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Mysteries

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has ‘buzzed’ every second since the 1970s – but no one knows why

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 100

Jonathan O’Callaghan The Daily Mail

Suddenly the piercing buzzing noise that has continued incessantly for months stops. A cold voice takes over.

‘U-V-B-7-6,’ is read out in a thick Russian accent, before listing a series of code words and numbers. Then, just as suddenly, it ends. The buzzing returns, for another few months.

That is what has greeted listeners of a mysterious radio station nicknamed ‘The Buzzer’ – and code named UVB-76, or more recently MDZhB – since the 1970s.

But what the Buzzer is doing, or who is broadcasting it, remains a mystery – with theories ranging from the Russian military to atmospheric research.

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 101

© websdr.ewl
A Russian radio station has played a buzzing sound on frequency 4625 kHz (shown) for four decades. Every few months it is interrupted by a voice relaying a coded message. But no one knows the exact purpose of the station or the message. Some say it is a military station, or a counter-attack measure for nuclear war

The Buzzer is a shortwave radio station of unknown origin.

Although its noise has changed slightly over the preceding 40 years, it has always involved some form of regular buzzing, interrupted by a voice on rare occasions seemingly reading out a message.

Today, 25 times every minute, it spends less than a second buzzing, pauses, then buzzes again – endlessly.

The noise rings out on a frequency of 4625 kHz, which anyone is able to listen in on, including online at one of several live streams.

For years the transmission seemed to originate from the town of Povarovo near Moscow but, in September 2010, the location changed. Now, it is believed to be in Western Russia.

According to the website Numbers Station, the Buzzer ‘works as a communications center within the Western Military District that sends messages to corresponding military units and their outposts.’

The Buzzer has spawned many websites and blogs like this, with amateur radio enthusiasts the world over becoming intrigued by its unsolved mystery.

Ryan Schaum, an engineering student from Pittsburgh who runs the Numbers Station website, said he first became interested in The Buzzer a little over a year ago.

‘I first saw what it was in a YouTube video and became fascinated with its mystery,’ he said.

But he admits he hasn’t attempted to crack the code yet, saying: ‘These messages cannot be decoded by anyone who they do not intend them to be for.

‘Without access to the codebook, there is no way to tell what they are sending.’

It’s believed that the station is a way of secretly communicating with spies without the message being tracked or intercepted.

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 102

© Egor Evseev
Student Egor Evseev visited the old site believed to house UVB-76 in the summer of 2012. He says the area consisted of abandoned and partially destroyed buildings, with ripped up cables suggesting it was once a transmission centre. The location of the station is believed to have moved in 2010

Despite anyone being able to listen to the station, depending on their radio coverage where they are in the world, the code used is a complete mystery.

There is no perceptible shift in the pattern of the buzzing, and no indication that a voiced message is imminent.

All the messages, though, are in the same format. They usually began with a collective callsign, which until 2010 was UVB-76 or UZB-76. Four years ago, though, a voice came on the air and changed the callsign, which is now MDZhB (with ‘Zh’ being a single letter in Russian).

Many, though, continue to refer to the station as UVB-76.

The station also once broadcast a time signal, with a one-minute long two-tune buzzer sounding at the top of every hour. This was disabled in June 2010, and no time signal has taken its place.

Interestingly, codes have also been repeated over months or years, for reasons unknown. On 26 January 2011 the operator read out ‘ILOTICIN 36 19 69 46.’ This was repeated almost four months later, on 11 May 2011.

The frequency of the voiced transmission is also not regular. Before 2010 it could take months or even years between messages.

Following 2010, though, messages were heard as often as every few weeks, sometimes occurring on or near significant events.

For example on 18 March 2014, less than 24 hours after Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, the voice read out: ‘T-E-R-R-A-K-O-T-A. Mikhail Dimitri Zhenya Boris [MDZhB, the callsign of the station]. Mikhail Dmitri Zhenya Boris. 81 26 T-E-R-R-A-K-O-T-A.’

