UVB-76, The Mysterious Signal

If your scanning across the AM short band radio signals you might have come across rather odd one.  Of course depending on your location the strength of the signal varies.  It’s the stange buzzing emited from UVB-76.  The signal that UVB-76 transmits is a loud buzzing that last for 1.2 seconds with a 1 to 1.3 second pause in between, this happens 20-34 times a minute and is then repeated.  The station from which the signal is broadcast has been nicknamed UVB-76 (but has also been referred to as “The Buzzer” or  MDZhB, which seems to be it’s new call sign) by enthusiast who seek out these so called “number stations”.  The station as far as anyone can tell is located near Povarovo, Russia where it has been broadcasting since at least 1982.

To this day no one, Russian government or otherwise has given any indication as to the true purpose of the broadcast.  The reasons for it’s transmissions are up for debate, some say it’s a relay station that allows russian spies to sync up their gear.  Other’s say it’s simply a station relaying commands to the russian military.  There is one other popular theory that clouds the others, that UV-76 is a russian dead man’s switch.  This is to say that of the signal ever stops broadcasting that means something bad or nuclear may be on it’s way.  Still some claim it’s nothing more then a bygone product of the Cold War, however is this is true then why still keep it operational .  All theories seem pretty plausible (however some are more likely then others).

Of course the big one is, is it’ a dead man’s hand?  Maybe, however the signal has indeed stopped before.  Once in 1997 on Christmas Eve it stopped for a brief period, shortly after the pause a male Russian voice could  be heard saying the following; “Ya — UVB-76. 18008. BROMAL: Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhail, Anna, Larisa. 742, 799, 14.”, this was repeated a few times and then the buzzing resumed.  It’s stopped again in June of 2010, which was cause for concern for many, however the signal was back up and running by November the same year.  No explanation has been found for it’s almost six month absence.

Christmas Eve ’97 has not been the only time in which voices have been heard over the broadcast.  On November 3rd, 2001 a voice was heard saying in Russian something to the effect of  “I’m 143rd. I didn’t receive the oscillator .  That’s what the operating room is for.”  There have been other seeming meaningless things said that seem to be said off mic or in the background, which means that perhaps they were never meant to be broadcast and are probably just office chatter.  Not all communications are that offoverheard workers, sometime in 2006 the cryptic phrase, “75-59-75-59. 39-52-53-58. 5-5-2-5. Konstantin-1-9-0-9-0-8-9-8-Tatiana-Oksana-Anna-Elena-Pavel-Schuka. Konstantin 8-4. 9-7-5-5-9-Tatiana. Anna Larisa Uliyana-9-4-1-4-3-4-8.”, was indeed broadcast over the airwaves.

For whatever reason the signal still chugs on today, buzzing it’s mysterious buzz.  Numerous webpages have been made devoted to it, including the UVB-76 Live Stream Blog , which has archives, more information and test feed where you can listen to the broadcast on your computer, English Russia has pictures.  There’s even a FaceBook page.

UVB-76 may not be a paranormal subject per-say but it’s a mystery none the less.  Whatever the meaning behind it’s odd messages, it’s beeps and boops, you can be sure that their will be people out there listening.  Is it something as harmless as a Cold War relic, or a warning that the end might be near? We’ll just have to keep and eye… ear on it.

UVB-76 is not the only numbers station out there and there not all Russian, the USA and Britian among others have also set up numerous number stations for varying reasons.  Check out the “Russian Woodpecker, the “Licolnshire Poacher” and it’s “sister” station from Australia “Cherry Ripe”.


UVB-76 Wikipedia

Number Stations Wikipedia

The Contrarion

Numbers Oddities PDF


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