26 January 2010


What is it you ask?

Some super strong form of UV B rays that can penetrate through Mt. Everest? A planetoid with life forms in the shape of obese chipmunks? Or some podcaster's weird handle he/she uses?

That last one might be possible, just sayin'. ;)

If you've read my previous posting you note that this is going to be the name of my next podcast. Through that deduction you can figure out it is a number station.

And a right odd one at that.

It's been sending out signals into the stratosphere (atmosphere, -sphere) since 1982, according to observers (e2k site, Nexus @ the Centrifuge, Wikipedia - the Conet Project says it has been running since 1987 - booklet page 63. See it's a mystery!). This "oddity", as the e2k site labels it and others of the same ilk, has been running round the clock (The Conet Project booklet - page 14) with an EERIE sound that changes on the top of the hour (The Conet Project booklet - page 63, listen here - track 139).

This piece of mystery broadcasts about 40 km (or 25 miles) northwest of Moscow in a location called Povarovo in Russia (Wikipedia). According to the Wikipedia page there is no known purpose to the broadcast. The station has only broken it's, ummm, format three times in the past 28 years, the first in 1997. During this first break, a man speaking Russian gave the call sign and location solving at least one part of the puzzle. In 2002 and 2006 the voice returned, the last time he was a bit more busy with a longer message mixing numbers and the Russian phonetic alphabet (Wikipedia).

Someone on youtube caught a fourth voice transmission last year.

The case gets curiouser when you realize that the noise is apparently something held up to a live microphone rather than a recording or just some random feedback (distant conversations can be sometimes heard behind the sound, though they're difficult to decipher).

With all of this in mind, here comes why I decided to call this show UVB-76 and also add some of the "buzzing" to my intro: the sheer mystery and eeriness which this piece of broadcasting brings, along with the Number Stations Project from Public Spaces Lab and the Conet Project, has (as I have said before) just sent my mind into overdrive. This is the type of lore which sends the brain into fight or flight, keeps you up at night thinking of the possibilities (either insidious or ridiculous) that a station like this has, and just sends shivers down your spine!!1!!11!*

And the name UVB-76 just has a ring to it, don'tcha think!

Plus, the sound of this station isn't near as irritating and horrific as the Backwards Music Station (see the Conet Project - track 135). The sounds recorded from that station kept me up one night and had me checking everything to make sure I wasn't going to wind up in some prison being asked questions like, "Do you know the muffin man?", and me responding "The Muffin Man, dude owes me money!". Then I'd get slapped, or worse: be tortured like James Bond in Casino Royale.

Sorry, still a little freaked out, okay!

Hopefully that brief overview (and check out the links I added from Nexus, the Conet Project, e2k (which I want to check out more now!), and Wikipedia) will give you a look into the deep, dark recesses of my soul.

Get ready, 'cause we're down to two weeks before the show hits! Or so I've been told.

*Update 31 January 2010: umm, yeah - some bad grammar and repetition...

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