Do any of my readers here happen to be into HAM/Shortwave radio? I'd love to learn more about what kind of neat stuff can be done over the airwaves, and potentially buy a radio to get started with picking up some neat stuff (Especially these number stations!)
Friday, February 24, 2012
I saw a post online today that got me interested in something completely new and different... Number Stations. I've always had a latent interest in some day getting a HAM or Shortwave Radio and learning to use it properly, but I haven't really thought about it intently in recent times. This post asked about info on "Number Stations" and naturally, I fired up trusty Google, and immediately was fascinated. Turns out there are stations across the frequencies that transmit series of seemingly random numbers, letters, or sounds. There are theories abound on what these stations are, but two seem to be the most commonly presented. Either they are encrypted communications between intelligence agencies and spies in the field, or they are transmissions used by drug cartels and other underground networks. Whatever they are, they are bloody *fascinating* to me. The idea of tuning in a short-wave radio and being able to listen to these intelligence or underground transmissions of important data, whether they're one-time use encrypted to be unbreakable by any means or not, seems exhilarating. All this information is buzzing past us as light that is at a non-visible frequency, but it's still there, and able to be seen and listened too... Just not deciphered. Apparently this 'phenomenon' began sprouting up during WWI, and has persisted since. It was extremely prevalent during the Cold War, for obvious reasons. Communicating with spies in a unbreakable code anywhere in the world was probably an extremely useful tool of the time. Even today it is used and must be useful.