Creepy Russian UVB-76 Broadcast Changes After 20 Years
This may seem like a deviation from the normal topics I cover, but I’ve been quite intruigued by the recent news of an unusual broadcast from the Russian military UVB-76 numbers station. Numbers stations are radio broadcasts that transmit morse code, or computer-generated voices reading out a series of numbers or words. Their purpose is generally unknown but thought to be used to broadcast orders to military or spies. One rumor suggests it is involved in Russia’s Dead Hand (aka. Perimeter).
UVB-76, located in Povarovo, Russia (northwest of Moscow), is a shortwave radio transmission (4625 kHz – AM suppressed lower sideband) that has been transmitting short monotonous buzz tones since 1982. Voice messages from UVB-76 – also known as “The Buzzer” – have only occurred three confirmed times in the past 20 years, the last known instance being the 23rd of August 2010 (recording below). During this broadcast the buzz tones stopped, and were replaced by the Russian-language broadcast which translates to:
UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 nikolai, anna, ivan, michail, ivan, nikolai, anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4
Some believe the transmission referred to the coordinates 74.14N 35.74E, located in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway and Russia, where Russia is planning on testing anti-aircraft missile systems.
There is also belief that the installation is simply used for ionosphere research, as a Russian science journal indicated research being performed on the same frequency. Although this wouldn’t explain the cryptic messages.
Anyone have any other ideas? Conspiracy theories? In all likelihood, it may be nothing propulsed into the mainstream. It wouldn’t be the first time.
[Update 2/09/2010] Follow regular UVB-76 activity updates here, and find out what’s currently happening.
[Update 10/09/2010] You can also join in on the live chat.