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Russian Conspiracy Theories: Shortwave Radio Station UVB-76

28. November 2012 by Dasha 0 Comments

For close to 30 years, a shortwave radio station in Russia has transmitted a series of mysterious buzzes 24 hours a day, seven days a week (more or less). Though thousands tune into the intriguing transmission, no one knows the true purpose of the UVB-76, a.k.a. “The Buzzer,” though dozens of theories abound.

The Mystery of UVB-76

UVB-76 currently transmits a buzzing sound that lasts 1.2 seconds with a 1-1.3 second pause in between. Prior to November 2010, the buzzes lasted 0.8 seconds (audio sample below). No one’s sure why the tones changed or what the sounds mean, if anything. Every now and then a voice will interrupt the tones and issue a string of Russian names and numbers, though the reason for that is a mystery as well. Over the years, listeners have heard muffled voices and other background noises, suggesting the presence of an open microphone or one someone occasionally switches on by mistake.

The Activity of 2010

As if the buzzes and voices of UVB-76 weren’t mysterious enough, a flurry of activity in 2010 adds intrigue.

On June 5, 2010, after years of unceasing buzzing, the shortwave station went silent. The sounds resumed the next day and continued as normal for the next two months, though snippets of Morse code filtered through on June 10.

On August 23, a man interrupted the transmission to relay a series of numbers and letters. The transmission again went silent two days later, though thumps and voices were audible in the background. On September 1, a snippet of the song “Dance of the Little Swans” came across the wire, along with some more Morse code-like sounds. Four days later, a woman interrupted the transmission to count to nine in Russian.

All in all, UVB-76 transmitted around 80 mysterious voice messages between September and December 2010, including intermittent phone conversations on November 11 that included phrases like “brigade operative officer on duty” and “Did you get the call." Some transmissions suggest officials changed the call station call sign from UVB-76 to MDZhB.

UVB-76 Theories

So what exactly is the purpose of UV B-76? Officials in Russia aren’t talking, so listeners have devised a few theories of their own. Some say the transmission exists to confirm that operators at receiving stations are alert, while others suggest the signals are a way to test the thickness of the ionosphere. Others think UVB-76 is a way to transmit messages to spies in foreign countries, while some wonder if it’s part of a doomsday device leftover from the Cold War, one capable of launching a wave of nuclear missiles at the US.

Whatever the purpose, UVB-76 continues to capture the imagination of men and women around the world. In fact, one can monitor the transmissions at uvb-76.net. What surprises does UVB-76 have in store?


Sources: Wikipedia, Wired

Photo: Stock.xchng