Who Was the ‘Birdman of Jacksonville’ who Hijacked a TV Broadcast?
Imagine watching television and your program eerily washes out and some unknown, unexplained broadcast comes on. We're not talking about news reports or the Emergency Alert System, rather a true hijacking of the airwaves. They're known as broadcast intrusions and we've covered some of the most famous (Chicago's Max Headroom incident) to the creepy (The 'death list' aired on New York City's WKCR). This incident from Jacksonville, Florida, in 2007 is just bizarre.
A YouTube user who uploaded this video states that it was recorded on November 18, 2007 at 3:43PM. WAWS/Fox 30 (now WFOX-TV) was airing an episode of Matlock when the signal was hijacked for 2:05.
Doing a Google search turned up no news reports of the signal hijacking, and there are questions on this Reddit forum, of the video's validity.
Taking a look at the video, you'll understand, thanks to the long-beaked mask, why the figure has come to be known as the 'Birdman.' However, given our 2020 pandemic sensibilities, you can see that the outfit is likely a plague mask.
Because of the maks and his speech being sounded slowed down, it's difficult to make out much of the message as it's somewhat unintelligible. There are several instances of the sound of analog tape rewinding or fast-forwarding. To my old radio ear, it sounds like a reel-to-reel machine.
Whether it's real or a hoax, it makes for some odd video. Here's some of what I can make out:
Don't worry...once you do this...you will can for him...he will come for you..he will hand you... once he hand it to you, cut it into eight pieces ..now got to the top...turn all the pieces and throw them on to the ground out the window...find all the pieces and bury them...when you complete this, light a match and run fifty feet...you will see....
Here's another take from a redditor: