Cold War number stations (239)


Manage episode 331302769 series 2312958
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You might remember listening to short wave radio during the Cold War and coming across weird transmissions of metallic voices reciting random groups of numbers through the ether. These are number stations, shortwave radio stations characterised by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which were being sent to spies operating in foreign countries.

Number stations were used widely during the Cold War and we speak with Jo Reggelt of Jo has been working with Simon Mason who was a founding member of ENIGMA, launched in the 80s after identifying several of these stations.

We discuss in detail the operations behind the transmissions and the stations themselves. You will hear some sample transmissions, including one drunken Stasi officers serenading their agents after the opening of the Wall.

We also detail a UK spy case that centred on capturing an agent red-handed listening to a numbers station.
There’s further information including links, audio samples and books here.

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I am delighted to welcome Jo Reggelt to our Cold War conversation…

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