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 103

© Egor Evseev
Although its noise has changed slightly over the preceding 40 years, it has always involved some form of regular buzzing, interrupted by a voice on rare occasions. Some believe the station is operated from a bunker somewhere (image from abandoned site), with an official relaying a message now and again

And in November of this year there were 28 separate voice messages broadcast over the network.

It was also around 2010 that the location of the transmitter was believed to be moved, from near the town of Povarovo, not too far from Moscow, to near Pskov, on the border with Estonia.

Russian student Egor Esveev, 20, who originally comes from Moscow but now studies in Ottawa, told MailOnline how he explored what he believes was the previous site near Pskov.

‘Like any abandoned building or area it was very creepy,’ he said.

‘Strange people and very strange scenery.’

‘There was a man on a bike that came from the road that lead to nowhere other than forest, he wasn’t carrying anything and headed in the direction of a field which I know has nothing at all for miles and miles.

‘The second creepy person was a mid-40s woman, she was with a stroller. At first I thought that she is a resident of the town out for a walk but as she walked past I saw that her stroller was empty.

‘Who goes to an abandoned military base with an empty stroller for a walk?’

He said the station was set up like a ‘typical Russian military base’ with two different perimeters.

Most of the buildings, some half underground, were destroyed or abandoned according to Mr Evseev, while cables in some areas had been visibly torn from the ground.

‘We found tons of rubbish documents,’ he added. ‘One that we found was interestingly enough about ceasing operations of the base.’

He thinks that the station may be used for some form of internal communication that, ‘while secret, isn’t sensitive enough for them to care about masking or keeping it secret.’

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 104

© Mail Online
In 2010 the location of the Buzzer was moved from near the town of Povarovo, not too far from Moscow, which was explored by Mr Evseev, to an unknown location Pskov, on the border with Estonia (shown). The estimated location of its new position is based on triangulation of the signal from radio enthusiasts

Others have speculated that this is a secretive Russian communications network used to communicate either with the military, or with spies around the world.

‘The buzzer is a legend. Many odd stories have been told about it,’ 60-year-old freelance radio monitor Ary Boender from Holland, who runs the website Numbers Oddities, told MailOnline.

‘It is a strange station according to may people, it buzzes but there were no other kind of transmissions.’

‘Some say that it is an old Soviet Dead Man’s Switch that triggers a nuclear attack on the west when it stops buzzing.

‘In the past it was said that it was a remote control station belonging to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Others say that it is a homing beacon for UFOs, or a mind control device with which the Russians can program your mind.’

But, according to Mr Boender: ‘It’s all nonsense of course.

‘When the buzzer stopped buzzing on Sept 1, 2010 many of the conspiracy fans thought that it was the end of the world. But no nuclear attack followed nor did the UFO’s land.

‘The truth is that they moved their transmitters from Povarovo to the site near St Petersburg.’

Mr Boender is adamant this was the result of a large reorganisation of the Russian forces, and is certain the radio station is of military origin.

He added that other stations are thought to be run by other militaries around the world, including in the US and China.

These types of transmissions are beneficial because they can be used in place of a satellite system for long-distance communication if necessary.

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 105

© Numbers station
Mr Schaum supplied MailOnline with a logbook of messages written down, apparently taken from the old site in Povarovo. He explained this showed ‘their daily work schedule and samples on how to write the actual logbook. It’s interesting to look at, but it’s in Russian and we haven’t gotten around to translating it’

There is some disagreement on the source of the buzzing, though – whether it is a physical buzzer placed next to a microphone or an electronic signal.

It is known that the voice that speaks on the radio is live, leading some to believe the actual buzzer is located in a basement somewhere, with a microphone nearby.

This is known because occasionally the operator must correct themselves, saying the word ‘sboj’ (‘error’ in Russian), before continuing.

In addition, on extremely rare occasions voices have been heard talking in the background of the buzzer.

On 3 November 2001, for example, a microphone was mistakenly left open and, translated from Russian to English, listeners heard: ‘I am 143. Not receiving the generator (oscillator),’ followed by: ‘That stuff comes from hardware room.’

