Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WTFWiki 6: Numbers Station

Although we live in the age of fiber optics and digital communication, I personally still enjoy a little analog technology every once in a while.  Not many people still listen to traditional radio anymore, and even less are interested in the shortwave bands.  However, if you happen to have a shortwave radio and turn it on at just the right time on just the right frequency, you might hear this shit.  (I personally find this stuff to be absolute nightmare fuel for some reason)

Numbers Stations

From Wikipedia:
"Numbers stations (or number stations) are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. In the 1950s, Time magazine reported that the numbers stations first appeared shortly after the war (World War II) and were using a format that had been used to send weather data during that war.
Numbers stations generally broadcast artificially 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 female, although sometimes men's or children's voices are used.
Evidence supports popular assumptions that the broadcasts are used to send messages to spies. This usage has not been publicly acknowledged by any government that may operate a numbers station, although two QSLs have been received from numbers stations by shortwave listeners who sent reception reports to said stations, which is the expected behaviour of a non-clandestine station."
An artificially generated child's voice reading random strings of numbers to spies?!  NOPE, not creepy at all..

Now, to be fair, this really isn't as strange until you actually hear one.  So, check out this video.  And this one too.  

I've actually been able to pick up one of the Cuban ones on a small shortwave that I own.  At 3 am that shit is very unsettling.

Anyways, WTF??


  1. That's quite strange, actually it's pretty nerve racking to think about.

  2. looks somehow strange, i've saw two days ago a show about this in the tv

  3. Yeah that is super strange... THe heck? Supporting and following. alphabetalife.blogspot.com

  4. This is fucking creeeeeeepy! The first link with the ice cream truck in between numbers? Straight out of a horror flick. My god.

  5. I like the idea of your blog!

  6. I like old technologies. This is so oldschool.

  7. It really makes you wonder - what could be the message if it is still being played after so many years. I mean - the spies must have better, more secure communication devices for a very long time now