The Max Headroom Signal Intrusion


On November 22, 1987, two Chicago television stations played unwilling hosts to a signal pirate in a Max Headroom mask. At 9:14pm, PBS affiliate WGN’s signal clipped to black and revealed a charlatan in a Headroom mask, dancing convulsively in his chair, accompanied by a squelching, distorted soundtrack. Quick-thinking WGN engineers pulled out all emergency stops to regain control of the network within thirty seconds. When sportscaster Dan Rohn returned to his report he appeared dazed, chuckling awkwardly: ‘Well if you’re wondering what that was…so am I’…