sometimes radio stations will have a deal with another station where, if they are experiencing technical difficulty, they can feed in the other
station's programming. maybe this is what happened, and the other station was having a program in french?
It's possible the area here has some occasional reception problems due to storms or just something unusual. I'm not sure why the station keeps
disappearing off the air every once in awhile. It doesn't happen often but I've never heard another station take the place of the one that went
off. There was a little bit of static while picking up the French voice too. After a couple of minutes the French voice got full of static,
disappeared, and then the regular station drifted back.
In SC, you're nearer Louisiana than French Canada. Also, possibility of radio from a French-speaking ship. In the UK, coastguard signals were jammed
with a talk station because someone had left their emergency radio on and also were listening to a talk station. May even have been a pirate signal
(though why someone would want to broadcast in French on someone else's freq escapes me)
Actually, the morning the shuttle burned in, I heard about 20 minutes of the same thing but on my local VHF ham repeater. The gentlemen were speaking
french and were apparently unaware they were also keying up the repeater because they kept timing it out. That means that after a minute, if you
don't let up the ptt on the mic, the repeater will cut you off for about 10 seconds. These guys would each speak in excess of 3 to 5 minutes at the
time. I was able to record about 10 minutes of the conversation but have no idea what they were saying. There were no call signs nor proper ham
radio ettiqutte so I assume they were using freqs that they weren't licensed for. I'm not certain where they were because if you have a enough
power and are high enough in elevation, you can key a repeater from a great distance and amplifies and rebroadcasts you transmission instantly to a
broad group of listeners.
These guys could have even been in an aircraft for all I know but its was weird because the shuttle had just went missing that Saturday morning.
Anytime, I hear that someone has heard this kind of transmission, especially in french, it makes me go hmm. Thats not really an idea scenario even
for a case of skip which works better on AM than FM. FM and especially the VHF bands are pretty much limited to their area depending on their
wattage. Its my opinion that you heard an illegal communication much like I did using an unlicensed transmitter. The speaking french part just
weirds me out and I think we all know why without me spelling it out.
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