The world of espionage is a fascinating one, and if you’ve watched enough detective movies, and World War and Cold War documentaries then you’d know that anything and everything can be converted into a spying device. But did you know that there is a theory about secret messages hidden in radio station messages during the Cold War (1947 – 1991)?Behind all the pop hits and sportscasts, the radio system has been home to some strange things.
At the height of the Cold War, listeners would notice some bizarre broadcasts over the waves. It would range from weird melodies and recitals to sound of several beeps, people counting random numbers in different languages and creepy voice of a child reciting letters in English. These were known as ‘Numbers Stations’.
At first, it was believed that these could have been some spooky effect of a ghost controlling the radio waves, or some random broadcast, but there’s another theory that would blow your mind. It’s believed that these stations were used to send coded messages far and wide. Intelligence agencies could communicate with agents, even those under surveillance. The messages were secure, as they couldn’t be tracked. The recipient could be anywhere. Spies would just need to know where to tune in and at what time. For others, the numbers would make no sense. Some even thought it was an elaborate prank.
Here’s a video that explains the spooky phenomenon of Numbers Stations.
What is remarkable about this theory is that while computer and lettered messages can be decoded using some tool or the other, without an encryption key, such random numbers could mean anything, and for anyone. So the next time, should you come across some jumbled letters and numbers being broadcast, know this – you could be privy to some coded message.
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