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Strange Emergency Message On TV Last Night

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posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:09 PM
I was watching the history channel at about 3:00 a.m. last night, was watching a show about the history of sub warfare in the cold war. Then an emergency broadcast interupted, with that annoying beeping sound, and across the top of the screen, it scrolled: "A Civil Authority Has Issued. Tune Into Local Channel for Details.". It scrolled that several times, then was gone, so I flipped the channel to Fox, CNN, and my local channels. Nothing. I waited. So I flipped back. My roomate woke up later on. I told him about it, and he said it did that earlier. He flipped to the local news channels and saw nothing either.

So, about an hour later, I go outside to smoke a cigarette and see if anything wierd is going on. When I came back in, he said it did it again. We flipped to the local news stations, and nothing.

Normally, when they are doing a test, the little ticker will say: This is a test of the Emergency broadcast system. Well it didnt, and it kept on doing this. So far, nothing odd has happened, i dont see anything in the news about it.

Anywayone else see this wierd message on TV?

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:12 PM
It would be interesting to speak with the station you were viewing to see what if any explanation they have.

For instance, would they deny it occurred at all or would they have a lame explanation. Denying it occurred at all would be the most suspect response since you saw it multiple times.

Edit: Actually, if it was the History Channel, I suppose you would need to call the local programming department of the cable company.

[edit on 10-7-2004 by Relentless]

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:19 PM
It was seen on several different channels. My roomate saw it earlier on another station he was watching, and when I left to go have a smoke and see if anything wierd was going on, it happened again on another station he was watching (ESPN I think).

So it was multiple channels that broadcasted this, yet so far, Im yet to see anything wierd. Once I can understand as an error, someone doing an accidnetal boradcast. But Twice and then three times?

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:28 PM
This is really intriguing. Have you asked friends and neighbors, aside from your room mate, if they saw this too? I haven't seen anything like that around here, though I admit I don't watch a lot of tv.

Despite the fact that it was shown on multiple channels, could they all be owned by the same group or company? Or maybe all operated by the same company? If so, then this could be an error - or a practical joke.

I wonder what civil authority would issue this sort of thing, if it is real. And what, exactly, they issued aside froma broadcast. It doesn't actually say. Did you check out the webpages of the stations involved? Maybe they have an announcement up or something.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:29 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if they were testing for something that may happen. They always do those types of test late at night when few people are up. Saw the same thing in NYC a couple of years back with no explanation. Keep an eye out and call your programmer if you can. I think that was a great suggestion.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:36 PM

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
yet so far, Im yet to see anything wierd. Once I can understand as an error, someone doing an accidnetal boradcast. But Twice and then three times?

Well, doubt you would see anything weird at this point. More likely than not if something was occuring at the time, a decision was made not to tell the public (and like how do you alert them in the middle of the night anyway, they aren't all up watching TV then).

I used to live in the vicinity of a nuclear power plant. There were sirens on the street poles in case of an emergency at the plant that would go off in quite a few towns. One night at three in the morning they went off. It was so loud it might as well have been in the room. You wake up in a fog, look at each other and wonder what to do. We tried to get through to the local police station to find out if it was a real evacuation. Took us 20 minutes, the whole time with the sirens blaring. When we finally got through we were told the sirens were a mistake (seems they should have been able to turn them off if that were the case). A few people who worked there alluded to the fact later that something had happened at the plant that did automatically trip the evacuation alarms, but no one would ever elaborate.

So, you may have to wait for the local rumor mill to find out what might have gone on.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:38 PM
The multiple-channel aspect is easily explained, as messages like that are run by the local cable provider, not the networks. They would be the ones to contact. Also, you might want to see if there's a channel used solely by the cable provider for advertisements and messages, as that will usually explain what's going on. For instance, whenever we have a tornado warning or monthly test the message will say "... tune to channel 13 for more information."

In any case, probably just testing some new software or something like that.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by Cercey
If so, then this could be an error - or a practical joke.

Of course - good point, it could have been some kind of hacker into the cable system (if it is cable). But then you would expect a report about it in the media.

This is indeed intriguing!

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:42 PM

Originally posted by PurdueNuc
In any case, probably just testing some new software or something like that.

If that were all it was I personally would condsider this really irresponsible on the part of the broadcaster. This would be unacceptable and again, some explanation should be given in this event.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 03:55 PM
Also near a nuke plant, sometimes they announce other times the sirens just go off for 20 minutes. My best guess is that by now no one would ever take it serious enough to leave in time of a real problem. While we are on the subject of latenight scroll text on the TV, I have seen some rediclulous posts on CNN's ticker late @ night. One night someone posted that a UFO had landed somewhere
That onlt scrolled 2x before it was removed. My best guess is that at times the careless have access to these systems.

