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Federal Crackdown Assured As EAS Alert Fails To Go Nationwide

Feds analyze strange glitches and failures in creepy alert system test

Steve Watson
November 10, 2011

Federal government officials have begun pouring over data from Wednesday’s Emergency Alert System test, in an effort to discover what went wrong in many areas of the country and how complete control of the nation’s airwaves can be achieved.

During the thirty second test, many cable and broadcast television viewers saw only a blank screen. Radio stations are said to have experienced dead air, while DirectTV customers bizarrely heard Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” playing in the background. Comcast subscribers reported that their TVs switched to the QVC home shopping network automatically.

Video: Lady Gaga plays in the background as the emergency alert system displays the test message.

Video: How the emergency alert system sounded on radio stations, with some failing to pick it up at all.

Some providers and viewers who reported seeing the government message said that the audio from the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency was muffled and indecipherable.

“The tones were heard but the audio provided during the test by the federal government was very difficult to understand due to ambient noise from their system,” said Patti Smith, KVUE-TV’s president and general manager.

West Virginia Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato said all radio and television stations in the state were able to successfully rebroadcast the test signal, but “Depending on what kind of station you heard it on you either heard static or the message was garbled.”

One county commission official in the state added “My 6-year-old grandson could have done a better job with a string and a can…The audio was low, and the voice was almost unintelligible.”

Video: Recorded from KVUE-DT in Austin, TX on November 9, 2011 at 1:00:30 pm CST. The audio is garbled and drowned out by the background tones.

Another official was quoted as saying, ” The Test was a huge success. If we had not run the test on November 9th we would have not known that it was broken.”

The Denver Post reported that at “Denver’s KMGH-Channel 7, the test’s warning failed to connect, then muted the channel’s audio for more than two hours. At KWGN-Channel 2 and KDVR-Channel 31, viewers who use antennas had a 2 1/2-minute delay before the start of the noon test.”

In an official joint statement, FEMA, DHS and FCC officials noted:

“The Nationwide EAS Test served the purpose for which it was intended – to identify gaps and generate a comprehensive set of data to help strengthen our ability to communicate during real emergencies.”

“Based on preliminary data, media outlets in large portions of the country successfully received the test message, but it wasn’t received by some viewers or listeners,” they said. “We are currently in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and will reach a conclusion when that process is complete.”

Over 30,000 broadcast television, radio, satellite and cable providers took part in the exercise. Each provider now has 45 days to report their experiences to the Federal government.

Federal officials plan to spend the next month and a half collecting feedback before they formulate plans to “improve” the system.

Officials noted that the data will be used to identify where the system works and where it doesn’t, and what improvements need to be made going forward.

Concerns about the EAS alert were encapsulated by radio host Glenn Beck when he questioned why the government had chosen to conduct the test on a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of a work day, “when the whole world is in revolution.”

Beck warned that the first of its kind test gave the government the pretext to take over all civilian communication outlets under the guise of a national emergency.

“If the state wants to take control…they can just take it and there is nothing I can do about it,” Beck stated, adding that the process “seizes control of the broadcast frequency.”

As Alex Jones documents below, the EAS test is part of the federal government’s unfolding agenda to build an infrastructure that will allow all communications to be seized by authorities in a time of declared national emergency.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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