Shades of Orson Welles

Shades of Orson Welles

Post by Gregory L. Forste » Sat, 16 Oct 1999 04:00:00

    Thursday night, 10/14/99, my son had to go down to my ba***t
office to use my computer to do his homework.  Also in my office I have
a Radio Shack Pro -2066 trunk tracking scanner.  While he was doing his
homework on the word processor, I thought it would be a good time to
review the search trunking IDs and look for more IDs for our community
police department.

    As I was searching, I came across a very interesting ID, 20816.  We
first heard, "Popping smoke!" and "Gunfire at north entrance!"  then we
heard, "Shots fired at the south door!" and "We have a hostage
situation!"  Then my wife yelled at us to come upstairs for supper.

    After supper, we continued listening to 20816.  Of course it wasn't
too easy for my son to complete his homework. "One suspect at door
wearing a white shirt and blue jeans has a shotgun!"  blared over my
speaker.  My son finished his homework, but wanted to stay and listen.
There were several squads, probably 10 or 12 and "CP."  "CP" was
continually on the air.  I assumed CP meant Command Post.

    My son wanted to continue listening.  I said, "No, you go upstairs
and see if Mom saw any news on TV." She didn't hear anything.  I
continued to listen.  Transmissions were coming so fast, I used the word
processor to try to keep up.  Writing by hand was too slow. What I was
able to write on the word processor:
"The auditorium is on the west side of the building!"
"Could you get me some M-16s here. I think they'd be more appropriate!"
"Could you get a negotiator here?"
"There's a body laying at the door where the phone is going in!"
"2 dead and 1 seriously injured!"
"We're forming *** teams now!"
"There's a suspect yelling from the west window, 'Get me out of here!'"

    You have to remember, I'm trying to get this all down. There's all
these squads contacting CP and CP contacting all these different
squads.  I don't know which department it was, but I sure tried to
listen and find out.

    I listened further:
"They're not answering the phone.  I can hear a woman screaming, 'Don't
shoot!  Don't shoot!'"
"Dispatch a paramedic.  1 has a gunshot in the abdomen, 1 gunshot in the
"We're forming teams now!"

    I looked at my watch.  I was listening now for over an hour now,
closer to over an hour and a half!

"Advises notify with a cell phone. Lock out the auditorium and west
"Doors on west side that were open are now closed!"
"Milwaukee paramedic on the scene!"

    AHA!!!  MILWAUKEE!!! Maybe it's Milwaukee police swat team??  I went
on the internet and accessed the Radio Shack trunk scanner web site to
find out who 20816 was.  It said,"Speed Trap."   Yeah Sure!!  With
conversation like that! I--D-O-N-'-T--T-H-I-N-K--S-O!!!!

    The scanner continued:
"No communication whatsoever now!"
"Multiple automatic fire inside building.  We're going to have to move!"

"A lot of screaming coming from inside the building!"

  Then came the culmination of the transmissions.

"Captain, if you need more simulated bodies...."

    Un hunh!  That's why my wife didn't hear anything on he news!  THIS
WAS JUST A 2 HOUR PRACTICE DRILL!!!  Milwaukee swat team??  I then
thought of the original Orson Welles broadcast of "War of the Worlds."
Many people didn't hear the beginning where it was announced that this
was just a dramatization.  Nor, did they hear during the radio
broadcast.  Many people really believed that they were being invaded by
Mars and took their lives.

    Have any of you come across this type of broadcast on your
scanners?  It still makes for interesting listening.