Other Radio Hobbies
Report #003 09/01/99UNDERGROUND FREQUENCY GUIDE, Third Edition
After submitting the manuscript for my book to the publisher, several mistakes were discovered but unfortunately it was not possible to make corrections prior to the printing of the book. Also, some material has been updated based on more recent monitoring. The following is intended to present these details which have been gathered since the early 90's concentrated coverage of the described target.
Page 16: "Null Messages." An expansion of this item is important. According to the book "Widows", Soviet agents in the U.S. were serviced via HF CW from
a transmission site in Cuba. "Widows" contained a description of the code used for Ralph Sigler, a double agent run by U.S. Army Intelligence.
The use of three T's or five T's (which served as cut zeros) has long been observed on Russian agent Morse code broadcasts and suspected by monitors of signifying "no message on this broadcast". The entry for Zero in the above brief code would seem to confirm that meaning.
Page 21: The correct placename for the former ASA monitoring station mentioned several times is Vint Hill Farms.
Page 37: The callup format for the Ruyssian RTTY network when traffic is upcoming is as follows:
Page 75/76: I suspected I was mistaken in saying that one of the links was between the Cuban relay and the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. A propagation study by my friend Jacques D'Avignon, showed that the U.S. station could very possibly be in the New York City area. This led to the belief that it was the Russian Legation at the United Nations. However, in recent years a theory has been circulating that the link is between Cuba and Managua, Nicaragua. I have not seen any supporting data for that conclusion.
EARLY HISTORY OF SUSPECTED RUSSIAN MFA NETWORK
A few monitors have reported they heard this activity in the early 1970's. I also heard some scattered transmissions prior to 1980 but it was not until later that I realized the relationship with my later monitoring.
During the period of roughly 1985-1987 seven callsigns were copied that were addresses for cipher traffic in an unidentified communications network. ROL, BPA, SPK, WNY, and PSN received automatic Morse code broadcasts however YBU and JMS received RTTY broadcasts. Because RTTY permits large volumes of traffic to be passed quite rapidly, this would certainly seem to be in line with the requirements of a large and active addressee.
I believed if I was correct and the network belonged to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then the addressees were Russian(Soviet at that time) Embassies and Consulates in the Western Hemisphere.
LATER COVERAGE OF SUSPECTED RUSSIAN MFA NETWORK
Here is the list of the official installations:
Operator instructions were called TIKAS and varied from notices of changes in schedules, frequencies and holiday observances. This latter was designated by special Q signal QSF. My guess was that QSF4 meant no sked; QSF2 meant normal sked; and QSF3 may perhaps mean to listen at an hour other than the usual sked time.
Over the years there have been numerous references iondicating a GRU communications site at Guineo, Cuba which is approximately 15 miles southwest of Havana. This is believed to be the relay transmitter location for the MFA traffic destidsned to indicated addressee Embassies and Consulates as well as the site for the broadcasts of Soviet agent messages.
RECENT COVERAGE OF SUSPECTED RUSSIAN MFA NETWORK
Cipher - A E I O P R T U W Z
As an example UWIAP would break to 27189 which meant 27 was the date and 189 was 3 less than the preamble group count of 192. I have not figured out the significance of this group in relation to the 5th group of the heading which contains the group count plus one. I suspect the 3rd group of the heading may be counted as a textual group if it does have a crypto relationship. It would make sense for that group to be included in the actual total group count.
Some loggings of these communications were reported during the early 1970's but SOUD did not really get underway until the late 70's so there is doubt that the traffic was actually SOUD. Also, ion late 19905 or early 1996, SOUD was reportedly out of lbusiness, however the radio traffic has continued to date!!
AUGUST LOGGINGS In frequency order (kHz) with comments and UTC time:
12194.6 (ion here) 5F grps each sent twice. Auto Morse, vy strong sig. Upon completion msg sent 485 170 293 (rptd many times) foll by 718 56 BT and into another msg. At end sentg SK SK I I I I I. 1311
14447 YL/EE w/987 987 987 count 1-0 ion AM at 2100. At 2110 ten dashes, count 147, and into text of 3d/2F grps.
14647.6 VVV DE 4XZ (prob Mossad) at 2059. Then ZK8A NR 831 TE WNC BT LK8G NR 631 HC WNC BT DA7M NR 731 AC GR 18 BT This xmsn is parallel w/18480 kHz. 2103
14930 Auto CW VVV VVV VVV 8BY 8BY 8BY 784/121/762/992/523 and rpts sequence. 2243
17416 U/i burst type sig, rptd about 30 secs later. Then hrd a weaker burst of shorter duration which may have been a response from another xmtr. 1720
18207 CLP4 DE CLP1 (Cuban Embassy Bissau, Guinea Bissau) from Havana (Cuban Ministry of Exterior Relations). CLP1 ion CW sending E's and V's foll by QSY
20410. Other end hrd on 20410 kHz and that stn sent msg at 1717.
18418.3 (in here) U/i stn ion FSK Morse sent QPP RY. Nil more hrd. 1703
19086.8 CLP7 (Cuban Embassy Brazzaville, Congo) DE CLP (Havana, MinRex). Xmtr has funny echo sound to it. CLP sent QSY 16320 and CLP7 was hrd there but vy weak. CLP then sent QSY 22010 and few secs later CLP went into RTTY 50/500 w/encrypted xmsn. 1828
For further information on numbers stations, mystery CW networks, embassy radio systems, and espionage communications we recommend . . .
©1999 Don Schimmel.