“The mysterious numbers station code-named UVB-76 has been broadcasting at a frequency of 4625kHz since 1982 out of Russia. The mysterious signal broadcasts a buzzing sound every second and lasting for .8 seconds anywhere from 20 to 34 times a minute. The broadcast is a complete mystery and every clue that has come about to provide evidence of its purpose only deepens the enigma. And just recently the broadcast disappeared. Some suggest the signal was related to the Dead Hand, the system that would automatically retaliate with nuclear weapons in the event of a nuclear war. The sudden and unexplained disappearance of UVB-76 has many people nervous.
On January 16, 2003 the buzzing tone changed to a higher pitch of slower repetition for several minutes before changing back to its constant droning lower pitch. At the time many were concerned that the increased pitch may have been related to the increased perceived risk of nuclear attack by the United States. As the tone returned to normal, however, it was shrugged off as an unexplained anomaly. The very nature of numbers stations such as this one is one of complete mystery.
And that’s not all that’s suggesting there’s something more going on at this station. Whatever it is has received a considerable amount of funding over the years as there is evidence that the site is an actual installation with employees of unknown purpose who often will walk into the transmission room and occasionally have hushed conversations behind the microphone. Unfortunately these conversations only serve to increase the mystery of the UVB076 signal. Less than a month after September 11, 2001 those listening for changes in the signal noted a brief conversation taking place in the room where the buzzer apparently was transmitting, “143. Not receiving the generator. There’s some work on the hardware.” A broadcast from December 24, 1997 was temporarily interrupted and a male voice came on speaking Russian, “Ya – UVB-76. 18008. Bromal: Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhael, Anna, Larisa. 742, 799, 14.” After the message was repeated several times, the message returned to normal. Again in 2002 on September 12, the voice came back, “UVB-76, UVB-76. 62691 Izafet 3693 8270.” Other messages would follow with the most recent official one being an equally cryptic string of numbers and letters being broadcast as recently as 2006.
And yet there are also rumors of a final voice broadcast days prior to UVB-76’s disappearance, but the contents of that message have not been discovered. Numbers stations exist in Russia, the United States, and several other countries around the world though their purpose is widely unknown. There are many suggestions that the broadcasts may be coded instructions to spies. As for the UVB-76 broadcast, there is a strong belief that it may be related to the dreaded “Dead Hand,” of the Soviet Union. The Dead Hand was a program set up to ensure a retaliatory attack on the United States in the event of a first strike scenario by the United States. It was set up as a sort of automated kill switch in case there was no one left at the controls of Russia’s ICBMs. And that leaves many wondering, “Where does that leave us if the system is no longer broadcasting?”