Posts Tagged ‘radio’

Two former radio amateurs gave 50 years worth of interest (and still ongoing) for space conspiracy enthusiasts. In the 1960’s they claimed they had recording that showed the Soviet Space program covered up the deaths of Cosmonauts. These claims have met with rebuttals and the interests continues but that’s why I think it’s a great one for this blog.

They claimed to have monitored transmissions from the Soviet Sputnik program and Explorer 1. They said this included other recordings, like the sounds of a lost cosmonaut who was dying. 28th November 1960, one of those was also an SOS signal that was moving away from the Earth’s orbit and their information was picked up by a Swiss-Italian radio station who took them on as their space experts.

They also made a further claim that they had heard of a female cosmonaut yelling “I am hot” amongst other parts of that transmission. They stated that this was the sounds of her transmitting before she burnt up.

In total they had released nine recordings over a course of years:

  • May 1960, a manned spacecraft reporting its going off course.
  • 28th November 1960 the faint sounds of an SOS transmission as a spacecraft left orbit.
  • February 1961, the recorded sounds of a cosmonaut suffocating.
  • April 1961, capsule recorded orbiting Earth three times before it entered Earth’s atmosphere and this was days before Yuri Gagarin took flight.
  • October 1961, a cosmonaut looses control of his ship and goes into deep space.
  • November 1962, a capsule misjudges re-entry bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere it then goes out into space.
  • November 1963, a female cosmonaut dies during re-entry.
  • April 1964, another cosmonaut killed when their capsule burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

People that have analysed this have stated they are dubious that certain protocol appears to have been ignored during those transmissions, for instance that the cosmonauts had not identified themselves during those transmissions. You could of course argue that burning up in space is a pretty good reason to forget this right?

There seem to be a lot of grammatical errors, or errors in sentence construction when it was generally accepted that the Soviet’s would only use highly trained and educated native speakers but again you could argue that panic would ensue and even the most articulate of people are going to loose that.

The technology the Soviet’s were using may well have been sending dogs into space but there is no suggestion they had enough technology to be putting a manned craft out of the orbit by that stage.

Another factor that was given to consideration, and perhaps this is the one that might convince me – with all the other countries listening into the space race and monitoring these transmissions why hadn’t the professionals found them too? The other countries would have little to no reason to avoid giving up that information as they were all in the race so-to-speak. So why did it fall to two amateur radio enthusiasts who self-taught themselves to get such potentially controversial details out into the public?

I also listened to a brilliant podcast and presentation by Brian Dunning, Skeptoid about this and felt it was a great tale for the blog.

A numbers station is a short-wave radio station and is characterised by some unusual broadcasts. They are registered by those searching to be streaming out voices, numbers, words, tunes, morse codes or letters. They have been recorded in various languages and more commonly have female voices although male and children voices have been recorded in some situations. The Swedish Rhapsody broadcast features a child’s voice. They are not officially recognised by any government body, QSL responses have been received from these stations by short-wave listeners who sent reception reports to them. (A QSL is like a receipt of transmission from what I can understand).

An idea posed is that these stations are/were used to send out coded instructions. Encoded messages could be then used via a one time number pad system, e.g. a notebook with the relevant code break that could be destroyed one the transmission was done. It is safer than any other medium on the planet, even if you hear the code unless you know it you can’t decipher it. Theoretically anyone could pick up the code with access to short-wave radio and finding the frequency but knowing what it is, well that’s another story! Drug smugglers were another reason put forwards. The radio stations can be used but this might not be as effective as thought, after all the farms and outlying posts often associated with large scale drugs operations would not necessarily be able to receive the messages.

Another suggestion I had found leant more towards the paranormal, the idea that these are somehow messages that might have been an old broadcast some how replaying over the waves without anyone physically behind them. Perhaps the dead are using it to try and reach out, however if so why would they be so formulaic and not contain a direct message? Often with some of them you can hear background information too suggesting that even if it is not playing live it may well have been recorded as such.

Typically they seem to transmit on the hour or half hour, an introduction to identify the station will be heard and then the bulk of the message is heard.  This repeats for a set interlude and then the transmission will end, usually with an identifier such as a set of zero’s or perhaps music.  Listening to numerous ones quite often they seem heavy with interference, or background noise, some are overlapping with the regular broadcasts which means you can hear a second station on them.  A Florida radio station, WYFR from Okeechobee is a religious broadcasting station and reported that it was regularly affected by a Cuban/Spanish number station. Others have reported that they have encroached across their transmission too.

One thing I can be assured off, the Conet Project collects them and listening to them is both slightly creepy and mesmerising at the same time. Whatever they are used for (and I like the mystery so very much) they are a thrilling find if you haven’t heard of them before.

So if you want to hear them try the link:

J Tunis’ wife Lula was dying of cancer in the 1930’s, and having tried every method of cure available, they prayed for some sort of assistance where the medical world had failed. Norman Baker came to them from the Baker Institute, Iowa and Lula was in his hands with the last of their hopes on a recovery, he was a medical maverick with a new cure. He dressed in a white suit with a lavender tie, owned a radio station and preached a gospel… that he would use alternative medicine and cure the common man!

Unfortunately with this great claim was a man experienced in great lies. He was a former magician, inventor and radio host who then turned to a Cancer Doctor without a day of training in the medical profession. The magic elixir was nothing more than watermelon seed, brown corn silk, alcohol and carbolic acid.

