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Very Strange VHS Find

Discussion in 'Platypus Comix' started by Peter Paltridge, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    VHS tapes have two separate audio tracks (stereo and mono). Normally when the stereo track is corroded I just switch to the mono track when digitizing. But THIS time, SOMEHOW, something completely different was recorded to the mono track. It appears to be some kind of weather radio channel....?

    In terms of value this tape is priceless -- I've digitized hundreds of tapes and never run across this kind of quirk before. As an archivist, though, this tape sucks -- neither track is any good, so I can't win either way.

    The problem appears to be from the station -- only programs recorded from ABC that day turned out like this.

    Have any of you ever heard of such a thing? What could have caused this?
     
  2. prof_ratigan

    prof_ratigan New Member

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    I experienced something like this 14 years ago. One of the creepiest experiences of my young life. It was the Saturday of Martin Luther King weekend in January 2002, and I'd taped five different programs, on five different channels, a few hours apart, onto a new blank tape.
    The first was an airing of Rugrats In Paris on Showtime that morning.
    The second was Garth Brooks Ireland And Back, a very rare concert special which CMT was broadcasting two times that weekend only as part of their Garthgantuan Weekend (weren't they clever?), the first of which was that afternoon. The special documents Garth's record-breaking shows at Dublin's Croke Park Stadium in May 1997, followed by a small, intimate concert in LA (the "...And Back" portion of the special). I'm a major Garth fan and for 2 years I'd wanted to see this special. My dad had taped over most of the original 1998 NBC broadcast with the 1999 TNT adaptation of A Christmas Carol, I hadn't gotten into Garth until 2000, and Ireland And Back had never been re-aired before. All that was left of the special was half of "Ain't Going Down Til The Sun Comes Up", which was the next-to-last song of the "Ireland" portion of the special, and everything else after that. No way was I missing this! I even got to catch a good 10 minutes or so of the CMT broadcast as I taped it, mostly of "We Shall Be Free" through "If Tomorrow Never Comes". I couldn't wait to finally be able to see the full thing later that night!
    Then that evening I taped an episode of Press Your Luck off of Game Show Network (not yet GSN). Another part of my personality is that I'm a gigantic game show nerd.
    About an hour later I taped a Travel Channel special on Hawaii and Pearl Harbor Yep, history buff as well.
    And right around midnight I taped a rerun of Family Ties off of Nick At Nite.
    So later that night I settled into bed to watch the tape. Rugrats in Paris played normally. Then the tape cut to the end credits of the Mark Wills episode of CMT's Inside Fame, and then Ireland And Back began. I was finally seeing this concert! And it played normally...until toward the end of the first hour of the special, when halfway through "Callin' Baton Rouge", the audio suddenly switched to a loud burst of static, followed by a garbled communication between two male voices, roughly the sound quality of the weather report you're hearing in your video, Peter, with beeps and other electronic sounds occurring in between, And this lasted for at least 15 minutes. It lasted throughout all of Garth singing "If Tomorrow Never Comes", a commercial break, Garth singing "Ireland", and then the first two verses of "Friends In Low Places" before the regular audio finally returned to normal during the second chorus. It was very creepy and unsettling. And remember how I said I'd caught a few minutes of the actual broadcast? I saw "Callin' Baton Rouge" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes", those noises were NOT present in the broadcast. I was pretty spooked.
    But I settled down, and watched the rest of the special, knowing I'd have to retape the special the following night. CMT was promoting the special by saying you only had two chances to catch it: Saturday afternoon and Sunday night, before it went back in the vault. But I decided to finish watching the other two shows I'd taped. Press Your Luck played fine until the very end of the first question round. As Peter Tomarken gave the answer to the final question and awarded the spins, there was a burst of static followed by the two male voices returning, with the same beeping and electronic noise. This time, it lasted the entire episode. I kept fast-forwarding and stopping, hoping the real audio would come back. But it never did. It lasted for the remainder of Press Your Luck, and all of the Hawaii documentary and the entire episode of Family Ties as well.
    I was a little creeped out but at the same time I chalked it up to a fluke signal issue with either my cable box or my VCR, perhaps crossing signals with local police radio or even CBs considering I lived near a major interstate exit. So I wouldn't forget, I rewound the tape to the beginning of Ireland And Back and set the VCR to record the Sunday night showing, as it was the only tape I had on hand with enough space and material I was willing (in this case more than happy) to tape over. I turned off my TV and turned on my radio. Phil Vassar's then-current single "That's When I Love You" was playing. And then...it happened. The song was interrupted by the same burst of static, the same garbled male voices, and the same electronic beeps inbetween. I turned off the radio and laid there shaking, scared out of my mind. I laid there for easily three hours before falling asleep from pure exhaustion.
    I am happy to report that nothing like that ever happened again. I retaped Ireland And Back the following night and it was perfectly fine. For the next three months I watched Ireland And Back repeatedly, but never rewatched the Press Your Luck episode, the Hawaii documentary, or the Family Ties episode. Then, in April of that year I had a friend over who was also a big Garth nut and had never seen the special, so I popped the tape in, only for the VCR to eat the tape, and the film broke as my father attempted to free it. That was it. After waiting almost 2 years to see the Ireland And Back special, I had a copy for 3 months, only for it to be again lost forever.
    And I do mean "lost forever". Fast forward four years to November 2006 when, after years of fan pressure, Garth's TV specials were finally released in a DVD box set, and while the Dublin concert was included, it was re-titled Garth Brooks Live From Dublin. Why? Because they removed the entire LA concert! It was no longer Garth Brooks Ireland And Back because the "...And Back" portion was removed. But it didn't bother me much, the Ireland portion survived in tact, which was the better part of the special anyway. I'd honestly never cared about the LA portion, it was only tacked onto the special because between May 1997, when the Irish shows were filmed and March 1998, when it finally aired, Garth had released a new album called Sevens so they did the LA show to include songs from the new album in the special. I was happy with just the Ireland portion.
    Cut to tonight, and I read your post Peter, and the memories of those weird noises came flooding back for the first time in years. And as I type this, I recovered another memory from that fateful Saturday in January 2002, something I hadn't thought of in 14 years. While Rugrats In Paris was recording that morning, just a few hours before Ireland And Back aired, I was on the internet looking up various Garth material, as I was wont to do, when I came across a news article from 1998 that told a horrific story. It told the story of a father in Lima, Ohio being indicted on murder charges. On March 4, 1998, he and his family had sat down to watch Garth Brooks Ireland And Back on NBC, when his toddler began crying and acting up at the beginning of the broadcast. The man took the child to a bedroom, and later returned to his family, telling them the kid had fallen asleep. He was reportedly angry that he had missed a sizable chunck of the special. HeAfter the broadcast, the mother found the child unresponsive in the bedroom. 911 was called, but the kid was pronounced dead of suffocation.
    I remember thinking about that article for a brief time that day, as I showered to go to the Saturday vigil mass, but never thought about it again until tonight. And I can't seem to find any evidence of the case online today but I SWEAR I remember reading it. I live in Ohio so the fact that it happened in Lima stuck out to me.
    Did the ghost of that toddler haunt me because I still watched that special after knowing what happened to him because of it? I dunno. You tell me.
     
