Dead Hand Or Something Else? A Possible Explanation For Strange Numbers Station UVB-76

Dead Hand Or Something Else? A Possible Explanation For Strange Numbers Station UVB-76

Imagine for a moment you’re a ham radio enthusiast, alone at night, idly working your way through the radio spectrum when you come across a broadcast on a disused shortwave channel, where usually there would be nothing but static.

The broadcast is a tune, or a buzz, or sometimes cartoon character Yosemite Sam saying “Varmint, I’m a-gonna b-b-b-bloooow ya ta’smithereenies” (yes, really) followed by a series of numbers read by a human or synthesized voice, on a bed of static for extra “I may never sleep again” vibes.

If you would like to experience hearing the broadcast live for yourself, that is possible with ham radios close enough to the source, or a YouTube livestream like the one below.

They are generally thought (and sometimes confirmed) to be a way of sending coded instructions by states to agents in the field. Sometimes broadcasting on a schedule, sometimes seemingly at random, they have creeped people out all around the world, not limiting themselves to one language.

A particularly alarming theory about one numbers station – “MDZhB”, also known as “UVB-76” and “The Buzzer” – is that it is being used as a “Dead Hand” signal. The station broadcasts a constant monotonous tone, interrupted every few seconds by a foghorn-like sound, and occasionally by a Russian voice issuing messages such as “Ya UVB-76, Ya UVB-76. 180 08 BROMAL 74 27 99 14. Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhail, Anna, Larisa. 7 4 2 7 9 9 1 4”.

The “Dead Hand” theory suggests that what you really have to worry about is when the signal stops. If it’s correct, the monotone is there as a sort of “everything is OK” alarm, à la The Simpsons. Should the signal cease for a certain amount of time because of a nuclear attack ⁠— according to this unverified theory ⁠— an automatic nuclear response would be triggered.

But the station did stop broadcasting for a day in 2010, before resuming normal transmission the day after. That same year, it stopped a few more times, with people reporting hearing people moving around the room in the background of the transmission. During this time, the station played classical banger Swan Lake, and the numbers station appears to have moved location

You’ll notice that during this time, no dead hand system launched a nuclear strike. Instead, it continues to broadcast intermittently, suggesting that this is not the station’s purpose (or that they were switching to a more reliable broadcast system, for die-hard fans of the “it’s to kill everyone” hypothesis).

One plausible idea is that the Russian government is simply hogging the frequency for use in the case of emergencies.

“If they don’t actually use it, someone will poach it,” David Stupples, an expert in surveillance and space-based reconnaissance, told Popular Mechanics. “The band is so crowded that people will look for a small opportunity for a channel of their own… They are keeping the channel available by broadcasting and saying, ‘this is ours.’”

Other stations have been confirmed to be used to broadcast messages to spies in the field, with one in Cuba being a notable example. The advantage of sending the messages this way is that, though you may figure out where the signal is coming from, it’s near impossible to discover who they are meant for and who is receiving them. The downside, as Cuba would discover, is that once someone – say, the FBI – has intercepted the cipher, they can continue to unravel your messages from thereon out.

Some of the messages, it would be revealed in a court case by the FBI reported by the Miami New Times, said to “prioritize and continue to strengthen friendship with Joe and Dennis” and, “Under no circumstances should [agents] German nor Castor fly with BTTR or another organization on days 24, 25, 26, and 27”. Classic spy stuff, as well as, “Congratulate all the female comrades for International Day of the Woman,” which is just basic manners.

Source link



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.