Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


Up Front





Glenn Hauser's SW/DX Report

Don Schimmel's Radio Intrigue

Joe Carr's Tech Notes

Radio Basics

Frequency vs. Wavelength

Modes and Modulation

Call Sign Prefixes

UTC/GMT Conversion

Radio Terms

Shortwave Radio

Introduction to Shortwave Listening

Tuning 150 kHz to 30 MHz

Selecting a Shortwave Radio

Reporting and QSLs

Receiver Reference

Modern Shortwave Receiver Survey

Favorite Tube-Type Shortwave Receivers

Scanner Monitoring

Introducing the "Action Bands"

The World Above 30 MHz

Selecting a Scanner

National Scanner Frequency Guide

Other Radio Hobbies

Ham Radio

AM Band DXing

Longwave DXing

Clandestine Radio

Pirate Radio

Numbers Stations


Radio Links

Shortwave Listening

Radio Clubs

International Broadcasters

Scanner Listening

Ham Radio

Web-Controlled Radios


Universal Radio

Top of Page

Report #001 06/27/99

The U.S. Coast Guard Operations Systems Center, located near Martinsburg, WV, was expanded with the recent addition of a new 75,000 square-foot building. Among the 33 database systems now in use are the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) and data used in connection with law enforcement on the high seas ionclulding anti-drug operations and vessel inspections. The OSC is manned by about 52 U.S. Government employees plus approximately 212 contractor personnel. If you want to find a vessel name when you have the callsign, do the following:
Go to http://gold.itu.ch/MARS/ and click on " Ship Station Particulars."
This gives you a screen "Search for a Ship Station." The screen shows blocks for Ship Name, Callsign, Submit Query, and Clear Query. The cursor will be ion the Ship Name block. Click on the Clear Query block and then place the cursor at the beginning of the Callsign block and type in the callsign. Click on Submit Query and the name of the ship will appear on the screen. The procedure can be used in the reverse fashion if the name of the ship is known and the callsign is desired.

I recently finished reading STASI - The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police. Author - John O. Koehler, ISBN 0-8133-3409-8. I found the information concerning East German secret agents and the communications directed to these iondividuals to be especially fascinating. The SOUD organization is mentioned several times in the book. This acronym stood for "System of Joint Acquisition of Enemy Data." Stasi engineers designed the system using Western technology which had been obtained illegally. However, the Soviets saw to it that the main computer for the system was located in Moscow. Information gathered throughout the world by Eastern Bloc Security and Intelligence Services was stored in the Moscow computer. Stasi contributed much of the data but apparently there was not a great deal of feedback from the KGB. However, Stasi was able to check new arrivals at the U.S. Embassy through the KGB SOUD data in an effort to pinpoint U.S. Intelligence Personnel. In addition to the KGB-Stasi cooperation ion Europe, Stasi engineers built and with the KGB, jointly operated the huge electronic intercept installation located in Cuba.
Some photos in the book showed items used as hiding places for the miniature one-time cipher pads used by the East German agents. These were a harmonica, a walnut shell, and a coffee can.
Gunter Guillaume was a very productive Stasi agent. He had a listening schedule for Stasi messages every Wednesday. The Federal Border Police did intercept and broke some messages sent by Stasi on 6.5 MHz but the Intelligence Analysts were unable to identify Agent 37, the addressee of the messages. Gunter's wife was also involved in spy work supplying Gunter with documents for photographing which she had stolen from the government office where she was employed. Sometimes these photos were made into microdots and hidden under stamps on letters destined to East Berlin cover addressees.
Gunter had been given a burst type transmitter. With this equipment he could send a message in less than a second, making it a very secure method of transmission. Gunter only used this mode to tell his control officer where dead letter drops were located. He used the equipment in his car at different sites close to Bonn, the West German capital.
Gunter worked his way upward in the Social Democratic party and eventually was appointed as one of the 3 personal assistants to West German Chancellor Brandt.
The Federal Counterespionage Agency went through the decrypted Stasi messages again and were able to conclude that Gunter was a probable Stasi agent. However, it was not until April of 1974 that he and his wife were finally arrested.
Another spy, a member of the Federal Counterspy organization, Klaus Kuron, offered his services to Stasi. Info he collected was encoded on his laptop computer and then recorded on a mini-tape recorder. Klaus would choose a phone booth, dial a special East Berlin telephone number and turn on the tape. The recorded message was transmitted over the phone line in a very few seconds.
In a rare move, East German Major Eberhard Luttich was sent to the U.S. where he would compete with the KGB and the GRU. Under deep cover, Luttich worked for a West German company which shipped household effects of diplomats and military personnel between the U.S. and Europe. Intelligence tasks were sent to Lattich via SW radio directly from the DDR and also from a transmitter in Cuba.
Some RADIO INTRIGUE readers may recall having heard the 31 May 1990 voice broadcast when the East German YL operator sent " Wittenberg Wittenberg Wittenberg." This signal instructed several hundred Stasi agents on special assignments in West Germany to immediately return to East Germany. During the previous week, East German Military Intelligence had transmitted return orders via radio to its agents. East and West Germany were merged 3 October 1990. "
Returning to the so-called SOUD communications - one thing that I wonder about is has it ever been confirmed that the SOUD organization was definitely related to the alleged SOUD communications networks???

June loggings in frequency order (kHz) with comments and UTC time.
6724.9 RTTY 100/870, encrypted, sends Js between msgs. 1806.
7851.6 Auto Morse cut nbrs. Cuban. 1014.
8135 Auto Morse cut nbrs, Cuban. 1021.
8569 Rapid bubbly sounding signal. Also hrd on 9945 and numerous other freqs. Signal has rhythm like that of very high speed Morse Vs. 1028.
12092 Auto Morse cut nbrs, Cuban. 1316.
13383.8 Hand sent Morse, good fist. 5L grps, regular characters plus cyrillic characters. Echo to signal. 1226.
13407 Piccolo RTTY (?) 1229.
13528.6 Coded wx, RTTY 74/850. 1824.
13579 Piccolo (?). 1322.

Click here for index of other editions of Radio Intrigue

1999 Don Schimmel.