Thursday, January 08, 2015

Number Stations: The Creepiest, Unexplained Things on the Airwaves

Story by Mark Newton on the Movieplot website about our HF numbers station. As usual some of it is incorrect. For instance:

"What do the 'The Lincolnshire Poacher,' 'The Buzzer,' 'Cherry Ripe,' 'Wop Wop,' 'Three Day Mystery' and 'The Workshop' all have in common?

"Well, if you immediately know the answer to that question, you're either a shortwave radio enthusiast or a spy.

"All of these are the nicknames of some of the dozens of bizarre number stations which appear from time-to-time on shortwave radio frequencies. No one officially knows where they come from because no one officially takes responsibility for the often strange, repetitive and, admittedly, creepy broadcasts.

Well some of the numbers broadcasts from the past have been IDed positively as spy numbers station thanks to several public trials of spies and court transcripts. Some of the numbers have also been tied up with known military activity (e.g. Russian Air Defense, Russian and Chinese military, etc). One series of numbers was identified as a message conduit to U.S. Drug agents in Latin and South America.

"Due to official denial that number stations even exist, no one has actually come forward to explain their use. Despite this, a number of assumptions can be made."

Again as I mentioned above, not quite true. But admittedly some still transmitting today are still unknown for who uses them and what they are used for.

You can click here for the complete story.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Can Your Solve the Mystery of UVB-76?

Happy New Year to all my readers, and friends. Let's start the New Year out right with an HF radio mystery.

Can you solve the mystery of UVB-76??? Check it our at

From the Wikipedia article on The Buzzer:

"UVB-76, also known as The Buzzer, is the nickname given by radio listeners to a shortwave radio station that broadcasts on the frequency 4625 kHz. It broadcasts a short, monotonous About this sound buzz tone, repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, for 24 hours per day. On very rare occasions, the buzzer signal is interrupted and a voice transmission in Russian takes place. The first reports were made of a station on this frequency in 1982. Its origins have been traced to Russia, and although several theories with varying degrees of plausibility exist, its actual purpose has never been officially confirmed and remains a source of speculation.

"The station is commonly referred to as the Buzzer among English-speaking radio listeners, while Russian listeners refer to it as жужжалка (žužžalka) – "the buzzer". Its official name is not known, although some of the voice transmissions have revealed names which may be call signs or another form of identification. Up until September 2010, the station identified itself as UVB-76 (Cyrillic: УВБ-76), and it is still often referred to by that name. In September 2010, the station moved to another location, and it has used the identification MDZhB (Cyrillic: МДЖБ, phonetic spelling "Mikhail Dmitri Zhenya Boris") from then onwards. It has been suggested that the correct identification until September 2010 was actually UZB-76 (Cyrillic: УЗБ-76), and that the Cyrillic letter Ze (З) had been misheard as the letter Ve (В). However, it is still referred to as "UVB-76" by most people. Although the station, by and large, has used these two codes at the beginning of most voice transmissions, a few voice messages have used other identification codes. This makes it uncertain whether the names are actually the call sign of the station, or some other identifying code.

"The station transmits using AM with a suppressed lower sideband (R3E), but it has also used full double-sideband AM (A3E). The signal consists of a buzzing sound that lasts 1.2 seconds, pausing for 1–1.3 seconds, and repeating 21–34 times per minute. Until November 2010, the buzz tones lasted approximately 0.8 seconds each. One minute before the hour, the repeating tone was previously replaced by a continuous, uninterrupted alternating tone, which continued for one minute until the short repeating buzz resumed, although this no longer occurs since June 2010.

"The Buzzer has apparently been broadcasting since at least 1982 as a repeating two-second pip, changing to a buzzer in early 1990. It briefly changed to a higher tone of longer duration (approximately 20 tones per minute) on January 16, 2003, but it has since reverted to the previous tone pattern."

See additional Wikipedia material at

There is a great Daily Mail article featuring an interview with UDXF luminary Ary Boender by clicking here.