Is this the most elaborate gaming hoax of all time?

Gaming hoaxes are nasty things. People spend hours searching in the woods of San Andreas looking for Bigfoot, trying to unlock Sheng Long in Street Fighter II and looking for the blood code on the SNES version of Mortal Kombat. They simply aren't there. But that doesn't stop idiots from perpetuating the myths, adding 'evidence' to new rumours and watching the forums light up.

Want to read 8 more crazy video game hoaxes and urban legends? Click here!

The latest is a corker - Fallout 3 is predicting the future. Will the Queen die on March 19, 2014? Will Britney win an Oscar in 2023? All signs point to no. But then you hear the story...

Spooky conspiracy theory site pointed out a couple of forum posts that seemingly shows Fallout 3 predicting the future. Not only the exact time and date of Gary Coleman's death, but the US oil spill that's been taking over the news for the last couple of months. How? Via secret radio transmissions in the game.

In-game radio station Galaxy News Radio is hosted by a guy called Three Dog. If you kill him in the game, he is replaced on the air by his assistant, Margaret. If you then skip past the 'Galaxy News Radio' mission and then destroy Raven Rock, GNR will occasionally turn into a 'numbers station'. These allegedly exist in real life - radio transmissions which are heavily coded, most likely relaying military data or suchlike. In Fallout 3, they (again, allegedly) feature the voice actor of Three Dog (Erik Dellums) reading out numbers in a sad-sounding voice. These are then followed by a string of morse code.

Just to make the story more plausible, there are morse code transmissions in Fallout 3, most of which just sound like distress signals and usually lead you to a fallout shelter full of dead people and rare items: 

But the supposed numbers station's codes are different and can be interpreted as dates, before talking about things in our world. Look at these supposed examples of messages buried in the game...

“The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these we are all Brits.” 4:02 March 19, 2014

“Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts.” 24:16 December 24, 2012

“I can’t believe Britney’s actually won an Oscar!” 21:33 February 27, 2023

“I can’t believe they’ve actually done it. Not long left. They were warned, but they just had to keep pushing the boundaries of science. The noise. I can’t take the noise anymore. And the light, dear God! The universe is slowly unraveling around us. I’m not going to wait for death. I have a pistol in the attic.” This is actually the only message not preceded by a string of numbers.

The style is similar to the scripting in Fallout 3, so whoever started the hoax is clearly intelligent enough. The thing that made this story exciting is that two of the messages, which must have been created over a year ago, detailed events that happened since the game's release - therefore predicting the future, as recounted by the unnamed forumite:

Sounds almost believable, doesn't it? There are of course, several problems with the story. Firstly, there's no evidence of these radio stations on the internet. Secondly, the technique to unlocking them is hazy at best - even if you do fulfil the scenario requirements, there seems to be something else you have to do to hear them. And thirdly, the original forum post where all these things are said to have been discussed is nowhere to be found, supposedly deleted by its mods with bans coming for anyone who tries to talk about it again.

We contacted Bethesda for comment and were told:

So there you go - officially denied. Which begs the question - why bother going to all that trouble to create such a detailed and elaborate hoax? Is it really so fun to get people talking about it and playing the game for hours on a wild goose chase? If you can't see them doing it, surely there's no gratification? Or maybe they just wanted to get featured on GamesRadar...

Despite all that, we have to ask - have you seen actual evidence of a 'numbers station' in Fallout 3? If so, let us know in the comments below. Like 'Spooky' Mulder's poster once said, 'I WANT TO BELIEVE'.

Now back to playing Red Dead - I hear there's a secret shootout with Elvis Presley if you get your stats screen to read his exact date of death in skinned animals. Just the 1,977 owls to go...



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  • Cwf2008 - August 4, 2010 9:08 a.m.