[edit on 10-7-2004 by IntelRetard]

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 04:01 PM
Well, I just called the cable company. (We use Comcast). They said they didnt know anything about it. The guy i talked to said this was the first he had heard of it.

This just gets wierder and wierder.

By the way, I doubt it was a test, or them playing with new software. They always state in the ticker :This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast system. This one didnt.

Ok, Im stumped.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 04:47 PM
I just called my mother. She was awake at that time as well, she said she also saw it. She has a different cable carrier than me. She saw it too, because it woke her up, she turned the channel to see if anything was wrong, and nothing.

So i am not the only one who saw it. I asked her to call the cable company and see if they knew anything. Ill wait for her call.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 04:51 PM
Keep us posted Skadi, this is really getting interesting now. If it were a hacker, it's unlikely that 2 different cable companies would be involved at the same time.

My gut reaction is that something was triggered but then a decision was not made to take the next step. As no one else has so far reported it it seems to be a local event.

Are you near anything that would have an event that could trigger a warning of this sort?

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 05:02 PM
Apparently this isn't the first time this has happened. I just found this link from 1999.

If you search on the phrase "civil authority", there's a piece that mentions the Emergency Management Office and the EAS announcement. There's a quote on there that says, "Similar stories from ABC, CBS, and FOX came in. John Walters, Engineer Director of CBS affiliate KIRO channel 7, also in Seattle stated "part of the new system allows E.A.S. to occur over cable stations without notice, which was not in effect until this month. This was part of the problem and what caught us off guard".

I'm surprised this is the first time you've seen it if it's been in affect since 1999.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 05:09 PM
My mom called me back on the cellphone, said her cable company didnt send the message, but they got 2 other calls about it.

So Im not the only one.

Now Im really wondering.

If the cable companies know nothing about it and people got the message......who the hell sent it and why?

This is just friggin strange. Is it local to only Seattle? No one else in the country was up at that time last night and saw the message?

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 05:18 PM
I've thought about this some more, and I agree, if it were a test they would have specifically said that. What I find interesting is the message that scrolled:

A Civil Authority Has Issued. Tune Into Local Channel for Details.

A civil authority has issued what? I assume that this is a verbatim quote? If it were a test, it should have said "... has issued a required test."

The lack of a specific message leads me to believe that this was a glitch of some kind in the system that produces these messages. I'd be curious to hear from someone who knows how these messages are produced. Does FEMA (or whomever) call the cable provider and tell them to put up the message? Is there an automated system that FEMA controls to produce these? Since the cable companies were not aware of these messages (or so they claim), it suggests that the latter is true. Interesting indeed.

Alright, a little research turned up this tidbit on the EAS:

The EAS digital system architecture allows broadcast stations, cable systems, participating satellite companies, and other services to send and receive emergency information quickly and automatically even if those facilities are unattended.


This would explain why the cable companies weren't aware of the messages. Perhaps the local FEMA office would be the next place to call?

[edit on 7/10/2004 by PurdueNuc]

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 06:09 PM
one potential explanation:

if you google the phrase "A Civil Authority Has issued" it looks like that's the standard start of emergency broadcasts: "A civil authority has issued a severe thunderstorm alert" "a civil authority has issued a state of emergency declaration", etc....

What could have happened is some guy accidentally pressing the "send message" button wherever the box that inserts the signal is, without typing in what the actual alert is. why is debatable -- test the system, show off to friends at home ("hey guys, at my job i could send an emergency message if I wanted to"), who knows...

keep us posted, but it certainly looks like whoever sent it out forgot to fill out the "message" form on the system that actually broadcasts the messages.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 06:15 PM
That sounds pretty plausible, Losoczny. It would explain much. I was never aware of this new system that can bypass the cable systems. Thats kinda wierd.

I have seen the emergency broadcast tickers above on several occasions, it always said this is a test, ect. I havent seen this one.

They tested it three times last night. Wonder what they r testing it for?

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 06:31 PM
I hate to be the person that says it. But if it is a test, then it's probably being tested to make sure it works for the next "terrorist" attack. God I'm such a cynic! lol.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 06:38 PM
I work for my local cable company, and I can confirm a majority of the explaination that has been provided here.

Local authorities and the NWS have the ability to Activate the EBS unbeknowst to the local cable provider. This however does not occur at the Federal level, so FEMA is not involved. The local Emergency Management Agencies are.

It is highly likely that your "local Civil Authority" had scheduled a test of the EBS, and their ability to insert their message into the cable broadcast.

Unfortunatley they were to lax to provide the message part of it containg the inforamtion that it was a test.

It maybe that they are expecting to have to use the system in the near future. Say for example you live near the gulf coast or eastern seaboard. It is huricanne season, and they maybe planning on providing information that way.

I would relax, but not completely.

EDIT: Whoops, just noticed your from Seattle. Maybe they expect Mt. St. Helens to blow her top again.

[edit on 7/10/2004 by phreak_of_nature]

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