Papa November. Sekrit messages.


THE LATEST PN

Streaming MP3
(not always available)

Downloadable
RealAudio (450Kb)

Text transcript

It's eerie, really.

Strange voices pulled out of the ether. Mechanical voices counting off numbers forever and ever and ever. A little tune plays, then more numbers. What the hell is this?

Welcome to the world of numbers stations. They really exist in odd, small frequencies that the good shortwave radios will be able to pick up. Most are variations on a voice reading numbers. Some voices are decidedly human all the way through; others are recorded, stilted, mechanical. But what do they mean? Who's behind each one? What do the messages say?

Those are questions we won't get answered. Most numbers stations are actually spy communications. No, really. Check out ENIGMA or www.spynumbers.com for more information.

Anyhow, I thought they were really cool. So cool, in fact, that I decided to make my own numbers station. Yeah, kinda defeats the purpose and ruins all the mystery, but I have to tell someone. I took a message, coded it up right fine, and then streamed it out over ShoutCast. Yeah, there's a message hidden in the numbers. It's up to you to figure it out.

Oh, c'mon. It's not that hard. There were dozens of tricks I could have used to make the message tougher than it is. In fact, I might do so in the future. I deliberately pulled a few punches so that everybody can have a crack at it. Even so, I know it's way too easy for some. But what can I do? It's my secret message, and I'll make it as sekrit as I want it to be.

So. Do you want to play along? Sure you do. There are several ways to go about it. First, you can listen to the "real" broadcast over ShoutCast if you've WinAmp 2.0 or higher. Keep in mind this is broadcast only sporadically, usually during times when I'm not at home and thus not actually consuming precious CPU cycles doing other things. If you can't get to the broadcast, I'm sorry -- you'll just have to try one of the other methods.

If you can't get the streaming MP3, feel free to download a RealAudio version yourself. It's not as weird as just listening to it as it's being broadcast, but you'll get the gist of the numbers. And if all else fails, each "broadcast" is also transcribed, so you could just read the text transcript if you wish. It may be easier for you to read along with the numbers as you listen (saves valuable transcribing time on your part) but please do try to listen to the message, too, for the sake of being thorough.

And what happens if you solve the message? You feel good about yourself. Congratulations. You'll also get your name put up on a page somewhere. And how do you do that? Solve the message and mail me with the answer. Good luck!

UPDATE!
It took a week or so, but the first message was solved! Ghogg and Jota wracked their brains on the ifMUD, and they got it in one. Way to go, guys. I'll have the transcript of their thought processes up soon (seriously).

Jennifer Rodgers also solved the puzzle too, a few days after the thought team of G&J. So she's special, too, although she already was to begin with. Y'know.

Note to government spooks: There are no state secrets being given away here nor actual spy stuff goin' on. If you're really concerned, mail me and I'll give you the answer. Of course, if you can't figure out the answer on your own, you shouldn't be a government spook. This ain't 128-bit DES we're dealing with here, folks.