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Ashtar Galactic Command hijacks TV transmitter. Hoax Message or Government Test?

Updated on July 5, 2013
Alien TV captures might look like this
Alien TV captures might look like this

On 26th November 1977 at 5:10pm someone took over a local UK independent television channel using a transmitter at Hannington, Hampshire, for six minutes. The speaker claimed to be a representative of an “intergalactic association”. Only the sound was affected. The most likely explanation of this is that it was a hoax, however no one has admitted to the hoax and no one has been identified as the likely culprit and, while it is almost certain this was not a message from any “Intergalactic Association” other, highly speculative explanations are possible.

TV apparently abducted by Aliens

The Audio signal faded and was replaced by a distorted electronic sounding voice which could have been the disguised voice of a human male with a deep voice. To me it sounds like the voice of an actor in a satirical radio program of the time. The delivery is stilted and halting and at one point the intended transmission breaks out over the speaker's voice. At the end the transmission ceased abruptly. Later the Independent Broadcasting Authority stated it was a hoax and was the first hoax of this type.

The Hannington transmitter was unusual at the time as it was one of the few transmitters which rebroadcast an off-air signal received from another transmitter, rather than being fed directly by a landline. It was thus open to this kind of takeover, as even a relatively low-powered transmission very close to the transmitter could overwhelm its reception of the intended signal, resulting in the unauthorised transmission being amplified and rebroadcast across a far wider area. The IBA stated that to carry out the hoax would take "a considerable amount of technical know-how" and a spokesman for Southern Television stated that "A hoaxer jammed our transmitter in the wilds of North Hampshire by taking another transmitter very close to it."

The Hoax explanation remains the most likely explanation, though many investigators of UFOs took it at face value and questioned the transmitter hijack explanation.

The message

A transcription of the message reads

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.

comment on the message

The message reads like standard New-Age channeling of the time. The cold war was at its height and there was a very real fear of nuclear war: the Bay of Pigs incident 16 years earlier was widely considered to have taken the USA and USSR to the brink of nuclear war and had doubtless seared itself into the collective mind. The style of the writing is characteristic of the pompous style of communications from certain types of “spirit”. There seems to be no trace of anything truly alien in it.

The name vrillon is suspect since in 1871 Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote a book called The Coming Race which described a form of energy known as VRIL and there seems to have been an occult society called the vril society in pre-Nazi Berlin. The name vril also occurs in the name Bovril, a yeast extract that can be made into a drink


Firstly it appears that no one has admitted to the hoax and no evidence has been found to link any suspects to the transmission. If, as was stated the hijacking transmitter would have had to be near the Hannington transmitter there might have been signs nearby of placement of a temporary transmitter, unless the transmitter had been in the middle of an urban area. I know of no record of a search for signs of the hoaxers having been made.

More interestingly it was apparently confirmed that FIVE transmitters had been hijacked SIMULTANEOUSLY, a feat needing considerable transmitter power and, if more than one hijacking transmitter were used, a military level of coordination.

Similar cases

In 1971 a radio call in show in London was interrupted by a call from a “cold metallic voice” claiming to be an extraterrestrial alien. The voice, which did not give itself a name, said it was "speaking by thought transference guided by computer" and imparted standard garbage about the difficulties of life on Earth and humanity's unwillingness to forsake its primitive ways.

In 1977 Puerto Rican UFO researcher Orlando Rimax played a recording of an alleged alien transmission on his Otros Mundos broadcast, which aired every Sunday morning in the city of San  Juan. The recording could have been a hoax, but the heavily distorted voice of a being calling itself “Omicron” had a quality often associated with recorded sounds involving hauntings and paranormal goings-on, even though the entity professed an interplanetary origin.

What about the war? Radio Hacking on all sides

Although hijacking the transmitter would have needed considerable technical knowhow this was not as scarce as might be supposed. IN the early years of World War II the Nazis would interrupt BBC broadcasts with messages designed to alarm the audiences and create a demand to end the war. The British naturally used the same tactic, starting a few months later. The Political War Executive used it rather more subtly, starting with shortwave broadcasts and later broadcasting on the Medium Wave band, using a 600KW Amplitude Modulatesd transmitter called “Aspidistria” after a Gracie Fields Song, positioned somewhere on the South Coast and a 500 Watt unmodulated transmitter usually some 50 miles away.: the second transmitter was to confound any german efforts at direction finding. This was more than strong enough to cover Western Europe. Slowly and subtly the British managed to insert their propaganda into these messages.

One of the cleverest things about Aspidistria was it could change frequency very fast. This was needed because, unlike the BBC regional stations had their own frequencies and were switched off when Allied planes were over head, so as not to provide radio beacons for the raiders. Apidistria was designed to take over a frequency within 1/200 of a second (20 milliseconds), seamlessly playing the same music or the same speech in synchronisation and then insert messages designed to cause chaos and disruption.

The technique seems not to have been used during the Cold War (but how would we know) and Aspidistria was used for normal broadcasts till retired in 1982. All modern techniques, FM, DAB and digital TV can also be hijacked in this way.

(source: John Alexander Faulkner, Letters, Fortean Times, July 2013)

It is therefore possible that someone with the technical knowhow to hijack the transmission and funds to build a powerful enough transmitter organised a hoax, either as a prank or from a genuine belief that such messages would help get rid of nuclear weapons. Such a sincere prank by a crank would not be unknown and the perpetrator might wish to lie low either for fear of punishment or fear of rendering the message ineffective. If they had been involved with Aspidistria during the War they would have been in their mid to late fifties at the time.

One other possibility is that this was a test of TV capture by the British Governments. If so the technique seems not to have been used.


Note the word “speculation”. All theories are subject to revision in hindsight

While a hoax is the most likely explanation, with the hoaxer unwilling to come forward for whatever reason, I consider the likelihood it was a real alien contact to be the least likely explanation. A truly advanced civilisation would have delivered a clear and concise message with no distortion and presumably could have taken over all the world's TV channels, not to mention being able to land anywhere from the Whitehouse to the Kremlin. So why stick to a local channel? Further it seems the Ashtar Galactic Command had been a source of “Space Wisdom” for decades, and considered to be a fleet of flying saucers manned mainly by Venusians that operates near Earth. Note also that Ashtar-Chemosh was the name of a goddess in Middle Eastern mythology and Ashtar was an Ethiopian God. Ashtar may also be related to Astarte, originally the deified evening star, and a goddess known throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

One possibility is that a group of local people had worried so much about the possibility of nuclear war, and knew of the Ashtar Galactic command had unconsciously created a psycho kinetic event that took over the transmitter. I consider this more likely than the Alien Contact theory, but not much. However it would not take much power to overwhelm the signal from INSIDE the transmitters.

Another explanation is that a wandering poltergeist noted someone thinking about Space Wisdom and how to get on television and decided to help out. Again this is unlikely. Poltergeist effects can be extreme, but affecting five transmitters would seem to imply a group of poltergeists. Poltergeists tend to adopt any identity or behaviour suggested to them and Ashtar would appeal to their sense of mischief.

In brief

After all the time has passed this, like the Brentford Griffin, is likely to remain a mystery. Assuming it was a hoax the hoaxers would in their late fifties or early seventies if my identification of the voice as a mature adult is correct. Why they did not come forward is beyond me. At the same time I cannot accept the Alien Contact Hypothesis. An advanced ALIEN civilisation would not act in this way.

The possibility a wandering poltergeist hijacked the transmission is worth considering in the light of the known behaviour of poltergeists.

All in all human activity is more likely than intervention in one country's affairs by a star fleet near Venus.

Time will tell, or more likely not.


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