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The alien cult that hijacked British TV.

The Alien Cult That Hacked British TV

If an alien civilisation ever decided to contact the people of Earth, how would they do it?

Would they park their flying saucer out on the White House lawn or on top of the Beehive? Would they skip the pleasantries and hover their destroyers over the world’s major cities? Or, perhaps, would they send a message hidden in the returned signal of an old television broadcast?

Saturday, 26 November 1977 was a deeply cold night in England. The regional station Southern Television was just beginning its evening news bulletin and families across South-East England gathered together in their living rooms to watch the news. Children waited impatiently for Looney Tunes, which they knew would be shown directly after the news programme.

As Andrew Gardner read out news of the conflict in Rhodesia, a hissing, shuffling sound drowned out his voice. Suddenly, a booming voice addressed the startled viewers, as the screen still showed the oblivious newsreader reading through the day’s headlines. It was early in the evening, and a strange buzzing noise interrupted newscaster but only the audio was affected.

This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you.

It was now ten past five in the evening. With the news report still continuing on the screen, the deep, oscillating voice continued with his message.

For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies.

We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth.

We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disaster which threatens your world, and the beings on our worlds around you.

As the broadcaster continued to read the day’s news, unknowingly, the people at home received a message from someone who claimed to be a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command. IBA engineers at Croydon, Surry did not hear the override, and at the main transmitter at Southhampton, Hants monitoring system, there was also no evidence of the takeover. A police spokesman said that the message was taken seriously:

“They were frightened and generally scared.”

The voice spoke slowly and deliberately, with a strange inward authority, calm, serene, never scolding.

Vrillon stated that he was an extraterrestrial from the “Galactic Command” and that the people of Earth were entering a new “Age of Aquarius.” This new age would be a time of peace, but only if Earthlings gave up their evil weapons and made nice.

Millions of listeners must have heard the broadcast that transposed itself over the news. The authorities immediately denounced it as a fake and considered it to be a hoax.

Strangely enough, the full message was never broadcast again, only a fragment, just the first 30 seconds. Neither did a single newspaper give the whole message. On the following day, The News of the World reported that an I.T.V. spokesman had said they were flooded with calls and that their engineers were trying to discover exactly what happened. They assumed it was a hoax, and that someone had been able to transmit a signal over theirs, and added that ‘the equipment used would need to be fairly sophisticated and expensive’.

Also on the 27th November, The Sunday Express quoted a Post Office spokesman as saying that either a transmitter, or some kind of link into the landlines was used, and access gained to the transmitters at Rowbridge, and at Hannington.

On the 28th November, this was confirmed by Post Office experts, claiming to have tracked the transmission source to Hannington, Hants, but they still did not know who was responsible, or how it was done. A full week later on the 4th December, the Sunday Times published the ‘official explanation’ that the hoax was carried out by students using just ‘£80 worth of equipment powered by an ordinary car battery’.

At no time did anyone come forward to claim responsibility for the ‘hoax’. This incredible explanation was soon seen to be a cover-up, as the investigation by independent sources came to the conclusion that the ‘message’ would have to have been cut into at least five transmitters, simultaneously. Furthermore, the students would have had to beat the I.B.A’s monitoring system. Engineers at the centres around Britain watch for faults in transmission and can if necessary switch off sections of the network.

Neither the main T.V. transmitter at Southampton, or the Engineers at Croydon, Surrey who were monitoring Hannington, logged the galactic message, and they were clearly unaware that the Space broadcast was over-riding their signal. By law, all radio/T.V. has to have a monitoring system, for an ‘instant switch-off’, technically known as insertion test signals. It did not even register the ‘interruption’ suggesting that it was achieved in some way that bypassed our electrical system.

Researchers and the National Press found it difficult to find someone with a tape of the full message. It seemed that the three major T.V. Networks even if they had obtained such a copy, had colluded together to only release the first 30 seconds of the message.

