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Communications

Mysterious Radio Station UVB-76 Goes Offline 336

Posted by timothy
from the fired-that-dj dept.
leathered writes "Tinfoil hatters around the world are abuzz that UVB-76, the Russian shortwave radio station that has been broadcasting its monotonous tone almost uninterrupted since 1982, has suddenly gone offline. Of course no one knows what the significance of this is, but best brush up on your drills just in case."
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Mysterious Radio Station UVB-76 Goes Offline

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  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:23AM (#32473076) Homepage Journal
    Wiki:

    Another explanation for the constant buzzer is...radio waves are reflected from ionosphere inhomogeneities. Changes of an ionosphere state can be caused by solar geophysical or seismic events. This method involves comparing a continuous radio transmission which is reflected by the ionosphere with a stable basic generator. The continuously transmitted carrier frequency currently used for this research matches that of the Russian Buzzer (4.625 MHz).

    If the ionosphere can change state from seismic events, why couldn't seismic events be changed through manipulation of the ionosphere? It is indeed possible to control large-scale events with small-scale signals with phenomina such as resonance. What of all of the earthquakes which seem to hit the people we don't like, providing opportunities to rebuild and sieze their resources as part of the growing trend of disaster capitalism [naomiklein.org], the ultimate way to make money and spread influence without declaring war?

    And why is there no comparison to HAARP [wikipedia.org] in that article?! From the HAARP wiki:

    The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).Its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance purposes (such as missile detection)...The current working IRI was completed in 2007, and its prime contractor was BAE Advanced Technologies.

    Which is a big, big military industrial comglomerate.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to change the state of my tinfoil hat into a pipe, so I can put some more weed into it and smoke [youtube.com] out of it.

    • Re:Explanation: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:34AM (#32473112)

      I'm hoping like hell this is an attempt at a joke because if it isn't...

      If the ionosphere can change state from seismic events, why couldn't seismic events be changed through manipulation of the ionosphere?

      If the direction of the sun relative to earth can change the amount of light in my bedroom, why couldn't the direction of the sun relative to earth be changed through the action of my light-switch?

      I could possibly tolerate the idea that HAARP could effect the weather, although the system has so many variables that I doubt any controlled effect could be created, but earthquakes? really?

      • by danny_lehman (1691870) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:01AM (#32473224)

        maybe the guy pushing the button every 1-1.3 seconds figured out he didn't need to..?

      • If the ionosphere can change state from seismic events, why couldn't seismic events be changed through manipulation of the ionosphere?

        It's in Wikipedia, it has to be true.

      • by w0mprat (1317953) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @05:16AM (#32473982)
        I could haarp on about this all day.
      • You know, by switching that light switch, you are creating a tiny ripple in the Earth's momentum, which could, over a period of time, change the direction of the sun relative to the Earth.

        I suggest doing it continuously for 28 years and seeing if there are any measurable results.

      • by shaitand (626655)

        'If the direction of the sun relative to earth can change the amount of light in my bedroom, why couldn't the direction of the sun relative to earth be changed through the action of my light-switch?'

        Sounds pretty reasonable. You turn on your switch, this causes photons to flood the room and bounce all over the place. These photons inevitably collide with the photons coming from the sun. This causes a sub-catacolonic reaction* in a neighboring universe which causes trans-unlilateral-multidimensional-orbital-

    • Re:Explanation: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:02AM (#32473226) Homepage

      This signal may well have been a check signal of some kind for various defense services - something like a dead man's grip but now it has been obsoleted. (At least we can hope that it has been)

      As long as there is a carrier there is no real problem. Of course there has had to be other channels too, so this was probably a last resort when/if all other means of communication did break down.

      All related to the M.A.D. [wikipedia.org] doctrine. We can all hope that this is a sign that Russia no longer needs this transmitter because the warheads that were involved are no longer active or are rearranged to a setup where this is no longer necessary or useful.

