The Russian number station UVB-76 has stopped transmitting.
So what’s the big deal? Well this station has been continuously broadcasting a series of tones 24 hours a day, every day, since 1982. What this station does (or did – as the case may be) has been source of frequent speculation for almost 30 years now. It’s frequency and repetitive nature suggests that it might be used for ionosphere research, but occasionally a live voice has been broadcasted reciting numbers and letters. In light of its deactivation, the most disturbing speculation was its use as part of the Dead Hand. When the signal disappears, launch the nukes. (Given that I’m still alive, that’s obviously not the case now.)
So why did it stop? Probably something mundane, but I’m holding out for the exotic.
Update: Sun Jun 6 00:18:51 PDT 2010
According to “Jimmy Device” on /., UVB-76 is back up. Hopefully I can find another confirmation about this.
Update: Sun Jun 6 11:31:02 PDT 2010
I found a link to Internet shortwave streams: globaltuners.com . I’m going to have to check out the frequency after they approve my account. I’ll keep all zero of you updated.
Update: Mon Jun 7 11:55:44 PDT 2010
I tried earlier this weekend and today trying to find the station using Global Tuners. Last night I couldn’t find it. Today, maybe something really weak, but probably not. I just don’t know. The UVB-76 Wikipedia talk page is saying that the cessation was only a rumor because the original post was traced back to a conspiracy site, but that doesn’t mean that the station isn’t broadcasting. This seems trivial to check, and I’m inclined to believe that it has stopped, but in all honesty, I don’t know if I was using the radios correctly when I tried. It appears that the Internet has failed us my friend.
The more I learn about the cold war, the more I become convinced of the quantum suicide / quantum immortality resolution to the Schrodinger’s cat paradox…
Down right now, but the frequency still has odd sounds.