Numbers on the Shortwave

Numbers Station?
Numbers station?

Back when I was a teenager I had a shortwave radio receiver. I could get all sorts of different radio stations, from Voice of America to Radio Moscow. This was the late 1970s and early 1980s and the Cold War was as hot as ever it was, with the assassination of Georgi Markov on a London Street really bringing it home.

Whilst the public got an explanation for that crime, one thing I would come across endlessly on the HF Radio band were voices calling out numbers.

These early synthesised voices would endlessly read out a set of numbers, occasionally preceded by a simple tune or set of tones.

They’re communicating with spies

“They’re communicating with spies” I was told. Of course as a teenager I found this exciting, fascinating and set out to crack the code. I didn’t manage to do that and got bored of trying after a couple of months. Eventually other things in life took over and I moved on. Yet my interest was rekindled when I found the video below on YouTube. Technology has moved on since those days and I was intrigued to hear that individual tweets on Twitter may now be being used for similar transmissions.

It makes you wonder what happens all around us that we are simply unaware of doesn’t it?

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