In early 2013 countless people were tricked into thinking a real life zombie invasion had began. That might sound insane – and it is insane, but they did have a fairly good reason for believing it… the government are the ones who told them. This is the strange story of the 2013 zombie hoax.

On February 11th 2013, many viewers of the Steve Wilkos show were interrupted by the following message. Yes really – an emergency broadcast warning people of a real life zombie outbreak. Apart from the absurd subject matter, the warning seemed legitimate. That’s because somebody hacked into the television network’s emergency broadcast system.

Simply known as the Emergency Alert system, all TV networks in America are connected to it. But luckily in this case, the hackers were only able to trigger a local broadcast. So only people in some specific areas of Montana saw it. And let’s be honest – people who live in that state are basically zombies themselves, so little harm was done. However, the hackers would soon strike again.

Zombie Hoax Continued

Less than two hours later, a second emergency broadcast went out – this time on multiple stations. Two stations in Michigan and one in Wisconsin played the exact same message, again warning viewers of a zombie apocalypse. Then four hours after this, a final signal hack took place, the emergency warning being broadcast in New Mexico.

Very little is known about who the hackers were, or how they were able to trigger the emergency message. But it is widely suspected to be a security flaw. Some television stations never changed their EAS password – so the access codes could be found in old user manuals. I hope this is the case – because in that case they weren’t really hackers, they were just boring losers who read through old security manuals.

A Mysterious Message

So following the zombie hoax, all tv stations were urged to change their passwords. The FBI also believed the hackers were located overseas, which is weird. Although, there was also a report that those behind it were captured. No further information is available, even now, ten years later.

This is not exactly the most well known signal hacking incident, but it’s probably my favorite. I like the idea of thousands of people panicking for a split second, then realizing zombies aren’t real, and hating themselves for believing it. In 2017 a copycat hack occurred. The same zombie message was broadcast – but this time from a radio station in Indiana. I wonder if it will be the last time the zombie hoax warning is broadcast.

Southern Television Broadcast Intrusion

Another fun signal hack took place in England in 1977. It was around 5 in the afternoon and a news report was suddenly interrupted by a strange message.

The message claimed to be from an alien known as Vrillion, who represented some kind of powerful race. It was a message of peace – asking humanity to abandoned our weapons and treat each other with goodwill.

If able to do this, we might ascend to a higher state of being. But it also warned that we don’t have much time. The window of ascension is temporary, and may never return.

After 6 minutes, the message ended as follows:

Have no fear, seek only to know yourselves, and live in harmony with the ways of your planet Earth. We here at the Ashtar Galactic Command thank you for your attention. We are now leaving the planes of your existence. May you be blessed by the supreme love and truth of the cosmos.

The news reporter then awkwardly regained composure and carried on as usual.

All Hail Vrillion

Nobody claimed responsibility for the interruption, and still it remains a mystery. Whoever was behind it clearly had a lot of technical knowledge, seeing as they weakened the official broadcast signal, and then replaced it with their own – which is why the original program could be seen in the background the whole time.

It being the 1970s, a lot of people assumed it was in protest of nuclear weapons, or the cold war in general. And to be fair that is more likely than it being aliens, even if hippies tend to be lazy.

At the time there were a number of UFO cults active in the UK. They believed that aliens were not only real, but should be worshiped as our potential saviors. Perhaps the hack was organized by one of those cults – in the hope it would enlighten the masses.

There were also many UFO reports leading up to the signal hack, causing many to believe the message really was from aliens.

One thing that makes me think the message might be genuine is that Vrillion seemed to have an English accent – and everyone knows aliens are British.

Still, this was a time before the internet – so people soon doubted if the signal hack even took place. By the mid 1980s it was basically just an urban legend, the footage only re-surfacing decades later.

These are just 2 fun instances of television signal hacks, but there are many more out there – some of which even more mysterious.

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