I’m not usually a fan of stuff like this but I’ve stumbled across information about “number stations” recently and had to have a listen. Managed to scrape together some recent recordings from numerous stations, one in particular that is supposed to based right here in Australia as part of a British network.
It’s purported that it’s a tool to communicate with various agents involved in covert operations. The actual communications mean nothing with something called a “One-Time Pad” (OTP.) Basically the OTP is a dictionary of sorts held by only the sender and receiver which means that the code being sent can only be deciphered by those in possession of the OTP. They are generally single use and are discarded/destroyed after their use.
One station in particular, nicknamed “the Lincolnshire Poacher,” is named as such as it repeats the same two bars of the song which is also channels’ namesake, sporadically interrupting transmission in order to transmit numbers in an artificial female voice.
Is anyone a SWL and have experience in this? As I’ve said previously, I’m not usually into stuff like this but I listened to numerous recordings and it’s somewhat haunting. No government or prominent security agency has come forward to confirm or refute the use of these stations, with the exception of a British public servant who was quoted to have said to a Daily Telegraph reporter: “These [numbers stations] are what you suppose they are. People shouldn’t be mystified by them. They are not for, shall we say, public consumption.”
googles Number Stations
reads a couple of articles
CB, you my good sir have given me at least a few hours of quality computer use tonight, that doesn’t involve Playing Battlefield 3. What a fascinating find.
Google the Conet Project and the wikipedia articles on them. The Conet Project has numerous station recordings.
Even better, Youtube “UVB-76” (AKA the Buzzer, a Russian station that only sends numbers between 1-7,) “the Lincolnshire Poacher,” “Cherry Ripe” and “Swedish Rhapsody” (a German station.) It’s creepy stuff.
It’s got me totally riveted UD… I’ve been reading about it for over a week now. Absolutely fascinating stuff.
Just had a quick read on Wikipedia while at work pretty interesting stuff. Will have to read more when I get home tonight
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Yossarian last edited by
Some time ago they were all the rage. No doubt some of them are still the genuine article but I’m betting a great deal of them these days are people trying to attract some attention. You guys might find this article interesting:
Having once spoken to someone from one of our leading intelligence agencies (not ASIO) he seemed to suggest most of what you hear/read about this type of thing is BS. He also suggested the days of deep plants were pretty much up, however, this was before the whole Russians in the US thing blew-up. I got the impression that the “espionage” game (as it exists these days) consisted mostly of trying to find good sources (human and other) and trying not blow your cover but hey we’re talking about a group of people who (apparently) didn’t even know Kim Jong-Il was dead until it was announced on TV.
Nothing surprises me, especially with the Russians. They went a long way to kill that poor fellow with Polonium.
According to the Conet Project (an amateur SWL who has followed these stations and compiled hours worth of transmissions,) alot of these tend to be shutting down now. The Lincolnshire Poacher had been in service for over 20 years and is now offline, apparently the Australian sister station Cherry Ripe has gone offline as well which would suggest your acquaintance (wherever he was from,) was probably correct in saying that the process of information gathering is far less spectacular than it is been in the past, particularly the over-romanticised portrait we are used to seeing from Hollywood and Ian Fleming novels.
Yossarian last edited by
Well to put it another way, Australia has very few bona fide enemies these days and the impression I got was that it was much easier to work with other countries than against them. Most of them were concerned about the same whack jobs as we were.
Yeah that was odd with the polonium (assuming it went down the way it was reported). Things have moved on from the Bulgarian umbrella but not much!
I checked out the you tubes you mentioned, CB and all I can say is :wtf
Hey cb, I remember listening to a podcast about it, it did seem pretty Interesting. It was either an episode from “stuff you should know” or “skeptoid” both worth a listen, I think I remember them saying one was confirmed as one for spies, I might be wrong there.
But it was the topic of an episode of Fringe, pretty good show!
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Bumping a thread here, I found the following addresses pretty helpful in the pursuit of what these stations are in fact about:
http://www.archive.org/details/ird059 - The Conet Project. You will love the multitude of recordings here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station - The Wikipedia entry for Number Stations.
http://www.spynumbers.com/ - Another site I found.
There are many others. Search “numbers stations” in YouTube and you will find plenty of entries.