The Mystery Behind Russian Radio Station The Buzzer UVB-76

Ever since the late 1970’s, the radio signal at 4625 kHz also known as UVB-76 or “The Buzzer” has been broadcasting a strange, repeated buzzing noise. Every few years, the buzzing noise will stop and a Russian voice reads a mixture of Russian names and numbers.

The jumbled messages, like this one that was broadcast hours before Christmas day in 1997, has puzzled owners of shortwave radios for decades.

“Ya UVB-76, Ya UVB-76. 180 08 BROMAL 74 27 99 14. Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhail, Anna, Larisa. 7 4 2 7 9 9 1 4”

While many people may have expected the radio station to become more active with the fall of communism in Russia, quite the opposite happened. Since the year 2000, voice messages have become more and more frequent.

It is easy for someone to dismiss the signal as pre-recorded, or a looping message. But what listeners quickly realized was that UVB-76 is not a recording. The buzzer noise is generated manually. The reason why we hear telephone conversations and banging noises in the background is that the speaker creating the buzzer is constantly placed next to the microphone, giving the world a clue as to where the signal originates from.

The Strange Occurrence in 2013

On January 24, 2013, for the first time in history that goes back nearly 40 years, the mysterious radio signal had issued what many people believe was an order.  At first, it seemed to be another jumble of words and numbers, then it was clearly heard by many people all throughout the world.

“Command 135 initiated”

A Resurgence of Interest in UVB-76

The popularity of UVB-76 in modern culture can be traced to /x/, 4chan’s non-archiving message board that is devoted to discussing paranormal activity and unexplained mysteries. The online message board is responsibe for creating popular memes like Pedobear and Rickrolling, and now it is doing the same for “The Buzzer”, bringing a brand-new generation of believers into the mix.

The online buzz about the signal grew in 2010 as the bizarre broadcasts were issued on a monthly basis. There were snippets of Swan Lake played and a female voice that would count from one to nine. A question mark was transmitted in Morse code, and strange telephone conversations could be heard by the receiver.

Since October 2010, the station has changed its location. There has been plenty of activity and voice messages after it first had its most important development since it first starred broadcasting in the 70s. It seems very likely that the heightened activity that occurred in 2010 was related to the establishment of the signal moving to a new location. The new call sign was read out after the move, “MDZhB.”

The Location of The Buzzer Has Been Found

Previous location efforts had led to the discovery of the transmitter for UVB-76. It was at a Russian military base on the outskirts of Povarovo, which is a small town 19 miles from Moscow.

After UVB-76 changed its initial location, two groups of urban explorers and UVB-76 followers travelled to the remote Russian town in hopes to visit the military bunker that the signal had originated from for more than 30 years. When they reached the town, a local man told them about the storm of 2010. One night, a dense fog rolled in, and the military outpost was evacuated within 90 minutes.

After they made their way across the site and avoided the guard dog that was outside, the group found the bunker and military buildings in a state of abandonment. Possessions and equipment were strewn across the base. Icy water had filled the bunker, but there were still clues to be found inside.

One group described the Povarov military bunker as “a quiet and lonely dark place, something like a maze with lots of corridors and rooms.”

A book was found at the site that contained a lot of the messages sent by UVB-76. The ethereal signal that had fascinated the world for several years now had a physical presence, along with confirmation that it had been run by the Russian military.

But the mystery still continues to this day. Sporadic voice messages are still being broadcast. Now thousands of listeners turn in by radio or by using online streams every day. A file can be downloaded that allows followers to listen to UVB-76 in iTunes.

Along with a brand new interest in studying and archiving the broadcasts of UVB-76, there are now multiple triangulation attempts that have been made to try and ascertain the new location of the signal. Unlike before, it seems that UVB-76 is coming from several transmitters all across Russian. Researchers believe there are three possible locations which could be emanating from Kirsino, Estonia, and the Pskov Oblast.