Mods: if there is a forum where I would more likely receive professional or at least knowledgeable responses to this line of inquiry, please oblige me
by moving this topic there. Much appreciated.
Let me begin by saying that I approach this matter with rational skepticism, an open mind, and humility born of knowing my own limitations in both
knowledge and ability to comprehend, as a layperson. So as this is an issue which affects my life directly, I would appreciate a level of rationality
and humility when responding, such that your replies are limited to what you know with certainty
rather than what you simply believe to be the
Secondly, I would respectfully ask that when responding, you provide - in a general, non-personally identifying manner - your level of expertise and
experience with the subject matter in question, so as to better gauge the potential usefulness of any information you may be able to provide me with.
That said, I am open minded and grateful for anyone’s contributions.
For some years now, a very close friend and I have been experiencing some unusual interference or noises when talking together on the phone. Initially
we put it down to crosstalk due to coupling and so forth, especially since we speak on cordless (not cell, just cordless) phones when we talk.
However, at a certain point beginning a year or so ago (to the best of my memory) we began hearing Morse code in the form of S.O.S. repeatedly. We
again considered that this was simply coincidental, but attempted - just in case, somehow, some way, someone needed help in some respect - to
communicate with whoever might be doing this, in the event they were picking up our crosstalk, could hear us, and needed assistance.
What we discovered in our attempts to confirm or disprove that a person was on the other end of this was that we were able to get the noise to stop
and start at will, and the S.O.S. to happen when prompted. Please keep in mind that we assumed this was either someone picking up our crosstalk and
having a bit of fun at our expense, or some other non-exotic phenomenon such as a mischievous telecom line tester or some such (we don’t know enough
about this to know if that’s even feasible, which is one reason I’m posting this here.)
We are aware of confirmation bias and are both skeptical individuals, so we had try and establish some data in terms of how successful we could be at
getting it to respond. So just to clarify, the other night - for example - we were able to say “Start,” and make the noise begin, and “Stop,”
causing it to fall off to silence immediately, with 100% consistency, over 50 times. I had an independent witness confirm that this was actually
happening for me, and they got the same result. We used intervals between “start” and “stop” that were chosen at random, so it wasn’t just a
coincidentally repeating interval of crosstalk or line induction in my unprofessional opinion. Thus it is our speculative hypothesis that this is a
person or people, and not random. Please enlighten me if that is an erroneous assumption to make.
Where things get a bit more (potentially) malicious is:
1) One particularly bad night some months ago, the noise got increasingly loud, and actually “killed” my friend’s phones. Let me make this
absolutely clear: by killed, I do not mean temporarily incapacitated or dead batteries. I mean both the phone he was talking on, and
companion phone on its charger base, were dead. They would no longer function, even with new batteries. He had to buy a new pair of phones. I did as
well, in the event that it was on my end. This has continued to happen (without the phone breaking consequences though, thankfully) since then.
2) While potentially entirely coincidental, I mention this for purposes of thoroughness. His wife’s cell phone (which as I said, we do not talk on)
will sometimes be on and lit - without ringing - when he or his wife enter the room, and at times when he is certain his children have not touched it
or even been present at all in some instances. It will sometimes act as though it is downloading something, but it isn’t the usual firmware update
message, and then turn back off. Other times it will merely be lit and active, and then go dark. I read that this could - and I only consider this out
of an abundance of caution and open-mindedness, while remaining quite skeptical of it - potentially be a symptom of software bugging. Please enlighten
me if that is untrue or unlikely.
These are the only (marginally) technical details I can provide you with:
- We both have the same internet service provider, Comcast. We have our internet via a cable modem, and our phone service, which they call Digital
Voice (but which I assume is essentially comprehensive VoIP complete with E911, voicemail, etc.) is through that connection. We do not have normal
landline phone service.
- The chain of connections is: CATV cable to modem; model to phone cord; phone cord to cordless phone bases.
- The noise consists of what sounds like FM radio static, which alters in intensity from total silence to loud interference, as well as clicking I
would consider most comparable to the pulse setting on phone number pads. (With the latter clicking noise being how the S.O.S. is communicated.)
- This can be caused to happen seemingly at any time of day, in any location in or around our homes.
- This only ever happens when we are both on the phone. It does not happen when he talks to others, or when I talk to others.
- The interference responds to verbal commands and suggests a human perpetrator, rather than random, coincidental interference. It responds in real
time, with almost no delay.
- Contacting Comcast’s account security and anti-fraud dpt. has not yielded any information, although they claim they have limited means of looking
- We have been friends for over 12 years. He is my closest friend and confidant. I trust him implicitly, and I know him to be a kind, rational family
man with a wife and two children. I have no compelling reason to suspect that this is a hoax on his part, though I have intermittently admittedly
considered the possibility. He seems as genuinely perplexed and disturbed by this as I do, however.
- Neither he nor myself are involved in any illegal or suspect activity. Neither of us have any enemies, have received any threats, or have any
reason to suspect anyone we know of this activity.
Can anyone with some expertise and/or experience illuminate 1) what would be required for someone to be doing this, 2) any other potential
explanations, 3) what we might go about doing to discover who is doing this or report the activity to appropriate agency or individuals, and 4) how to
stop it or protect ourselves from it?
Please consider carefully my requests at the start of this topic before responding, and any and all relevant information (that a layperson would be
capable of digesting) and suggestions are welcome.