Eventually, however, one did surface thanks to the New Life Magazine.

The message was not totally clear, due to the deep sonorous sound of the voice, as though coming through water, but with sophisticated studio equipment a reasonably positive and accurate copy was made. The biggest point of contention was the name of the voice.

Various reports gave it as: Vrillon, Gillon, and Glon, but checking it at various speeds it came out more like Bramaha or Gramaha the spelling being phonetic.

“V” For Vrillion: The Ashtar Galactic Command Incident Revisited


And you can click here to listen to a clearer audio-only version.

I’m not 100% sure if the audio in the video or linked Mp3 is an actual recording or simply a recreation.

The following message was delivered slowly and deliberately in a calm authoritative tone.

The full transcript of the message It said:

This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies. We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth.

We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disaster which threatens your world, and the beings on our worlds around you. This is in order that you may share in the great awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius. The New Age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow their judgments.

Be still now and listen, for your chance may not come again.

All your weapons of evil must be removed. The time for conflict is now past and the race of which you are a part may proceed to the higher stages of its evolution if you show yourselves worthy to do this. You have but a short time to learn to live together in peace and goodwill.

Small groups all over the planet are learning this, and exist to pass on the light of the dawning New Age to you all. You are free to accept or reject their teachings, but only those who learn to live in peace will pass to the higher realms of spiritual evolution.

Hear now the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. Be aware also that there are many false prophets and guides operating in your world. They will suck your energy from you – the energy you call money and will put it to evil ends and give you worthless dross in return.

Your inner divine self will protect you from this. You must learn to be sensitive to the voice within that can tell you what is truth, and what is confusion, chaos and untruth. Learn to listen to the voice of truth which is within you and you will lead yourselves onto the path of evolution.

This is our message to our dear friends. We have watched you growing for many years as you too have watched our lights in your skies. You know now that we are here, and that there are more beings on and around your Earth than your scientists admit.

We are deeply concerned about you and your path towards the light and will do all we can to help you. Have no fear, seek only to know yourselves, and live in harmony with the ways of your planet Earth. We of the Ashtar Galactic Command thank you for your attention. We are now leaving the plane of your existence. May you be blessed by the supreme love and truth of the cosmos.

Viewers were understandably confused. When the “transmission” came to an end, the audio returned as if nothing had happened, and the pulsing, buzzing noises faded into the quirky sounds of a Looney Toons cartoon.

None of the evening staff at Southern Television were aware of the intrusion to their signal. International Broadcasting Authority engineers in Croydon, Surrey did not hear the rogue signal, nor was it detected at the main transmitter site in Southampton.

The message from “Vrillon” continued for nearly six minutes as stunned families across South-East England tried to comprehend what they were hearing. Some panicked, believing that aliens really were communicating through the television.

A user named Podshell posted his memories of that night on Spiritual Forums:

“I remember nipping into our living room for something for my sister, who was cooking in the kitchen, and the television was on, and then the broadcast started. I watched, or rather listened, mesmerised.”

The full message from “Vrillon” advised humanity that weapons must be destroyed if humans could ascend to the next stage in evolution, prompting listeners to seek out small groups preaching the same extraterrestrial wisdom.

The interruption ceased shortly after the statement had been delivered, transmissions returning to normal shortly before the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Later in the evening, Southern Television apologised for what it described as “a breakthrough in sound” for some viewers. ITN also reported on the incident in its own late-evening Saturday bulletin.

The broadcast took over the sound only, leaving the video signal unaltered, aside from some picture distortion.

The Hannington transmitter, from where the broadcast signal was hijacked.

The transmission lasted for over five minutes. The weird electronic voice – accompanied by a strange pulsating sound, echoes, and eerie distortions – overrode the normal audio broadcast signal in order to recite a lengthy statement warning viewers of an impending global disaster should humanity continue on its present course. (The hijack did not affect the video portion of the news broadcast and the illegal voice transmission was superimposed over the existing audio).

