Mystery Signals of the Short Wave

Dedicated to the more unusual, strange, bizarre and apparently meaningless signals on the short wave bands !

From the Archives

Russian Woodpecker | Yosemite Sam |

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What's New

Updates made to this site

18 December 2021

Spectrogram V16.0

Spectrogram V5 has been available as a download on this site, which I beleived to be the last freware version. Recently I had an email from Jim W who has informed me that before being abandoned, Spectrogram was again made freeware for the final few versions.

This program is difficult, if not impossible to find on the web now, so I am grateful to Jim W for taking the trouble to send me the program and thus making it available for all.

The program can be downloaded from my links page.

25 June 2021

Just a quick update. The site still continues to attract a surprising number of visitors despite no fresh updates, so I will continue to keep the site live as long as there is a demand.

The reason for this update is that while housekeeping on my PC, I found notes & recordings of a station from 2014 that I thought deserved to be preserved rather than deleted - so it has been added purely as an historical record.

The station was nicknamed the "Irregular Dash". The notes and reports on this station were originally featured in the ENIGMA newsletter at the time. I hope you find it of interest.

Many of the stations on this site were complete mysteries at the time they were first featured. It was a time when the iron curtain was still in place and the USSR was a closed book. Since then, with the collapse of the USSR - as well as the growth of the internet - still in its early nerdy days then, much more information has come out about many of these stations, although some still remain a mystery.

For some time I have had it in mind to update many of these pages in the light of the wealth of knowledge we now have, much of it due to the dedicated work of short wave listeners & enthusiasts. (Thank you to all of you). That is still my goal - but I have still not managed to achieve this yet. Nevertheless, if this has been a first visit for you & you would like to know more there is much more information out there, certainly on the more well-known stations such as the Buzzer and the Pip. You just need to do a search on the internet.

01 January 2015

Another update has been made to the The "Twenty Minute Idler" page. Following the reactivation of this station on 5305kHz - reported by Matt, G7OBR in January 2014, checks were made on the other frequencies the station had utilised in the past. In November 2014 another of the frequencies, 4301kHz was discovered to be active in parallel with 5305kHz.

Once again, thanks to all of you who have emailed me. The updates are sporadic at best & not all pages are up to date. However, there is content on these pages that, I believe, is of historical interest & not easily found elsewhere, if at all, & in this respect I am most grateful to all of those people who have given me their kind permission to allow their knowledge & work to be made available via this site..

26 August 2014

Updates have been made to   "The Crackle"  & "The Backward Music Station" pages following new reports & information. The   "Links"   have been checked, obselete links removed & a couple of new links added.

As always. I am most grateful to all of you who have sent in comments, reports & suggestions concerning the content of this site. I am always surprised at the numbers of visitors who still visit these pages, despite the lack of new content or updates, but in particular, I am immensely pleased by the number of new or less-experienced listeners who have told me how their interest in short wave listening has encouraged or been enhanced by these pages.

15 January 2014

Firstly, news of a rare event. A station thought to have been extinct has recently been rediscovered. The "Twenty Minute Idler" has been rediscovered thanks to some sharp monitoring from Matt, G7OBR who emailed me at the end of 2013. Missing since 2010, and though active now on only one frequency, the station has definitely returned to the air.

Yet another new site design and layout. This one has been in use for some while now, and enables all the features and articles available from the main page, so hopefully will make everything easier to access.

I would like to say a sincere thank you to all of those people who have taken the trouble to email me. Some are asking for information, others offering it and some who have said how useful or interesting they have found the site.

As I have said before, I consider myself to be the custodian of this information which started from an 'Oddities' collection from the original ENIGMA monitoring group, and has been revised and added to over the years. Much of the information is perhaps obselete as the stations have ceased, but still has an historical value, and will continue to be kept on line as a unique resource for such stations.

24 July 2009

I have used a complete new site design and layout from Sepember 2008. The old site was becoming cumbersome and unwieldy due to the way in which information and pages have been added over the 10 years this site has been on-line and while I'm not entirely happy with this layout, it is a great improvement on the last version, and hopefully, easier to navigate.

Any remaining problems are due to the way my pages are collated and not caused by the excellent template, which was provided free by Andreas Viklund.

