Something Weird And Freaky Happened to Our Radio A Long Time Ago. What Could Have Caused It? : radio

Hey y’all,

I’ve seen posts here in this subreddit about strange radio phenomena (ie: Radios playing Morse code/Buzzer stations playing music for some strange reason) so I thought I’d contribute with a weird story of my own that happened to my brother and me ages ago. I want to know basically if there could be some kind of explanation for it that would make perfect sense; or if anyone else out there, who owned a radio like the one we had, could have experienced anything like it.

(Bear in mind that since this happened decades ago, there are likely to be gaps in my memory, and I may be misremembering parts of it.)

Many years ago, in the early 90s, my brother and I went ice fishing at Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota. It was a cold weekend in January, snow was falling dwon from the sky, and the lake was frozen solid, so we figured we’d spend the weekend there doing some ice fishing–catch some walleye, some bass, and listen to some music while we were there. MPR still had coverage even though we were miles away from the nearest city.

My brother was always a huge geek who loved messing around with technology. We used to joke that he was better at socializing with “machines and not people”, but in truth, he was a great guy who loved his family just as much as his work, and I miss him even now. Since he was stressed out from work, and it was the holiday season, we decided we would just go down to the lakes and chill out there.

The entire time we were together, he had an old, battery-powered handheld radio with him. I cannot recall the exact name or make or whatever, but all I can say is that it was an old, generic-looking one (dated probs 70s, or 80s)–with the usual functions; a tape deck, the record/play/stop buttons, the usual stuff. It looked secondhand, and was already worn and broken from when we first saw it. He did say he got the thing from a flea market, so as to the name or brand, honestly, we have no clue. If I had to guess, I’d say either Sears, or something cheap like that.

This is where we were when it happened.

So anyway, that evening, I briefly left the ice shack for a moment while my brother was still inside. But by the time I got back, I noticed that he was messing around with the radio, and seemed frustrated and hung up over something. Apparently, the radio was fucked. The signal kept jamming and phasing in and out, and we kept hearing static interference. We were on a frozen lake many miles away from the nearest city, so we had definitely had problems before.

It’s what happened AFTER that’s strange.

(I’m sorry first of all for the digression, but I feel like I really need to write this first off, just to get this off my chest):

We finally got the radio to stay on one frequency which I honestly can’t remember, and then it started playing a song that I can only describe as the strangest, most hellish thing I’ve ever listened to. Have you ever been taking the trash out late at night, then heard this noise behind you, giving you a feeling in the pit of your stomach? That’s the kind of feeling I got. We weren’t sure if we were hearing a real song, a garbled mishmash of modulated frequencies, or if our radio had somehow tuned into a station from a parallel universe…

Part of me found the song “catchy” in a weird way-it did burrow its way into your head like a worm-but it was also quite repetitive and annoying and in ways I cannot express, I found it unsettling and didn’t like it. It reminded me a bit of the song from Twin Peaks (for those of you old enough to remember that), except I remember the lyrics being different; they seemed religiously inspired, because I distinctly remember hearing the words “the voice of God” in it, and it was also surreally out of tune. Not only did it sound like Twin Peaks, but it was equally as surreal and disturbing as well–like in a directed-by-David-Lynch kind of weird. And as a kid, I was just baffled, because I’d never seen this before, and part of me wasn’t even sure if it was real or if I was simply imagining it. Even now, I swear, I have never found any trace of this song anywhere, and I have been searching for nearly 30 years now. But it gets stranger.

My brother, who also felt annoyed by this tuneless mess we were listening to at the time tried changing the station again, but the machine just would not respond. I swear – it was like the thing was possessed. (Though it was most likely kaput) The song’s (if it can be called that) frequency did not change no matter where he moved the tuning dial. Neither of us were sure exactly just what the hell we had done to fuck it up like this. I swear–I was so freaked out; part of me was worried that even if we tried taking out the batteries and smashing it, it would still keep playing.

Even creepier still was that the song seemed to be getting louder. Even though neither of us had touched the volume setting. But when we tried turning the volume down, or off–nothing happened.

And this is the part no ne of us could figure out. Looking back, it was a pretty old device, so there could be any number of reasons as to why the volume knob would not work, but you’ve got to understand that at the time, we weren’t exactly feeling rational and had no idea what in the world was happening.

Our fishing poles, meanwhile, had caught a bite so I lunged to grab them before they slipped under the water, which only added to the chaos. I tried to calm my brother down, but the fish pulled harder, drawing my attention away. The music got louder and louder, to the point where we had to yell just to hear each other. The singer kept repeating the same line, over and over.

“I’m returning home! I’m returning home!”

And then, my brother just lost his shit.

He chucked the damn thing down the ice hole and we never saw it again.

Maybe it was just the anxiety of the situation, but I swear I could still hear the voice as it sank and disappeared in the darkness. It must’ve scared the fish off so I pulled our poles out and sat them on the ice. That was an awkward night for both of us, to put it mildly. We didn’t catch any fish…In fact, we decided to just head back to the lodge and rest.

This was all about 28 years ago. I’ve always wondered for years how that could have even happened. What my brother did exactly to get my radio to act like that exactly, I have no idea, because I was not there to see it (and besides, I can’t exactly ask him right now, since he’s gone). I figure he must’ve accidentally changed the station to that weird, creepy song. Even now, I’m still puzzled and unsure what to think. Which is why I came to this subreddit. I don’t know the first thing about radios, or static interference, and I’m not really someone who believes in paranormal stuff, so I’m trying to figure out what the hell could possibly have happened. The volume kept rising, even without the dial being touched, and the tuning knob didn’t do shit either. We couldn’t even turn the damn thing off. Would coldness be able to do this? I don’t want to sound cliché but…supposing water got inside the circuitry or something like that–could THAT be a possible explanation? Or, supposing while I was out, my brother was very non-specific about what it is he did to the device, he may have tried disassembling it…is it possible he could have done ANYTHING to it that would have made it act like that?

Thank you all for reading this, I ended up writing a bit more than I intended to, and I hope somebody can help me figure this out.

TL;DR
Something very unsettling and weird happened to a radio we owned long ago:
• The radio cut to a weird frequency none of us heard before.
• The volume and tuning knobs both would not stop.
• In spite of the above, the volume kept rising and falling.

Has anybody out there ever HEARD of this happening/has this happened to anybody? If so, what could have possibly caused this?

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