Sunday, May 18, 2014

Peter Staal on the mysterious number stations

Interesting lecture from Peter Staal who gave a talk a few years ago to students at TU Delft about the mysterious number stations on shortwave. It's a pity they can't get the sound to work at the start of the talk, but he makes up for it later. Best lecture I have seen on who was behind the stations. It seems the machines which generate the numbers were offered on EBAY to collectors at one point. Peter has filmed several in action. Of course the west used them too. I guess a similar sort of generator.

This video is part of the following playlist on this channel:

The machine pronounces, in a monotone voice, a string of numbers used by intelligence agencies for one-way shortwave radio communication with their agents in enemy countries.
This machine belongs to a German collector who has a vast collection of various spy-gadgets.

There were many machines of this particular model produced in East-Germany for usage within the DDR itself or other communist bloc nations, like the Soviet Union or Cuba

At 31'25 he refers to the magazine programme Kurzwellen Panorama, which was produced by Wolf Harranth of ORF Auslandsdienst, later renamed Radio Austria International.

Here is a video I made a few years ago of Wolf at the old site of the Radio documentation centre.

A visit with Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC, Dokufunk Curator from Jonathan Marks on Vimeo.

The numbers station got the biggest publicity in the film from 2013.

More programmes in an earlier entry on this blog. Enjoy.

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