The shortwave numbers stations continue to fascinate (updated).

Posted: 03 Apr 2010

"The very qualities that made the short wave bands attractive to propaganda stations – the ability to blanket vast areas of the planet with relatively low power signals and the fact that they could be picked-up using ordinary radios – made them even more enticing to intelligence agencies. Tune in to the right frequency at the right time, then and now, and you will hear (though not for your listening pleasure) the strangest radio broadcasts you are ever likely to encounter: tinny strains of repetitive folk tunes followed by monotone voices, often synthesized, reading out five-digit strings of seemingly random numbers. These are the numbers stations." Jason Walsh, forth (Dublin), 20 March 2010.
     Update: "In 'Clandestine,' filmmakers Marcus Rosentrater and Gideon Carson Kennedy chronicle the use of numbers stations from 1940 to 2009 using publicly available archival footage and audio of the actual code broadcasts. ... 'What got me was the idea of communication that’s both open and completely secret at the same time,' Kennedy said. 'It’s fascinating to me that anyone with a short-wave radio can hear these things and no one is going to know what they actually mean, other than the person sending the message and the person receiving it.'" Michael Dumas, Mobile Press-Register, 1 April 2010.
     Russ Powell, "who had a long career with the CBC in Corner Brook, has become a minister since his retirement but is now back in the broadcasting field with Giant 101.9 FM in Sydney, N.S. He associates his high school days, particularly his father’s short-wave radio giving him advance warning of the British Invasion of pop music, with the start of his lifelong interest in music and radio." Gary Kean, The Western Star (Corner Brook, NL), 22 March 2010.
     "Visiting Belgrade in the late Sixties, I recall keeping company with a group of young Serbian drop-outs, one of whom spent hours every day listening to British shortwave and taping Beatles and Rolling Stone songs." David Solway, FrontPage Magazine, 31 March 2010.

Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.