Shortwave Numbers Stations

For more than 50 years the shortwave radio spectrum has been used by for unknown purposes – perhaps by the world’s intelligence agencies – to transmit secret messages.

The Numbers Stations transmit in many different languages, employing male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or phonetic letters day and night, all year round.

The voices are of varying pitches and intonation; there is even a German station (The Swedish Rhapsody) that transmits a female child’s voice.

One might think that these espionage activities should have wound down considerably since the official end of the cold war, but nothing could be further from the truth. Numbers Stations (and by inference, spies) are as busy as ever, with many new and bizarre stations appearing since the fall of the Berlin wall.

A variety of recordings of these Numbers Stations have been collected by the Conet Project – the first comprehensive collection of Numbers Stations recordings released to the public.

A 4-CD collection of Numbers Stations recordings is available as free MP3 downloads from the Internet Archive. Freaky stuff to sample.

Check out the example below. Let me know if you recognize the music, too!

One thought on “Shortwave Numbers Stations

  1. The producer and recorder, Akin Fernandez, outlines some of the underlying issues behind Numbers Stations in the pamphlet of the book. (Which is available for download He points out the fear that people have when wanting to ask questions about them. Note: They are illegal to listen to in the UK, yet they are not officially acknowledged therefore no charges can be brought up on something that does not exists. Back to Fernandez. He points out the vast world of spy broadcast that exists, and wonders why so little have wondered what these things are? Rather, why they don’t pursue it further once they find out what they are? Instead we create lists of excuses of what they could be, then keep up business as usual. Check it out for sure.

    Also, Fernandez is gracious with usage rights of the Conet Project. Just make sure you send him a note before you begin to use them in your project. (Don’t assume everything on is free.) He has allowed us access to them to create our documentary/short, Clandestine. (

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