    • Re:Explanation: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by inKubus (199753) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @02:18AM (#32473484) Homepage Journal

      This reminds me a lot of my monitoring systems for servers. Of course, I use an active check for most stuff, but there are also passive checks that listen for a SNMP trap. Probably that's what this is. There's something important that someone wants to monitor. When it drops out, probably the monitoring device starts recording the message. We have something similar in the U.S. called the Emergency Broadcasting System. Interestingly, the EBS uses a non-automated system (at least it did when I was in radio). So basically you receive a signal from your upstream provider and then you send it out to your downstream people, and then whatever payload there is you send out on the air. It's all manual, the operator in the control room has to know how to do it. This sounds like something similar. The odd thing is the constant carrier. That can get expensive. So it must be something really important, or they use it for other calibrations or orientations.

      Obviously, it could be a spy thing also, it wouldn't be surprising at all. If it's stopped, it's not a big of a problem as if there were a lot of messages ;) Anyway, rest assured the NSA is hard at work and knows much more than you.

  • The reason (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:26AM (#32473088)

    It's a conspiracy! Damn them! This means something, but WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

    "Maintenance"

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Funny, maybe, but not insightful. Of course, the station has undergone regular maintenance over its decades of service. The pattern of decreased power (but not cessation of the signal) is well documented.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770)

        It's funny because you conspiracy nuts think it means anything. "Oh no, a station that is easily monitored and does nothing useful went off the air! It clearly must be the precursor to something evil!"

        How about no.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by leonardluen (211265)

          i am not normally a conspiracy nut...but to be fair would a conspiracy nut realize they are one?...but i find it hard to believe that this station, which was on the air for nearly 30 years, and was undergoing regular maintenance (as detectable by the drop in transmitting power at regular intervals) wasn't serving some purpose. now do i think it was serving some evil purpose? probably not, but it appears someone was spending a significant time/effort/resources to keep this station on the air for about 30 y

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jabithew (1340853)

      I have an alternate conspiracy. I reckon they're doing it for a laugh. Every now and then they stop it and broadcast gibberish, just to see what the reaction is. That sounds like the Russians I know.

  • Article Quality. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:32AM (#32473106)
    So the main article comes from a discussion board on a conspira-blog-forum. And the description of the station in question is from Wikipedia, followed by a YouTube video in the third link. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not questioning the journalistic capabilities of the submitters, but holy-jumping-jeebus can we get an article with some legitimate [CITATION NEEDED] please. Perhaps this one was a tongue-in-cheek submission facetiously posted for the TFH crowd.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Even the venerable Cryprome implicitly endorses a conspira-wiki. [wikispooks.com]
    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:55AM (#32473206)

      Remember, just because you're a paranoid psychotic nut job crank doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @02:53AM (#32473578)

        For one thing, you'll notice that the conspiracy nuts are, well, always wrong. They have an abysmal track record throughout history and in modern times. Well, with a trend like that, it is pretty safe to say that they'll continue to be wrong. Same sort of thing with any crackpot thing that has been wrong time and time again. I mean just because ESP has failed every test doesn't prove beyond any and all doubt that it doesn't exist in some form... But it gives really strong evidence of that fact, and thus makes it pretty safe to say that indeed it's BS.

        The other thing is that the people who are in to conspiracies seem to have extremely poor logic skills. They ignore obvious evidence, jump at tenuous connections, straight out make shit up, and place more faith in that which can't be proven than that which can. As such, the conclusions they draw are very likely wrong. When you use a bad logical process, your conclusion usually isn't right. That's just how things go. The scientific method, logical principles, and so on aren't random. It is the stuff that works reliably for separating truth from fiction. So when you fail to use it, well your results are probably incorrect.

        So yes, just because you are a paranoid, psychotic nut job who thinks there's a conspiracy probably DOES mean there isn't a conspiracy. If you bet against them, you'd make plenty of money.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by B1oodAnge1 (1485419)

          So yes, just because you are a paranoid, psychotic nut job who thinks there's a conspiracy probably DOES mean there isn't a conspiracy. If you bet against them, you'd make plenty of money.

