For many years, unidentified radio broadcasts have been transmitting coded messages, using numbers, such as “6-7-9-2-6. 5-6-9-9-0.” Even today, tuning across the HF spectrum typically will yield a “numbers station,” a mechanical-sounding voice (male or female) methodically announcing groups of single-digit numbers for minutes on end. According to Radio World, you may have tuned into a spy agency’s numbers station transmitting coded instructions to their minions worldwide. Shades of “The Americans” TV spy drama, where characters routinely receive coded messages via radio.
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant, “RAPID: Spatiotemporal Evolution of Radio-Induced Aurora.” Fallen says the HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10 MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state.
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a mysterious “foghorn” — a Chinese over-the-horizon (OTH) burst radar — is operating in Amateur Radio bands.
“We observed the mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14 MHz,” the newsletter recounted. “This is a Chinese OTH radar, which is often jumping, and sounding like a foghorn.” The signal is frequency modulation on pulse (FMOP) with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts.
According to media accounts, more long-range, new over-the-horizon (OTH) radars that can identify aerial and sea targets hundreds of miles away are scheduled to begin operation next year in the Russian Arctic. It’s doubtful, however, that the news heralds the return of interference on the level of that generated by the so-called “Russian Woodpecker” OTH radar, which plagued Amateur Radio HF bands in the 1970s and 1980s.