Hundredth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sun, 06 Nov 2005 19:22:07 +0100)

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Unid stations | Military stations
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Editor: Ary Boender
Nickname on IRC channels #wun #monitor #numbers: Ary-B -
N&O home page -

Online database: Chris Smolinski

Welcome to "Numbers & Oddities #100". When I started this column back in 1995, I never expected that so many people would be interested in the stations that appear in N&O. There are two different versions of N&O; the N&O column in the WUN newsletter and an extended version, a.k.a. "the Spooks Newsletter". The latter includes also info that is off topic for WUN. And it includes a numbers logs section which includes the logs that are sent directly to me plus the numbers logs that are sent to the WUN and Spooks mailing lists. You can download the WUN newsletter from our website at The newsletter version can be found on the N&O website together with other related info, databases and sound samples. Although the amount of numbers stations has decreased since the end of the Cold War, there is still a lot to hear. Not only numbers stations but also so called "oddities", weird sounding utility stations like the Squeaky Wheel channel marker and the Japanese naval FSK signal that is nicknamed "the Slot Machine" because it sounds like one :-)

"Are numbers stations really spy stations?" This question is often asked. Absolutely! At least, a number of them are spy stations. Others are most definitely not. We know that "P" is the channel marker of the Russian naval station operating from Kaliningrad. The station sends either a marker or weather reports, navigational messages or coded messages. XSL, the Slot Machine, is actually a FSK system operated by the Japanese navy. XWP are ocean surface radars. S28 (Buzzer), S30 (Pip) and S32 (Squeaky Wheel), M21 (Russian Air Defense), M22 (Israeli navy) to name just a few are all military stations. X06 (Mazielka) is the selcal system of the Russian diplo network. A Mazielka call is usually followed by a digital signal (M42) sending a message. You can safely assume that these messages contain more than diplo info. Military and intelligence info is most likely also transmitted by these stations. It is suggested that smugglers, drug traffickers and terrorist networks are also sending coded messages. Many people say that the Israeli "E10" stations are Mossad stations. I still think that this is a military operation. I guess we will have to wait for an incident before we learn the truth. Sometimes we are lucky, like a couple of years ago when a number of Cuban spies were convicted. They listened to the Cuban numbers transmissions (V02 and M08) which confirmed what we already knew: DGI was behind these transmissions.

My first encounter with numbers stations was in 1980, when I started my shortwave hobby. "OLX" from Czechoslovakia was one of the first numbers stations that I heard and so far the only numbers station that has ever sent me a QSL card. The German 2-letter stations and of course DFC37 and DFD21 were other daily guests. I was fascinated by these stations and that is still the case after 25 years.

Two books of special interest to me were "Uno, Dos, Quatro" by Havana Moon (1987); and "Secret Signals, the Euronumbers Mystery" by Simon Mason (1991), I think that these books were the first two that covered the numbers stations in depth.

I always enjoyed the stories and work of the late Havana Moon (William Thomas Godbey). He was very dedicated to the hobby and edited a numbers column in the ACE bulletin. He also distributed frequency lists as you can read in the following snippet from the ACE bulletin of December 1989.

"Well, folks - the intercept database is ready for distribution. It'll be available in two formats - one print-out by time, and another by frequency. And for you Commodore users out there, a diskette-version will be made available at a later time, if demand warrants." Hmm, the Commodore 64. Nice. That was my first computer. I had a morse and rtty decoder attached to it and it really worked :-)

I asked for your numbers related stories and other input for this anniversary edition. I am always interested to know how you got hooked to this hobby and what fascinates you. Only two people reacted; Fritz and Jochen. Here is what they sent. Thanks gents!!!

Hello Ary,

Here are some loggings for N&O Newsletter 100 as well as my best


Many people's contributions made it possible. However we all know, first of all, it is thanks to YOU, we have come so far. The Newsletters are far more than "News" - leafing through them tells the story of listening to numbers and oddities with all its facets - an exciting story!

Thanks for all the effort you're putting into N&O and all the very best wishes for you personally and for N&O.

Best regards,

Fritz Nusser

Hello dear friends and fans of the world-wide numbers station community,

My name is Jochen Schäfer (, I come from Marburg in West Germany, I am 33 years old and fan of numbers stations since 1977. I was 5 years old! Perhaps one reason might be, that I'm blind since birth, so my ability to hear things is better trained than to see things:-):-). Since March 2004 I am officially the "Kopf" (head) of the newly created "German Branch" of ENIGMA2000 (E2K).

In December 2002, the German magazine "Der Spiegel" published a very interesting article about numbers stations. I was also interviewed for this article (see N&O #56). After this article was published, many reporters and journalists of German radio and TV stations came to me in Marburg for interviews. I have 7 cases full of cassettes with recordings of numbers stations in my living room. Over 1000 so far! They represent a piece of history of shortwave radio.

I collect(ed) special numbers stations, such as: G16/E16, G15, G14 - BND (only the IDs), S05/051/05b - OLX (also only the IDs), G02 - "Swedish Rhapsody" (ID and the first 3 number groups), E10, XP/XPH (the msgs) and not to forget X06. Especially the BND stations G16/E16, G15 and G14 are my absolute favorites, together with the OLX IDs. Unfortunately, these stations are NOT active any more, and that's the reason why I am searching for old - very old - recordings of these stations, that are missing in my collection. I began recording in 1980/81. I didn't have a world receiver in that time, so I had only a limited bandwidth where I could search for numbers stations. But nevertheless, I can recall the historical development of these stations. Evolving from real voices to the synthesized ones, until they ceased operations in 1999 (OLX is already inactive since 1997). All these stations have different callsigns, but use the same principal. That's very fascinating. The most fascinating stations today X06, because they come and go whenever they want to, so to speak. They don't have any schedules or fixed freqs. In this context, I want to ask you if you could do me a pleasure. If you find an X06 station, please call me, so that I can record it. My phone number: 0049-6421/162102. If I am not at home, please email me the sound file at:

Since I work as "Kopf" of the German Branch, many things happened. For example, I volunteered to edit N&O in October 2003 and 2004 (#66+78). At the begin of N&O #78 I told you, that it's funny, that I found my first BND station in 1978, and in October last year I edited #78 of N&O:-).

Also interesting to know..... "Deutschlandfunk" in Cologne interviewed Ary and me for the feature "Achtung, fünnef zwo null null Trennung - secret services on air", which was transmitted on September 16th, 2003. In September this year, a man from Cologne, who is living near the producer of this feature, emailed me, that he is the owner of an original speech- Morse generating machine from the German Democratic Republic. It was built in 1985 and the voice of the speech version is the one we know from the now inactive station G08 "Four Note Rising Scale" (last version). It is now used for G06 "German Lady". It was fascinating to hear this via the telephone. One of the first things I did was to call Mr. Akin Fernandez, the editor of "Conet Project" CDs. He is now in contact with this man to interview him, because Akin is also very fascinated. Next time I will tell you more about it, if it is of interest.

If you have any BND station recordings, which are NOT published on any website so far, please let me know. I collect them with passion! And also if an X06 is on air, please let me also know directly if you hear it, so that I can record it for my collection.

With the best regards and wishes - not only for N&O, but for the whole numbers community

Vy 73 and always best numbers DX from

Jochen Schäfer, "Kopf" of Germany's numbers stations branch

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Unid stations | Military stations
Crypto quiz | Intelligence news
Intelligence profile : Brazil | Logs
Index | NS NL Home