In the shadowy corners of the shortwave spectrum lurk the Numbers Stations: strange radio broadcasts of mysterious blocks of numbers in creepy monotone voices!

It's actually an old form of spycraft which is still in use today. And as it's #WorldRadioDay let's take a listen...

A Numbers Station is a type of one-way voice link for sending information to spies in foreign countries.

Operating on Short Wave radio bands they transmit a secret code of spoken numbers. Use of Numbers Stations peaked during the Cold War, but some are still operating today.
Numbers Stations are operated by various national intelligence agencies. At set times on a pre-arranged frequency a musical tone is played, followed by a speech synthesised voice reading out blocks of numbers. To most listeners it sounds both creepy and meaningless.
However to spies it can be vital. The numbers can be decoded to reveal a message, provided the spy has the right One Time Pad (OTP) - a random number key that is only used once before it is destroyed. OTP encryption is impossible to break if done correctly.
Why broadcast your secret message on Short Wave? Because it can be picked up across the globe. All a spy needs is a shop bought SW radio, a pencil, and the correct One Time Pad and they - and only they - can decipher the message. No complex kit is required.
For decades governments have denied running Numbers Stations, and for decades amateur radio enthusiasts have documented and recorded the stations to prove they do exist. It's only recently that more information about them has begun to emerge.
The Lincolnshire Poacher was a Numbers Station run by British Intellegence from Cyprus up until 2008. It played a minute of music before a female synthesised voice would read out 200 blocks of five digit numbers. Here's a clip: https://t.co/kcXDtPxrOD
Swedish Rhapsody was run by Polish Intelligence during the Cold War. It used a Stasi Sprach-Morse-Generator to synthesize a child's voice reading out number codes in German, preceded by a song from a music box. Here's how it sounded: https://t.co/f5nHnAEwLl
Gong was a Stasi run Numbers Station operating from East Germany. A series of gong strikes would be broadcast every half hour followed by the command "Achtung!" and the code number sequences. Here's a clip: https://t.co/KiiVA7jkGc
Not every Numbers Station broadcast numbers. Some stations, such as Whalesong, broadcast 'backwards music', a series of tones that would need to be recorded and deciphered by specialist equipment: https://t.co/tMTtrMVQ6F
UVB-76 isn't a Numbers Station, but it has continuously broadcast a series of buzzing sounds for 45 years across Russia. Is it just a channel marker, or could it be a 'Dead Hand' system to launch a nuclear retaliation if Moscow is destroyed? Hmm...: https://t.co/3nkZ2T4UEl
Numbers Stations may sound quaint, but they are still used today by many countries: a global signal with unbreakable encryption that is very hard to intercept - why reinvent a method that works?

More spy stories another time...

More from Pulp Librarian

More from Culture

A thread of very good, wonderful, truly Super Bowls.

Translucent agate bowl with ornamental grooves and coffee-and-cream marbling. Found near Qift in southern Egypt. 300 - 1,000 BC. 📷 Getty Museum https://t.co/W1HfQZIG2V


Technicolor dreambowl, found in a grave near Zadar on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Made by melding and winding thin bars of glass, each adulterated with different minerals to get different colors. 1st century AD. 📷 Zadar Museum of Ancient Glass
https://t.co/H9VfNrXKQK


100,000-year-old abalone shells used to mix red ocher, marrow, charcoal, and water into a colorful paste. Possibly the oldest artist's palettes ever discovered. Blombos Cave, South Africa. 📷https://t.co/0fMeYlOsXG


Reed basket bowl with shell and feather ornaments. Possibly from the Southern Pomo or Lake Miwok cultures. Found in Santa Barbara, CA, circa 1770. 📷 British Museum https://t.co/F4Ix0mXAu6


Wooden bowl with concentric circles and rounded rim, most likely made of umbrella thorn acacia (Vachellia/Acacia tortilis). Qumran. 1st Century BCE. 📷 https://t.co/XZCw67Ho03
. THREAD 1/x

David Baddiel is getting lots of coverage and feedback on his book which again focuses on so called 'left wing' antisemitism.

I will start by saying that I have seen antisemitic comments made by Labour members and some genuine cases.

However, I have huge concerns.


2/x

Let's look in detail at this article written in April 2019 in the @Guardian - and I will explain the concerns.

The areas highlighted guide you to believe this was all Labour - IT WASN'T.

It also occurred before 2015! Detail follows...

https://t.co/cK59FP83aG


3/x

So as you see the writer of this rather deceitful piece starts with

"THAT CHANGED IN SEPTEMBER 2015" 🙄

This was done to point the timeframe as Corbyn's leadership. Yet the article goes on to describe things that are not even related to Labour, which occurred in 2014.


4/x

So... What in fact the @Guardian writer is discussing here is this case - where a group of Neo-Nazi's spent months inflicting abuse on Jewish MP Luciana Berger

All the detail is in the Court Notes when Bonehill-Paine was sentenced by the judge.

https://t.co/wAyo6Yro5Q


5/x

The Justice sentencing remarks to Neo-Nazi explain the previous cases too. See the date 2014.

Yet the Guardian writer refers to this NON LABOUR case to effectively make her article a lie.

"Star of David" - this was Garron Helm another neo-Nazi..

You May Also Like

Nano Course On Python For Trading
==========================
Module 1

Python makes it very easy to analyze and visualize time series data when you’re a beginner. It's easier when you don't have to install python on your PC (that's why it's a nano course, you'll learn python...

... on the go). You will not be required to install python in your PC but you will be using an amazing python editor, Google Colab Visit
https://t.co/EZt0agsdlV

This course is for anyone out there who is confused, frustrated, and just wants this python/finance thing to work!

In Module 1 of this Nano course, we will learn about :

# Using Google Colab
# Importing libraries
# Making a Random Time Series of Black Field Research Stock (fictional)

# Using Google Colab

Intro link is here on YT: https://t.co/MqMSDBaQri

Create a new Notebook at https://t.co/EZt0agsdlV and name it AnythingOfYourChoice.ipynb

You got your notebook ready and now the game is on!
You can add code in these cells and add as many cells as you want

# Importing Libraries

Imports are pretty standard, with a few exceptions.
For the most part, you can import your libraries by running the import.
Type this in the first cell you see. You need not worry about what each of these does, we will understand it later.