The Kernel recalls a particularly strange episode in British broadcasting history: An evening when an “alien” named “Vrillon” took over the airwaves:
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.
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.
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.