The Saga of Captain Midnight: ‘No Regrets’ About Jamming HBO 25 Years Ago (Video)

CaptainMidnightPaul McNamara writes in Network World’s BuzzBlog:

John MacDougall, then 25, was the lonely pamphleteer of lore, only instead of paper and ink he was armed with a 30-foot transmission dish, an electronic keyboard, and a burning objection to HBO’s decision in 1986 to begin scrambling its satellite signal and charging viewers $12.95 a month.

That move and price had offended MacDougall’s sense of fair play — and all but halted the sales being generated by his fledgling satellite dish business in Ocala, Fla. So at 12:32 a.m. on Sunday, April 27, he transformed himself into Captain Midnight by commandeering HBO’s satellite transmission signal – interrupting a showing of The Falcon and the Snowman — and putting in its place the above protest message that aired for four-and-a-half minutes.

The stunt touched off a nationwide manhunt by law enforcement to unmask Captain Midnight and a media circus that has MacDougall’s head spinning to this day. He would be caught, plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and receive a wrist slap of probation and a $5,000 fine.

Read More: Network World’s BuzzBlog

15 Comments on "The Saga of Captain Midnight: ‘No Regrets’ About Jamming HBO 25 Years Ago (Video)"

  1. justagirl | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:11 am |

    even i could have got him off easier than that.

  2. justagirl | Apr 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm |

    even i could have got him off easier than that.

  3. Mamagriff50 | Apr 28, 2011 at 1:08 am |

    With all this sh*t about the royal wedding, we sure could use “Captain Midnight” now……………………….PLEASE?!

  4. Mamagriff50 | Apr 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    With all this sh*t about the royal wedding, we sure could use “Captain Midnight” now……………………….PLEASE?!

  5. This is the true history of how anonymous got started.

  6. This is the true history of how anonymous got started.

  7. Also of note: The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_broadcast_signal_intrusion

  8. Also of note: The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_broadcast_signal_intrusion

  9. Anonymous | Apr 28, 2011 at 4:58 am |

    Absolutely Delightful

  10. MoralDrift | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:58 am |

    Absolutely Delightful

  11. Markov Cheney | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    White Collar Boxing… Good to see the news was reporting on the hard hitters, even back in 1986

  12. Markov Cheney | Apr 28, 2011 at 8:29 am |

    White Collar Boxing… Good to see the news was reporting on the hard hitters, even back in 1986

  13. RedHerring | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |

    Try damming HBO’s signal in ’86 or now … Can’t do that, huh, Thanks for sticking your head up your ass.

  14. RedHerring | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    And I did mean damning and not jamming, you are a person without a creative impulse.

  15. Markov Cheney | Apr 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    Haha.. apparently you didn’t watch the entire video or you didn’t read my statement fully. Thanks for sticking *your* head up your arse.

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