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(BBC-US)   If you ever owned a shortwave radio back during the Cold War, you probably remember those creepy 'Number Stations' where a child or woman's voice would utter random numbers, presumably code for field agents. FARK: They're still on the air   (bbc.com) divider line 193
    More: Interesting, field agents, random numbers, Cold War, numbers station, shortwave radio  
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18461 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Apr 2014 at 6:02 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



193 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-19 01:45:16 AM  
I know. They're mostly in Spanish, and usually kick in late at night. Kinda creepy.

Frequencies vary depending on where you live...I'm on the West Coast, and easily pick up just about anything between 5000 and 10000 during the night, and 10000 to 15000 during the day. The Spanish numbers stations tend to broadcast between 6800 and 9000.

/old DXer, got into shortwave in the 1980s
 
2014-04-19 01:53:38 AM  

Lorelle: I know. They're mostly in Spanish, and usually kick in late at night. Kinda creepy.

Frequencies vary depending on where you live...I'm on the West Coast, and easily pick up just about anything between 5000 and 10000 during the night, and 10000 to 15000 during the day. The Spanish numbers stations tend to broadcast between 6800 and 9000.

/old DXer, got into shortwave in the 1980s


Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?
 
2014-04-19 01:56:49 AM  

Nogrhi: hertz?  Megahertz?


What do rental cars have to do with anything in this thread??  Is Megahertz like Avis Preferred?
 
2014-04-19 02:02:01 AM  

markie_farkie: Is Megahertz like Avis Preferred?


Yes, but it is Enterprise4.
 
2014-04-19 02:04:10 AM  

Nogrhi: Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?


kHz.

Willy-nilly, silly.
 
2014-04-19 02:07:46 AM  

Lorelle: Nogrhi: Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?

kHz.

Willy-nilly, silly.


You have a plethora of answers and rhymes.  I thank you.
 
2014-04-19 02:11:56 AM  

Nogrhi: You have a plethora of answers and rhymes.  I thank you.


You don't need a shortwave radio to hear some of this stuff...you can easily Google some recorded broadcasts.
 
2014-04-19 02:21:27 AM  
I don't know why, but that article thoroughly creeped me out.
 
2014-04-19 02:31:44 AM  
No mention of The Buzzer?
 
2014-04-19 02:40:13 AM  

Lorelle: Nogrhi: You have a plethora of answers and rhymes.  I thank you.

You don't need a shortwave radio to hear some of this stuff...you can easily Google some recorded broadcasts.


Oh, that is surely the case.  However, as a ham radio junkie, I wanted to go find it myself... in the wild, as it were.
 
2014-04-19 03:16:41 AM  
Ever do a Google search and come across a strange list of names and words that seems to have no purpose?
 
2014-04-19 03:24:34 AM  

Triumph: Ever do a Google search and come across a strange list of names and words that seems to have no purpose?


Yeah. A few times. I always figured it was just a way to collect clicks.
 
2014-04-19 03:37:08 AM  

Triumph: Ever do a Google search and come across a strange list of names and words that seems to have no purpose?


Increasingly often. Every once in a while I'll stop and trace back the registrants for those pages, and they usually seem to be Chinese or Russian.
 
2014-04-19 05:05:47 AM  
D 5
R 7
I 9
N 4
K 0
2
Y 3
O 1
U 8
R 6
2
O 1
 
GBB
2014-04-19 06:18:02 AM  

Triumph: Ever do a Google search and come across a strange list of names and words that seems to have no purpose?


[nods] Youtube comments.
 
2014-04-19 06:20:21 AM  
https://archive.org/details/ird059

Have phun.
 
2014-04-19 06:27:56 AM  

Nogrhi: Lorelle: I know. They're mostly in Spanish, and usually kick in late at night. Kinda creepy.

Frequencies vary depending on where you live...I'm on the West Coast, and easily pick up just about anything between 5000 and 10000 during the night, and 10000 to 15000 during the day. The Spanish numbers stations tend to broadcast between 6800 and 9000.

/old DXer, got into shortwave in the 1980s

Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?


Hertz, and probably.
 
2014-04-19 06:28:33 AM  
The chair is on the wall. John has a long mustache.
 
2014-04-19 06:28:56 AM  
Well duh the Alphabet agencies of like everyone have been using this technology since like WWI. Now STFU and GBTW
 
2014-04-19 06:31:51 AM  
livingincinema.com

John has a long mustache
The chair is against the wall
 
2014-04-19 06:32:11 AM  

fredbox: The chair is on the wall. John has a long mustache.


Is it thick..err the stache
 
2014-04-19 06:34:42 AM  
I wish I had a shortwave radio transmitter.

I'd like to make a numbers station that used curse words instead of numbers and the music identifier would be the first verse of the Gatchaman themesong.

fark coont shiat shiat fark cock dick coont fark shiat ass fark coont dick shiat
 
2014-04-19 06:37:03 AM  
No one ever expects the Spanish inquisition.
 
2014-04-19 06:43:07 AM  
I just remember picking up stations off the West coast of Africa.

