Hundred thirty-first edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: August 2008)

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Editor: Ary Boender
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Online database: Chris Smolinski

Edition #131, August 2008

Welcome to yet another edition of Numbers & Oddities. Before I get to the station info, I'd like to draw your attention to a news item from August 8th and to two books that were published earlier this year.


Interfax reports that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said that Russia should restore its influence in Cuba and in other countries. Putin said that after Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin had briefed Putin about his meeting with President Raul Castro of Cuba. I wonder if this means that Russia will be using the SIGINT facilities on the island again.


A new book concerning the CIA was published in June 2008. The title of the book is "SPYCRAFT - The secret History of the CIA's SPYTECHS from Communism to Al-Qaeda" by Wallace, Melton, Schlesinger and Tenet. ISBN 978-0-525-94980-0 Note that Mr Wallace is the former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service.

Robert mailed me that he found a reference in this book about numbers stations. He writes "This is the only book by former CIA personnel that I am aware of that acknowledges that CIA was responsible for some of the HF numbers broadcasts. The book contains several references to numbers stations. For instance on page 37 "agent receive communications" are introduced. The following is a direct quote from the book. "These encoded messages, known as OWVL, were broadcast over shortwave frequencies at predetermined times from a CIA operated transmitter in Western Europe. 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."


Another book, published in February, that mentions numbers transmissions several times is "Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World" by Kristie Macrakis. ISBN-13: 9780521887472 I just started reading the book and it is indeed interesting stuff.

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Military stations | Utlility round-up | Logs
Index | NS NL Home