in a chair, watching TV when suddenly the emergency signal will sound and a scrolling message will pop up onscreen referring to a vague emergency. What is always missing seems to be the "This is a test".

So, pretty much everyone who has reported this to me says that they proceed to be upset (And understandably so) and so they go to CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Local news or the internet and try to see if there is an emergency in their area... and not a single one has found anything. Some of the people I have heard this from mention that it might happen a few times in one day on different channels.

My immediate assumption, at first, was a hoax - some pirate overriding the signal somehow (Most people have cable so I am not sure if that is even possible) and pranking TV watchers. But I've had reports come to me from every region of the country and within a rather short while.... Within the last year I can say that I have had reports from at least 30 states. If this is a prank then they are pretty darn industrious.

Has anyone else heard of this? Any insights?

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I haven't heard of this. What do you do, to where people are reporting it to you.

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I haven't heard of this. What do you do, to where people are reporting it to you.

I just happen to have a presence that ended up being, apparently, making people think that they can tell me their weird stuff because of a couple apps I wrote for Android at one time. And since I enjoy hearing it I don't turn them away.

I honestly don't know what to tell them... I mean, if I tell them "Yep, it seems to be widespread." then they panic (understandably so - if you were told emergency signals were being broadcast across the country then you'd be alarmed as well). But I don't want to lie... and like I said my knee jerk explanation is not really applicable nor is it really possible (I don't think).

I'll admit, there is a part of me that wants to slap on a tinfoil hat and start raving about the end of the world because of this type of thing, but the better part of my brain tells me that there has got to be a prosaic explanation for it.

I started hearing about it at roughly this time last year - and so I just chalked it up to pranks because of the whole 2012 thing. But considering that I am still hearing roughly 3 reports of this every month and usually from geographically separated places I don't know what to think. Is is possible to pipe a pirate video onto a TV that has cable rather than an antenna? Or is that a thing that can only be done from the local programming office for the cable company? If it is the latter maybe there is just someone hitting a bad button or something...

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Yeah - one of the first things I looked up online was that... and ran across one of the most disturbing uses of a Max Headroom mask I have ever seen.

But for the most part these people list basic cable networks (Discovery, TLC or CNN (Which, let's be honest, means that they are watching Spice and trying to act slightly smarter). So I don't think that it is that same type of thing - it might be (I assume that with enough smarts and power some prankster could break through the signal... but that seems like a lot of work for very little reward).

Hmm. Strange.

I've heard of broadcast signal intrusion. Though I suspect you already know of this.

http://en.wikipedia....ignal_intrusion

Keep us updated!

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Weird.

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You say they refer to a "vague emergency," but what exactly do you mean by that? What do the messages say?

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Well, given all the different cable channels in all areas of the country it stands to reason that an occasional malfunction is going to happen somewhere. You have a wide net, so you'll hear about it more often.

It's similar to there being fewer murders now a days, but because we can get information from so many places we hear about them more and think the world is worse off.

Most likely these are tests and the people who contact you are more likely to worry about something and not hear the full report.

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This happened recently in U.S. Montana, and I am aware of it through the news.

Apparently it was a "prank" that did indeed activate the Emergency Broadcast System cast in some regions of Montana with a voice message.

Fortunately it was a "low-level" prank(with respect to content), and did not cause any panic.

Not sure what came of that... an arrest, securing the EBS system or what. Never heard anymore about it.

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Been hoax/prank interruptions for years, recall this one creating quite a scare locally - though missed it myself at the time as it was across the transmitter border from our perspective.

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