And Now The Weather
January 04, 2008

From Sky News Europe Correspondent Greg Milam

A touch of frost, snow on high ground, winds from the west by lunch-time – how about a nuclear mushroom cloud over the mountains?

A little light Armageddon is what Czech TV was reporting during an early morning weather forecast as viewers watched the mushroom cloud billowing up over a beauty spot in Bohemia.

Luckily (for all of us) it turned out to be a hoax, the work of an ‘art collective’ which had hacked into the webcam images.

Unluckily (for the ‘art collective’) the law didn’t see the funny side. Six members have been charged with propagating false information and scare-mongering and could face three years in prison.

The group, called Ztohoven, has defended its actions. In a statement it said: “We are neither a terrorist organization nor a political group, our aim is not to intimidate the society or manipulate it, which is something we witness on daily basis both in real world and in the world created by the media.”

They went on: “This group attacked the space of TV broadcasting. It distorted it, questioned its truthfulness and its credibility. It drew attention to the possibility of using images of the world created by the media in place of the existing, real world. Is everything we see daily on our TV screens real? Is everything presented to us by the media, newspapers, television, the internet actually real?”

As a wise man once said: “Save it for the judge, buster.”

You do have to admire the understatement of Czech TV in all of this: “It could have frightened a lot of people,” they said. Yes, if a lot of people were watching, it probably would have frightened them.

But what is a little embarrassing for the Czech media world is that last month Ztohoven won a competition for young artists run by National Gallery.

As part of the prize, the National Gallery will buy the winning work, called Media Reality, for about £9,000. ‘Media Reality’ includes video of the simulated atomic blast and snippets of the artists hacking into Czech TV broadcasts.

By the way, if divided into three words, Z-toho-ven means “out of it” in Czech, but when spoken, it can also be understood as, well, “a lot of human waste”.

Written by Sky News, January 04, 2008


Actually, why is this news mentioned as "false alert in Belgium" when - in reality and as the article rightly says - it happened in the Czech Republic? There is a small difference between those two countries :-).

Anyway, this didn´t really happen during a weather forecast but during an early morning TV programme that brings live feeds from cameras that are stationed in attractive locations around the country. On average, around 0,2% of the population see this programme as it airs during weekdays :-). So, as Z-toho-ven´s representative said: "we merely managed to scare a few old-aged-pensioners".

On, and by the way, the real translation of Ztohoven is "100 s***loads". Sorry, for the language.

This reminded me that for all our problems,nuclear war is the BIG thing we have to worry about. if that were would be the end of everything and everyone. Perhaps it was a timely reminder of what could happen if we're not careful...

im just a bit worried about their name though Ztohoven, which means we must expect more from these guys, but besides that this was much better than the guy who ramed his car in that news studio in new york...

There are many more media items broadcast everyday throughout the World, which should shock, and terrify the public.
Why should this cause such outrage?
Maybe it's a little too close to a reality, that many of the worlds politicians would rather not have us reminded of.

I am amazed that al Qaeda hasn't tried claiming it’s a real attack and claimed responsibility for it.

With the world sliding ever closer to oblivion each day it is high time this generation got an updated version of Threads to remind everyone what will happen if the nuclear button is ever pressed by either terrorists or a political leader.


A bit like the old Orson Wells 'War of the Worlds' broadcast a few years back.
Very clever and some.

that is actually very clever, i like it and dave does anybody actually think of the consequences when its something that good.

We need lots more of this..right on1

These people ought to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace and not thrown into prison. I am a seasoned journalist so, as an insider, it is probably easier for me to get their universal message. The Media has long been stolen from under our professional noses.

That was cool, i'd see the funny side, but would send the tv station my underwear cleaning bill...

It just shows the horror of what it would be like if ever there was a nuclear war, what with the supermarket prank and now this, I think the Czechs are beging to be very good prangsters.
Simon Spurge

Honestly... This is like 6 months old how far behind are you on the news wire? 6 months?!

Aljazeera probably had it on like before it was even on the news wire!

Funny. Really STUPID though, with no thought of the consequences.

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