September, 22 2011: Out of SWLing Post archives–David Goren Explores Numbers Stations:
David Goren, independent radio producer and shortwave enthusiast, has produced a radio documentary about numbers stations for The Lost and Found Sound Series. It has been recently picked up by L.A. Theatre Works.
What are numbers stations? I wish I knew–but if you’ve been listening to shortwave radio for long, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon these mysterious broadcasts of strings of supposedly meaningless numbers, too.
When I tune to a numbers station, I stop and listen for several minutes. Why? I’m not sure. Is it that I imagine a spy in some foreign country, huddled up to a radio with pen in hand, ready to decode a secret message on the back of an envelope? Or is it that I think I’m actually hearing the pulse of the shortwave bands over the ether? I’m not exactly sure, but I now know they’ve been part of the SWLing experience since the Cold War (or longer), and that I’m not alone in my curiosity about them.
David also produces and mixes his own fascinating brand of “sonic, aesthetic, and cultural resonances of the shortwave radio spectrum” at his site, Shortwaveology.
Listen to “Atencion: Seis Siete Tres Siete Cero: The Shortwave Numbers Mystery” by visiting Shortwaveology.