The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations

Akin O. Fernandez
For more than thirty years, the shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the world’s intelligence agencies to broadcast secret messages. These messages are transmitted by hundreds of numbers stations. Shortwave numbers stations are perfected, anonymous, one-way communications. The encryption system used by numbers stations, known as a “one-time pad,” is unbreakable. Further, it is almost impossible to track down the message recipients, making the numbers station system an immensely powerful tactical device. Akin Fernandez’s The Conet Project is an important historical reference work for research into this unreported and unknown field of espionage. The four-CD box set contains 150 recordings spanning twenty years. The stations heard on the discs operate on rigid schedules and transmit in many different languages, employing male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or phonetic letters day and night, all year round. The voices are of varying pitches and intonation. The recordings have been taken from the private archives of dedicated shortwave radio listeners from around the world. Many of the stations on the CDs have ceased operations and can no longer be heard.