/it was awesome
 
2014-04-19 06:46:15 AM  
Nevermind the article, I found the source of the transmissions

img3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-04-19 06:47:24 AM  
Be sure to drink your Ovaltine
 
2014-04-19 06:48:33 AM  
i.imgur.com

"Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and I'll be home for Christmas.
Signed, your loving son, Queen Victoria."

/still a few stations around here
//in Russian!
 
2014-04-19 06:50:01 AM  

FullMetalPanda: Be sure to drink your Ovaltine


Son of a biatch!
 
2014-04-19 06:51:46 AM  

doglover: D 5
R 7
I 9
N 4
K 0
2
Y 3
O 1
U 8
R 6
2
O 1


Bingo!
 
2014-04-19 06:55:19 AM  
img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-04-19 06:59:24 AM  

yukichigai: Nevermind the article, I found the source of the transmissions

[img3.wikia.nocookie.net image 850x637]


Oooh a mininuke and a Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual! yoink
 
2014-04-19 07:01:30 AM  
And 73s to you all.
 
2014-04-19 07:06:32 AM  

Oldiron_79: GBTW


I used to work for them after I left the Core. Totally hush-hush.
 
2014-04-19 07:07:13 AM  
Where's Dittybopper? I think he's a shortwave radio aficionado. Also Laulaja from Caturday edits a Ham Radio newsletter iirc.

Lost used a numbers station, and the Porcupine Tree song "Even Less" has a recording of a numbers station at the end. Pretty creepy...
 
2014-04-19 07:07:33 AM  

Nogrhi: Lorelle: I know. They're mostly in Spanish, and usually kick in late at night. Kinda creepy.

Frequencies vary depending on where you live...I'm on the West Coast, and easily pick up just about anything between 5000 and 10000 during the night, and 10000 to 15000 during the day. The Spanish numbers stations tend to broadcast between 6800 and 9000.

/old DXer, got into shortwave in the 1980s

Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?


I'm hardcore. Kilocycles.

Get off my frequency!
 
2014-04-19 07:09:19 AM  
Used to have a beat-up walkie-talkie as a kid and the closest thing I heard to any of those stations was some drunk guy calling himself "Black Santa".

Article is interesting, never heard of these stations even though I've dabbled in DX in the past.
 
2014-04-19 07:12:08 AM  

Kittypie070: https://archive.org/details/ird059

Have phun.


This. I used to listen to Conet while doing my sys admin work.
 
2014-04-19 07:15:46 AM  
Real answer: 90% of cold war spycraft wasn't intelligence, but counterintelligence.  This means that a significant portion of it was gaslighting the enemy intel apparatus or just wasting their time.  Recording enough crap to keep the numbers station going for a couple centuries without direct human input would not even be close to the silliest thing someone did during the game.

Fun answer: shiat.  They just sank my battleship!  PUTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!
 
2014-04-19 07:17:52 AM  

enry: Kittypie070: https://archive.org/details/ird059

Have phun.

This. I used to listen to Conet while doing my sys admin work.


I love it when one of these recordings pops up on my ipod.

/null, null, null
 
2014-04-19 07:18:20 AM  
I remember seeing this in the film Banshee Chapter, but I didn't realize that they were actually a real thing.
 
2014-04-19 07:20:53 AM  

doglover: D 5
R 7
I 9
N 4
K 0
2
Y 3
O 1
U 8
R 6
2
O 1


I see what you did there.
 
2014-04-19 07:27:06 AM  
It's all fun and good until one of the stations becomes sentient and starts singing and making vacation plans.

/welcome to night vale
 
2014-04-19 07:30:42 AM  
It must be early, i'm shocked there are no signs of Dittybopper running around this thread.
 
2014-04-19 07:34:10 AM  
I always thought EAMs were spookier.

Skyking, Skyking, Do Not Answer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Action_Message
 
2014-04-19 07:34:43 AM  

Nogrhi: Lorelle: Nogrhi: Look at you just throwing numbers around willy-nilly... is that hertz?  Megahertz?  Damn it I need to know!!!

/also, should willy nilly be hyphenated?

kHz.

Willy-nilly, silly.

You have a plethora of answers and rhymes.  I thank you.


Tell me Jeffe, do you know what it means to have a plethora?
 
2014-04-19 07:34:48 AM  

toetag: It must be early, i'm shocked there are no signs of Dittybopper running around this thread.


Word!
 
2014-04-19 07:35:11 AM  

toetag: It must be early, i'm shocked there are no signs of Dittybopper running around this thread.


he's too busy hunting breakfast with a flintlock.
 
2014-04-19 07:35:39 AM  

toetag: It must be early, i'm shocked there are no signs of Dittybopper running around this thread.


Concur.
 
2014-04-19 07:38:31 AM  

Stinkyy: toetag: It must be early, i'm shocked there are no signs of Dittybopper running around this thread.

Concur.


He's probably busy at the station.

/Those tapes don't rewind themselves, you know.
 
2014-04-19 07:41:51 AM  

Soulcatcher: Where's Dittybopper?


probably shooting something.
 
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