Just because I’ve got two seconds, I checked cracked. I love their 5 Creepiest Unexplained Broadcasts.
I know for a fact the MAX HEADROOM one was a guy who bought TV equipment at a yard sale. The transmitter itself was on top of the Sears Tower, so it’s not like the cracked.com version where he “parks next to a transmitter”. However what he did was interrupt the UHF feed signal from the newsroom or elsewhere with his own, much stronger UHF signal. The first broadcast was cut short when an engineer co-ordinated a signal modulation change (a long way of saying “spun the radio dial”). The audio was boned up because it was likely on the wrong channel or due to some kind of tuning problem.
This type of hijacking was also used to deliver the galactic message of peace to England.
And of course, the one we all know and love, the one that spawned the movie HACKERS and kicked off the COOKOO’S EGG: Captain Midnight.
But we’re not done!
The coup de grace comes from inside the industry itself. DirecTV always had a problem with the push-model, and the cards for cracking the system wide open used to be available on ebay for a song. (Well, compared to two years of service anyway). Their fantastic GAME OVER kill made headlines even before the MSM knew what an unlooper was. If anyone is wondering who or how a giant coporation with assets in space gets cracked, Wired did a story with the guy who did it and the company behind it. Total damages awarded to DirecTV? $1500.
I love internet lore.