There exists a subculture on the internet fascinated by lost media. Missing episodes of long-cancelled television shows, unreleased photographs of important historical events, suppressed news footage of gruesome occurrences, all are sought after, and clues to where the next rediscovered curiosity will surface are discussed endlessly on web forums and chat channels.
Among some of the older and more experienced enthusiasts, there is an ongoing search for something referred to in lost media circles as the Manistique Broadcast, named for the small city in northern Michigan in which the original footage was supposedly aired one evening in 1982. The first references to the broadcast appear in cheaply copied newsletters circulated among pirate broadcasting hobbyists in the Great Lakes region, in which the owner of the newsletter (a person using the pseudonym "Neal Phreak") asks their readership if anyone has a recording of a twelve minute signal intrusion on a Schoolcraft County, Michigan NBC affiliate, purported to have occurred in the early hours of November 2, 1982.
Details of what exactly the broadcast is vary from source to source, and will likely never be known in full, since no known recordings have yet been discovered, and all information recovered thus far consists of the memories of several persons residing in Schoolcraft County at the time. Records recovered from Manistique television station WLUC by an unknown party and posted to the internet image board 4chan corroborate, however, that a signal intrusion did in fact occur during that night in 1982.
Most of those searching for the Manistique Broadcast agree, based on descriptions of those that claim to have seen the original broadcast, that the person depicted in the footage is Elizabeth Ekdahl, a woman reported missing to federal authorities in 1975. Miss Ekdahl's disappearance was one of several occurring in the Midwestern region during the 1970s, believed by the FBI to be the work of a single, still-unknown party. Of note is that Miss Ekdahl had a distinctive facial scar around her right eye, a consistent detail in all known eyewitness accounts of the broadcast. Another point of general agreement is the presence of an electronically altered voice overlying the broadcast; whether the voice is of the person operating the camera, or added to the broadcast by other means is unknown.
The footage is said to depict the apparently deceased Miss Ekdahl, lying on the ground in a wooded area presumed to be in the vicinity of Schoolcraft County, sometime at night. An off-screen voice at the start of the broadcast announces the phrase "how to correct the mistakes of the past, coming at eleven." Beyond this point, descriptions of the broadcast vary.
In several accounts, the broadcast is said to merely be twelve minutes of footage of the body of Miss Ekdahl, before a loud static burst and the end of the transmission. Others state that at certain points in the footage, Miss Ekdahl's eyes appear to briefly open several times, though most attribute this to be a mistaken interpretation of several viewers due to the poor quality of the transmission. Some versions of the account mention that the offscreen voice speak at these points in the broadcast, but descriptions on this point are contradictory.
A person claiming to have seen the Manistique Broadcast posted their account of the footage in the early 1990s, on a now-defunct pirate broadcasting usenet group. While the user's description of the early portions of the footage are consistent with other accounts, their account diverges drastically at approximately the six minute mark, where Miss Ekdahl is described to stand up, despite numerous large wounds and extensive trauma to the chest region. She is then described as shuffling slowly into the surrounding woods, before the broadcast ends with the same static burst at the twelve minute mark.
Due to the lack of widespread television recording capabilities at the time of the broadcast, as well as the timing of the signal interruption, it is unlikely that any recordings of the Manistique Broadcast exist. Still photos purported to be taken from the broadcast have been posted occasionally on image sharing sites; however, most users doubt the veracity of these photos, given the possibility of image manipulation.
Certain details are frequent sources of discussion among those interested in the Manistique Broadcast. Of the four disappearances connected to the case of Miss Ekdahl, hers are the only remains that have yet to be recovered. Two of the persons reported missing were later recovered with injuries similar to those apparently suffered by Miss Ekdahl; the remains of the third person were found in an advanced state of decomposition, making confirmation of the cause of death impossible to determine. Miss Ekdahl's mother claimed on an episode of Mornings With Len in 1989 to have seen her outside of her home during the nighttime on several occasions, and has consistently advocated for authorities to keep her case open, despite the official close of the investigation in 1992. In 1984, a private equity firm purchased 300 acres of forest in Schoolcraft County, located approximately two miles from Miss Ekdahl's former home, and have closed public access to the parcel since. Several lost media forum users have reported receiving threatening phone calls late at night after visiting this area, as well as other forms of unspecified harassment.
While the existence of a signal interruption affecting WLUC in 1982 is beyond doubt, it is unlikely that the true nature, or even the precise contents, of that broadcast will ever be determined.