Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #023 09/01/2001

RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY - If you are ever in the vicinity of Green Bank, WV be sure to stop by and take the tour of the installation. The site has the biggest steerable radio telescope in the world. The telescope is named after Senator Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia. This huge telescope weighs 16-million pounds, is 485 feet tall, and has a pointing accuracy of one arcsecond. There are other, smaller, telescopes also at the site. Due to the mountains around the valley location of the telescopes, interference to reception is minimal.

FAPSI AMERICAS STATIONS - During the month, the schedules held by the Cuba relay station and the field station were monitored frequently. There were many instances of heavy traffic flo0w. If, as commonly believed, the field station is located in Managua, Nicaragua, perhaps a recent AP item provides a clue for the substantial traffic exchanged between the two locations. The news report indicated that Daniel Ortega was gooing to again run for the office of President of Nicaragua. When he formerly held that position, he permitted free elections in 1990, apparently absolutely certain he would win the election. However, Violeta Chamorro won. Ortega ran twice more after 1990 but was defeated both times. Ortega still maintains his Marxist-Lennist philosophy so it will be interesting to see if he receives financial or other support from Russia and/or Cuba.

AGENTURA.RU - A visit to this Russian web page revealed that Izvestia newspaper had reportedly published information indicating that the Lourdes, Cuba SIGINT facility is to be shut down by December 2001. The item was dated 15 August so I have frequently checked to see if there was any additional information on the web site regarding this subject. To date there have been no other details other than a statement that the Lourdes information was being checked. Web visitors were invited to look up the dossier about Soviet and Russian military bases abroad. Unfortunately that text was in Russian but there were two satellite photos included that were evidently taken from the Federation of American Scientists web site. The original source of the photos was probably the U.S. Military. One photo showed a missile site and the other showed Soviet and East German Military equipment located at Diriamba, Nicaragua in 1981. All items in the photos were labeled in English.

AUGUST LOGGINGS In kHz order with comments and UTC date/time
6448 Encrypted RTTY, 73/855 at 18/1250
6495 Encrypted RTTY, 75/853 at 31/1253
6705 Link II Signal at 21/1255
7591 Encrypted RTTY, 70/856 at 30/1258
10566 Cuban cut numbers in auto CW at 31/1305
10943 CFH (Canadian Forces Halifax) in RTTY, 75/870 w/ZKR F/3287 ?161 6236 8312 12380 16552 at 28/1310.
12194 U/I stn in auto CW, fast, w/5F grps. All figs sent full except zero which cut as T. At end of msg sent BT BT 5T6 5T6 (probably group count of 506) 132 132 then 293 sent 25 times 272 272 and into text of next msg.
He repeats each group twice. Dropped at 31/1330. Rechecked at 31/1343 and he still going. Sent BT twice followed by 651 651 272 272 and five Ts (cut zeros). He off at 31/1400. Note: The ending with 5 zeros seems to confirm this activity is Russian.
13507 RTTY, 75/834, Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada w/ice warning bulletin at 18/1459.
End of Report

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2001 Don Schimmel.