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Friday, May 15, 2020

Mystery: Ready, Ready

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready 15728

Ready, Ready.

The Story

Today’s story is a new topic for this blog: a numbers station. These things are really creepy; they’re coded radio stations that people suspect are used by intelligence officers to gather information on other countries. If you want to read more into them, click here for the Wikipedia article. Trust me, it’d be easier if you read it from there than if I try to go over it. It’s a very lengthy topic and perhaps in the future when we go over UVB-76, I’ll dive into it in a lot more detail. For now though, we have something called the Ready, Ready numbers station.

I found this story from something called the Forteana and Unsolved Mysteries map; it’s a user-made Google Map which you can view by clicking here. It has hundreds of mysteries pinned in geographic locations and is a lot of fun to look at. One of them is Ready, Ready which it describes as the nickname given to a numbers station that’s based out of Bulgaria—broadcasting a mere three times a week. It began to broadcast in the late 1990s; a female voice saying the following message:

Ready, Ready 1 5 7 2 8

Rinse and repeat—endlessly.

Pretty weird if I do say so myself, but that’s why I picked it: weird stories are why I operate this blog. So naturally, I went around digging around for any information. There’s some stuff I was able to find on it, but it’s not exactly going to win any awards if you ask me.

The first thing I found was on the Wikipedia page for numbers stations where they state, in the format section, that there are “characteristic phrases” used on these stations. One of the phrases they list is “Ready? “Ready?”. However, this is all there is. I mention this as I figured it may lead somewhere in regards to information on Ready, Ready in particular, but no dice. So the hunt continued.

My next idea was to Google “Ready Ready 15728”. This yielded some results, but one caught my eye in particular. Specifically the videos. Although the first two relate to the numbers station itself (which we’ll get into a moment), the third one is for a Selena Gomez song called “Back To You”. If you don’t believe me, just click this link to see for yourself.

Kinda funny if you ask me, though far from what I was looking for. The other two videos were—they contain audio from the Ready, Ready numbers station and are decently eerie. As for where the audio specifically comes from, it’s from a music album that you can get from Free Music Archive. It has almost four-and-a-half hours from 150 different numbers station recordings. I guess it’s ASMR for people who like looping coded messages. So if that’s your thing, enjoy.

It was here that I decided to listen to look at the videos myself. The content of them is far from the most engaging (being little more than the aforementioned  woman repeating the same phrase over and over), the comments on both videos caught my eye.  Let’s start off with the first one I’d linked, which is from a user by the name of TheConetArchive. He uploaded the video on January 19, 2011. The comments on the video are largely innocuous, but two of them caught my eye. It was from another user, this one by the name of Gamer King. He claimed that the numbers being read off were a “location”. Another user by the name of Ray pointed out—two years prior to Gamer King—that the numbers were the zipcode for Indiana County, Pennsylvania, which is home to the cities of Hellwood, Dixonville, and Clymer.

All three cities are far from being the most fascinating in the world (though Dixonville is home to the headquarters of the Militant Knights Ku Klux Klan) and Indiana County itself doesn’t look to have anything that would be considered exceptionally mysterious. Besides the name “Hellwood” certainly being eye-catching, I wouldn’t consider it to be anything of merit on its own. Especially when there are other places in America that incorporate the word “Hell” into their name.

Beyond that, there aren’t any comments on that video that are of merit—not in my eyes at least. The second video however has a bit more to it. While the same video with the same content, there were two factors that were pointed out that really interested me The first comment I’ll point out is from a user named New Route (personal account). Rather than paraphrase what he had to say, I’ll instead copy and paste the comment here.

1+5+7+2+8 = 23
2*3 = 6
6*6 = 36
the sum of all numbers from 1 to 36 equals ...

Although things like this are something I’d typically brush off, these types of stations are often used to hide coded messages. Utilizing numbers is something that I’d expect to be done when it comes to a station like this, but more on that later. For now, I want to harp onto the second comment—or rather comments. Three users—Lem Sportsinterviews, Gaysuke Takahashi, and Kaddakai—each pointed out how they believed that the woman sounded scared or like she was being forced to read off the message. This is something that really intrigued me, so I decided to drop everything I was doing and go on another hunt. This time, I wanted to see if there were any prisoners of war (PoWs for short) that were forced to read off coded messages for numbers stations. However, I couldn’t find anything, so I chalked it up to the woman’s voice simply being that way. Though a user by the name of Porneo Addictus disagrees and instead posits that the woman is a robotic voice. I honestly disagree, but more on that later.

This ended my escapade into the world of YouTube comments and then brought me back to the world of Googling.


On end.

Third witty comment goes here.

Yeah, to say that I got really tired of Googling would be an understatement. I finally gave up when It became apparent to me that the various combinations that I used, whether it was adding an additional space when Googling Ready, Ready or just outright adding in unnecessary words that are synonymous with “creepy”, would ultimately yield the same old websites that I would get if I hadn’t added them. As such, I gave up, but not before checking out one last site:

This website has a profile of sorts (which you can view if you click the link above) for Ready, Ready and it gives us a bit of insight into what the more intricate details about it are. To summarize the content in the article: Ready, Ready has been inactive since 1999 is an AM radio station. As for the content of the station, I explained at the start what entails in it, though I didn’t go into much detail. As such, I’ll amend for that now as I think this is the best time to cover it.

While all that’s said in the broadcast is “Ready, Ready 1 5 7 2 8”, the voice is that of a female with an English accent; her tone being described by the website as “agitated” or “breathless”. This little statement caught my eye as it reminded me of the comments I read in the second video; that the woman sounded like she was being forced to read off the message. Though once again, in spite of my best efforts, I couldn’t find anything related to anyone being forced to perform such a task, let alone any British PoW being held in Bulgaria in the 1990s. Maybe I overlooked something, but I can’t find anything. So unless someone was being held captive in secret, I’m at a loss.