          Spoken like a true conspirator.

        • What does esp have to do with conspiracy? Early 1933 Jewish conspiracy theorists were right. Bernie Madoffs scheme made wall street conspiracy theorists right. In fact conspiracies are uncovered all the time throughout history - Et tu, Brute? So much in fact that most cultures have specific laws to deal with them, ironically labeled 'Conspiracy'.

          Just because you prefer to live in your fairytale world where nothing ever goes wrong and are spoon fed sugary truthiness does not make it reality for those of us l

        • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @05:38AM (#32474034) Journal

          For one thing, you'll notice that the conspiracy nuts are, well, always wrong. They have an abysmal track record throughout history and in modern times.

          That's because they aren't remembered as conspiracy nuts once they prove their case.

          And the ones that are nutty get a whole lot more attention.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by w0mprat (1317953)
          It's a fallacious argument to assert that just because one has been wrong before one is therefore wrong now, without addressing the actual facts of the argument. It's a common tactic that cranks use themselves.

          Another nut job fallacy is.. Absence of evidence is not proof of absence. Well we've all heard that one. In reality absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence. Is it not that lack of evidence one was at the murder scene is indeed evidence one is not guilty?

          Oh and I do love the saying "cor
          • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:06PM (#32476310) Homepage

            Yep. Hit this one on the head.

            Something I think the so called "conspiracy theorists are nuts" mentality is hurting is America's ability to accept evidence of boring conspiracies, or to not think much of them when they come out. So-and-so embezzled a million bucks with custom software? Meh. Such-and-such company has been stealing from the population for decades? Meh. The NSA/FBI/ATF/IRS/whatever has been with their funding that's illegal? Meh. Oh, but if there was evidence that the government has puppet Presidents, or something like that... people would be interested.

        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @05:48AM (#32474064)

          For one thing, you'll notice that the conspiracy nuts are, well, always wrong.

          That's only because when a conspiracy is proven its no longer considered to be in the realm of "conspiracy nuts."

          I'm sure there are hundreds like that, I can think of a few off the top of my head - COINTELPRO, Watergate, Iran-Contra. Tuskegee experiments, Greek Wiretapping Scandal. [ieee.org]

          • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday June 06, 2010 @09:52AM (#32475012) Journal

            Don't forget the biggest one, the Gulf of Tonkin incident [wikipedia.org], which was used to escalate our involvement in Vietnam and led to 50k Americans dead, and of course now turned out to be total bullshit.

            As for TFA it is probably just another form of numbers station [wikipedia.org], which aren't exactly big secrets. Hell I used to listen to them with my grandfather on his big Korean War military radio (I need to find some tubes for that old thing and break it out) and according to him it was pretty common knowledge those were for spy communication. It was one of those things that nobody with high enough clearance would confirm, but he would laugh and say it was one of those "We don't know WHAT that is, wink wink" kind of deals.

            • Also don't forget the American streetcar scandal [wikipedia.org], in which several corporations--including GM, Firestone, and Standard Oil (now Chevron [wikipedia.org]/Exxon [wikipedia.org]?)--were convicted in court of conspiracy. Ever wonder why you jump in your 2000+ pound car to travel in the US while pumping out greenhouse emissions, when Europe has trains and trolleys? It's because of a conspiracy.

              Also, it could be that the UVB-76 buzzer was designed to make people wonder what it did, to make big goofs write comments on slashdot /*looks at self*/,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dave420 (699308)
          Nearly all of the "conspiracy theorists" I've spoken to online (including on Above Top Secret) aren't actually conspiracy theorists (akin to investigative journalists of days gone by), but seem to actually be paranoid fantasists. They don't have, or seem to require, actual evidence of a conspiracy before they will accept it as fact, and get rather upset if others don't believe it too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          For one thing, you'll notice that the conspiracy nuts are, well, always wrong.

