UVB-76 Hiccups Again

The mysterious Russian numbers station UVB-76 has once again given us pause to once again wonder what the strange transmission could mean.  A few months ago the station reportedly went offline for an extended period of time sparking fears that something in the world was about to happen.  Those fears came and then subsided when the station once again began transmitting its mysterious pulse.  But for the first time in quite a while the station began transmitting numbers.

Numbers stations first came around at the early stages of the cold war with mysterious short wave radio transmissions that would appear to be entirely nonsensical.  And yet they sprang up in every nation showering the airwaves with transmissions that could be described as anywhere from disturbing to downright frightening.  The sinister stations have never been completely cracked according to official channels, but even if they had been decoded this information would likely be kept secret.  And one of the most interesting and perplexing numbers stations is UVB-76, which has been continuously pulsing out 20 seconds of audio every minute along with a few other cryptic messages.

On August 2nd, the UVB-76 blog noted that three signals were attempting to occupy the same bandwidth space as UVB-76, but exactly why is unknown.  Of the three signals, one notably was using dense data bursts which could have been interpreted by a machine to mean something, but to the ear the information sounded like someone running their fingernails over a vinyl record.  There was also at this point morse code transmitting at the upper band of UVB-76’s transmission.  Though the station itself wasn’t completely knocked out by this, it was interfering with the signal itself.

And then on August 25th, voices were heard.  Though the codes are as always indecipherable, the incredible amount of attention on UVB-76 recently has many people giving the station a second look.  One of the bizarre aspects of UVB-76 is the fact that it will have anomalous transmissions before or shortly after some world events.  Just after September 11, 2001 for example there was a brief conversation heard in the background as though a microphone had been left on in the room with the transmitter.  Though this is largely seen as being insignificant, the extremely puzzling and cryptic nature of numbers stations leaves that open to interpretation.  And finally just last night there was said to be morse code sent out on the signal.

If this thing has been operating since 1982, why is so much information coming over the wire now?  And to whom is it intended?  The incredible mystery will likely remain that way for quite some time.  And with every shift in the flow of information, we too will shift uncomfortably.

UVB-76 is just one of several numbers stations, but there are hundreds out there, each with its own mystery and set of codes.  Still, UVB-76 is thought to be one of the most important ones as it has been transmitting for so long and its source is located in a guarded research station in Povarovo, Russia.