Sunday, May 18, 2014

A numbers game

A while ago, I wrote about a few "things"--mysteries and former mysteries--that were inspirational to a writer of speculative words like myself. One of those things was "numbers stations": radio channels that went on the air occasionally and broadcast a seemingly random series of numbers, letters or words. Although it is widely assumed the stations are for spies doing spy things, nothing has ever been definitively proven. Fascinating!

Today I came across an interesting post on Kotaku that seemed to push the numbers stations into the 21st Century.

Thousands and thousands of videos, uploaded nearly every day. Each one is the same, structure-wise: 10 slides of shapes, shown over 11 seconds, over various random tones. Nobody has a clue what the videos are supposed to be, much less who is uploading them or why.

Just today, the channel has uploaded over a dozen bizarre videos.

Here's the idea. If you're reaching out to your espionage buddies, using the Internet--and a public corner of it, no less--broadens the scope of transmission to, well, the entire world. Here's what the YouTube videos look like:

Sure, sure, sure. It could be a completely innocent series of videos with no deeper meaning. But that's boring. Instead, let's assume it is a series of coded messages about something super-secret, super-important and super-awesome in some way. If nothing else, it's a super-intriguing jumping-off point for a great story.

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