          That is a gross misrepresentation of the truth [newworldorderreport.com].

          The other thing is that the people who are in to conspiracies seem to have extremely poor logic skills.

          Not as poor as your logic skills:

          So yes, just because you are a paranoid, psychotic nut job who thinks there's a conspiracy probably DOES mean there isn't a conspiracy

          You appear to assert overall that because some people who think that there are conspiracies are paranoid and/or psychotic (nice ad hominem added on) that everyone who asserts their existence is a "nut job" but the truth is very much the opposite. If you think that numerous conspiracies that affect you are not in progress right now, you are forgetting the lessons of history. Our government has proven vulnerable to conspiracy tim

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by pev (2186)

          Any conspiracy that can be proven is a pretty rubbish conspiracy - it's in their nature that they need to be denyable! :-D

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:58AM (#32473432)

      >but holy-jumping-jeebus can we get an article with some legitimate [CITATION NEEDED] please.

      In the 1980s the US was eager to test the resolve of the Soviet's glasnost policy of open relations with the West. A drunken Caspar Weinberger, the current Secretary of Defense, decided to ask the Soviets to work closely with experimental music artist Brian Eno after reading an article about him in the Post. Brian was supplied with the best drugs Iran/Contra could supply. After months of negotiations and late night stoner brain-storming sessions, Brian finally got the approval for his epic 10,000 year song which is to be broadcast by the Russians. The break from today was simply the start of the chorus.

      Shortly after the Soviets got revenge by allowing Yakov Smirfnoff passage into the US and then "losing" his paperwork for return.

    • Re:Article Quality. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Vahokif (1292866) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @03:44AM (#32473720)
      You never know, the Russian Woodpecker [wikipedia.org] signal turned out to be a nuclear launch detection radar in Chernobyl.
  • by Renderer of Evil (604742) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:37AM (#32473126) Homepage

    Russian media says the station is switching to soft rock.

  • It's back up (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimmydevice (699057) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:39AM (#32473130)
    I dialed into 4625 KHz and I can hear the buzz, Guess it was just a maintenance down-period.
  • by Itninja (937614) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @12:51AM (#32473188) Homepage
    I man stepped into the boxing ring
    His name was Sock'em Dazer
    He took a look around and said...
    Where's my Occam's Razor?
  • by feepness (543479) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:13AM (#32473252) Homepage
    I think this is pretty obvious.
  • Don't worry... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by n3umh (876572) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:22AM (#32473290) Homepage
    There's still a freaky buzz on 4644kHz. And there's something that sounds like a movie ray gun on 4666.
    FOUR SIX SIX SIX
    Plenty of freaky shortwave left...
  • Er.. I've got a shortwave receiver somewhere that I can dig out, but currently no antenna at my current residence so... anyone else checked this?

    I noticed the link on this is to the site "Above top secret" which is not a very reliable source of information.
    • by Utoxin (26011)
      I just asked the folks at QRZ if anyone can confirm this. Hopefully someone there has good gear for checking on it.
      • by Mooga (789849)
        Let us know. While everyone is saying it down, no one has really confirmed that it's true.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lije Baley (88936)

      Come now, not a single hunk of wire laying around, no gutters, no bedsprings?

  • by PatPending (953482) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:36AM (#32473340)

    [discussing the Doomsday machine]

    President Merkin Muffley: How is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically and at the same time impossible to untrigger?

    Dr. Strangelove: Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the FEAR to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the Doomsday machine is terrifying and simple to understand... and completely credible and convincing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If anyone here can understand German, take a listen and report back what it says!

    http://media.abovetopsecret.com/media/6950/UVB-76_06052010_2030_MP3/

    Fast-forward to the end... sounds like a news broadcast to me.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Often the money for much needed repairs only with help of ?
      That is why it is from many Catholics ? partially annoying
      that next to the main house a chapel of 80 cubic
      Tone sounds like normal "BBC/PBS" type German news.
    • by netsharc (195805)

      Holy crap, WTF is that? It's German alright, sounds like a news broadcast, the lady also sounded like a familiar news-reader.

