I'm a long time DX'er, and have always been mystified at the female'robotic' voice, that spurts out a string of 5 digits, in various languages.
The voice has been transmitting for many years now, on different frequencies and meter bands. Here a little background for those who don't know what
I'm talking about:
Well over a hundred "numbers" or "spy" stations have
been reported, all rather closely following a pattern. On the
typical numbers station, the announcer is - or seems to be -
a woman. No one knows who the woman is or where she is
broadcasting from. She speaks Spanish, German, or Korean.
Save for a few words at the begining and the end of the
transmission, the message consists of reandom numbers,
announced in groups of five, four, or, rarely, three digits.
As with the Morse code stations, the numbers stations are all
on unauthorized frequencies. No government or organization
owns up to the broadcasts; offically, at least, the FCC
claims no knowledge of them.
Many of those who have listened to the broadcasts
carefully are convinced that the woman is in fact a robot.
The voice has a mechanical ring, somtimes a click between
each digit. It seems to be the same type of device used by
the telephone company to give the time or to forward phone
The exact format of the messages varies with the
language and number of digits per group. With Spanish, five
digit groups, for example, a typical transmission might be:
Atencion 290 22...Atencion 290 22...Atencion 290 22
Broadcasts are during the night hours of North America
and seem to start shortly after the hour. After the
"Final,final," the transmission stops. It is claimed that a
given transmission is repeated a few minutes later on a
slightly different frequency.
There seems to be no escaping the conclusion that the
messages are numerical code. The second number (22 in the
example) - is the number of digit groups in the message.
There dosen't seem to be any demonstrable significance to the
first number although it probably has some signifigance. Some
think it is an identifying number for the sender or the
receiver. It may also indentify the code used if there is
more than one. Note that the numbers above are only random
(except for 22) and were never really broadcast.
The four-digit transmissions in Spanish are different. A
three-digit number (perhaps that of the sender or receiver)
is repeated several times, followed by the digits 1 through
10. ("uno, dos, tres...") and a string of Morse code dashes.
the word "grupo" is followed by the number of four-digit
groups to come and repeated once - for example, "Grupo 22,
grupo 22." The message - groups of four Spanish numbers -
follows. At the end the voice says, "Repito grupo 22," and
the message repeats. The station goes off the air after the
Any attempt to explain these broadcasts is complicated
by numbers broadcasts in other languages. There are also
broadcasts in German, Korean, and English. Occasional
transmissions in Russian, French, Portuguese, and even
Serbo-Croatian are reported. Somtimes a male (mechanical?)
voice reads the numbers. The female robot voice doing English
language broadcasts is often described as having an Oriental
or German accent. Typical of the uncertainty surrounding
numbers stations are the reported English messages prefaced
with a female voice saying "Groups disinformation" and ending
with "End of disinformation." Perhaps the voice machine has a
bad rendering of "This information."
And here is a list of frequencies:
Frequency Male language
--------- ------ --------
3060 F S (All are numbers stations
3090 F S unless otherwise noted)
3365 M SC
4640 M S
4642 F F
4670 F S&E Numbers & phonetic
4740 M S&P Interlude from Aida
4770 F G
5020 F S
5075 F S
5110 M C Slavic musical interlude
5812 F S
6770 F S
6790 F S
8875 F S
9040 F S&E
9345 F S
9450 F E + Musical tones
9463 F S
9950 F S
10450 F K
10500 F G
10532 F S
11545 F G
11618 F G
11635 F S
13320 M R
14947 F G
14970 F E + Beep tones
23120 F G
There is much speculation on the origin and purpose of the code. Yet, no-one has been able to decipher it.
Do we have a challenge here, my fellow ATS members?
Could be fun!!