Can you imagine watching a show on TV, playing a video game, or listening to a song, only for it to be wiped from existence? That’s what Lost Media is.
For many pieces of media, this is the case, as many of those produced in the early days of technology have sadly become unavailable to the public, despite many efforts to recover them.
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Here is a list of five pieces of lost media that people would love to be found, due to the high amount of publicity each had:
The Suicide of Christine Chubbuck
Easily one of the most disturbing pieces of lost media, the footage of Christina Chubbuck’s suicide has been long sought after by people after it made headlines across the world.
On the 15th July 1974, News anchor Christine Chubbuck shot herself in the head live on air at WXLT-TV after a long battle with depression.
She had before produced a feature about suicide for the station, interviewing a police officer about the best way to commit suicide, and eventually acting on what he had told her.
A tape has been confirmed to exist from this event, and is currently in the hands of a top US law firm at the request of Christine’s family, and will most likely never see the light of day.
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Doctor Who Lost Episodes
Perhaps the holy grail of lost media, there are currently 97 episodes of the BBC Sci-Fi show that are lost, probably never to be recovered again.
The show, which began in 1963 was never expected to reach the popularity it has done and was therefore treated the same way as many other shows at the time – it was shelved in the studios of BBC after broadcast, and later wiped, for the film reel to be reused for other broadcasts.
Since a public campaign by the BBC began, many episodes from Dr. Who have been recovered, either through a donation from private collectors, or overseas broadcasters who purchased copies of the program to distribute to their television networks, although many of these reels are heavily edited due to broadcast time constraints or censorship, or even damaged.
As a result, it is highly unlikely that the currently lost episodes will ever be seen again, although the good news is that they are survived by audio recordings and studio stills, allowing for reconstructions of each episode to be made.
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TV 8 Kids’ Fun Festival (Pink Morning Cartoons)
First uploaded by YouTube user “Jenkem Chic” as a 1 minute excerpt titled “?????” in 2007, the search for the “Pink Morning” cartoon, as it was known back then began.
Initially believed to be fake, the Pink Morning cartoon was later discovered to be called TV 8 Kids’ Fun Fest and was a Christian educational kids cartoon that featured on public service broadcasts of the WINJ-LP Network based in Ohio.
So, why is it such a valuable piece of lost media? For more than 10 years, the internet was stumped as to who created it, where it came from, and why it was made…
That was until a series of Reddit QA’s with the YouTube user and a friend of theirs led to the discovery that the series was made by Rev. Ella Flowers and the remaining tapes of the series went missing and were presumably destroyed after Rev. Flowers’ unfortunate death in 2017.
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Eurovision Song Contest 1956 and 1964 Video Recordings
The Eurovision Song Contest is a pan-European singing competition, created after World War 2 in order to unite a broken Europe with music, as well as test the broadcasting capabilities of European broadcasters at the time.
The 1st and 9th Editions of the contest are currently lost bar the winning reprises, due to the fact that the first edition it was primarily a radio show, filmed only for the few Europeans who had Televisions at the time. As for the 9th Edition which was held in Copenhagen, a studio fire destroyed DR’s copy of the show, and efforts so far to recover any footage from the show have been fruitless.
It is believed that the French broadcaster may have a copy of the show in its archives, however, this is yet to be confirmed or released to the public.
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Mean Girls Nintendo DS Game
Intended to be a tie-in with the 2004 teen drama movie of the same name, the Mean Girls Nintendo DS game was produced by 505 games and was a low-budget adventure game where players could “interact with characters through text-based conversations” as well as unlock minigames and extra content.
The game never had a release in the US, however, it was thought to have been released in Italy, citing very low sales due to the fact that the main protagonist, played by Linsey Lohan was absent from the cover due to unflattering reports of her personal life circulating at the time.
A total of 5 screenshots of the game have been recovered from an Italian games website, however, no footage of gameplay or copies of the game are known to currently exist.
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As intriguing as it is to speculate about the existence or location of these pieces of lost media, it’s important to note that sadly, we will most likely never get to see these publications again.
This makes it all the more important to appreciate the technology we have today, which will hopefully make it much more difficult for media to be wiped from existence ever again.