      [ ] saniert werden, erstmals [ ] Situation nur mit Hilfe von [ ] aufgebracht werden. Deshalb ist es fuer viele Katholiken besonders aergerlich, dass neben der Wohnheim auch eine eigene Kapelle von zirka achtzig Quadrat

      The last sentence says "Because of this, it is especially aggravating for many Catholics that next to the dorm building there is an own chapel with ca. 80 quadrat".

      So is

  • Maybe (Score:5, Funny)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:55AM (#32473418) Journal
    Maybe someone just opened the electric bill...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "So we cut the power to that computer over in the corner. What was it doing, no-longer Comrade..."

    "I don't know, fellow Capitalist, the guy who put it in drank himself to death"

    "Ah, nothing important then I'm sure"

  • The last sentence on http://sites.google.com/site/stationuvb76 [google.com] states: "As of January 17, 2010 at the latest many available map viewing services that provide satellite imagery have the UVB-76 station darkened or removed entirely. Of interest to note is the fact that seemingly unrelated buildings in close proximity are also blacked out." I cannot find any verification yet, however. Weird.
  • Ionosperic sounder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @03:24AM (#32473658)
    This is clearly an ionospheric sounder, same as the numbers stations. These things are used during communications planning for a military exercise.
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @03:33AM (#32473684)

    http://www.khaaan.com/ [khaaan.com]

    I've lost track; how many years has Kirk been yodeling into the ether like that?

    -FL

  • The court subpoenaed my hard drive and RIAA lawyers representing the KGB found a compressed audio file of the station's entire broadcast history in my Kazaa folder.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @03:57AM (#32473756) Homepage Journal
    maybe Sealab really blew up for good this time.
  • Spooky (Score:4, Funny)

    by aceofspades1217 (1267996) <aceofspades1217.gmail@com> on Sunday June 06, 2010 @04:46AM (#32473910) Homepage Journal

    This is pretty spooky, I mean the conspiracy theories are kind of warranted considering this station's eerie history.

    Someone must have been funding a station that has lasted since 1982 and is powerful to be heard world wide. I have done a little bit of amateur radio and I know that in order to do that you need some serious power, a huge antenna, and quite a bit of constant maintenance. It is definitely not a stretch to think that this station was/is run by the Russian Government as at the very minimum for some sort of testing or maybe as an emergency broadcasting system during a disaster.

    However, I really doubt its part of the Dead Hand system. I would think they would use something more secure if the dead hand system was under automatic control. If there is any possibility that it is part of the Dead Hand system than the Dead Hand system is certainly a system that requires some sort of human intervention due to possibilities of interference, false positives, or someone over riding the system to send a the activation codes.

    Just my 2 cents, I am certainly no conspiracy theorist but it is always fun to think about the possibilities. There is plenty of stuff that we simply don't know about; however, I do hope that the some of the theories are real because than at least I would know that our government has a high enough level of competence to actually keep fool us in a significant way.

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @05:38AM (#32474036)

    Maybe they finally finished typing out the message in morse code?

    I hear the translation was something like:

    Hi Mom! The camp counselors insist we learn to use ham radio to communicate with you. Hope this reaches you before you die. Love, Junior.

  • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @05:53AM (#32474080)

    Before I read this, I had no idea this thing existed.

    Now, I am consumed with an overwhelming need to discover the reason for this transmission. I will not be able to rest until I have discovered the secret. This transmission is now the most important thing in my life.

    DAMN YOU!

  • Listens to (and often records) these stations non stop to know the 3 or 4 times in 20 years that something actually happened.

  • "offline" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N7DR (536428) on Sunday June 06, 2010 @01:08PM (#32476334) Homepage

    Radio transmitters do not go "offline". They go "off the air".

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