Numbers stations were most prolific during the Cold War era, yet many continue to broadcast and some long-time stations may have been taken over by different operators. Few QSL responses have been received from numbers stations  by shortwave listeners  show sent reception reports, to stations that identified themselves or to entities the listeners believed responsible for the broadcasts, which is the expected behaviour of a non-clandestine station.
One well-known numbers station was the E03 " Lincolnshire Poacher ",  which is thought to have been run by the British Secret Intelligence Service.
It ceased broadcasting in Monitoring transmissions from numbers stations has become an activity for hobbyists, and ham radio enthusiasts dating from the s,  though it is reported that Archduke Anton of Austria in his youth used to listen in to their transmissions, writing them down and passing them on to the Austrian military intelligence.
According to the notes of The Conet Project  which has compiled recordings of these transmissions, numbers stations have been reported since World War I. It has long been speculated, and was argued in court in one case, that these stations operate as a simple and foolproof method for government agencies to communicate with spies working undercover.
As evidence, numbers stations have changed details of their broadcasts or produced special, nonscheduled broadcasts coincident with extraordinary political events, such as the attempted coup of August in the Soviet Union. Numbers stations are also acknowledged for espionage purposes in Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton 's Spycraft : . The one-way voice link OWVL described a covert communications system that transmitted messages to an agent's unmodified shortwave radio using the high-frequency shortwave bands between 3 and 30 MHz at a predetermined time, date, and frequency contained in their communications plan.
The transmissions were contained in a series of repeated random number sequences and could only be deciphered using the agent's one-time pad. If proper Komms - Mr Brown* - Music Capsule Vol. 1 - The Number Station (CDr) was practised and instructions were precisely followed, an OWVL transmission was considered unbreakable. As Komms - Mr Brown* - Music Capsule Vol. 1 - The Number Station (CDr) as the agent's cover could justify possessing a shortwave radio and he was not under technical surveillance, high-frequency OWVL was a secure and preferred system for the CIA during the Cold War.
High-frequency radio signals transmitted at relatively low power can travel around the world under ideal propagation conditions—which are affected by local RF noise levels, weather, season, and sunspots —and can then be received with a properly tuned antenna of adequate size and a good receiver. However, spies often have to work only with available hand-held receivers, sometimes under difficult local conditions, and in all seasons and sunspot cycles.
A article in The Daily Telegraph quoted a spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry the government department that, at that time, regulated radio broadcasting in the United Kingdom as saying "These [numbers stations] are what you suppose they are. People shouldn't be mystified by them. They are not for, shall we say, public consumption. The use of numbers stations as a method of espionage is discussed in Spycraft : . The only item Penkovsky used that could properly be called advanced tradecraft was his 'agent-receive' communications through a one-way voice-link.
Penkovsky listened to these messages on a Panasonic radio—strings of numbers read in a dispassionate voice—and then decoded them using a one-time pad. North Korea revived number broadcasts in July after a hiatus of sixteen years, a move which some analysts regarded as psychological war ;  sixteen such broadcasts occurred inincluding unusually timed transmissions in April.
A Russian shortwave radio station UVB "The Buzzer", which originated in in the Soviet Union, continues to broadcast in the Russian Federation and increased its activity after UVB continued broadcasting through Rarely it broadcasts numbers and words. Numbers stations are often given nicknames by enthusiasts, often reflecting some distinctive element of the station such as the interval signal.
For example, the " Lincolnshire Poacher ", formerly one of the best-known numbers stations generally thought to be run by the Secret Intelligence Servicebecause its transmissions have been traced to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprusplayed the first two bars of the folk song " The Lincolnshire Poacher " before each string of numbers. Generally, numbers stations follow a basic format, although there are many differences in details between stations.
Transmissions usually begin on the hour or half-hour. The prelude, introduction, or call-up of a transmission from which stations' informal nicknames are often derived includes some kind of identifier,  for the station itself, the intended recipient, or both. This can take the form of numeric or radio-alphabet "code names" e. Sometimes, as in the case of radio-alphabet stations, the prelude can also signify the nature or priority of the message to follow e.
Often the prelude Komms - Mr Brown* - Music Capsule Vol. 1 - The Number Station (CDr) for a period before the body of the message begins.
After the prelude, there is usually an announcement of the number of number-groups in the message,  the page to be used from the one-time pad, or other pertinent information. The groups Komms - Mr Brown* - Music Capsule Vol. 1 - The Number Station (CDr) then recited.
Somebody That I Used to Know. Waits, Tom. Video Games. Del Rey, Lana. Karma Police. Exit Music For a Film. Paranoid Android. Tea for Two. Youmans, Vincent. Ordinary People. Legend, John. Losing My Religion. Isn't She Lovely [advanced]. The film was directed by Danish director Kasper Barfoedwritten by F. Before being killed by Kent, the man reveals he is a former agent who wanted to retire. A witness flees the scene, accidentally leaving his wallet behind. Kent finds the wallet and tracks the witness to his home, where he kills him.
Kent spares the life of the man's daughter, Rachel, who follows him outside, hysterical. As Kent tries to convince his boss, Michael Grey, not to kill her, Grey strikes Kent on the back and he falls to the ground. Kent and Rachel share a last look at each other as Grey kills her. Kent is transferred to Suffolk, England to watch over a numbers station. While there, he befriends Katherine, the station broadcaster, and is haunted by memories of the woman who was killed.
When the numbers station comes under attack, Kent and Katherine barricade themselves inside. One assassin is already inside the secure station and, after a lengthy shootout, is killed by Kent. Kent requests assistance, and the operator tells him help will arrive in four hours; since the code has been compromised, he must kill Katherine. Komms - Mr Brown* - Music Capsule Vol.
1 - The Number Station (CDr) was a talented singer-songwriter whose battle with depression and addiction often reflected in his songs. This is from his album XO.
Their albums have appeared on many top ten lists. This song is from their album Funeral. University of North Carolina Press. Categories : Musical terminology. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
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