Jack Barsky: KGB spy who relied on numbers stations


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Anthony, for forwarding this CBS/60 Minutes video: an interview with former KGB spy, Jack Barsky. During the interview, Barsky mentions that he received encrypted KGB “radiograms” via a numbers station he believed to be in Cuba. He admitted that the messages could take an hour to copy, then an additional three hours to decode. This is a fascinating story–well worth watching.

Here is the intro via 60 Minutes:

“Tonight, we’re going to tell you a story you’ve probably never heard before because only a few people outside the FBI know anything about it. It’s a spy story unlike any other and if you think your life is complicated, wait till you hear about Jack Barsky’s, who led three of them simultaneously. One as a husband and father, two as a computer programmer and administrator at some top American corporations and three as a KGB agent spying on America during the last decade of the Cold War.

The FBI did finally apprehend him in Pennsylvania but it was long after the Soviet Union had crumbled. What makes Jack Barsky’s story even more remarkable is he’s never spent a night in jail, the Russians declared him dead a long time ago, he’s living a quiet life in upstate New York and has worked in important and sensitive jobs. He’s now free to tell his story…as honestly as a former spy ever can.”

Click here to view the video via CBS online, or you can simply watch via the the embedded players below:

Part 1

Part 2

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5 thoughts on “Jack Barsky: KGB spy who relied on numbers stations

  1. Heide Arnold

    Für mich ist diese Geschichte sehr berührend, bewegend. Ich bin seine Cousine, mütterlicherseits. Sehr schön, zu erfahren, wie( ehemalig ) Albrechts Leben verlaufen ist.

    [Translation: For me, this story is very touching. I am his maternal cousin. Very nice to know how (former) Albrecht’s life has been.]

    1. Jack Barsky

      Totaler Zufall: Bist Du die ehemalige Heide Garrack? Wenn so, sende mir doch mal eine eMail: [email protected].
      Ich werde Mitte September wieder in Deutschland auftauchen. Wo lebt ihr?

      Explanation: This is Jack Barsky (the real one). Heide seems to be a cousin whom I lost touch with many many years ago. Trying to reconnect ……………

  2. Joe

    I live in Queens, and work in IT in midtown a few blocks away from Met Life. This guy looks so familiar to me. I know I’ve seen him around. Maybe on the R train into midtown. LOL. I never forget a face. I’ve seen him before.


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