HAL, THE ROBOT VOICE OF ATLANTA
the current terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
opened on September 21, 1980, one of its most striking features was a
strange robot voice that herded passengers on and off the futuristic
underground shuttle trains. Sounding similar to the Cylon robots from the 70's TV show Battlestar Galactica,
the voice became affectionately known to riders as Hal, a reference to
the computer in 2001:A
1994 Hal was replaced by a more traditional human voice but public
outcry prompted airport officials to quickly resurrect him. The Atlanta
Journal Constitution wrote that "The strange,
faceless robot voice that bosses
everyone onto and off the shuttle trains at Hartsfield
International Airport is as much a
part of this gleaming, futuristic city's identity as, well . . . MARTA."
Hal was permanently decomissioned shortly before the 1996 Summer
Olympics because city officials decided "foreigners can't understand
it". Oh well.
Fortunately for us, Nathan Lesueur forwarded an mp3 of Hal. Thanks
Nathan! To see the "station colors" the robot refers to, look at this map.
LISTEN TO HAL
who can provide other recordings of the original robot voice from the
airport train or the cheery, Betty White-esque voice that announced
"You are entering the transportation mall" will receive a free copy of
my book Sunshine
Skies. Contact me HERE.
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