Friday, May 15, 2015

Full data QSL Card for Spy Transmission, including Callsign

A valid QSL from a spy numbers station is quite a rarity, and the only known spy numbers station ever known to verify was on the air in Prague, Czechoslovakia under the callsign OLX.  Over the years, many international radio monitors have heard this enigmatic station when it was broadcasting a series of numbers in groups of five, either in Morse Code or in speech. 
            It is understood that these numbers broadcasts utilize a once only numbers pad and that they are one way transmissions to spies in another country.  Similar radio transmissions have been noted from other shortwave stations located in several different countries in Europe and the Americas.
            It is believed that the numbers broadcasts from Prague emanated from the Ministry of Internal Affairs building in Prague, though the actual location of the shortwave transmitter itself is not known. The callsign OLX belongs to the Czech News Agency, so probably the spy broadcasts were transmitted from their shortwave station, perhaps somewhere on the edge of Prague.

            The QSL sheet from station OLX, as todays QSL of the Week, was addressed to Vassily and it shows a panorama picture of downtown Prague.  The QSL verifies a reception report dated December 7, 1995 when the station was heard on 9320 kHz in SSB single side band mode, apparently in speech.         It is known that just a few other international radio monitors have received a verification from spy numbers station OLX.  This broadcast service ended many years ago, in 1977.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 324)