UVB-76, Secret Soviet Number Station, Dramatically Increases Activity

UVB-76 Recording

UVB-76 is a number station from Soviet days. Its purpose still remains a mystery. Rumors claim its a dead man’s switch to automatically launch nuclear weapons in the event of the Kremlin being destroyed– but that seems like sheer speculation. Today, August 24 2010, there has been three audio transmissions. What is odd is that in its 20 years of operation the station has only broadcast vocal transmissions five times– two of which were this week! Normally it sounds like a buzzer pulsating a coded message to unknown agents. Whatever purpose the station serves it still receives funding as is staffed. Anything else is a mystery.

The message repeated three times says in Russian:

UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 Naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 Nikolai, Anna, Ivan, Michail, Ivan, Nikolai, Anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4

UVB-76 from Satellite

Possibilities abound. Increased military activity? A training excercize like Able Archer 83? Instructions for Iran’s nuclear reactor to come online? Maybe a plan to send more sexy lingerie model spies (yes please)? No one really knows.

There is a live stream and UVB-76 blog dedicated to the enigma for all those amateur code breaks and counter-intelligence agents out there.

Update 19:55: Cracked open my Russian dictionary thinking ‘Naiminia’ might be на имя which means “on names.” I never heard the word ‘naiminia’ before. I’m not a native speaker though, could be wrong.

Update 20:43: An anonymous reader kindly clarified its на имeна the plural form for names and clearly what’s in the audio.


Update August 25, 2010: The numbers could be simple  longitude and latitude coordinates (74.14 N, 35.74 E) pointing to a location in the Barrent sea. It just so happens this week that Russia is carrying out an anti-aircraft missile training exercise in the Barrent sea. Can we breathe a sigh of relief?


Update August 26, 2010: Yup, according to a Wikipedia author, its longitude and latitude coordinates and the other numerical strings point to deserts located in Asia near installations of some kind. Too many instances for coincidence. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76#Patterns

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