Ashtar Command (TV Intrusion: November 1977)

Rrose_Selavy

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The artist Susan Hiller made a work connected with the phenomena


Belshazzar's Feast/The Writing on your Wall (1983/4) was the first video installation to be acquired by Tate, and its initial exhibition created an unusual informality in the Duveen Galleries, with audiences seated on the floor. The video programme which is the core of this work was broadcast all over Britain by Channel 4 in 1986, and the installation itself simulates a live transmission seen on a television set in a cozy living room.

]Hiller's Belshazzar's Feast is an investigation of the phenomenon of reverie sometimes produced by television viewing. Her video programme creates effects that enable viewers to enter a zone of liminality, and in this sense the work is a demonstration of the power of imagination which we all have. Like the prophet Daniel, who could interpret but not read the mysterious writing on Belshazzar's wall, viewers glean hints of revelation from the segmented soundtrack. The artist whispers newspaper reports of alien beings seen on television screens after closedown, while interspersed with this she sings in an improvisational style, and a child describes from memory the Bible story of Belshazzar's feast as depicted in Rembrandt's painting in the National Gallery. The visuals are a seductive stream of manipulated images of fire, referring to Marshall McLuhan's suggestion that the television set has replaced the hearth as the focus of the home. The shifting colours and moving shapes of Hiller's imagery create an almost-hypnotic effect, stimulating viewers to experience their own ability to generate images which are projected onto the electronic flames

http://www.susanhiller.org/Info/bio.html
 

synchronicity

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Hey, I used to know GRAMAHA!!! :shock:

Oh no, wait---that was GRANDMA.

Never mind--my mistake. 8)
 

OldTimeRadio

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Thanks

Ted, thanks for the link. I'd always wanted to hear the broadcast but figured I'd never have the chance.

It's wonderful that the alien had such a nice native British accent.

But I was unprepared for the genuinely excrable audio fidelity. I certainly do hope the "Space Brothers" know a good deal more about maintaining stardrives and interstellar navigation than they do about broadcasting a simple audio signal.
 

TedSerious

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No worries. :)

Not only does he speak with an English accent, he appears to be talking through a flanger while someone plays a bass guitar in the background.

As regards the audio quality, I imagine that the source of this WAV was probably a cheap cassette recorder pointed at the TV speaker!
 
A

Anonymous

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Reminds me of two things...

(i) Ash (the robot out of the film 'Alien') when he gets his head lopped off and gives his 'I don't fancy your chances' speach

Link

...and...

(ii) the sounds in the infirmary on-board the startship Enterprise from the early original episodes of Star Trek.
 

GNC

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Re: Gramaha Transmission, 26 Nov 1977

graylien said:
The story goes that thousands of viewers heard the message which rudely interrupted the local evening news, but I wonder if this isn't an exaggeration along the lines of the mythical War of the World's panic - or even if the entire incident wasn't invented and fed to the press by zealous members of the Ashtar Command cult. Considering that very few people would have had a video recorder in 1977, and that no-one in their right mind tapes the local news, it's a little suspicious that the full text of the transmission has survived intact - and I can't find a single first-person account from anyone who claims to have heard the broadcast.


Here it is, the audio of it anyway:
http://www.ufoshow.org/vrillon.mp3

Well worth a listen. I expected it to be really scary, but it's actually quite funny! And near the end, that's Marvin the Martian, isn't it? A hint that it might not be entirely serious?

Included on that mp3 are news reports of the time, adding to the genuine quality. I think it really happened.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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(Transplanted from the Asgardia thread)

Whenever I read the word Asgardia in this thread, my mind conflates it to Ashtar Galactic Command.

No idea why.

As you were.
 
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Schrodinger's Zebra

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Yeah...wonder what happened to ol' Gramaha, head of the Ashtar Galactic Command?

Dunno, shame he's never bothered contacting us again. Maybe he's decided we're a lost cause :D

I always wish I'd got to see that Ashtar broadcast, but alas I was too young. Would've been cool, I think.
 

Mythopoeika

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Listening to the broadcast, his name can sound like either Vrillon or Gramaha. Interesting.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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Listening to the broadcast, his name can sound like either Vrillon or Gramaha. Interesting.

Coool thanks for that :) Is that the actual original audio, do you know? Because I can hear other things other than the newsreader 'underneath' the Ashtar voice.

EDIT: I'm guessing adverts, cos near the end once Ashtar has stopped speaking I can hear the Southern Television 'ident' music.

I heard 'my name is Gramaha' at the start. But then at about 3:48 he definitely said "hear now the voice of Vrillon".
 

Austin Popper

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The Ashtar Command has a long and rather colorful history. Some very serious UFO researchers have run afoul of various versions of it, with some puzzling results. I can think of two off the top of my head, Bruce Maccabee and Wilbert Smith. Pretty sure about Smith, and I think there were others. I know Maccabee's story is still on line, though it's long and a bit tedious unless you are really interested in the topic. I find it somewhat amusing, sort of like the UMMO stuff. It's not really a straightforward hoax, but I don't think anyone knows exactly what it is.
 
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Comfortably Numb

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The Ashtar Command has a long and rather colorful history.
Until coming across the aforenoted live recording, which I had vaguely heard about, I didn't realise it was supposedly a communication from Ashtar Command.

