I typically don’t believe in Conspiracy theories. On one level, I subscribe to the precepts of science and things that are strange and mysterious can be chalked up to the science that has not been discovered yet. I also believe in rhetoric, logic and philosophy. Particularly the epistemological justification known as ‘Occam’s Razor’ that states that the simplest and most direct explanation is usually the correct one. I laugh at those that on one hand would condemn the Government as ham-handed and ineffectual but then in the next breath hyperventilate about Black Helicopters coming to take your guns and put your children under Sharia law. The biggest conspiracy theory out there is that there IS NO CONSPIRACY!
That being said, I love a good conspiracy story, particularly a well done one in literature and the movies. Perhaps it the notion of mysterious forces that are one step removed from the rest of us, the notion that something is in plain sight but just out of reach. One thing that I am eternally grateful for is my sense of imagination. Sometimes it is fun to let your mind wander to the strange next level possibilities that could exist. Rational minds would dismiss that flight of fancy and rightly so (once again, I don’t believe in the Black Helicopters hovering over my house on ‘whisper mode’) but it is fun to indulge as long as no one gets hurt or takes it seriously.
Last night, I was watching an episode of ‘Fringe’ from Season 3 and one of the key parts of the story was something called ‘Number Stations’. After the show was over, I looked up online and found out that ‘Number Stations’ are real and that they are actually one of the mysteries of the world that no one really knew what they were for several decades. Numbers Stations typically broadcast on short-wave radio frequencies and the typical broadcast usually consists of an initial signature, something that distinguishes it from other broadcasts like the first several bars of a song or series of unique tones. This will usually go on for a few moments then followed by a long string of numbers that are read out over the broadcast and repeated several times. These broadcasts happen at set times and can be picked up by amateur short wave radio operators.
Numbers Stations have been around since World War 1 in one form or another though they seemed to have peaked during the Cold War. They still exist today though the number of Stations is only a third of what existed during the Cold War. One of the most notorious Number Stations was one called the ‘Lincolnshire Poacher’, a station that was named after the identification signal that it sent out (the first two bars of the Welsch folk-song ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ that was repeated over and over again for a sixty seconds followed by the string of numbers – the attached video is a recording of one of the broadcasts). Numbers Stations were/are notorious amongst amateur radio operators. There has been a growing body of evidence over the last couple of decades that Numbers Stations are really the work of governments trying to communicate with spies though no one has ever stepped forward to claim it.
The explanation does make sense though when you hear it and given Occam’s Razor, it is probably true. Still, allow me to indulge my imagination for a moment and say that the first time I listened to the Lincolnshire Poacher on my computer was in the middle of the night with the lights out and it was a spooky experience. I let my imagination run wild as all of us tended to our families and slept in our beds, there was a next level event occurring just out of eye-sight. One that we could see and hear but not know what was being said. It is one of those things that were I less of a natural skeptic, I might be given to a little bit of paranoia. Anyrate, this whole thing is really interesting and great fodder for a nice trip for the imagination. Now pardon me as I go outside to wait for the Black Helicopters.