Jan 192011

A subject that was touched on in Phantom Circuit #51 (and which is alluded to in some of the music which has cropped up in other shows) was numbers stations, those mysterious shortwave radio broadcasts consisting of lists of numbers being read out for unknown purposes (although espionage is the standard explanation). These transmissions are not heard as readily now as they were in the 1980s, but have sustained currency in electronic music.

Here’s a short report on numbers stations. Notwithstanding the silly preamble in the studio before the report itself starts, it’s a concise introduction to the subject at just over three minutes.

Examples of numbers stations abound. Most famously the Conet Project compiled many such recordings, which can now also be downloaded for free.

 Posted by on January 19, 2011 Tagged with: ,

  3 Responses to “An introduction to numbers stations”

  1. There is a nice use of a number station recording in Boards of Canada’s track Gyroscope. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbFgxucxVcM

  2. Thank you so much for this information. I have been ignorant about this phenomenon but it is fascinating. You have opened up a new world to me.

  3. I have been listening to these stations for many years…I guess the whole “cloak and dagger” ideal really captured my imagination at first. Then the deeper I dug, the more I found that actually a lot of these messages are really very mundane things and not some super top secret message I was hearing. I do still follow them though. The biggest news last year was when “UVB-76” started actually transmitting voice messages, which until last year were an extreme rarity. Now I believe it’s on a daily basis you can hear live coded messages. There’s even a few websites that copy down the daily messages and posts them, some even with audio clips.