So, umm, this is kind of creepy. People in Orange County, California were treated to a rather odd surprise last week, when they’re regular TV programming was interrupted with ominous messages suggesting the end was nigh. Yikes.
Viewers on Cox Communications and Spectrum on Thursday, September 21 were subjected to the odd event. Their regular broadcasts, including the channels HGTV and Bravo, were replaced with a screen displaying the words “EMERGENCY ALERT”, with some panicked audio playing over the top.
“The space programme made contact with... They are not what they claim to be,” one of the recordings said. “They have infiltrated a lot of, uh, a lot of aspects of military establishment, particularly Area 51. The disasters that are coming – the military – I’m sorry the government knows about them...”
Another recording had a voice warning that “extremely violent times will come”, with one viewer telling the Orange County Register that it “almost sounded like Hitler talking.”
No one seems to know what exactly was going on. An educated guess, however, would suggest some pranksters managed to access the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which allows authorities to take over TV and radio stations to display important emergency alerts, like severe weather warnings.
If that’s the case, that’s probably not a good thing. In a Reddit thread, a couple of users said they’d called Cox to ask what the issue was, but the company was not being too responsive. We’ve asked the company for any information on the issue.
Gizmodo also noted that the audio on both recordings was easily traceable, the first belonging to a conspiracy theory radio show called Coast to Coast AM in 1997, and the second from a Christian radio program.
Despite claims of the end of the world, there’s probably not too much to worry about. Although if hackers are getting into the EAS, that’s not great. And it was still enough to significantly unnerve locals.
“My sister recorded it on her phone and brought it over for me to hear and it was the most unsettling thing I have ever heard in my life,” one user wrote on Reddit. “I heard music playing and a man talking but his tone was scary and oddly went with the music.”