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The Really Cool, Spy “Numbers Stations” ……For Spies

Posted by bmac on May 23, 2008

I’ve posted about these before, but I got nothin’ to bitch about today, and it’s Friday, so let’s have some fun with:

The Spooky Numbers Stations.

I love these things. Most of you are probably aware of these, but if you’re not, here’s a Wiki definition of these shortwave spy stations, which were discovered in the 70’s, when short wave radios became popular, and people started to find these bizarre broadcasts that seemed to make no sense. Some of them had been on the air since as far back as WWI.

They generally broadcast voices reading streams of numbers, words, letters (sometimes using a radio alphabet), tunes or Morse code.

The voices that can be heard on these stations are often mechanically generated. 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.

They’re also incredibly spooky sounding, and for some reason, many of them use music, like tinkly music box music, which just adds to the creepiness. Or tinkly music box music with a little girls voice reading numbers in a foreign language, which when combined with the static of shortwave, makes the hair on your arms stand up. Some horror movies have used these things as background to add a disturbing element you can’t quite put your finger on.

Check out this one, called “The Swedish Rhapsody”, but listen to the whole thing, because it gets creepier as you go. This is the one with the little girls voice, and the creepy tinkle music.

This one here, is just fucking disturbing.

Here’s one with just numbers.

This one inspired the title of the band Wilco’s album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”

I always picture a spy with a little radio sitting in some dank foreign basement with like a candle on the table, as evil Russian spies are closing in on him, listening to this message and writing it down on a piece of paper he’s gonna eat later when they catch up to him. I also wonder how these messages are translated, and by that I mean, what could 1,5,8,4,2,7, possibly mean? How much information could be in those numbers?

Many of these stayed on the air for 20-40 years, which makes me wonder if the spy ever got it, or was captured.

Even weirder, was that little girls voice and tinkly music an order to kill someone? Did that sequence of numbers lead to one, or many deaths? My simple mind reels with the possibilities.

The other really cool thing about these, and why they’re still in use today, is that these codes are 100% unbreakable. The spy and his handler were (are) the only two people that have the code, known as a “One time pad.” A spy almost anywhere in the world without the use of a trackable phone, could simply pick up a widely available shortwave radio, and receive messages from his handler.

If you’re really man enough, listen to a bunch of these, late at night, in the dark, by yourself.

It’s spooky cause it’s true.

Interesting fact: In the U.K., it’s illegal to listen to them on a radio.

Posted in Slow News day, Weird | 61 Comments »

Ricin Scare

Posted by bmac on March 1, 2008

This Ricin thing is a little scary, considering I live less than a mile from the hotel it was found in. It’s a really strange story, that we’re not getting too many details on, which is not surprising. The hotels aren’t too big on negative stories involving hotels in this town, and they kinda call the shots IYKWIM.

A lot of sketchy things happen in Vegas, but this one is bizarre. The police searched this guys room twice. The first time-no ricin. A week later-ricin. I don’t get that one. And there’s something about a couple of pets, I think a dog and a cat, that were left in the room for a week after the guy went to the hospital, and animal control had to put them down from lack of food or water. I don’t get that one either.

This is one of those weekly or monthly hotels, but still, no one heard these animals in there for a week? How was ricin not present, then present? I have a feeling we’ll never get the real story, and I’m sure someone’s trying to find a way to just make this story go away. Fast.

Posted in Weird | 3 Comments »

Woman Found Dead in Trunk After Answering Craigslist Nanny Ad

Posted by bmac on October 29, 2007

“It seemed kind-of fishy, but she was just going to check it out and meet them.”

Everything about the Nanny culture is fishy. Hiring a live-in mom is twisted, I don’t care how busy you are. Way back when, I used to date a nanny, and I can tell you, there was some stuff going on in that house that would make Hugh Hefner blush. Unless your nanny looks like Madeline Albright, it’s a good bet one or both of the parents have something fishy going on with the nanny, whether it’s sex, or drugs, or one of the parents wanting a live in friend they can drink with at noon, the children seem to be the last priority when a nanny gets involved.

If you can afford a nanny, you can certainly afford one parent staying home to raise the kids. Hiring a nanny tells me you view your children as pets. I’m just as suspicious of young girls who want to do this kind of work. It just seems really odd to me when a cute girl under 30, would even be interested in raising someone else’s children in exchange for room and board, and a small salary. It strikes me as lazy. Kind of like they flipped a coin, “Stripper or Nanny?”

Posted in Weird | 3 Comments »

This blog is currently under construction

Posted by bmac on September 18, 2007

Sorry to any WordPress bloggers who are getting weird comments from this blog, as I am transferring posts from my old blog, it seems to be sending comments to posts I have linked to. Sorry…………

Posted in Uncategorized, Weird | Leave a Comment »

The Mysterious “Numbers Stations”

Posted by bmac on September 18, 2007

Something to really creep you out:

For more than 30 years the Shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the worlds
intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages. These messages are
transmitted by hundreds of “Numbers Stations”.

Shortwave Numbers Stations are a perfect method of anonymous, one way
communication. Spies located anywhere in the world can be communicated to by
their masters via small, locally available, and unmodified Shortwave receivers.
The encryption system used by Numbers Stations, known as a “one time pad” is
unbreakable. Combine this with the fact that it is almost impossible to track
down the message recipients once they are inserted into the enemy country, it
becomes clear just how powerful the Numbers Station system is.

These messages are super-creepy to listen to. I dare you to listen to a few at night, alone.
Try this one. Or this. Or the creepiest one here. Let the last one play for at least 2 minutes, till you hear the little girls voice. With the light off. If you’re man enough.

These stations use very rigid schedules, and transmit in many different
languages, employing male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or
phonetic letters day and night, all year round.

Drug traffickers also use these things. Fascinating stuff.

More info here. And a rare mainstream media report here.

Posted in Weird | 3 Comments »