One of the more intriguing things about HF radio is the concept of numbers stations, which just pop up at certain times on certain frequencies and read a long string of numbers. The general belief is that they’re reading off data encrypted with a one-time pad, but the intended recipients are more unclear. People have located many of the transmitters and they’re often — but not always — military complexes. Rumors exist of some being associated with drug traffickers or others, not just government spies.
I keep getting a call from 240-787-1342. A couple of months ago it was sometimes several times a day. The first few times I picked up, and no one was ever there. The next 50 times or so, I’ve just ignored the call. In Googling it, a lot of people get this. A few report telemarketers, but most report that it’s juts silence. I just blocked the number.
But now I’m really intrigued. Who are they, and what do they want? With dirt-cheap VoIP providers, it’s entirely feasible to start an overseas telemarketing firm and brazenly ignore the Do Not Call list. It’s been done before. But this isn’t a telemarketer, unless it’s the world’s least-competent telemarketing firm. These are calls to lots of people, lots of times, but with no one ever picking up. It makes no financial sense for anyone to be doing this. So what’s going on? Is it grand ineptitude? Some nefarious plot I can’t figure out?