New York Times, February 17, 1917, page 9:
ARRESTED FOR HIS S O S.
Wireless Amateur's Distress Call Had the Navy on it's Toes.
On Jan. 21 last the battleship Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard picked up a faint S O S wireless call, several times repeated. The radio station at the yard was notified, the news was flashed to Washington and immediately every wireless station from Maine to Cape Hatteras began trying to communicate with the supposed ship in distress, of which neither name nor location was given. Several coast guard cutters, it was said, hurried out from various Atlantic ports and searched for days in the hope of finding some derelict and rescuing its company before it sank. Then the hunt was abandoned.
Several times in ensuing weeks similar calls perplexed the naval authorities. Chief Radio Inspector Louis Krumm of the Bureau of Navigation of the Department of Commerce was sent here.
Working on the theory that the calls came from within a mile or so of the yard he investigated every licensed amateur without result. By a process of elimination he called a couple of days ago on William Eckhoff, a studious-looking youth of 16, who had an amateur plant with its aerials on the roof of his home at 195 Court Street, Brooklyn. He was arrested.
According to the Federal authorities he confessed sending out the call just to show friends how it was done. He explained that he thought his wave lengths were too short to be heard far and would cause no trouble.
Eckhoff had no lawyer when he was arraigned before United States Commissioner Blok yesterday and his hearing was postponed to Monday. The extreme penalty for the offense is five years in a Federal prison. It is not expected, however, that the authorities will deal severely with him.