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The mysterious Numbers Stations

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posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 08:14 PM
Since I never seen this topic mentioned before on ATS's website, let me introduce you to Numbers Stations:

"Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin that broadcast streams of numbers, letters (using a phonetic alphabet), or words. It is not known publicly with certainty where these signals originate or what purpose they serve. The voices that can be heard on these stations are often mysterious: mechanically generated; spoken in a wide variety of languages; usually female, but sometimes male or those of children. Numbers stations appear and disappear continuously, although some stick to regular schedules, and their overall activity has increased slightly since the early 1990s."

Read this stuff religiously, fascinating topic! Any numbers stations enthusiasts in here? This is the thread to discuss.

If you are lucky enough to live near a numbers station, maybe you could try locating the transmitter site using radio direction finding, then go snap some pictures of the antennas.

I'm not able to catch much more than Cuban broadcast from my part of the land in North America, and I think I heard a CIA counting station once but the signal was so weak it's hard to really tell.
However I did hear recordings of many different numbers stations from around the world. I have read about the case of Ana Montes, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, who got busted spying and how she was receiving one-time pad encoded messages via Cuban numbers stations.

I listened to The Conet Project CDs, great materials. One word of advice, do not listen to E10 jamming (track 30 on disc 4) while you are alone at night before going to bed, this sounds creepy enough to give you nightmares.

I could probably share audio samples if I can figure out a way to upload the file, any hints appreciated.

posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 02:19 AM
Been listening to these for some time on my old Yupiteru MVT7100. Interesting stuff. I must say they're a bit harder to pick up in the US, but maybe it's because I don't have a good antenna. I wouldn't call myself an enthusiast, simply curious. It's generally accepted in the DX'ing world that numbers stations are intelligence-related signals, codes for deeply embedded sleeper agents who need no special equipment to listen in on a regular basis to see what their orders are.

This has been verified by various DX'ers and radio enthusiasts tracing the numbers signals, where possible. They inevitably end up at embassies and military installations of a huge number of nations.

For those in the US who are interested, a good magazine you can pick up is "Monitoring Times". They have a regular section devoted to numbers stations, as well as all sorts of other cool spy/intel related airwave activity.

Some links:

Audio Clips

Detailed Info on

[edit on 22-9-2005 by koji_K]

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 05:50 AM
Interesting Stuff. Are the any of known transmissions of these Number Stations in the UK?

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 12:46 PM

Some links:

Audio Clips

I would really like to hear this audio clip, however when you posted it you didn't include an actual address, just the http:// could you please repost.


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 02:41 PM

Originally posted by jimboak47
Interesting Stuff. Are the any of known transmissions of these Number Stations in the UK?

Yes, lots. I used to live there, which is where I first heard about Number Stations. There's a magazine you can buy over there, too, which has a monthly section devoted to numbers stations and lists their frequencies. I forget what it is called but WH Smith definately stocks it (just browse through the radio magazines if you get a chance.)

-koji K.

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 04:00 PM
I tries to access those links, to no avail.
Do you have any more curre t or other?

Thank you

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 04:17 PM
You can find the complete 4-CD set of the Conet Project here. The mp3s are free to download, just right click on them and hit "save."


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 04:58 PM
Thank you all for the new link..
This is ONE thing I have never heard of, but I will start researching..

posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 10:58 AM
I'm pretty big into shortwave radio listening. I have a 130' long antenna in my backyard for shortwave. I've heard several of those number stations before. They are very real. The current theory is that they are broadcasting coded messages for spies in the field, but no one knows for sure. There is a spot near the Langley CIA headquarters where they are broadcast during the day on radio frequencies that only propagate well at night. It's believed these transmissions, which can only be heard in a few miles radius, are used for training. All the numbers stations I've heard have been a female voice speaking spanish.

posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 01:21 PM
Ah yes, nothing suspicious in that nicely spoken foreign language student sitting quietly in their room listening to the [SW] radio, [probably] just catching up on news from home. Quiet a charming way to spend an evening in.

This page is, as I understand it, regarded as somewhat of authoritative source on Numbers Stations (pronoun ?).

Thanks for raising the topic.

[Academic, of course, but I wonder why it's not come up previously ?]

posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 07:39 AM
Thank you ufia for posting this thread.

I was doing some research on Boards of Canada albums and a wiki site mentioned their facination which such numbers stations, I remember as a child running into morse-code numbers stations quite often.

now I read up on numbers stations I have to say i'm FACINATED! very interesting stuff.

Here is another interesting thread on numbers stations.

if you feel like creeping your self out, here are some audio recordings of such numbers stations on this site.


posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 09:07 AM
Huh, NRP did a story on these guys, in britian.
I remember that some of them eventually turned out to be soviet spies.
Just some though.

Most are still a mystery.

posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 02:10 PM
This is a very interesting topic, and the recordings are kind of creepy to listen to. My father served in the 600th Army Security Agency back in the early 1960's. He was stationed in Vincenza, Italy. His job as a high-speed radio operator was to intercept Soviet/Warsaw Pact radio traffic. I have passed on some of the website links from this discussion to him. All that he has told me so far is that we (the US) uses or used the five number pattern. I will try to get more info out of him and pass it on to this thread.

[edit on 26-12-2005 by A_Widows_Son]

posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 07:13 PM

Now this is interesting. I can't believe people have not figured out what is behind this. It seems that there should be someone who could tell us what it means. HAs anyone heard of the governments take on it??

-- Boat

posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 07:54 PM
I found a great site full of recordings; they are very clear.

Check them out here, I'm hoping some ATSer knows more about this, it seems that this has been around for a long time.

-- Boat

posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 07:55 PM
Sorry about this...forgot the link...

-- Boat

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 02:30 AM
Thanks a lot guys, I just spent the last 30 minutes reading up on cryptography and I now feel like a complete ignoramus.

Don't get me wrong, that's a really wierd phenomenon you've stumbled across, but now I'm going to be wondering all night what happens if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it.

The thing about children's voices is certainly odd though. Anything on accents or geographic distribution? Thats the kind of thing that really makes you wish you could track down the signal, find the person responsible, and beat some answers out of them just for curiousity's sake.

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 03:14 AM
this site also has some interesting info, links to articles, programmes discussing the numbers and clips of number broadcasters -

you can also download (free) the book 'secret signals'

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 07:18 AM
Thank you for contributing, I have added a link to this topic in my signature since i'd definitly like more opinions from other members on this interesting subject.

good sources btw, looking at it now.

posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 09:37 AM
I am an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator and I have been hearing these stations since I was a kid when I built my first shortwave reciever kit.

Most of the ones I hear in the US are in Spanish although I have also heard
English, Russian and German broadcasts.

After 9/11 all Amateur Radio Operators in the US were asked to monitor and report any suspicious radio traffic like local trafic that is encripted or
anything heard in arabic that may be connected to sleeper cells in the US.

Although I have not heard anything like that so far if I did I suppose I would try to get a directional fix on it with my beam antennas, record it and then report it.

Here is a link to an overview of numbers stations.

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