Television stations in California, Montana, Michigan and New Mexico scared the life out of viewers this week. In a scene straight out of Night of the Living Dead, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) interrupted regularly-scheduled programs to announce a zombie outbreak!
“Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” the announcer warned. “Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
Lt. Shane Sorensen of the Great Falls Police Department told the Great Falls Tribune that Montanans are safe.
“We had four calls checking to see if it was true. And then I thought, ‘Wait. What if?’” Sorensen said with a laugh. “We can report in the city, there have been no sightings of dead bodies rising from the ground.”
The hoax was initiated by an overseas hacker using default passwords and networks that are public accessibly through the internet. The incident is currently being investigated by the FCC and the FBI.
“It isn’t what they said. It is the fact that they got into the system. They could have caused some real damage,” said Karole White, president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.