Percival wrote:Have you ever heard some SHORTWAVE radio stations where this monotonous voice just reads seemingly random NUMBERS continuously over and over and over all day and night, very strange stuff, I have heard it has to do with the passing of information by intelligence agencies but I dont know the official name of that particular thing so I cant seem to find any info to research it.
Numbers stations (or number stations) are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. They generally broadcast artificially generated voices reading streams of numbers, words, letters (sometimes using a spelling alphabet), tunes or Morse code. They are in a wide variety of languages and the voices are usually women's, though sometimes men's or children's voices are used.
Evidence supports popular assumptions that the broadcasts are used to send messages to spies. This usage has not been publicly acknowledged by any government that may operate a numbers station, but in 2001, the United States tried the Cuban Five, a group of individuals, with spying for Cuba and receiving encoded messages from a Cuban numbers station. In June 2009, the United States similarly charged Walter Kendall Myers with spying for Cuba and receiving encoded messages from a numbers station operated by the Cuban Intelligence Service.
It has been reported that the United States itself uses numbers stations to communicate encoded information to persons in other countries.
Numbers stations appear and disappear over time (although some follow regular schedules), and their overall activity has increased slightly since the early 1990s. This increase suggests that, as spy-related phenomena, they were not unique to the Cold War.
According to the notes of The Conet Project, numbers stations have been reported since World War I. If accurate, this would make numbers stations among the earliest radio broadcasts.
It has long been speculated, and was argued in court in one case, that these stations operate as a simple and foolproof method for government agencies to communicate with spies working undercover. 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 coincident with extraordinary political events, such as the August Coup of 1991 in the Soviet Union.
Number Stations are also acknowledged for espionage purposes in Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton's Spycraft (p. 438):
The one-way voice link described a covert communications system that transmitted messages to an agent's unmodified shortwave radio using the high-frequency shortwave bands between 3 and 30 MHz at a predetermined time, date, and frequency contained in their communications plan. The transmissions were contained in a series of repeated random number sequences and could only be deciphered using the agent's one-time pad. If proper tradecraft was practiced and instructions were precisely followed, an OWVL transmission was considered unbreakable. [...] As long as the agent's cover could justify possessing a shortwave radio and he was not under technical surveillance, high-frequency OWVL was a secure and preferred system for the CIA during the Cold War.
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. However, numbers stations have transmitted with impunity for decades, so they are generally presumed to be operated or sponsored only by governments. Also, numbers station transmissions in the international shortwave bands typically require high levels of electric power that is unavailable to ranches, farms, or plantations in isolated drug-growing regions.
High frequency radio signals transmitted at relatively low power can travel around the world under ideal propagation conditions, which are affected by local RF noise levels, weather, season, and sunspots, and can then be received with a properly tuned antenna of adequate size, and a superb receiver. However, spies often have to work only with available hand held receivers, sometimes under difficult local conditions, and in all seasons and sunspot cycles. Only very large transmitters, perhaps up to 500,000 watts, are guaranteed to get through to nearly any basement-dwelling spy, nearly any place on earth, nearly all of the time. Some governments may not need a numbers station with global coverage if they only send spies to nearby countries.
Luther Blissett wrote:Wow what a coincidence. I got a 1800 call last night (Sunday) which was very strange. Normally I only get 1800 calls between the hours of 9-5, and they are always from my couple of debt collectors. I don't remember the number, but it wasn't the string of 8's, and it wasn't my collectors. I hit the key on the side of the phone that silences the vibrate for the rest of the call, but instead, it said "Busy Signal Sent" which is not the function that this key performs.
After the call, my phone shut down, and ever since, it will not turn on. Google tells me I need to flash it, but I can't exactly figure out how to do that.
Also, this was about an hour after posting that thread about my wife on here, which is the only subject that makes me personally paranoid.
Hopefully I'll get into the shop tomorrow and have it looked at.