Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Weird: UVB-76

UVB-76, sometimes called "The Buzzer" is a broadcast over a certain frequency. Which, no big deal. But it's been going for over 30 years!

Since at least 1982 (possibly even earlier) the broadcast has been continuous. It has a single, buzzing, monotonous tone 25 times a minute per hour. Just before the hour, it changes.



Okay, so that is kind of weird.

For a long time, the broadcast had only been interrupted 3 times, 1997, 2002 and 2006.  Each time, a voice came on and listed several Russian names and numbers before it returned to its previously scheduled broadcast (heh).

But then, in 2010, things got more active. Since then there have been over 100 voice interruptions of the signal. And twice the signal has gone quiet for 24 hours, before beginning again.



Things get even stranger when it becomes clear the noise is something held up to a microphone, as opposed to a recording, because sometimes distant conversations can be heard. Which means someone has to be actively broadcasting and maintaining the sound/signal.

In 2011, the broadcast was interrupted by 38 seconds of the song Dance of the Little Swans. Four days after that, the broadcast was replaced with a woman counting from one to nine before the broadcast continued on as "normal"

Analysis has pinpointed where the broadcast is coming from, the Russian station UVB-76 (though it has since moved) and as of yet, there had been no explanation for the reason beyond the broadcast.



So, what do we think? It's interesting that the broadcast has gotten more active after the end of the cold war.

7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's odd because what is the purpose?

Maria Zannini said...

They could be piggy-backing a hidden signal inside the transmission.

Or it could be a dead-man's switch. As long as the transmission is running--all is well. When it stops, call the fire department.

Matthew MacNish said...

In the Wikipedia article, Vulkans are mentioned, so this is clearly the beginning of Star Fleet.

Rena said...

Huh.

I mean, yikes.

I'd go with the whole prank thing, but if they're moving it, then it's a very elaborate prank (with a lot of money behind it!). I like the dead man's switch idea, scary as it is.

I'm going to posit that it's a counter intelligence site designed to suck up our anti spying resources, so they're just messing with us.


of course, if you take the numbers to be latitude and longitude, you get greenland, siberia, or antartica, but if you swap them (read them as longitude then latitude) then things are more interesting. And by interesting I mean islands in the atlantic--or possible locations of submarines.

It's so very cold war-ish. Maybe I should go write a spy novel...

Leandra Wallace said...

I like the submarines idea. And I stopped listening to the recording b/c it was starting to sound a bit ominous... What can I say, I'm a weenie!

Catherine Stine said...

Sounds like the plot of a JJ Abrahms TV pilot.

Jamie Gibbs said...

It's either history's longest prank or they've been taking notes from Hugh Howey ...

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