Swedish Security Service Tells us about their Numbers Stations Experience

24 January 2015

The Swedish Counter Intelligence Säkerhetspolisen (SÄPO) has recently published a story about a Swedish double agent who was the recipient of S10 Bulgarian Betty, an old Czechoslovak number station.

totoCZ comments:

  • What's interesting is that it's read live, and uses "=" (Equal sign, "Rovná se") instead of "Attention" (Pozor). The shortwave number stations legend, Jochen Schäfer, has confirmed he remembers hearing this old version in the late 1970s.
  • We've heard a similar recording of S10 like this one before and we can guess the first format of the station was a direct conversion from the CW version - which probably started earlier than in the late 70s.
  • We've contacted SÄPO and they told us this is the only recording that's available (for now, I would assume). 

The original post by SÄPO and a Swedish news article are not available in English, luckily Wizard2 has provided us with a translation.

Listen to a secret telegram

What did a secret spy telegram sound like during the cold war? We have been digging in our archive - and we found a Swedish double agent.

You can listen to what the secret telegram sounded like here

The use of encrypted radio messages was for a long time a common way for communication between the client and the spies. Alf, a co-worker at säkerhetstjänsten (literally security agency) since 1981, gives some backstory to just this secret message.

  • The message is one of many the Czechoslovak Intelligence agency broadcast, tasked by the Soviet Union. They sent messages between 1982 and 1986 to whom they believed was a Swedish spy. In reality it was us at säkerhetstjänsten that were on the other side.
  • We came in contact with them thanks to a Swedish soldier during a private trip to Czechoslovakia where they enlisted him as a spy by their intelligence agency. Their intent of having spies in Sweden was to have an alarm clock that could alert them if war was about to break out between NATO and the Warsaw pact.
  • When the soldier returned home to Sweden he told his superior at Försvarsmakten (the Swedish armed forces) what they had enlisted him to do and together they came to us at the säkerhetstjänsten. We asked him if he was willing to help us map out the Eastern Bloc intelligence services. He said yes and was then trained to become a good spy. We worked together for several years and thanks to him we got a complete picture of how the Eastern Bloc's intelligence agencies operated.