The number stations are high frequency, short wave signals that carry formatted numbers from the sender to the receiver. Almost every technology convened for communication is used to transmit these kinds of numbers. Phase shift keying, Frequency shift keying, and voice synthesis are some of the commonly used methods. The sender and receiver have scheduled time, random time, use a particular band of frequency. These are mostly used by the intelligence officers posted in different countries to gather information related to their mission.
Though old, one of the most effective methods to convey highly confidential messages over a transmission network. In the age of social media and highly sophisticated messaging applications, no matter top security researchers provide tight security, hacking is an easy task. Even if the hackers come across these codes, they can’t decode it unless they are aware of the logic behind these number stations. Only those who are on both the ends of the network know the logic and can finish the remaining puzzle.
Understanding the number stations in simpler words
For instance, you wish to send a DANGER message to the person at the other end. You can’t use simpler ways like using numbers corresponding to the alphabets. You and the receiver need to frame a puzzle in which you fix one end and send the remaining to the other person either at the same time or in intervals. For example, you send 5290 as the code and the receiver holds a number which he would subtract from the number you had sent. He waits for your code to decode the message. The logic can vary.
Fictional Novel about number stations
It is said that number stations have been in existence ever since World war 1. The Ministry of Czechoslovakia was the first to admit the usage of number stations for espionage. The Government of Great Britain has also agreed to the presence of The Lincolnshire Poacher that had been in existence until 2008. The phenomenon is real life has led to the creation of umpteen fictional works on the idea of number stations. Some of the best works are provided below.
- The Euro Number by Simon Mason is one of the most profound fictional works on number stations.
- Shadows of the State by Lewis Bush speaks about the work done by two radio listener groups namely Enigma 2000 and Number ODGT. The number stations exhibit some of the attributes of the radio listener groups.
- In the Dark, a Chinese novel written by Mai Jia has the first story on the life of a cryptographer. He works for the Chinese government decoding the number station signals from the enemy. This is recognized as one of the best fictional novel about numbers stations.
All the fictional novels written on number stations lie around one common idea. The security of a particular nation lies very much in the strength of the security agencies of the country. If the country doesn’t have bright minds as intelligence officers to manage these works, it becomes a daunting task to manage the security of the country.
- Music compositions on Number stations
There had been various compositions by top musicians on the lines of number stations. The sound transmitted by these number stations were used in the composition of the song. Not just the music bands based out of the USA, the various music bands from all over the world have created music albums on the lines of this concept.
The Conet Project is a compilation of the various shortwave signals transmitted over time. It was released back in 1997 and can be downloaded from the Internet archives.
- Movies and TV series on number stations :
Though, a full-fledged movie hasn’t been produced or directed in any movie industry of the world. There had been several references in the movies and TV shows all across the globe. Be it any genre of movie or TV shows, it has an element of suspense that factors in number stations in it. Lost, the Americans, Z Nation are some of the series that have scenes/concepts featuring number stations.
- Radio and Podcasts about number stations :
There is no big surprise if you find the recordings of the voice synthesized messages sent out via the public radio stations in the form of podcasts. The various radio stations around the world have recordings of the number stations.
- Video games about number stations :
There are various video games designed on the lines of number stations. This had indeed become a huge hit amongst the younger section of the population.
The fictional novel about numbers stations was widely received among the young population and by those who were intrigued by the idea of espionage and intelligence services.
Are number stations still in existence?
It is said that a lot of countries still use number stations for espionage. However, the usage of number stations was at its peak during the Cold War regime.
Do number stations require sophisticated technology?
You can send the signals via radio or even use the Morse Code transmission signals. The simplest mode of communication like adding the number in a personal letter/telegraph is also more than enough. Ultimately, the spies have their network of people with whom they can connect and decode the message.
Are number stations safe?
To date, for transmitting highly secured data, number stations are the best option. Most of the countries used this to date.
Has number stations been on the news?
There was a case filed on the espionage team from Cuba who spied the USA. This created a lot of news at that point.
A lot of people consider the number stations to be highly mysterious. Some even mention that the aliens are talking to us using these number stations from the extra-terrestrial region. However, it is not true at all. There is nothing so weird or creepy about these number stations. Even the personal messages you consider very confidential can be encoded and decoded using the number stations format. But the fact is that it is one of the finest finds of intelligence officers who strive for the security of their nation. Visit our homepage for more awesome content like this.