    The great part about finding out that something like Fallout 3 or Nostradomas or any other "seer" was able to predict events in the future AFTER THEY ALREADY HAPPENED is that it is very easy to fake it. Btw did you guys know that Hitler predicted the holocaust?
  • kyle-cruickshank - April 27, 2013 2:04 a.m.

    actually he did thats why he did what he did
  • AngryScotsman - August 4, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    Well, it was an interesting read. Those numbers stations in real life sound terrifying when you hear them.
  • Dabenguin - August 4, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    Kinda eerie isn't? Good article though. Love the tidbit of SA's bigfoot. My friends spent WEEKS looking for that, no matter how often I told them it was fake.
  • ThePrivateDick - August 4, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    Spooky...though I wonder if it's eerier imagining someone pouring over a video game reading numbers, and then scrawling them on his walls, crazily pointing at them in morbid fascination.
  • PipGirl - August 4, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    I love stories like this. I am one of the FOOLS that spent ages wandering around San Andreas looking for Bigfoot. Never did find the sucker........haha.
  • wud03 - August 4, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    I read this on 4chan /x/ a while back. As an aside, wiki number stations, kinda creepy (and real).
  • Xephimost - August 4, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    @GamesRadar Here's an idea for an article: Top 7 Best Video Game Hoaxes. Partly because this article was interesting and made me curious about other hoaxes out there, and mostly because I'm too lazy to look for them. =D
  • EdDeRs1 - August 4, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    looks like a PC version of the game so it could be a mod
  • Ampatent - August 4, 2010 10 a.m. isn't a conspiracy site, seriously, it takes five seconds to do this level of research.
  • pr0tostar - August 4, 2010 10 a.m.

    This is coldpasta on 4chan lol. One of the far better creepapasta stories i've read though; it's plausible enough to get some sort of media attention.
  • OhMyJosh - August 4, 2010 10:57 a.m.

    I think these stories are great. I am just waiting for the day that a news group picks-up this story and ends up making the headline 'Video-games linked to Gary Coleman's death. Is your child in danger?' Haven't you noticed that news casts seem only use the term 'video (pause) game' instead of just 'games'. Don't you usually reserve that pause when you need to get something casual to mean 'this is the..proper..shit'. It is also probably used to drag out the anti-tech people who would'nt understand that they aren't just any game, but a (queue Doctor Evil fingers) "video game", the source of all fucking evil. But yea, they are a great tribute to the internet, and its fun to watch people try to crack the mystery of this case. Who knows, we might need to get Professor Layton to come in and help :P.
  • Clovin64 - August 4, 2010 11:29 a.m.

    God Damnit! I spent so damn long looking for Bigfoot in SA! From now on, I will never believe anything anybody ever says about a game unless it is confirmed on my beloved P.S. You look very suave in your pic at the top of the article Justin.
  • joshin69 - August 4, 2010 11:34 a.m.

    PipGirl, yep i was the same, up in the woods sneeking around thinking i was going to find it. The one thing thaty was in SA was UFO's though they went far to fast and to high to catch.
  • Millikin - August 4, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    Pokémon was the big one for false rumours. Which buttons to press to guarantee a Pokémon catch, if and how you could catch Mew without going to a special Nintendo event. My 10 year old brother was told that if you spoke to the Fishing Guru 100 times in a row he'd give you the Master Rod which you could catch Lv.99 golden Gyarados with. And tried it.
  • Cyberninja - August 4, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    as long as nothing else happens from the game i can live with 2 right by a game.
  • zanebrandon - August 4, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    Well after playing for the 14 hours straight the one day,I didnt think it was anything. I just kept playing, but i did hear one of these stations and i was like.... WTF ooookay then and just kept going.
  • NeonSalmon - August 4, 2010 12:38 p.m.

    A Top 7 on video game hoaxes would be nice.....
  • JosefMotley - August 4, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    you can predict the future with ANYTHING. a pack of cards, or a half-finished game. seriously, they didn't even have time to get the crippling bugs out of fallout 3, i doubt very much they'd have time to program in a nostradamous complex too. either that or they spent all their time on that and not enough checking for bugs. either way, bethesda aren't getting any of my money or time for their next ugly glitchfest
  • H2A2I00 - August 4, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    any reason is a good reason to play fallout 3

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