I find it amazing that many of the "oddities" featured on this site have been operating continuously over the 10 years since this site was started. Some of these have been identified and explained - some remain mysteries to this day.

Many of the emails I have received over the years congratulate me on the site. However, I am mainly the collator and custodian of much of the information and knowledge contained here. It is largely through the work and knowledge of shortwave listeners and enthusiasts around the world, building on the original core of information from the original ENIGMA group, that has made this site what it is today. My sincere thanks to all of you - you know who you are.

24 November 2007

A very long time since my last update. All   "Radio Links"   have been checked and updated, and obselete links removed. The   "ENIGMA 2000"   page has been updated with a recent newsletter and the latest Control List.

The   "Squeaky Wheel"  page has been updated to include the latest information.

Finally, The   "About Me"   page has been updated.

2 August 2004

A long time since my last update. Due to a move to broadband, the site now has a new address, which has been operating alongside the old one. The old site is now permamently closed.

The subterranea part of the site has been closed. It was originally my intention to develop the subterranea side, but this has now been done by others far better than I could have done.

I have added a short introduction to   "Numbers Stations"  , a short history of   "ENIGMA"   and an introductory page for   "ENIGMA 2000"   .

The  "Radio Links"   has been entirely rewritten and subject headers added.

Several new stations have been added, along with recordings, and most other pages updated. A new link has also been added to the "Woodpecker" pages.

Many thanks to ENIGMA 2000 for their help and support, and to all of those people who have contributed to this site - either directly to me or through ENIGMA 2000.

29 November 2002

A new article on "The Russian Woodpecker" from the 1980's. This topic still generates the most interest on the site, and I am pleased to be able to add not only the letter, but a plot of the signal to the website - thanks to Peter Martinez, the author and Chris Kirk, a visitor to the website who provided the article - My sincere thanks to both of you. Hope everyone enjoys this new article. Access from my "Woodpecker" pages or directly to the   letter and plot   from this link.

A new link to Scott Grant's subterranea site "" has been added to   "Subterranea Links"   .

4 June 2002

All the sound samples of stations have now been changed from RealAudio files to MP3 format. Due to the updates made by RealAudio on their program, older versions of the program would not play new samples - a ridiculous situation. I was also never happy with the way RealAudio took control of your system.

Previously there was no viable alternative, since WAV files were far too large for web use. Now free WAV to MP3 converters are available, it is easy to obtain MP3 files from audio. An added bonus is that the files are now even smaller than the RealAudio files, should play quicker and you don't need to download the RealAudio player, which was getting huge!

Everyone should now be able to play these files. Please email me should you find any problems.

Updated link for "Abandoned Tube Stations" - Thanks for the email Chris!

2 October 2001

Another new signal added to the site. Called "Squeaky Wheel" . Have a listen to the sound sample to see where its nickname came from!

Two more sound samples have been added, One to "The Time Signal". , and another to the "Slot Machine" .

An alternative HAARP site has been added to the "Radio Links" page.

28 April 2001

Another well overdue update, thanks for your patience. Thanks also to all of you who have emailed with questions, answers and information.

The main news is that a new signal, called "Slot Machine" appeared in the closing months of 2000, and has been added to the site.

Next, the Home page for the site has been altered to make it easier for visitors to navigate around the site.

Finally, changes have been made to "The Time Signal". This signal is still heard from time to time, two more frequencies have been added but this can pop up anywhere from 3MHz to 7MHz (and possibly beyond!).

31 December 2000

This update is well overdue, and I thank those concerned for their patience, and apologise for the delay.

Great News - "The Grasshopper" signal has been positively identified. Visit the page for full details.

There has been a lot of interest in the articles on "The Russian Woodpecker" transmissions of the 1970s / '80s.
Thanks to all of you who emailed me. I have now been able to add another technical article on the signal, and a link to an article on the "Russian Woodpecker Hunting Club".

This is I believe, the only resource collection on the web for information on "The Woodpecker", thanks to all of the contributors for their assistance.

Finally, thanks to visitors to the site. The number of visitors has far exceeded my expectations.

Happy New Year to you all.

Brian Rogers 1998-2021