Contingency is the second uploaded entry in the Local 58 video series. The episode takes the form of an emergency broadcast message that details a government instruction to the citizens of the United States.
The episode starts with a schedule listing that dictates the end of the station's broadcast day at 3 AM is about to begin. The feed is suddenly interrupted by a Contingency Message, created by the U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity. As an instrumental of "The Star Spangled Banner" plays against a backdrop of a waving American flag, a message signed by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson begins scrolling across the screen: It claims that the United States has been forced to surrender to an unnamed enemy force in spite of the military's efforts, and calls upon the American public to "ACT... to preserve the memory of the United States, clear and bright... untarnished and uncompromised". It also states that President Johnson has already "taken action" along with his family, and encourages all Americans of all ages to do their part as well. Interestingly, around this point, the music briefly changes into the beginning of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, before changing back to "The Star Spangled Banner".
The message then cuts to various footage of peaceful scenes around America- flower, city parks, the Golden Gate bridge, etc. - while direct instructions for citizens to 'ACT' are displayed over them, and a chorus singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" plays in the background. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the messages are orders for every citizen to commit mass ritualistic suicide in the face of the country's surrender. It also claims that "this message will repeat until there is none to read it" and that local law enforcement would ensure everyone complies, implying that no-one in the country has a choice in whether or not to kill themselves. The message recommends using a gun by firing up into the roof of one's mouth, and to assume the "Victory Position"- lying in the front lawn face-up with feet together. It also encourages parents to kill their children and pets before ending their own lives.
Throughout this section, the background music becomes progressively slower and more distorted, until finally the footage appears to abruptly stop, with the final frame displaying the logo for the Department for the Preservation of American Dignity and the phrase "THE 51ST STATE IS NOT A PLACE" before cutting to a color test pattern.
Local 58 appears to gain control of the feed again, displaying a title card that explains the message was a hoax and that it apologizes for the inconvenience. Before the broadcast ends, a brief glimpse of another card hints that the incident was an accidental broadcast of an actual message prepared by the government, and not a hoax.
Transcript of Contingency Message
[11/13/1970] CONTINGENCY MESSAGE REEL LOCATOR: [US-DFPAD / 393-H-15A]
TO BE USED ONLY IN THE EVENT OF UNITED STATES COMPLETE SURRENDER TO INSURMOUNTABLE ENEMY FORCES
PUBLIC BROADCAST ONLY UPON CONFIRMED CONDITION
[TWELVE OMAHA SOLEMN CERTAINTY]
CONTINGENCY MESSAGE WILL NOW BEGIN.
PLEASE COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
AMERICAN CITIZENS: [KINESCOPE BROADCAST DATE HERE] [MONTH/DAY/YEAR]
The worst has come to pass. Despite the sacrifices of our citizens and the might of our armed forces, the UNITED STATES has been forced to surrender to her enemy.
Though they may occupy our borders, our streets, and our homes.... the enemy will never occupy our SPIRIT.
That is why all Americans are now called upon to ACT.... to preserve the memory of the United States, clear and bright.... untarnished and uncompromised.
Know that I have already TAKEN ACTION in the company of family and loved ones. Now ALL AMERICANS-every man, woman, and child-are called upon to ACT before the moment passes by.
Let our united resolve echo through history: Even in defeat, we refuse to yield.Even in defeat, we claim VICTORY.
HONOR LIBERTY BY TAKING THE FINAL AND GREATEST LIBERTY OF ALL
IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO BE CALLED TO ACTION
YOU TAKE AMERICA WITH YOU
WE WILL EACH BE REMEMBERED
USE THE METHOD MOST AVAILABLE TO YOU AT THIS TIME
YOUR COURAGE WILL INSPIRE OTHERS
THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR
THE TIME HAS COME
ACCESS TO A LOADED FIREARM IS IDEAL
PLACE MUZZLE (HOLE OF GUN) UPWARD TO ROOF OF MOUTH
JOIN YOUR NEIGHBORS, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR GOD
YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU
TO SAY GOODBYE WITH PRIDE (note: this message only appears briefly for a few frames between sections)
AS A CITIZEN YOU MUST ACT NOW
YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS BEEN ORDERED TO ENSURE YOUR COMPLIANCE
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO DELAY
THIS MESSAGE WILL REPEAT UNTIL THERE ARE NONE LEFT TO READ IT
IF THERE IS TIME...
REMEMBER THE 3 "F"s
REGARDING YOUR CHILDREN
TEND TO THEM BEFORE YOURSELF
USE A CALM TONE OF VOICE
EVERYONE CAN DO THEIR PART
INFANTS AND PETS
THE SMALLEST PATRIOTS
-- THE 51ST STATE IS NOT A PLACE
Earlier today, this station aired what appeared to be a warning message from a U.S. government agency.
This has been confirmed as a hoax.
Local 58 apologizes for any confusion that may have resulted.
DO NOT USE AFTER [5/14/1975]
LOCAL 56 "HOAX" APOLOGY CARD
LOCATOR: [US-DFPAD / 1F-WCLV58]
IN THE EVENT OF ACCIDENTAL PUBLIC BROADCAST DURING OFF-AIR REMOTE OPERATION RELAY TEST
POWER RELAYS DOWN BEFORE BROADCASTING CARD IMAGE
- The signature of the president who signed the broadcast belongs to Lyndon B. Johnson. Oddly enough, by the time the message was broadcast, he would have been replaced by Richard M. Nixon.
- The contingency message displays an instruction for it not to be broadcast after 11/13/1970. This implies the message was intended to be used during a conflict such as the Cold War.
- The 'hoax apology' that appears at the end displays an instruction for it not to be broadcast after 5/14/1975.
- A slide is briefly seen when the station signs off of an astronaut saluting on the moon. This image was taken during the Apollo 15 missions in August 1971, after the expiration date of the contingency message.
- This could have something to do with the Moon in later videos.
- Briefly before the warning message cuts, a message flashes on the screen saying THE 51ST STATE IS NOT A PLACE and the message cuts off into the SMPTE color bars.
- The "Contingency" video is the most viewed and known episode of the whole Local 58 timeline.