Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #024 10/01/2001

RUSSIAN SIGINT SITE - I have frequently checked the Russian AGENTURA.RU web site for additional information updating the item published by Izvestia newspaper regarding closure of the huge Russian SIGINT facility located at Lourdes, Cuba. Thus far I have not seen any further reports on this matter.

SPANISH ANIMAL NAMES ON UNIDENTIFIED NETWORK - In his article, "International ALE Networks" in the February 2001 Monitoring Times, Mike Chace mentioned a network which used Spanish animal names. Mike thought the communications were probably those of a Central or South American Army operation. I recently again read the article and recalled there was a link in the early/mid 1980s that utilized some animal names in Spanish plus a few others as addressee indicators. This link was suspected to be handling traffic between the Cuban Ministry of Defense and the Cuban Military units in Angola. The animal names were Cobra, Coyote, and Jaguar. Also see were Sombra (shade) and Aguja (needle). Another interesting feature about this link was that it used the same mono alphabetic cipher system for the encipherment of message headings as that used by the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MINREX) for message headings on traffic between Cuba and overseas Cuban Diplomatic installations.

FAPSI AMERICAS STATIONS - I continued to check this activity during September and observed many long messages being passed. Cuba is still using 16216 kHz and the field station is on 13519 kHz for the 1445 UTC schedule.

SEPTEMBER LOGGINGS In kHz order with comments and UTC date/time
  3581 W1AW on auto CW giving sunspot numbers for period of September 13 through 19. 26/0036
  4215 Very weird signal. A pulsing tone sent at the rate of 1 pulse every second. 26/1828
  6707 Raspy sounding signal. (Link II). 28/1424
  6714 A wobbly tone, varying in pitch and slowly creeping up the band. Stopped at 6759 kHz and slowly creeps back down the band. 28/1430
12999 OM/unid language acting as control on large net. Calls one station after another, very short contact with most of the out stations. Uses CAMBIO at end of each transmission but the chatter is definitely not Spanish and I do not believe it was Portuguese. 27/2321
13525 Slow CW, repeating 852 852 852 1 than 514 95 514 95 sent fast and into 5F groups also sent at fast rate. Cuts the zero as T. 26/1951
17239 CQ DE PKX (Jakarta, Indonesia) w/call tape. Signal has slight fade. 10/1504
17362 WLO (Mobile, AL) in USB, Synthesized male voice. Giving data on developing hurricane plus other weather information. 10/1507
End of Report

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2001 Don Schimmel.