Number Stations
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Thread: Number Stations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Number Stations

    These have apparently been around since WWI... interestingly enough, I only just heard about them a couple days ago and have since fallen under the fascination of their mysteriousness! I figured I would share this info with the rest of you... there is something eerie... spooky...haunting when listening to some of the actual recordings! Apparently, these number stations still persist!

    Wikipedia definition of Number Stations

    ....Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. They generally broadcast people reading streams of numbers, words, or letters (sometimes using a phonetic alphabet).

    The voices that can be heard on these stations are often mysterious: mechanically generated; spoken in a wide variety of languages; usually female, but sometimes male or those of children.

    Evidence supports popular assumptions that the broadcasts are channels of communication used to send messages to spies. This has not been publicly acknowledged by any government that may operate a numbers station, but in one case, numbers station espionage has been publicly prosecuted by a foreign court.

    It has long been speculated (and was charged in one case) that these stations operate as a simple and foolproof method for government agencies to communicate with spies "in the field". According to this theory, the messages are encrypted with a one-time pad, to avoid any risk of decryption by the enemy. As evidence, numbers stations have changed details of their broadcasts or produced "special", nonscheduled broadcasts in response to extraordinary political events, such as the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.

    Others speculate that some of these stations may be related to illegal drug smuggling operations. Unlike government stations, smugglers' stations would need to be lower powered and irregularly operated, to avoid location by triangulated direction-finding, followed by government raids. Since numbers stations typically require a large supply of electricity, and for decades they have collectively transmitted with impunity, they are presumed to be operated or sponsored by governments.
    Other related/interesting links pertaining to Number Stations:

    DXING - Number Stations
    Prototype #44, Net Pirate Number Station
    The Conet Project

  2. #2
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    Yeah, this stuff has been around for ~90 years.

    Most, if not all modern casinos actually monitor for this type of broadcast (and many others) looking to snare cheats.
    Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
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  3. #3
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    I've know somewhat about these for quite some time but not over radio. I've had conversations on the phone before where we were speaking in Guitar and Bass chords / notes.

    It's not hard to make up your own language so you and one other person can talk and no one knows what you're saying.

    One way is looking at frets on a Bass or guitar and using a certain note to mean a letter. Lol, I love this ****, I wrote a song that once you read the tabs to play it, it said a message. And there are more frets than letters so you can switch which language you speak through it.

    Like you could start a song with the second fret of the second string, to tell them this contains two languages, as an example, English is my first language, German is my second, so hitting the second note on the second fret, then the first note on the first fret and the second note would be the second fret, first string mean, half German half English in this one.

    They listen and write down what they here and de-code it.

    And you can take it a step farther way easy.

    Take the lyrics from a song. Then write them out and circle the letters that make your message. Then you take the guitar or bass and play a few notes to tell the person you want to hear your message which letter of each word to circle so they know what you're saying.

    You do that and play that song, they grab the lyrics, circle each letter.... This is hard to explain, here is an example:

    Misfits song, Helena:

    If I cut off your arms,
    And cut off your legs,
    Would you still love me,
    If your bound and your gagged,
    draped and displayed,
    Would you still love me anyway?


    That's not all the lyrics but it will work for this for now.

    Then I'd play this on the E string:

    0 = strum string, no notes
    1 = first fret and so on:


    That would be saying look at the first word and write down the first letter. Skip two letters and write down the next one, and so on.

    When they wrote all this down they get the message "I C U" meaning I see you. Like I'm close by.

    You can go way past this too but I think yuo get the idea.

    So yea you'd play all those notes (first note is the first fret, second and third notes are open string and so on) then yuo would play the seong Helena on Guitar or bass, and they would know to grab those lyrics, circle each letter that wasn't open, and read what was written down and poof, you have a message no one understands but the person.
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  4. #4
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area

    Congrats, you've reinvented ciphering!

    Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
    Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. -- John Wooden

  5. #5
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Sky King Sky King....

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