Tunis later testified against Baker, she endured terrible needle treatments and that it did nothing. She begged to go home and he took her back home only to have Lula dead by Christmas. Normal Baker wanted to sell himself as a pioneer of medicine and that it would be his story of a personal battle, in fact brought and paid for as a biography. What he actually did was make thousands of pounds from the sick and dying and Lula was not a unique victim of this man’s “cure”.

The scandal was made more prominent because of his history of radio broadcasting and that had also been often done illegally, he was determined to allay fears that the cure was actually harmful and drank a massive dose of it himself. He put on a show for all those people that were gunning for blood and he one of those other events was to do open air surgery on a 68 year old man!

A doctor from his Baker Institute opened up the skull of Mandus Johnson, he then applied his cure to the cancerous brain tissue whilst he was still conscious. Cancer is cured, he claimed, and now that he had their attention he launched an attack on America’s Medical Association. He charged them with choosing profits over patients and said that he would remind the people he was fighting for them.

The AMA retaliated against the man and his growing institute, stating that even the open air brain surgery was nothing more than a trick. The whole in the man’s head meant that when they opened his skull what they saw was a part of an inflamed skull, a medullary portion. The AMA were also able to get his radio license revoked meaning that the radio method of damage was not renewed in 1931 as he had hoped. Following this a steady stream of relatives of former patients began to come forward to testify.

Finally he was issued with a warrant for practising without a license. He then fled to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and started another radio station that was out of the legal reach of the Federal Radio Commission. He was there until 1937, with another smaller cancer hospital but appears to have become restless. He pleaded guilty and served a one day sentence then he tried to bid for Iowa’s senate seat but failed and left Muscatine for good.

He ended up in Arkansas, purchasing the Crescent Hotel, a majestic Victorian hotel that had fallen on hard times. It was the “castle in the air” and was soon the new Baker Institute location. He made the same scam as he had done in the previous town, conning more people with the same terrible behaviours and after two years the Federal Authorities were closing in. 1939 they finally arrested him.

1940, Little Rock trial, Norman was found guilty and the court of appeals declined his application, the cancer cure was declared a hoax. He arrived at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary to serve a four year sentence. It’s possible that the treatment he gave did nothing but hasten the deaths of the poor people he preyed upon. Norman Baker was therefore resigned to being nothing short of wonderful, instead he was Inmate 58197.

He was released in 1944 and retired to Florida, he lived comfortably until his death in 1958. He was a monster and he was happy to arrange the deaths of people in order to profit. And with this history? Yes you guessed it, there are a wide variety of haunted legends about the place. Perhaps there are some replay ghosts or even active intelligent hauntings, but for now I think his story alone was gruesome enough.

NormanBaker-PrisonPhoto-SMALL IMG_1388 CrescentHotel

Electronically generated noises that sound like speech, they are not intentionally recorded noises and are usually caught as part of a stray transmission or within static etc. The interest in this lies mainly in the paranormal, and there are explanations on a scientific level to try and debunk the claims. I had previously mentioned these but I think it’s worth another visit as it may well prove useful when I go into other subjects later on, if only to explain my perspective and some of the ones I might choose to blog on.

Thomas Edison was asked in an interview about whether or not he could use his inventions to communicate with spirits. He said that only if the device were sensitive enough to pick up their sounds, but there is no evidence to support he ever tried to work on it.

Attila von Szalay was an American photographer and amongst one of the first to try recording the voices. He began in 1941 and tried to do this with a vinyl style records but then found it became more successful to try once there was the invention of reel-to-reel tape. His custom made attempts, along with Raymond Bayless, meant they used a microphone in a cabinet and would ensure they were out of the way as it started. Bayless was a co-author to a book in 1979, “Phone calls from the Dead”.

“The Spiricom” made in 1980, by William O’Neil was an electronic audio device which he claimed was built to order by a George Mueller, a scientist that had died six years prior. He stated in a press conference that it allowed him to hold two-way conversations with spirits and provided the design for free. Nobody is known to have replicated the results and his partner, George Meek, felt that maybe it was due to O’Neil’s already present medium powers that the system worked.

The Ghost Box (invented 2002) was made by enthusiast Frank Sumption for real-time communication. The device is a combination of a white noise generator with AM radio receiver that sweeps back and forth selecting split-second snippets of sound. Whilst the “Ghost Box” has been a frequent flyer on the TV it is cited by critics as being more to do with pareidolia than actual communication.

Psychologist Imants Barušs has finds his conclusion to be that EVP cannot be replicated under controlled conditions.

Interference from CB’s, wireless baby monitors etc are all documented phenomena. It is possible for circuits to resonate without any internal power source by means of radio reception. Captireing these anomalies may well resemble what is known as EVP. Early EVP on tape could also be explained due to the fact that quite often the tapes might suffer poor erasure, or prevoius recordings. Many a time when I was younger and used tapes you would get an “echo” of the recording from before or even parts from the tape the other side.

The paranormal investigators love to talk about EVP’s as beings such as spirits or in some circles the idea they maybe extraterrestrials. It is felt by some modern spiritualist churches that electronic communication is just as valid as traditional mediumship.

My own personal experience with what might have been considered as EVP until I found the source really did freak me out. I was living in a one bed flat at the time and had my PC on the main desk, the computer was turned off every night but I never thought about the speakers. Three or four times I woke up hearing very odd whispers and sounds. I naturally sought out why this was happening and spent one night with them turned up full blast. Eventually with the help of another friend we realised the signals were from a police radio and that we were picking up fragments of broadcasts, turning the speakers off totally solved that case… but then again who’s to say that what I found debunks it entirely! I remain open minded.