  3. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Kyupikon!

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    Woah. Now that sounds creepy.
     
  4. twilicorn

    twilicorn HER AIM IS GETTING BETTER

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    When was the video recorded? I'm curious.
     
  5. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    The last week of 1995.
     
  6. KE7JFF

    KE7JFF Member

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    I assume this was KATU? They used to broadcast weather radio among other things on their secondary audio channel, which some VCRs recorded as the mono track...
     
  7. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    It was KATU. The practice didn't last very long, did it? It makes a difference in how many tapes are ruined by this....
     
  8. KE7JFF

    KE7JFF Member

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    I think it ran to 2000; they would only play it if there was no spanish track.

    KOIN on its SAP channel if it had nothing would play "THIS IS KOIN CHANNEL 6, IF YOU ARE HEARING THIS, THERE IS NO SECONDARY AUDIO PROGRAM CURRENTLY" and OPB would play OPB-FM on the second channel.
     
  9. twilicorn

    twilicorn HER AIM IS GETTING BETTER

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    After not thinking about this story for years I re-remembered it when a trader I'm acquainted with snagged a copy of the original airing of the Ireland and Back special. Maybe I could snag it for myself and hit you up with a copy if you haven't reclaimed it since you wrote this?
     
  10. prof_ratigan

    prof_ratigan New Member

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    That'd be awesome! I don't have anything to trade it for though unfortunately
     
  11. twilicorn

    twilicorn HER AIM IS GETTING BETTER

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    I sent you a PM! did you get it?
     

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