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Coming in from the Cold

Episode 37: Numbers Stations: Unacknowledged Transmission

When most of us think of radio stations we think of pop music and drive time DJs. But those with shortwaves radios can access a whole other world of broadcasts, including police scanners, satellite signals and the mysterious “numbers stations.” These stations occasionally broadcast a bizarre string of numbers before going silent.

To learn more about these “number stations,” what purpose they serve and how they were employed during the Cold War, Bill welcomes historian Māris Goldmanis and Dave Broyles, director of CNA’s Special Activities & Intelligence Program.


Māris Goldmanis is a historian, co-founder and editor of and an avid numbers stations researcher.

Dave Broyles is the director of CNA’s Special Activities & Intelligence Program. He specializes in cyber operations and special operations, as well as experimentation and innovation in the Department of Defense.

CNA Office of Communications

John Stimpson, Communications Associate