Mr Boender, though, thinks the buzzing noise is not a device next to a microphone, but rather an ‘electronically generated noise fed directly into the transmitter’.

Mr Schaum however, disagrees.

‘The buzzing noise is believed to be fed through a live microphone,’ he said.

‘Some evidence that the buzzing sound is fed through a live mic is that voices, footsteps, and so on have been heard there.’

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 106

© Egor Evseev
Mr Evseev said he found the abandoned location very eerie. ‘Like any abandoned building or area it was very creepy,’ he said.’Strange people and very strange scenery. There was a man on a bike that came from the road that lead to nowhere other than forest, he wasn’t carrying anything and headed in the direction of a field’

Whatever its method of producing a sound, its purpose also remains a mystery.

‘[The] Buzzer, being strong in Europe and triangulation results showing it near the Estonian border would suggest it to be serving the Western Military District,’ speculates priyom.org.

‘It is worth noting that all messages are sent in AM-compatible modulation meaning that even a very simple receiver is suitable for the reception.

‘For the same reason messages are sent in voice, allowing unskilled operators to successfully handle radio traffic.’

However, in April 2008 a report from the Borok Geophysical Observatory suggested they had used the exact same frequency as the Buzzer – 4625 kHz – to perform ionospheric research.

They performed Doppler measurements, sending a carrier wave on that frequency to see how it travelled through Earth’s ionosphere.

In their paper they wrote: ‘High-frequency Doppler method for ionosphere researches is based on observation of frequency variations of the radio wave reflected from ionosphere inhomogeneities, changing in time and in space.’

Doing this can detect changes in the ionosphere from the sun, as well as atmospheric and seismic events from natural and artificial sources.

Shortwave transmissions like this allow the signal to be spread over great distance by reflecting off the ionosphere.

It’s unclear why they would have used this particular transmission for their experiment – or who granted them permission to do so – but regardless it seems this event may have been an anomaly in the history of the Buzzer.

The mystery of UVB-76: Radio station has 'buzzed' every second since the 1970s - but no one knows why 107

© Egor Evseev
One of the more unlikely theories about the station is that it is a ‘Dead Man’s Switch’ system. In the case of a nuclear attack against Russia, UVB-76 would launch an automated counter-strike. Most experts, though, think it is a lesser military station. Pictured is another of the abandoned buildings explored by Mr Evseev

But despite all the theories and assurances, one thing remains a mystery: no one knows what the messages are saying or how to break the code.

So while theories might swirl about its origin, location and history, its true purpose remains confusing.

Whether this is really a Russian military station to communicate with a global network of spies, a scientific research station or simply a hoax may never be solved.

But what is known is that for four decades someone, somewhere, has approached a microphone and uttered a series of numbers and letters.

Perhaps they were sending a message to someone. One that always ended: ‘U-V-B-7-6.’

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Mysteries

A “mysterious explosion” in Sasovo in 1991 from the newly declassified CIA documents on UFO reports

A "mysterious explosion" in Sasovo in 1991 from the newly declassified CIA documents on UFO reports 120

Recently, 700 classified CIA documents were published simultaneously, which describe cases of observation of strange objects in the sky only observation (!). In them, among other things, they write about a strange case with a UFO in Russia that seems to be related to the explosion in Beirut a few months ago, and they allegedly said that the explosion was caused by large amounts of ammonia nitrate, ie fertilizers stored in port while nowhere in history has such an explosion been allegedly caused by fertilizers.

Black Vault site owner John Greenwald Jr. He said it took a lot of effort to persuade the CIA to declassify the UFO documents by sending thousands of requests to the agency under the Freedom of Information Act.

A case in Russia mentioned in these documents is related to the mysterious explosion in Sasovo, Russia in 1991. The strange explosion occurred in this city at night, shaking even large buildings.

The small town of Sasovo is located about 300 kilometers southeast of Moscow. At 1.34 a.m. on April 12, 1991, half a mile from the southwestern outskirts of the city, a huge explosion was heard. Many government buildings and private homes were blown up by the shockwave, windows were shattered and fragments were thrown as far as thirty kilometers away, reaching the town of Chuykovo.

