Numbers Stations

By Jacob Shupp, Talon Staff writer


There have been a lot of conspiracy theories running through the public. One of the most recent conspiracies as of today is the disappearance of the boeing flight. Lots of people think that this is terrorist-related and that the pilots themselves are in on whatever is going on. However, one of the generally less known conspiracies, one that dates all the way back to the cold war and is still going on today, is the existence of Numbers Stations.


Numbers Stations are rather peculiar. They are short-wave radio stations that relay a constant tone and occasionally broadcasting a string of undecipherable numbers. No one knows what they are, what they’re broadcasting, or why, though there are a few theories surrounding them.


One of the most popular numbers stations still going on today goes by the name of UVB-76. It relays a low, monotonous buzz once every few seconds. Occasionally (and by occasionally, I mean once every two years or so) a Russian man comes onto the station and will start announcing a string of random numbers. This is what the majority of numbers stations that still exist broadcast. My grandmother replied, by saying, “I knew they existed back then, but I didn’t know they’re still going on today. I’m not sure if I should feel fine or concerned.”

One of the most commonly accepted theories on what UVB-76 is that it’s either relaying military instructions, or is a ‘dead hand system’, which is just as creepy as it sounds. I asked my grandma for this one, and she had an answer. “Back then, there was a big problem between US and Russia regarding nuclear weapons. A dead hand system, or dead hand station, was a station the public would turn to for government instructions if the country either sent or received a nuclear missile.” Thanks, grandma.


I was already knowledgeable about numbers stations and why they existed, but it was nice having a perspective and opinion on someone who lived with them. But the question remains: What do the numbers mean? Why are they being broadcasted? Why are these stations still here? I guess only time will tell.