Conet Project / Numbers Stations

Reading through my new favorite site,, I came across some things for which I’ve been searching a couple of years now: the collected recordings of the Conet Project, an out-of-print assemblage of numbers station broadcasts.

Numbers stations are repeated, anonymous, apparently encoded shortwave broadcasts emanating from various points across the world in various languages. The most likely explanation for them is that they carry encoded messages for use in espionage. Given the permanently looped nature of many of the transmissions, it’s likely that they’ve been abandoned and are still running only because they haven’t lost power. Prior to today I’ve only heard a few examples, but thanks to, a link to mp3’s of all four discs of the Conet Project was provided at the end of their article on the subject.

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

So I downloaded all of them and have been listening to them for an hour now. Spooky stuff. It’s fun to wonder about their sources, who set them up, what they mean, and who receives them. And, given that I’m the type of person who tends to have sympathy for inanimate objects, I find a certain romance in the idea of a small transmitter, sitting in the middle of nowhere, lost forever, constantly sending out its odd little signal.

2 thoughts on “Conet Project / Numbers Stations”

  1. From the 1970´s to the late 1990´s, I was a shortwave radio fanatic and got my amateur radio license. Eventually I got a radio that was tune from 150kHz to 30Mhz and through special software connected it to my old Commodore 64 to decipher Morse Code transmissions up to 99 WPM, Radioteletype, radio fax, and packet bursts.

    Outside the regular ham bands I discovered a lot of mysterious activity including the numbers stations. During this time I also moved to southern Mexico where the tropical radio conditions are different from in the states, and I used to spend the night time hours working on my own radio log of the stations picked up. Any signal was fair game, and it was fun trying to find the origin of what I was listening, too. I had radio fax transmissions of Pravda from Moscow, and others from Japan. I could also fine tune a BBC radio broadcast into its narrow single sidebands and picked up coded Morse signals bootlegging the strong signals.

    Still there are many mysteries on the shortwave bands of signals I couldn´t decipher and will have to leave that to others who spent their nights navigating through the static of the shortwave bands.

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