So back in the day when yours truly was working in [undisclosed location], I had a little hand-cranked world-band radio and used to muck about on “good” atmopsheric conditions nights by trying to hear whatever could be heard. One of the stations was, of course, The Buzzer aka Russian Radio UVB-76.
This station still exists, although the entertainment back then was idly dialing by it occasionally hoping to luck into a transmission, and then imaging elaborate 007-type scenarios if you ever were lucky enough to catch a transmission before your brain or ears rebelled from listening to that stupid tone. (“That stupid tone” is meant to discourage listening in, of course.)
Nowadays people claim to have traced UVB-76 and plotted it on Google Earth, where it is (conveniently?) obscured by cloud-cover.
Times have changed as times must do, and now there’s an online world-band tuner here if you want to play around with The Buzzer or other “numbers stations” on world-band itself.
Sadly, my old radio recently suffered an accident. It bravely gave its life to the cause, the cause in this case being its inebriated listeners’ amusement at melodramatic propaganda broadcasts from a certain Bolivarian polity, when in the course of our merry mockery it was accidentally sent crashing to its doom. It was one of the last few functioning relics of East German manufacturing, probably, so we figured it had a good career in relaying broadcasting from the ridiculous propaganda of a failing state (DDR) to the ridiculous propaganda of a failing state (Ba’athist Iraq) to the ridiculous propaganda of a failing state (starts with V and rhymes with “enezuela”) and toasted its honorable service. Chopin’s piano succumbed to defenestration, too, so it seemed fitting.
Anyway… All this is a rather long way of saying that there is still an open SIGint world out there if you care to research the stations, to learn about atmospheric conditions (unless you’re going to take the unskillful route by tuning in online) and to spend some time on it. It’s amazing what you can hear when you simply *listen*.