Moving on though, Numbers-Stations also claims that the voice attempts to pull off a British accent, but it rolls its R’s more than a typical Brit would. I cannot vouch for this as I am not British, but if any of you are and you happen to listen to the audio, do let me know in the comments.

The final thing that was of merit on the site was something really big. However, it’s something I cannot find a single source on—at least not in a readily available sense. Numbers-Stations claims that Ready, Ready wasn’t broadcast just in Bulgaria, but also in Italy and the United States. This is due to some people having supposedly picked up the station. Not only that, but they also proposed that the owner of the station was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This is because of something called the “endings rule”. Basically, all transmissions would conclude when the machine had read “END”, it would cease to broadcast.

Of course, I could be completely misunderstanding what was stated there. While I do my best to fact check whatever I find—let alone have a decent grasp on what I research—I must confess that things like number stations are something that I’m extremely poor at understanding. However, given that I’ve been dying to cover this story (let alone any numbers station), I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want to give myself a bit of leeway when it came to my poor understanding. I’ve been told more than a dozen times that I’m overly harsh on myself.

Anyways, moving on, this claim about the station being broadcasted in other countries intrigued me greatly. However, try as I may, I couldn’t find anything to back it up. Numbers-Stations did have three sources that it linked to: two PDF files and a dead link to a website. There’s one problem with the PDF files though: in spite of them being marked as two different files, both of them lead to the exact same newsletter—the fourth issue of the ENIGMA newsletter. Because of this, I can’t figure out why this is. If you want to read it though, click here. The entry on Ready, Ready is very short, but still interesting nonetheless.

Unfortunately, this is largely where my expedition for the truth behind Ready, Ready ended. Much of the other information that’s out there—in my eyes at least—either gave me more of the same or lead nowhere. If you ask me, it feels like there are vast swaths of this puzzle missing and whether that’s due to my own incompetence or because of the secretive nature of numbers stations, I couldn’t tell you. While I could very well be demeaning myself way too much, I very rarely find a story that leaves me simultaneously as intrigued as it does leaving me wanting to slap myself for not finding out more. Alas, that’s the way this cookie crumbled, so let’s move onto the theories section.


1. The CIA

There are only three theories this time around and I must confess, three of them are from me. I couldn’t find much in the way of theories. This first theory was brought up by Numbers-Stations and to be quite honest, I was going to mention it anyways. It’s that the CIA was behind the station.

The CIA has a reputation as bad as can be. They’re seen as the cause of nearly all of the world’s problems, if not every single one of them. The puppet masters of every villain we see on the news, it would stand to reason that the CIA has set up this station for one reason or another. What that purpose is however, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t recall any sort of terrible event happening in Bulgaria around that time, let alone Italy. As for the United States, one could argue that it was used for some trial runs for a false flag attack. However, with specific dates beyond the station going dead in 1999, your guess is as good as mine.

2. It was used for special operations training

Moving onto our second theory, we have the idea that it was used for special operations training. Whether this was for the United States army, the Bulgarian army, the Italian army, or some other army, the idea is that it was a coded message being used for tactical training.

You’d be surprised how often the armies of the world perform training exercises for some unusual stuff. Heck, it doesn’t even need to be the army; in the US, FEMA (which handles the aftermath of disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and so on) performs exercises to make sure their workers are as efficient as can be. This has led to an array of theories however; some think that they’re planning for the zombie apocalypse while others think that FEMA will handle concentration camps a la Auschwitz.

I digress though. These exercises are often as realistic as they can be without having to either kill anyone or put anyone’s life in danger. With this, it’s possible that a special ops unit was performing an exercise related to PoWs or simply an underground network of insurgents that were using coded messages to rise up against the powers that be. Of course, that’s merely my theory. Yours can be whatever it wants. They could’ve been training for an imminent alien invasion—or Atlantians.

3. It’s just some bored person

For our third theory, we have the idea that it was a really bored person who wanted to mess with people. The idea of a really elaborate troll is by no means anything new—even in the days before the Internet had become extremely mainstream, people would do things for a really cheap laugh. In this case however, I must question the motivation for operating a numbers station and repeating the same thing over and over until you grow exhausted or bored. Especially when it would no doubt be rather hard to operate such a station without getting caught by someone. Unless, of course, my understanding of these stations is really that atrocious.

4. It was a prisoner reading off a code for an underground network

The fourth and final theory is one that I crafted from the commenters who said the woman sounded like she was being forced to repeat what she was saying. While PoWs have been forced to read off propaganda (look at what happened to John McCain when he was captured in Vietnam), I must echo what I said earlier: I couldn’t find anything related to anyone being a PoW in 1999 who was either rescued or killed. While political prisoners could also be a candidate, I’ve never heard of them being forced to do something like this. It feels extremely bizarre that, of everything you could do with a prisoner, you’d make them the songbird for a numbers station. Though who knows, maybe I’m really just being that ignorant with this story.

My Take

I’ve always been of the opinion that many numbers stations are used nowadays for special operations training and spying/intelligence gathering. While some may think that the world’s nations are buddy-buddy, let’s face it: we all want to know what goes on behind closed doors. Even the closest of friends are a bit paranoid; it’s the destroyer of relationships, but it eats away at all of us. As such, I firmly believe that this is very much the case. I think it was merely something that was used for special operations training. Nothing more, nothing less. Once the training was done, the station shutdown. After all: why use the same station twice when you know it’ll make people suspicious?


There are a lot of other numbers stations out there; I’m adamant that there’s at least one more we’ll get to this year. Though we’ve got seven months left of 2020 and in my book, we’re just getting started. So until tomorrow, take care and always be ready, ready.

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