Numbers Stations

Aug 28, 09:56 PM

Since antiquity, espionage and deceit have always been crucial weapons of warfare.  As technology and strategy have advanced over the centuries, methods for governments to deliver information and orders to their secret agents in the field have become more sophisticated.  Yet, one form of cryptic communication implemented in the early 20th century has proven ever effective and relatively simple.  With the advent of wireless telegraphy combined with a cipher technique called a "One-time Pad," militaries have been sending coded messages to their undercover operatives abroad since World War I.  It wasn't until shortwave and HAM radio enthusiasts started noticing eerie and enigmatic broadcasts of spoken series of numbers or strange electronic sounds that these coded communiqués aroused widespread curiosity during the height of the Cold War.  Although the use of public airwaves for clandestine messaging seems to have declined in recent years, listeners can still hear these top-secret instructions delivered to unknown spies, perhaps even your neighbor.  One can only wonder how these spooky transmissions saved or cost lives or what world-changing actions they triggered.  Join us as we delve into the mysterious world of spycraft and Numbers Stations.

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