The Night Thread of THE BUZZER (October 9, 2020)

Continuously transmitting at 4625 kHz, the moment this signal ends will mean the oncoming end of the world. Maybe.

Broadcast at first from a radio station near Povarovo in Russia, the transmission consists of nothing but a short, monotonous buzz tone repeated twenty to thirty times per minute. The station’s call sign is UVB-76, but is more commonly known as, “The Buzzer”.

First detected in 1982, some claim it is part of the Russian “Dead Hand” system, that was installed during the Cold War; where nuclear missiles would be automatically launched if the signal from Moscow was ever lost. It’s never been stated that this system was turned off after the end of the Soviet Era.

There was tremendous excitement when, in 2010, the transmission moved to another location. Now it appears to be broadcast from two different locations, one near St Petersburg, and one near Moscow.

Sometimes I’ll turn it on for a minute, only to realise hours later it’s still there, in the background, keeping me company as I work. Sometimes a gruff Slavonic voice will interrupt the broadcast, delivering speech I cannot recognise, before the transmission returns to soothing, monotonous regularity.

Have a soothing, monotonous night, everyone.