At the site of the explosion, a huge crater was created with a diameter of about 28 meters and a depth of 3 to 4 meters. In the middle of the crater there was a large bulge of soil 3.5 meters in diameter. Huge chunks of icy soil were scattered around the crater up to two hundred meters away. 

The magnitude of the explosion was so strong that the frozen pieces were thrown to a huge height in the air, and fell and were nailed deep into the ground. According to experts who carefully examined the incident, they pointed out that 25 tons of explosives would be needed to create this effect.

Military experts, such as Colonel Prodan and fire chief Matveyev, with extensive experience in similar incidents, said that in their view, the explosion in Sasovo was unusual. They used it as an argument for this view, that there was a total absence of chemicals that are always found after an ordinary explosion. Also the earthen lump in the middle of the crater is not something that is found in such cases. Even the way the shockwave propagated did not match a “standard” explosion.

The newspaper Komsomolskaia Pravda, proceeded to cite some testimonies about the incident but without commenting and drawing conclusions. From the testimonies it emerged:

  • Immediately after the explosion, a sound was heard like that of a fighter plane flying away from the area, but without noticing it.
  • An eyewitness said two explosions were actually heard, followed by a flash of light, followed by the sound of a jet fighter. And he claimed that he did not see any aircraft.
  • Another witness said that just above the power lines, 100 meters from the crater, a bluish, arc-like glow was visible.

The Russian government attributed the explosion to a large amount of ammonia nitrate in a report, military experts categorically ruled out this version.

The official version spoke of an accidental explosion of ammonium nitrate fertilizers, but many people insisted that before the explosion, they saw a strange “moving fireball” in the sky and were sure it was a UFO.

It’s a similar story to the explosion in Beirut: The FBI did not officially determine the cause – It is estimated that it was caused by an accident .. Two US government sources, who have learned about the official report and analysis of the circumstances of the explosion, said that the US services are also very convinced that the explosion caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in a port building for years, was due to an accident.

Another incident of declassified records is a story that took place in January 1985, when the crew of a passenger plane en route from Rostov to Tallinn saw a strange object in the sky. The pilot who first spotted him at the beginning looked like an unusual star.

But suddenly a thin ray of light came out of this “star” and fell perpendicular to the ground, the ray of light splitting in two. All four people in the cockpit watched in surprise as two cones of light from the object fell on a white spot in the sky. While one pilot was wondering if he would report what they see in the control tower, at the risk of being considered insane. Suddenly, the white spot turned into a huge green cloud and then the pilot was forced to deviate from the course of the plane, because this object began to approach the plane at high speed at an angle.

After that, the crew contacted the air traffic controller at the nearest airport, it was Minsk Airport, and told them that they did not see anything unusual on their radars. However, the green cloud, meanwhile, began to follow the plane, “as if it were attached to it.” From inside the cloud, small lights shone, “like the lights of a Christmas tree.” 

The green cloud flew around the plane and one pilot shouted “Look, he’s imitating us!” as the “cloud” took the shape of a wingless plane. The cloud began to shine with yellow and green light. When the passengers of the plane were worried, the pilot told them that it was North Sela. It is reported that this cloud was seen by a pilot of another Tu-134 plane that flew in the same area,

In November 1955, one of the passengers on a train suddenly announced that he had seen a UFO in the sky. When he told the other passengers the lights went out and then they could see a “shadow” on the horizon in the sky. The shape of the object was not clear in the dark sky, but it looked like a half balloon with a small canopy at the top. 

The object was slowly rising vertically from the ground. At the top of its dome, a bright white light could be seen, and a pinkish-white glow along the perimeter of the “sphere”. The object was “like a small plane” in size and was about 3 km from the train. Suddenly, the passengers saw that the UFO stopped going up and suddenly moved in their direction, flying at high speed over the train and disappeared.