Having read their related background on Wikipedia, I see the history goes back to 1952.

I also didn't know anything about this earlier incident (quoting Wikipedia):

"In 1971, a British radio talk show devoted to UFOs received a strange call-in claiming to originate from outer space, which some of the guests believed to be genuine. This turned out to be the prelude for the 1977 Southern Television broadcast interruption, when a voice calling itself "Vrillon" of the Ashtar Galactic Command temporarily took over a television transmitter in southern England".

Resultant of your post, I've just had a further quick search re this and discovered an article with a distinct forum connection.

Vrillon: the alien voice hoax that became a legend

Forty years ago, a TV broadcast was taken over by what claimed to be an alien intelligence. The mystery has never been solved

Source: The Independent
Date: 22 November, 2017

[...]

The incident is cherished by those who describe themselves as Forteans – students of the strange and unexplained, who take their name from the American writer and researcher into strange phenomenon, Charles Fort.

John Reppion is a Fortean author, a folklorist, and lover of what he refers to as “the English Weird”. He thinks those who broadcast the Vrillon message, by jamming Southern TV’s signal, chose their time carefully.

“Obviously, interrupting a news broadcast rather than a programme not only ensured a wider audience, but also a ‘serious’ one, lending much more gravitas to the message than if it had been played out over ‘Crossroads’ or something,” says Reppion.

“This, perhaps, implies serious intent on the part of the signal jammers, but it could equally be argued that their intent was merely to give the stunt the strongest possible impact. That said, the bits of audio from the cartoon which immediately followed the news that day which were still audible under the Vrillon voice, did make the whole thing even more weird and disquieting.”

[...]

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...rial-hoax-unexplained-mysteries-a8069926.html
 

Comfortably Numb

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"The incident is cherished by those who describe themselves as Forteans – students of the strange and unexplained, who take their name from the American writer and researcher into strange phenomenon, Charles Fort".

Is it just myself, or does make us sound not dissimilar to Ashtar Command.

Kind of... 'weird' people... :actw:
 

Comfortably Numb

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Thats what I was talking about in my Thread on General Forteana, Media image problems
Really surprised at your comments and something I have never considered at all.

Clearly need to have a look at your thread then.

Although merely noting the article's explanation of... 'who we are'... was perhaps amusingly quaint... maybe more to this?

Further discussions accordingly redirected.
 

GNC

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I have heard this recording, and thought it sounded hilarious, but now I'm wondering if it was a re-recording from a transcript? Have such things been done, anyone know? Because the version I heard was comically mundane, wouldn't you have wanted a "scary" or at least commanding voice to broadcast?
 

dr wu

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Did anyone ever discover who hoaxed this or any info on it? Did any group or person claim they were involved?
 

bakelite brain

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The TV interruption really happened on the date stated, but the video is an obvious hoax made about three years later.


1) The voice at the beginning is Andrew Gardener reading the national news. The presenter in shot is Cliff Mitchelmore presenting local news.
2) The event happened on a Saturday. Mitchelmore is presenting Day By Day local news which is only aired on week days.
3) The interruption happened at about 5.10pm. Day By Day doesn't start until 6pm - on weekdays only.
4) Mitchelmore didn't start presenting Day By Day until 1979.
5) The picture wasn't disturbed, only the sound was affected by a very close pirate transmitter swamping the incoming FM sound signal from Rowridge.
6) The transmitter at Hannington was chosen by the pranksters because at the time it was the only main transmitter to relay another transmitter (Rowridge), rather than have a secure cable link from the studio.
7) The long transcript shown on the screen appeared years later, probably when the repro video was made. A shorter text version appeared shortly after 26 November. Neither ever appeared on the screen at the time.

Interesting hoax that really isn't that hard for a techie to unravel. But it's been well and truly embraced by the alien believers. Maybe now this story can be put to bed...?
 
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CALGACUS03

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Did anyone ever discover who hoaxed this or any info on it? Did any group or person claim they were involved?

Hi @dr wu , @escargot spotted a 'confession' on Twitter which she posted about here. It reads (in full):



Fesshole

@fesshole


I'm a now retired senior television technician. At teatime Saturday 26 November, 1977, aliens from the Ashtar Galactic Command took control of audio of the TV broadcast in Hampshire. Sorry ufologists, but that was actually me and some mates pissing about. We never got caught.

9:25 pm

A link to the Twitter thread in question can be found here.
 

Junopsis

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I know that doesn't identify who it really was, and I have no reason to think that the person who sent it did it, but that's sort of fun if so. Just thinking that they're out there and watching the effect of this thing they did on a lark. It must be frustrating seeing people speculate weirdly on it and knowing if they're off the mark.
 

Souleater

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I know that doesn't identify who it really was, and I have no reason to think that the person who sent it did it, but that's sort of fun if so. Just thinking that they're out there and watching the effect of this thing they did on a lark. It must be frustrating seeing people speculate weirdly on it and knowing if they're off the mark.
A bit like when those guys admitted to and demonstrated how they made crop circles.
 

Junopsis

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That was even better, they actually came forward! (I'd love to do that one day. Make a crop circle. Geometric constructions are fun on paper, writ large would be even cooler.)
 
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