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Author Topic: Do Shortwave ‘Numbers Stations’ Really Instruct Spies ?  (Read 413 times)

Offline PirateSWL

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Brian D. - PirateSWL
Pirate Radio Shortwave Enthusiast from NY
RX: Kenwood TS-480 / 40m dipole
Not embarrassed to admit I often use Shazam ; )
eQSL greatly appreciated to PirateSWL@aol.com

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Do Shortwave ‘Numbers Stations’ Really Instruct Spies ?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 1655 UTC »
I created mine to pester numbers station dx'er's like Al Fansome one static filled summer when no one was getting out, as a joke. I hadn't counted on the interwebz, pirate 'zines like "The ACE" were the thing then. The damned thing went worldwide in under a week!  Then another guy who was in on it started using it to harass and slander people, so I dropped it. Thus began "The Bunny Code" era. I didn't want anything to do with it beyond that point.

I got it from a book called "Secret Societies" by the late Afghan scholar Idries Shah writing under the pseudonym "Arkon Darual" in the early 60's, when I believe he was lecturing at Oxford? The code itself is actual number cipher of the Bavarian Illuminati; circa 1783. It was the summer of "The DaVinci Code", I figured "Why not?", it should bring more nuts out of the woodwork. Fansome got some interesting emails that summer and fall. I don't know if any were spies, but Al said they were pretty weird.

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Do Shortwave ‘Numbers Stations’ Really Instruct Spies ?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 1313 UTC »
Now that I've got the wiseass out of my system, yes, they do. A Cuban couple was convicted in Miami for espionage for the Cuban Gov. about a decade ago. They got their instructions via one of the Cuban numbers stations.

Many of them went silent in the decade after the end of the Cold War, but there are still quite a few to be heard.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Do Shortwave ‘Numbers Stations’ Really Instruct Spies ?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 2115 UTC »
There was a movie on the TV here last week called "Numbers Station" a British/American production I think, quite an interesting show, plenty of action scenes and a brief insight into the numbers station and what it does.

The numbers station in question was "compromised" and operated from a pretty tight secure site out in the countryside from a former military base ex WW-II.

For any one interested in Numbers Stations this movie would be a must see I guess... :)
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 420 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.