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Mysteries

The mystery of the Nazca geoglyphs: they can be a spaceship landing pad or a water delivery complex

The mystery of the Nazca geoglyphs: they can be a spaceship landing pad or a water delivery complex 121

The Nazca Lines are mysterious blueprints and signs that are found in the desert in southern Peru. They are about two thousand years old. Symbols in the form of signs, some of which resemble animal figures, have no analogues in the world. Scientists have been trying for years to figure out what meanings they have. It looks like a key has been found to the secret.

For many years, researchers have adhered to two versions. The Nazca Lines can represent either an alien spacecraft landing pad or a complex system of irrigation canals. Both versions one and the second have their advantages, but there was more evidence in favor of the irrigation system.

They were first discovered in 1940 by UFO hunters. From a bird’s eye view, the beauty of complex and simple patterns is mesmerizing. They traverse the barren desert south of Lima.

The mystery of the Nazca geoglyphs: they can be a spaceship landing pad or a water delivery complex 122

Ufologists believe that these geoglyphs serve as a kind of reference point for aliens. Archaeologists claim that the lines were created by the pre-Columbian civilization but their exact purpose is not clear. A group of engineers led by Carlos Hermida from Spain came to the conclusion that there is nothing mysterious about the lines. The Nazca Lines are nothing more than a complex system of irrigation canals.

Hermida believes that the mystery of the drawings was solved with the help of numerous convincing evidence. These lines, in his opinion, were created using a pre-Inca technique known as water harvesting.

The satellites have created a mosaic of nearly 4,000 photographs that can be used for detailed analysis of geoglyphs. The mosaic has 75 rows and 50 columns of images. In total, it covers an area of ​​about 2500 square kilometers in the desert. Engineers are confident that this complex system served for irrigation – water through canals filled dry areas to the desired moisture level.

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Mysteries

There are many mysteries in the Sahara Desert but scientific and archaeological expeditions are prohibited

There are many mysteries in the Sahara Desert but scientific and archaeological expeditions are prohibited 123

Throughout the history of this African desert, tens of thousands of people have gone missing in its vicinity, and this is only according to official data. The sand is much more destructive than the ill-fated Bermuda Triangle. This is understandable, five thousand kilometers covered with sand.

Scientists know for certain that millions of years ago there were rivers, lakes, flowering gardens and, most likely, even the ocean in the desert, since numerous whale fossils were found in the sands.

There are many mysteries in the Sahara Desert but scientific and archaeological expeditions are prohibited 124

The ruins of cities, underground canals, through which water once flowed, were discovered. In one of the Sahara caves, ancient drawings and hieroglyphs were found, depicting humanoid creatures, around which there was greenery and water. There are a lot of mountains in the desert, where people have never been.

Perhaps the most mysterious place in the Sahara is rocky terrain with melted earth and traces of radiation. At this place, according to scientists, an explosion of incredible power thundered. There is a theory that all this is due to the fall of a meteorite.

This is confirmed by the chemical elements that scientists find in glass and iron. These elements are of unearthly origin, and most likely came to us with a meteorite. Moreover, the crater itself is hidden somewhere under the sands, and has not yet been found.

There are many mysteries in the Sahara Desert but scientific and archaeological expeditions are prohibited 125

If you look at the desert from space, then the first thing that can be seen is the rings, called the eyes of the Sahara, with a diameter of more than fifty kilometers. There are rocky rocks near the rings that are not found anywhere else on Earth. The stones themselves are most likely solidified lava.

But all these secrets and riddles are not studied in detail, since archaeological and scientific expeditions are officially prohibited on the territory of the Sahara, due to safety. On the territory of the desert, armed conflicts constantly occur, which are a great risk for scientists. This is what official sources say.

There are many mysteries in the Sahara Desert but scientific and archaeological expeditions are prohibited 126

The desert can be easily studied from space, by analogy with, for example, Mars, where in the infrared range, with the help of orbiting satellites and telescopes, you can recognize artifacts, as well as make new discoveries. Unfortunately, this does not happen.

The Sahara Desert, along with the oceans of the Earth, remains the least studied.

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