Near the end of what authorities have termed as a “rogue transmission,” parts of cartoon dialogue can be heard, including the “Looney Tunes” theme song, the sound of an explosion, strange chatter, and other noises.

The illegal broadcast was investigated by UK authorities who were unable to determine the source of the signal or who might have sent it. It is assumed that the broadcast was a hoax perpetrated by someone who sent a signal powerful enough to override the station’s VHF transmitters, but in the past 40 years, no one has ever claimed responsibility for the hijack. (an unnamed group of students were suspects at one point, but that no evidence beyond mere suspicion was ever offered to support that theory. Another suspect was a person with connections to the British broadcast industry who was known as the “Cosmic Cowboy,” and who may have been assisted by a cabal of hippie friends. Again, there is no proof for that assertion, either).

It would later be confirmed that five major transmitters were hijacked simultaneously, a rather spectacular feat at the time that would have required considerable transmitting power and a coordinated terrestrial effort.

The event caused panic in some parts of the local population for people who believed that the transmission was actually coming from an alien civilisation.

Because this incident occurred over 40 years ago, it has all but faded from the memory of most people and remains primarily of interest to ham radio enthusiasts and those who study UFO history.

The person (or entity) responsible for the transmission has never been heard from again.

Note: The exact name of the “alien” identified in the opening of the transmission is still open to debate. According to the few sources available on this incident, the name of the speaker is given variously as VrillonGillonGlonBramaha, or Gramaha. Since the present consensus opinion and written record seems to lean toward using the name Vrillon, so have used that name, as well.

It was apparently transmitted over the entire Southern Television ITV region using the VHF transmitters (the UK used both UHF and VHF transmitters at the time, radiating the same programmes). It is thought that the pirate transmitter was aimed at a receiver high up the VHF distribution chain, and a signal sent that overpowered the ‘official’ signal from the television station.

The transmission also apparently occurred at a time when the IBA’s monitoring facility was being moved from one location to another, which may have resulted in the broadcast going initially unnoticed, the fact that it was in sound only, leaving the vision untouched, making it even more difficult to spot.

UFO pundits on talk shows during the following week assured listeners that the broadcast was “almost certainly genuine”, as it contained names, concepts and phrases that occurred frequently in alleged ‘contactee’ experiences.

The incident caused some alarm locally, and attracted considerable publicity in the next day’s Sunday newspapers, with the IBA immediately pronouncing that the broadcast was a hoax. The IBA confirmed that it was the first time such a hoax transmission had been made.

The event was reported around the world with numerous American newspapers picking up the story from the UPI press agency.

The broadcast also became a footnote in ufology as some chose to accept the supposed ‘alien’ broadcast at face value, questioning the explanation of a transmitter hijack. Within two days of the report of the incident in the Times, a letter to the editor published on 30 November 1977 asked, “[How] can the IBA – or anyone else – be sure that the broadcast was a hoax?” The editorial board of one local newspaper—the Eugene Register-Guard—commented, “Nobody seemed to consider that ‘Asteron’ may have been for real.” By as late as 1985, the story had entered urban folklore, with suggestions that there had never been any explanation of the broadcast.

Were they visited by some unknown alien species back then? If you believe the Southern Television broadcast interruption that occurred that’s exactly what happened. Everything was broadcasting as normal, when suddenly things went haywire and a voice started speaking, saying he was a representative of an Intergalactic Association that had come to deliver a message to Earth.

The voice said that all of their weapons of evil had to be removed and they only had a short time to live in peace. The transmission has cemented itself in popular culture. Most people generally believe this is a hoax (keyword: generally), but due to the fact that a culprit was never discovered, who’s to say it wasn’t really an alien trying to get us to be a little more peaceful?

So how did “Vrillon” manage to spread his alien message on regional television? Surprisingly, it probably wasn’t via UFO laser beam.

