The Grand Inquisitor

1839 posts
The Grand Inquisitor is plotting against you.

The Night Watchman: O

Numbers Stations

Numbers stations are short wave radio broadcasts that have unexplained origins and meanings. They are often associated with intelligence and espionage activities and were a staple of Cold War intrigue. Since I made a radio post earlier I thought I would put up some information about a couple of the more interesting numbers stations.

Numbers stations get there name from the encoded messages they would broadcast. Usually a station would have a signon tone, song, or phrase. This was usually followed by a series of numbers, letters, or phrases. The numbers were generally believed to be code that would be deciphered by recipients using a one-time pad to decode the messages.  No government has ever admitted to using numbers stations, but the US has accused Cuba of using numbers stations.

The stations have been picked up all over the globe, but they are difficult to track because they broadcast in short bursts. The stations have been around since WWI making them one of the earliest forms of radio communication. While it is assumed most stations are connected with governments there is also speculation that some stations may be connected with drug smuggling or other types of organized crime.

Here are a couple of sound samples from the more famous stations. If you want a more comprehensive list, visit the Conet Project archive where you can hear 150 different stations.

Atencion: A Cuban station that has been involved in US espionage cases:

The Lincolnshire Poacher is a station that is believed to be connected to British intelligence. I broadcasts from Cyprus and has an apparent sister station (called Cherry Ripe) in Australia that broadcasts the same material.

The Lincolnshire Poacher

UVB-76: A Russian station nicknamed The Buzzer because it runs a buzzing noise between broadcasts (it also uses snippets of Swan Lake). It was dormant for a number of years, but began broadcasting again earlier this year.

The Buzzer

If you have a shortwave radio, you can listen for yourself . It doesn’t take any fancy equipment and you can feel like you are on a secret spy mission behind enemy lines. Certainly more fun than listening to your average drive time DJ.

This is Radio Crass

So I have looked into the logistical issues and I think we are good to go for a CrassTalk podcast. For those of you who missed the original post in Cross Talk, I am going to try and put together a podcast with some of the other CrassTalk authors. Anyone who wants to join in is most welcome and encouraged. If you want to participate please let me know by replying here even if you responded to the other post so we have a central list. To participate you just need to download Skype and have a headphone and microphone combination (SiS, you need this). I have all the equipment to do the mixing and editing, and a friend has kindly agreed to allow us use his really great music. All we need to do is have a Skype conference call and I can just record it through my laptop.

So, what do we want to talk about? We should probably pick a few topics ahead of time so we all know what to expect and can prepare. Post your ideas here and we can decide what might be fun. If it works out I can do these on a semi-regular basis and we will have our own little radio station because if we want to win the internet we will need a strong propaganda unit. Cool.

Here is some inspiration:

Winning the Internet


The Night Watchman: R

The Georgia Guidestones

In an isolated spot in Elbert County Georgia stands one the most mysterious monuments in American history. The Georgia Guidestones are are an arrangement of large granite slabs that are arranged in a manner that allow them to be used as an astrological calendar and clock. This would make the structures interesting enough, but the uncertainty about who built the monument and the cryptic messages written upon it make the Guidestones the object of much speculation from the conspiracy theory community. Continue reading

In Praise of Trolls

A nod to 92BuickLeSabre who wrote and earlier post on anonymity online.

Everybody hates trolls. They are the boogyman who terrorize children in the dark forest of the internet and who ruin the comments section of daily newspapers. Part of the creation of this blog was the desire to escape the trolls and jackasses who seem to be invading Gawker. However, I would argue that trolling, when done right, can be a force for good in the uglier places on the internet. Let’s face it, there are plenty of people who will say and advocate completely reprehensible things online. Trolling is a way of saying no to terrible ideas on forums and sites where bad people are encouraging awful ideas and it is a way to punish individuals and people who break online etiquette. Here’s a couple of examples. Continue reading

The Night Watchman

Warning: Author is dweeb academic type who does not normally do “creative writing.” She apologizes in advance for any tedium. Thanks Mr. Meat, this is great.

I don’t sleep. Even when I was a kid I was up at three in the morning staring at the ceiling. During the summer I stayed with my grandparents on an isolated farm in the Western Nebraska scrub. My grandmother didn’t sleep either. We would lay on her bed in the still hours and she would read the comics to me while my grandfather slept in the recliner he passed out in at eight o’clock. Continue reading