there and back again


The things you learn and can’t forget.
July 30, 2008, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

From Wikipedia:

Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. They generally broadcast mechanically generated voices reading streams of numbers, words, letters (sometimes using a spelling alphabet), tunes or Morse code. They are in a wide variety of languages and the voices are usually women’s, though sometimes men’s or children’s voices are used.

Evidence supports popular assumptions that the broadcasts are channels of communication used to send messages to spies.  Numbers stations appear and disappear over time (although some follow regular schedules), and their overall activity has increased slightly since the early 1990s. This increase suggests that, as spy-related phenomena, they were not unique to the Cold War.

So yeah, numbers stations were explained to me as I walked back from a football match this evening.  Something things are too fantastic to be anything but true.  Wilco used clips from numbers stations on the album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (That title makes a bit more sense now too, doesn’t it?).  With a particular kind of shortwave radio, you could tune into these broadcasts right now.

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