The History & Mystery Behind The Creepiest Television Hack In Broadcast History

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Back in 1987 an unknown hijacker hacked the broadcast signal of the Chicago cable network WGN, and overrode the station’s programming.

It would later be known now as the Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion, and one of the only examples of signal intrusion in American history.

Two people hijacked the signal of WGN over the period of just a few hours. The main person in the video, who’s speech is distorted, wears a creepy Max Headroom mask with a spinning piece of metal siding in the background.


Max Headroom was a character created by George Stone in 1984, played by actor Matt Frewer, in latex makeup made to look like a sophisticated computer graphic. The character blew up in the 80’s hosting various music videos, TV commercials and even had a sci-fi/action series.


Frewer’s voice was modulated with a harmonizer, making his voice sound computerized, as well as adding hiccups, sudden pitch shifts, and other glitches.

At the end of the hacked video feed, the mask wearing hacker pulls his pants down and is being spanked by a second person partially shown in the video.

The hackers were clearly intelligent to pull off such a feat as hacking CBS. Many ‘nerd’ references were made which would lead one to believe that they consider themselves highly intellectual and ‘nerd’ like.

Neither the hijacker nor any known accomplices have ever been found, caught or identified, leaving the incident to this very day unsolved. You can check out a Max Headroom Pepsi commercial below, as well as the television hack from 1987.


The Hack!


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