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WKCR Hijacking is one of those incidents described as a Broadcast Signal Intrusion, like the Max Headroom Incident (I covered this in my June 2014 blog) and it seems unconfirmed but the story interested me. So here goes:
It was originally posted on 4chan where the original poster says that they came across an old recording made in 1994/1995 and that they never thought about copying it, then they found it again and decided to upload it digitally. The uploader says that it was from WKCR 89.9, among the posts there is the usual insults and trolling but there are other comments.
From the post I found myself listening to the upload, it is discordant and overlapping with various sounds. All together when combined the effect is pretty creepy and well not entirely pleasant on the ears, if like me you find high pitched squealing noises hard work on the ears.
So off I went to the internet having listening a few times, and here’s a summary of what I think are the best points.
Reddit – WKCR FM Columbia, New York is a college radio station, generally the idea behind this is that many think it was an arts project. It seems a worthy consideration and given their listings on the website, sounds quite fair.
It was compared to some other experimental artists and many comment that it does not feel like it was an old tape and converted over, purely down to the high quality of it. Some think it would be a little about how clean it was that made it a spurious claim and others countered this saying that you can clean tapes up to very good quality these days.
A comment I saw mentioned that a date in the audio was 1998. I listened to it quite a lot and did not manage to pick that out. Can you tell me if you do and where?
Some people think it might be an attempt at replicating artists like Diamanda Galás, she centered on things like AIDS, mental illness and despair as examples. I compared them, I thought she was interesting but this does not sound like something copying her work.
This is what I could make out – add corrections if you can. I have placed them in date order…
February 1985 – Frank Oppenheimer, brother of Robert. Husband of Jackie, their father of Micheal, our friend.
August 22nd 1985 [incoherent] Tulio. Sister of Millie, Margaret, Dominic and joe. Wife of William. Mother of Mary, Lisa and Billy.
July 4th 1987 Peter Dunwell, Son of Robert, Husband of Lisa
March 17th 1988, Edward McEllis (McNellis?) [Incoherent] Edward’s brother. William, June, Peggy father of Julie, Heart Attack.
April 1988 Rupert [incoherent]
October 1988 Morgan (Tunic?) father of Barbara, Husband of Elsie. Barbara’s dad. Kidney failure.
November 1988 John Byrne (Burn?) Son of John, brother of Catherine and Chris.
December 21st 1988 Barry Valentino, son of Barry Senior, brother of Scott, Mark and Lisa. And his friend, my friend.
May 1987 Henrietta Graham, Mother of [incoherent] my friend.
So is there any relevance? Well 22nd August 1985 was the date of an airways disaster. British Airtours Flight 28m. In total 55 people died as a result but I couldn’t find anything that listed those names and I think I would need the name of the diseased, I could not make that out.
I would also like to clarify that Frank Oppenheimer was not part of the Manhattan project as some of the sources suggest. Robert is mentioned but they are reading out the details about Frank, Frank died 3rd February 1985 and died at home, not as a result of a plane accident, so there is no link there.
Barry Valentino is listed and appears to be a victim of the Pan AM Flight 103, Lockerbie. There is a plane involved in this one.
So is it a creepy art project and a false claim of broadcast intrusion? At the moment I have to say yes, there is nothing specific enough here and I don’t really recognise what message they are trying to portray within the recording.
I am standing ready to be corrected.