Fire crew scanner streams

Just as FYI to everyone, here are some online police/fire radio scanner streams.

  • ScanOC is streaming Silverado/Portola fire crew radio via WMP.
  • ScannerBuff is streaming Agua Dulce, Santa Clarita, Orange County, and Witch Creek fires (you’ll need to install the TeamSpeex client first)
  • Santa Clarita Live Scanner Audio has several different stream formats of police and fire radio.
  • The Listening Post is also offering some streams but I haven’t been able to load them.

I’ll update this list as I get more information. The SoCalScan group on Yahoo has been a good source of information.

The Sixth Martian Invasion

England 1898. New Jersey 1938. Santiago 1944. Quito 1949. Los Angeles 1953. Buffalo 1968? Buffalo radio station WKBW updated the Orson Wells War Of The Worlds broadcast using their DJs and in-house news reporters playing themselves. Despite a month’s worth of warnings beforehand, 4000 people called the police and reportedly Canada sent some military units to guard bridges over the Niagara River. WKBW subsequently retooled the broadcast in 1971 and again in 1975. Listen to a mp3 of the 1971 version at Echoes Of A Century.

After so many sham invasions from Mars, you would think that the real Martians would finally get around to doing it for real.

“Mein Fraulien” Numbers Station followup

I haven’t been to a LA 2600 meeting since the late 1990s, but in retrospect I’m not entirely surprised that they were behind the “Mein Fraulien” numbers-station-via-phone that was getting everyone’s attention back in June.

I think my favorite hidden easter egg was the order in which the stations were released.

New York
San Francisco

Little Rock

Fort Lauderdale

Numbers stations via telephone

I’ve been interested in numbers stations for awhile now (and yes I still listen to the Conet Project set), but the whole numbers/spy station saga has taken an unusual, but perhaps not unexpected direction.

A numbers station has been found, only by telephone. Quoting from this thread on the Spooks list…

Anyway, what I found sounds like a numbers station, only it’s by phone. I ran across it on craigslist of all places (actually, a friend of mine found it and passed it on to me). Can anyone verify what this is? The post in question is at ; I’ll reproduce the text below in case it gets pulled.

Subject: For mein fraulein

Message: Mein Fraulein, I haven't heard from you in a while. Won't you
call me? 212 //// 796 //// 0735

The message at that number runs for around seven minutes and I’m at work so can’t grab audio of it; it starts and ends with music and reads off a bunch of numbers in groups. The voices reading the numbers sound like – well, imagine the stereotypical ransom note cut out from letters in the newspaper glued together. Anyway, if someone could check it out and let me know what they think (or point me to somewhere to ask the question) I’d appreciate it.

Later on in the thread, a poster caught the entire message.

Grp 415, male, non-accented english, recorded

01305 60510 17079 04606 50100
93000 08203 90130 94069 01207
81080 17028 07906 90220 73038
01401 70150 15073 00402 00680
12013 12510 00540 04091 01401
30150 86022 09608 10660 02082
05507 00020 00000 02208 30290
08022 01200 40710 13065 02709
40190 29014 02200 80020 11083
07300 30260 19000 00700 00000
86 86

Same lead-in music, both as an intro and out-tro

Would be interesting to watch the number for a series of days and see if the message changes any…

One thing I notice in the message is that every 5FG has a zero in it…

A mp3 of the call can be found here and here. Like Homeland Stupidity, I was tipped off to the number via 2600’s Off The Hook and the resulting army of telco hackers and phreakers tracked down the number to a pre-paid VoIP account from RNK Telecom (which has now been drained). The hacker army has also tracked down a second numbers phone, this time in the 415 area code.

It’s not surprising that the logistically awkward and noticeable combination of shortwave transmission can be superseded by a low cost short-term Craigslist/prepaid phone account combo. It’s a damn site easier to set-up, especially with easy internet access and availably of stolen information.

Watch it be a promotional scam for The DaVinci Code or something.

Jean Shepherd, Podcasts, and the Cold War

jeanshepherdAfter mucking about with various podcast channels, I’ve caved in and declared podcasts absolutely essential after I discovered that the Jean Shepherd Podcast Archives podcasts.

Shepherd was a radio raconteur, broadcasting overnight out of WOR in New York City through the late-50s and 60s. Spinning yarns about growing up in Indiana, New York City life, and culture with an aggressively wandering narrative, he was popular with beatniks and anti-establishment types who joined him with him in various hoaxes. His commentary on the 1964 New York World’s Fair should give you an idea.

I attribute my fascination with “EAT” signs directly to an old Shepherd piece on a troop train that stops at night on a siding uphill from a neon “Eat” sign. A thirsty GI on the train obsesses over the sign, figuring there’s beer there and debates about jumping the train and bringing the beer back. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

Most folks now probably know him as the narrator of A Christmas Story.

Anyway, one of the recent shows on the podcast is a 1964 piece on winter, New Yorker’s penchant for “dynamic self-pity” in winter, and how no east coast storm compares to a midwest blizzard that howls out of the arctic. If it’s not at least 20 below zero outside, don’t complain.

As for podcasts, my top choices are:

I’m using the podcast support in the NetNewsWire 2.0 beta which already I use for my regular RSS reading. Works great!

Eastbound III – Roswell NM

Life Is Good in Roswell!

The signs welcoming you to town indicate that it’s “the dairy capital of New Mexico”, but Roswell has clearly hitched it’s tourist dollar wagon to the rapidly stale alien kitch zeitgeist. The International UFO Museum is the King Hell tourist trap in town but the knockoff alien “museums” surrounding it are much more interesting. Apparently, all you need is an alien “grey” dummy and a pickup truck full of old computer parts, circuit boards, and industrial contaminants. Correct spelling is not necessary but the savvier museums have free Wi-Fi. I especially like the Apple StyleWriter printer reconstituted as an alien stasis machine. The rest of town is your usual assortment of southwest blight with a Wal-Mart the size of an aircraft hangar and little else to do except drink and listen to metal.

Alien Autopsy - Roswell UFO Museum
DIY toxic waste w/alien

Pleiadian band
Defending the Planet w/coffee

Roswell road
Scrubs Plus, Artesia NM

How Awful Is the Radio in Your City? Take This Simple Test

Listen to local radio for four consecutive hours (come on, you can do it!), randomly changing the station every so often. Start with 500 points, and add or subtract points as indicated for each occurrence of an event listed here. Then check your city’s score against the scale below–the lower the score, the more awful.

Dave Mandl’s site at WFMU has the entire test.