Category Archives: Numbers Stations

Adi spots an Eddystone among other radios in the Netflix series Spycraft

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adi, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I just finished watching “Spycraft” on Netfilx. It’s 8X30min parts documentary.

The last part is “Recruiting the best spy“.

I first spotted this lovely 880 Eddystone receiver but coming into the ~20 min was the story of the ICF-2010 and how an American spy for Cuba used it to receive the “numbered” code massages.

Later on there is nice illustration how the code was used.

There are few other radios pop here and there on this documentary as you can expect from the Spy Craft .

73’s Adi

Thank you so much, Adi!  Some years ago, I actually read the book upon which I believe this series was based. Many thanks for the tip!

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Podcast dives into world of Cold War Numbers Stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ulis, who shares a link to the following episode of the Cold War Conversations podcast which focuses on numbers stations:

Cold War number stations

You might remember listening to short wave radio during the Cold War and coming across weird transmissions of metallic voices reciting random groups of numbers through the ether. These are number stations, shortwave radio stations characterised by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which were being sent to spies operating in foreign countries.

Number stations were used widely during the Cold War and we speak with Jo Reggelt of ShortwaveNumbers.com. Jo has been working with Simon Mason who was a founding member of ENIGMA, launched in the 1980’s after identifying several of these stations.

We discuss in detail the operations behind the transmissions and the stations themselves. You will hear some sample transmissions, including one of drunken Stasi officers serenading their agents after the opening of the Wall. [Continue reading…]

Click here to listen to this podcast on the Cold War Conversations website,
or via iTunes or Spotify.

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Sony ICF-2001 and ICF-2010: Choice radios for spies

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Zack Schindler, who writes:

I have been watching a series on the Science Channel called Spycraft. It is about the “business” and history of modern spycraft and is quite interesting.

The most recent episode (3/8/2022) was called “the Perfect Recruit” and was about spies inside US agencies. One case was about Ana Belén Montes who worked for the DIA and was spying for Cuba. In the story they showed that she used a Sony 2010. Per the article below she was listening to a Cuban Numbers Station on 7887 kHz. A number of other cases are mentioned in there too that involved a Sony 2001 or 2010.

Thank You
Zack Schindler

Thanks for sharing this, Zack! I do believe I remember the Sony being mentioned back when Ana Montes was arrested. Fascinating stuff!

These days, I bet spies would turn to the super compact and durable Belka series receivers

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BBC Newshour Reports Jamming of UVB-76 (The Buzzer) With Music and Digital Imagery

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark, who writes:

Thomas,

The morning (EST) edition of BBC Newshour on Wednesday presented a five-minute report on the jamming of Russian shortwave mystery station UVB-76 (The Buzzer) with music and digital imagery.

Newshour – Uncertainty over Russian ‘de-escalation’ near Ukraine – BBC Sounds

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172xv5lss6rtdm

Report begins at 37:26

Also at:

BBC World Service – Newshour – Available now

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsnk/episodes/player

Sincerely,

Mark

Thank you for the tip, Mark. Impressive that this bit of shortwave news would be included in a Newshour report. They did a fantastic job including some audio clips from the Conet Project and authentic UVB-76 audio.

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Can you help Carlos identify this CW station?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Carlos Latuff, who writes:

Hey Tom,

Check out this recording.

I heard it today on 16976 kHz USB, at 13h08 UTC, here in Tramandai coast, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Maybe your readers may have an idea what is this CW about?

Thank you for sharing this, Carlos!

Post readers: If you can ID this station, please comment!

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UNID Russian Numbers Station recorded April 26, 2021

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who recently shared this recording of an unidentified numbers station in Russian.

Paul recorded this on April 26, 2021 at 0218 UTC in McGrath, Alaska, on 11,615 kHz:

I’m not an expert on numbers station identification–if you can ID this station, please comment!

Update: Many thanks to a number of readers who have suggested that this is the “S06 Russian Man” station.

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Radio on TV: Science Channel Segment

Image Credit: Wiki Logos Public Domain

Guest Post by Troy Riedel

In keeping with a popular theme here – “radio in/on TV & movies” – I wanted to share the following that I saw on the Science Channel (part of the Discovery Network):

Show: What on Earth?
S5 Ep2
Originally aired 1/15/19

The above referenced episode has a segment on Cuban Numbers Stations – it’s at minute-45 in the 60-minute broadcast version with commercials.

Of course the show’s premise is “what’s this” so the segment starts out (as every segment does) analyzing a satellite photo and shapes (that turn out to be antennas). This segment is more about the “set-up” than the numbers stations themselves. It’s not really geared for radio enthusiasts but rather as something that may interest the general viewer – that there are active “espionage” Cuban Numbers Stations, when & why they started, and a brief mention of the arrests of what eventually became known as the Cuban Five.

The entire segment is only 5-minutes (approximately the same length as their “non-feature”, or minor segments).

I know it’s available free On Demand via Dish Network & is likely available for free on other services. Again – this won’t enlighten anyone who already knows there are “Cuban Numbers Stations”, but it is nice to see shortwave radio on mainstream “educational” TV programs.

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