Friday, August 08, 2008

Is the Lincolnshire Poacher Off Air?

No one's heard the Poacher (ENIGMA designator E03a) since June. People have looked. This is (was?) a British intelligence service numbers station presumed to be broadcast, in English, from one of several large antenna farms near Akrotiri, Cyprus, on a beam toward the Middle East. It sent a daily schedule several hours long on several frequencies, usually 3 at once. The content was a machine-generated female-voice messages preceded by a mechanical version of the "Lincolnshire Poacher" folk tune.

"Cherry Ripe" (E03a) a similar service beamed at Asia from Guam, may or may not be on the air. There are reports of it still transmitting, but I can't verify this. For some reason (certainly not propagation) it's never been very strong here, possibly due to antenna beam if the nice setup on Cyprus is any indication of what they have on Guam.

Frequencies used at one time or another in the past few years include:

5422 5746 6485 6900 6945 6959 7337 7755 8464 9251 10426 11545 12603 13375 14487 15682 16084

(all Khz)