Archive for September, 2017

So it’s not secret by now that I find subjects like this very interesting, apart from EVP’s and videos of bizarre interferences I find any electronic signals to be interesting, such as numbers stations for example. I realise that one of the ones I had not raised here was the concept of being called beyond the grave.

Is the telephone a way to make a last goodbye? To give a deceased person a change to make one last communication before moving on? Quite extensive research has been made, Phone Calls From the Dead (1979) by D Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless, was the result of their two year research into the matter. In 2012 another book by Callum E Cooper also picked up the subject.

The types of calls appear to fall into three main categories and one is where the witness receives a call from someone who died, sometimes not that recently but either way for the most part the witness knows that the caller is dead and it is rare that they are not aware of it when the call comes in.

Another variation is that the witness gets a call from the deceased but discover their death afterwards. Often it seems to come from the phone of a relative or friend and they did not call, but for an unknown reason had thought about calling them, the voice is unusually strong compared to the faded static type. Some witnesses said it was odd because that person sounded quite mechanical or possibly even drunk.

A rarer but report case is also noted of people calling to the deceased, not intentionally, to find that the conversation they’d had should not have been possible. The person that answered was dead or perhaps the person they should have been talking too was not even in that place at the time.

One of the most famous incidents of this type is by Charles E Peck’s calls on 12th September 2008. At 4:22pm a commuter train with 225 people on board collided with a freight train in San Fernando’s Valley, California, and the 49 year old Charles Peck was on board. 25 people died, 135 were injured and of the injured they sent 87 to hospital, 46 were in a critical condition.

Peck had been travelling for a job in another area, he could then plan his wedding to his second wife once they were closer together, Andrea Kalz was his fiancée and from his prior marriage he had three fully grown children. Andrea heard about the crash on the radio whilst heading to the station to collect him. Peck;s parents and siblings already lived in the area and they came to join her whilst they waited for news.

In the first eleven hours of the wait there were calls from his cellphone suggesting that he was alive. Calls were made to his son, brother, stepmother, sister and fiancée. In all there were 35 calls and they would answer to hear static, understandably they would call back but the call then went to voicemail. The calls meant that the crews were prompted to use his signal to aid in the search, they looked again into the location and at 12 hours after the crash they found him.

Peck was deceased, declared dead on the scene and the resulting investigations showed he had died on impact. Long past his death his cell phone had carried on reaching out to loved ones. Unfortunately they were unable to retrieve the phone or there is no evidence that it was found.

Interestingly enough in regards to the Peck case, it seems that Snopes have decided that there was enough evidence to class this as true.

An Article on that matter

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So its that time! Time to look at communication, specifically an old over-the-horizon radar system called the Duga from the former Soviet Union (Russia/Ukraine for the purposes of this article.) Over The Horizon (OTH) or Beyond The Horizon (BTH) are radar systems for long range use. Most were used in the 1950’s and 1960’s because they were early warning systems, just think about the Cold War and the idea of it being a necessity; the ones I am looking at here are the Duga system but they were used all over the world and still are, if modern reports online are correct. I am no expert so correct me where you can if I get things wrong.

The system operated from July 1976 up until December 1989, there were two deployed in Chernobyl and Chernihiv. Chernobyl is in the Ukraine and Chernihiv is Siberian. They were powerful and appeared without warning, sounding like a repetitive tapping on 10Hz, they became nicknamed by the listeners as the Russian Woodpecker.

They seemed to pop up pretty randomly and could interrupt legitimate broadcasting and all variations of stations. Complaints were sent in about them but I can’t imagine it being easy to prevent them. Some of the radio and television users began including blockers in the circuit to try and filter out interruption.

The first type of Duga was built in the Ukraine and did successfully detect rocket launchers from 2,500 kilometres. With its success they worked on the larger project. The first signal was picked up in 1976 and amatuer radio users gave it the name woodpecker, some people had reported it as early as 1963. Regardless of the date the Russian Woodpecker was traced back to the Soviet Union. The sources were found in Kiev, Minsk, Chernobyl, Gomel and Chernihiv but eventually narrowed down through speculation has been made that there was more than one transmitter. Wireless World, 1977 muses that along with the OTH system the Russians might be trying to utilise radar returns or another source that worked along side it, or around two or more spots.

I wondered if this was plausible or were we just putting more technical knowledge to that in retrospect or are we accepting that NATO might not have been entirely accurate? The NATO name for DUGA-1 is quoted as STEEL YARD, some sources also use STEELWORK. It is officially recorded name may well be different but not disclosed for security purposes.

Some points of interest are that they realised when listening that it was not used as a form of jamming because Moscow and pro-Soviet Stations were also caught by it, so it couldn’t be reliable enough for that. The signal used three repetition rates of 10Hz, 16Hz and 20Hz, but the most common was 10. They used a fairly wide bandwidth, usually 40Khz.

An attempt to stop the signals causing interruptions came along, one of the ways was tor try and use signals at the same pulsing rate, people formed a club called The Russian Woodpecker Hunting Club. The transmissions slowed down in the 1980’s by 1989 they had disappeared. This slow down and eventual end does coincide with the Cold War closing down, the official end being 8th December 1971 when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Another factor in the close would be a further advancement in early warning systems, satellite systems are far more advanced and less likely to be affected by adverse weather.

The original Duga system was experimental and it lies outside of the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. It was restored in 2002 after it was badly damaged by fire. As of October 2013 there is a possibility to visit the Ukrainian site via tour operators for Chernobyl who know how to get the correct paperwork.

For those who like modern reference here are some ways the Duga has been imported into modern media.

If, like me, you enjoy games like Metro Last Light or S.T.A.L.K.E.R then you may already know this… Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a heavy feature in S.T.A.L.K.E.R and specifically around the nuclear accident. The Duga array is in Clear Sky after the main campaign game. It is in the fictional city of Limansk-13 you can see it and visit it in game. The ‘Brain Scorcher’, a military installation, is inspired by the idea that Duga-1 was used for mind-control.

Call of Duty:Black Ops the map ‘Grid’ is placed in Pripyat and the array can be seen in game there too.

A documentary by Chad Garcia looks into the Chernobyl disaster and the potential links to the structure. The documentary interviews people directly involved in the building and operation of the installation.