Category Archives: Clandestine

Lord Haw-Haw and More

William Joyce lies in an ambulance under armed...

William Joyce lies in an ambulance under armed guard before being taken from British 2nd Army Headquarters to hospital. He had been shot in the thigh at the time of his arrest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The BBC has released archive footage from World War II featuring the infamous Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) and more. Check the links on the right hand side of this page. Thanks to Paul Rawdon via DX Dialog for finding this gem!

Radio Marti To Become Independent

martiThe White House has proposed turning Radio Marti, the U.S. government-controlled broadcaster created in part to undermine communist rule in Cuba, into a separate entity. This, as Washington seeks as new direction in its dealings with Havana.

Under the plan, the Miami based broadcaster, which is part of the Broadcasting
Board of Governors would become a separate entity along with unspecified parts
of Voice of America’s Spanish-language service. In essence, Radio Marti would
cease to be part of the U.S. government and would turn into a “grantee”
receiving federal funding. The proposal does not specify how it would be
structured beyond that it would a private, nonprofit organization.

Radio Free Sarawak Signs Off

free_sarawakJust like the Democratic Voice of Burma, another clandestine broadcaster has chosen to promote its ideals via methods other than SW. More on this from the Asia RadioToday website.

Spy Station Broadcasting Continues

randomnumbersEven though the Cold War is long over, remnants remain, amongst them those intriguing coded broadcasts. Here is an article from Gizmodo that assesses current broadcasts and how you can listen to them right now on the Lifehacker website.

Democratic Voice of Burma Leaving SW

dvb-logoThe DVB announced on 23rd October that they would be moving their broadcasts to the internet. The anti-Burma/Myanmar regime station has been on air since 1992. More details on their website.

Donors Dump Shortwave Radio Africa

It seems that money, rather than a shift in audience or realignment of politicial ideals is responsible for the demise of Shortwave Radio Africa. This post on Radio Voice of the People’s website, also indicates the cessation of all forms of broadcast, internet included.

Clandestine Radio In The 1970s


Martin Hadlow

While accessing some declassified US Government documents in the archives, I came across an interesting report from March, 1971. Headed Soviet and East European Clandestine Broadcasting, the report noted that “The USSR and East European Communist countries today are engaged in extensive clandestine broadcasting operations to supplement the efforts of their official acknowledged international broadcasting networks”.

The report listed nine stations, which broadcast a total of 232.25 hours a week. No doubt many of the stations are familiar to long-time DXers. Personally, I never heard any of the nine listed by the US authorities in their classified report. However, reading the list, and the raison d’etre of each station, is like stepping back in time to an era when the Cold War was at its height.

Soviet Jammers From Latvia

jammertxNot all of the Soviet jamming originated from Russia, their replublics also hosted jammers, and what’s more some were made in the USA. The Latvian History blog carries this interesting story. They also make the comment that the jammers blocked transmissions from Soviet-friendly states as well. From the same site, there are interesting blogs on Nazi radio propaganda during WW2 and Latvian-made valve radios.

Remember The Cold War Jammers?

jammersThese QRM-generators were used mostly by Eastern Bloc countries to jam shortwave transmissions from the West. They used all manner of continuous tones and raucous audio, anything to make the desired signal unintelligible.

The Radio Jamming website has some excellent material backgrounding their existence along with sound clips so you can hear just how pervasive their cacophony was. The website is the work of Rimantas Pleikys, not only a shortwave listener but also the former minister of communications and informatics and  past member of the Lithuanian parliament!

Thanks to Paul Rawdon for letting us know that the DVD Empire of Noise mentioned on the home page is on YouTube

SW Radio Africa To Leave SW


Thanks to Alokesh Gupta in India, Clandestine broadcaster SW Radio Africa is leaving shortwave on July 18th and shifting its radio channel to a satellite service and other unmentioned media. More on their website.

Even More On Those Numbers Stations


There is a continuing fascination among radio listeners about “numbers stations”. The “War Is Boring” blog carries an article on two in particular, “The Buzzer” and “Yosemite Sam”, who join the pantheon of mysterious broadcasters alongside “The Lincolnshire Poacher” and “Cherry Ripe”.


Remember “The Woodpecker”?

The "Russian Woodpecker."

The “Russian Woodpecker.” (Photo credit: Matt. Create.)

No, not the cute feathered woodpecker, but the Russian Over the Horizon Radar which sent it’s incessant and loud rat-a-tat-tat over the shortwave bands.

Thanks to Paul Rawdon reporting on DX Dialog, here are some excellent photos of a typical installation.

Radio Aspidistra, British WW2 Black Op Station

apidistraThanks to Paul Rawdon for posting the following to the DX Dialog user-group:

A drama/documentary about the once famed, but now largely forgotten ‘Radio Aspidistra’. The brainchild of The Daily Express columnist, Sefton Delmar, Radio Aspidistra – under its many guises as ‘The Soldiers Radio Calais’, and ‘Radio Atlantic’ etc.; in German language for its intended German audience, became a vital part of Britain’s wartime ‘Black Operations’ broadcasts in WW2.

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“Cherry Ripe” – The Numbers Station


From the Wireless Institute of Australia News bulletin 27/12/13: In our world of Radio Communications over the years maybe the Weirdest you may have come across are what are known as “The Numbers Stations.”

Many have heard of the Cuban numbers being read by a female, but here in VK Cherry Ripe was the nickname of a mysterious, powerful shortwave numbers station that used several bars from the English folk song “Cherry Ripe” as an interval signal. The station was believed to be operated by the British Secret Intelligence Service and to have emanated from Australia.

Radio Free Sarawak Back On Shortwave



Ivo Ivanov reports via the SW DX Bulgaria website that Radio Free Sarawak has reactivated on SW. Ivo notes “Radio Free Sarawak continues to broadcast on 15420 after 1230, probably until 1300”.

Their mandate seems to be to support land-owners disenfranchised by large companies and government misinformation: “If you have a problem in your village or if someone is taking your land, logging, planting or polluting your area let your voice be heard and tell the world about it through Radio Free Sarawak!”. For more info visit their website.

Related article:

New Clandestine Station On Air

There is a new clandestine targeting Ethiopia on the bands, DimTsachin Yisema. Their political motivation is to support Ethiopian Muslims. An item on the ECADF Forum explains something of political situation regarding Muslims in Ethiopia.

You can hear and announcement in Amharic with identification and frequencies on this audio page.

Here is their sked via SW DX Bulgaria.