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Author Topic: 1950s KLEE TV Urban Legend Debunked  (Read 6095 times)
K0OD
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« on: August 23, 2013, 06:31:41 AM »

"TV Signals From Texas Picked Up in UK... 3 Years After Station Goes Off Air"

We've all heard it. It had to be true because the story was first published in Readers Digest in 1958, and reprinted a bazillion times since. But like most urban legends, the debunking has barely dented the original hoax.

Maybe most of you know the truth, but this was new to me:
http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/klee.asp

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TANAKASAN
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 02:17:22 AM »

What a fascinating story!

Tanakasan
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G3RZP
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 03:23:07 AM »

Even more fascinating that the 525 line 60 frame signal changed to a 405 line 50 frame one!
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K0OD
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 09:58:26 AM »


I'm usually careful not to pass along urban legend guff.  I'm a huge fan of Myth Busters.  I blew the whistle on Santa and the Tooth Fairy early on. I'm a doubter by nature. But I've retold the KLEE story often since I first heard it in a HS radio club meeting long ago, and as a born DXer, the story registered.

Many explanations were offered at the time, but never a hoax... this was the innocent 1950s. It was also the zenith of UFOs and science fiction. No one ever mentioned the daunting (to us Earthlings anyway) format differences between TV's and Tellies.



One thing bothers me. Most of the web debunkings of the KLEE hoax are of very recent origin. Many quote the Snopes article from 2012. I can't find old information containing precise info about the hoaxers themselves. I'd like to see something more official before I call this 60 year old myth... 100% Busted.

 
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W1JKA
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 03:00:28 AM »

   While I was sleeping last night I received a live 1968 radio broadcast from WBZ Boston (Wolf Man Jack) via a filling in my lower left molar. I woke up to get my small digital recorder but when I went back to sleep the station had gone off the air. I am now keeping the recorder close by on my bedside stand for future proof.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 03:05:56 AM by W1JKA » Logged
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 389




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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 05:35:34 PM »

"TV Signals From Texas Picked Up in UK... 3 Years After Station Goes Off Air"

We've all heard it. It had to be true because the story was first published in Readers Digest in 1958, and reprinted a bazillion times since. But like most urban legends, the debunking has barely dented the original hoax.

Maybe most of you know the truth, but this was new to me:
http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/klee.asp



What Snopes doesn't mention, is that American TV ID slides were frequently reproduced in fleabag TV magazines, of which there were many in 1950. The American magazines, however, didn't reach London until a couple YEARS after publication in the States. Thus the out of date "report". Furthermore, these same magazines printed electronics projects, including one where you could build a fleawatt TV transmitter to broadcast still images to the next room. Somehow, these guys got a hold of some of these magazines, and hit upon the perfect scam:

1) Build the fleawatt TV tx, modifying it for English TV.

2) Cut out the ID slides from the zines, and/or make them up.

3) Invite a bunch of gullible people to view your "long distance superheterodyne TV set".

4) Send out the photos along with requests for funding your new "invention".

5) Take the money and run.

Yes, they were eventually busted, but by then the "lost TV signal" was legend.

Here's what WE know about propagation that THEY didn't in 1953:

1) Signals below 30 Mhz do indeed bounce off the ionosphere. This is how shortwave and "skywave" AM works. HOWEVER, the signals eventually run out of gas, and fade into zero. You can't listen to the 1934 World Series for this reason.

2) Signals above 30 Mhz (ie TV) penetrate the ionosphere and keep going. What we don't know is what happens to them. Do they fade to zilch? Go forever? Are aliens watching an original broadcast of I Love Lucy somewhere out there? What we humans know is that every attempt to receive signals from ETs has met with (mostly) failure. There HAVE been a handful of promising signals, but they have been so fleeting that they haven't been confirmed-AND they were never heard again. My pet theory is that the natural rotation of planets makes it highly unlikely that, if ET radio exists, we will ever pick it up. Likewise, the ETs will never get human signals. We know that planets rotate, all of them, around their suns. The likelihood of Earth being in exactly the right place to pick up ET radio is low.

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KE3WD
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 05:51:48 AM »

There were some young US engineers in the UK at the time, working for Farnsworth Corp. - and they had access to all sorts of transmitting gear, all of it PAL because, well, they were in Britain. 

They were also being phased out and soon to be headed back home to the states. 

I hear tell they also had access to good Scotch Whiskey and English Gin... 


heh
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G3RZP
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 08:56:54 AM »

The PAL patent wasn't until 1962 - it was a German invention....
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AC4RD
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 09:14:57 AM »

The PAL patent wasn't until 1962 - it was a German invention....

"There are some Germans staying in the hotel!  Don't mention the war!  I did once, but I don't think anybody noticed it."
    --Basil Fawlty
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WB2EOD
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 06:18:18 PM »

I sometimes wonder what those "little green men" on some distant planet would think about earth if all they had to go on were wayward television broadcasts of Beverly Hillbillies, LaVern and Shirley, Green Acres, The Munsters and possibly The Simpsons

WB2EOD
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N0YXB
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 06:48:02 PM »

The PAL patent wasn't until 1962 - it was a German invention....

"There are some Germans staying in the hotel!  Don't mention the war!  I did once, but I don't think anybody noticed it."
    --Basil Fawlty


Fawlty Towers, one of the funniest shows ever!  Thank you.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 06:31:04 AM »

2) Signals above 30 Mhz (ie TV) penetrate the ionosphere and keep going. What we don't know is what happens to them. Do they fade to zilch? Go forever? Are aliens watching an original broadcast of I Love Lucy somewhere out there?

Not yet, but about 950 years from now perhaps...

http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Omicron_Persei_8

"The planet orbits the star Omicron Persei, which is about 1000 light years from Earth; this convenient coincidence allows the Omicronians in the 31st century to view 21st century television broadcasts."
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G3RZP
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 07:03:38 AM »

But why would they bother?
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W1JKA
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 07:26:29 AM »

Re: OMICRON

  Whackyleaks update, Omicron Persei  populated mostly by middle earth Citicrons and under some what questionable control of the small elite ruling class Obamacrons who are light years behind in understanding the Citicrons need and desire for their own free space living experiments. In an attempt to subdue and appease the Citicrons the Obamacrons use the latest intra stellular communication technology for which they are noted in developing and using such technology in sending false and misleading signals out to the Citicrons. The Obamacrons are apparently unaware that the Citicrons are wise to this scheme and have been light years ahead in developing their own reflective shield and response technologies. Keep tuned to Klee TV for latest developments.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 07:29:02 AM by W1JKA » Logged
N2EY
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 12:19:09 PM »

OTOH, what happened at KLUE in Texas in August 1966 is true!

73 de Jim, N2EY
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