The local television transmitter is the likely source of the rogue transmission. Unusually for a transmitter serving such a large area, the Hannington transmitter merely received and rebroadcasted a signal sent from Rowbridge on the Isle of Wight.

With the sound being transmitted as an FM broadcast, it was easy to take over the transmission. All that “Vrillon” needed to do was drive up to the transmitter at Hannington, and broadcast on the same FM frequency as the transmission from the Isle of Wight.

The Hannington television transmitter sits in the English countryside. Whoever took over the signal would have had to travel along the small roads leading to the hillside transmitter.

The story of most rogue transmissions usually ends with a clever misfit owning up and explaining how they did it. Sometimes they want fame, other times they want money. In the case of the Southern Television takeover, the motive was far more mysterious.

Nobody has ever come forward to confess to the “Vrillon” broadcast. In 1967, the Wireless Telegraphy Act was created in the UK, outlawing the kind of rogue signal used on Southern Television. Phreaks and Hackers were warned that their mischief could land them with hundreds of pounds in fines, or even a prison sentence.

As nobody has come forward to confess to the incident, no-one can say for sure who was responsible.

The timing for this message seems to have been very apt, as Stuart Holroyd had just released his book “Prelude to Landing on Planet Earth” (newly published as The NineBriefing From Deep Space) and in it he stated that there was a plan to “interrupt television and radio transmissions during the period 18th to 22nd November”.

This was also the month that Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was also released.

Strangely enough, the previous month a message was received that was claimed to be the ‘Voice’ and read as follows:

“We speak to the people of the planet Earth. It is of great importance that you have the understanding that we come only in Love and Peace. It is a time of importance in the Universe that the planet Earth be evolved and the consciousness of those who exist upon the planet, be raised to a higher degree.

It is also important for you to understand that we cannot permit in the present nor in the future any more devastation upon Earth.

There are those civilizations that are in service in the Universe that are in motion to come to your Earth to give mankind the benefit of their medical and technological skills, but mainly of their love.

They are in service to the planet Earth and to the Universe. We conveyed to Sir John Whitmore and to Dr. Puharich that we would INTERFERE ON YOUR RADIO AND TELEVISION COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS to relay when the civilizations are coming close to landing on your planet Earth. It is now in motion.

We wish you to know that we love you. We wish for there not to be panic on the Earth, for we come in peace, but it is also important for the people of Earth to recognize that the civilizations that come, come in Brotherhood to help them. It is important now to become one with the Brotherhood of the Universe. We ask that those on Earth do not attempt to prevent the civilizations that are coming, but to accept them in love as we have accepted the planet Earth in love, even though it has caused devastation to itself and in turn contaminated the Universe. We are with you, we love you and we come in peace”

The two messages could almost have been relevant to the present day, and anyone who has taken an interest in channelled messages will know that Ashtar is one name that continually comes up.

In 1994 at least three independent channellers’ published information that the Ashtar Command were planning another similar series of broadcasts. However, it appears that proposed dates have so far not been met.

Whether it was a hoax or “Vrillon,” the transcript has a very nice message.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Vrillon was an extraterrestrial.

…Why did they only contact us once?

Can aliens speak English? Where did they learn the language? And how can you find the late part where the voice cannot be heard clearly. How can you translate this noise?

True or not the message is pretty much obvious. Live in unity. What is wrong with that?

The Council of Nine

Southern Television broadcast interruption – Wikipedia

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The alien cult that hacked British TV – The Kernel – The Daily Dot

Southern Television Broadcast Interruption – The Conspiracy Wiki – Wikia

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Pirate Television: Southern Television Broadcast Interruption … – Flipkart

10 Weird and Cryptic TV Broadcast Hijackings Throughout History

Vrillon: A Message from Ashtar Command – Stranger Dimensions

Southern Television broadcast interruption hoax (1977) : définition de …

Full Text of Voice From Space Broadcast

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