Beginning on the morning of June 2, 2000 I started detecting an unusual CW (Morse) transmission within the 30m amateur band. It was a beacon of sorts in that it repeated itself every several minutes. It had always been weak so I suspect that it was using very low power. The transmission did not identify itself and its real purpose is unknown. It could have had significant meaning to someone or it was simply a prank. The 30m band is shared with commercial and military users throughout the world but I can't think of any legitimate purpose for this signal, particularly when the message content is considered. If the messages were directed to someone real I really would have expected some sort of encryption to have been used. It is for this reason that I believe the messages were meant to simply play with our minds. I am curious as to why anyone would devote transmitting equipment for so long to such a small audience. Except for pages such as this one how would this person even know what the response to his messages were? Even when I told people about the beacon they found it very difficult if not impossible to find it.
The message content changed every few weeks. I never did determine any kind of reqular period to the changes. The messages often had misspelled words and occassionally there would be a rarely used Morse character transmitted, such as the apostrophe. This indicated to me that the sender was not a regular user of Morse but instead simply looked it up in a reference somewhere.
The transmit frequency was 10.1064 MHz. When listening for the signal be sure to allow for an offset so that you are not zero beat with the signal. Have patience since the transmission only occurred once every several minutes and usually lasted only a minute or less. A narrow filter will certainly help. I received the signal here in Fort Worth in the hours near and in darkness but a peak usually occurred at sunrise. I suspected that the signal may be originating thousands of miles from my location due to the diurnal fading of the signal. Please let me know if you ever hear this signal again.
So far the only other people who have acknowledged hearing it is Chuck, W5USJ located in Point, Texas, over 90 miles east of my location, Keith, W5IU located in south Fort Worth, Texas, and Bruce, KI7VR located in Vancouver, Washington. The reception of the beacon by KI7VR and the diurnal fading characteristics of the signal proves that we did not receive the signal via local ground or direct wave but instead via skywave from a great distance. At this frequency the signal would peak during the daylight hours if it were within about a 1000 miles of my location.
Further down this page I have the actual messages and recordings of the messages I had received. Below each message I have my interpretation of the message or additional details. Let me know what you think.
UPDATE (July 26, 2000):
I have received information that the FCC and the ARRL are aware of this beacon and that a listener in Arkansas has been receiving this beacon since December of 1999. It has been nick named the "Beacon of Hate" for obvious reasons. So far there is no further information on this beacon and the FCC has been too busy with more important tasks. This beacon just doesn't cause much interference.
It has been fun just trying to figure out the purpose of the transmission and the meaning of its message. It certainly isn't causing any interference since I can hardly find anyone that hears it but it is clearly an illegal transmission in my opinion and should be removed.
UPDATE (October 12, 2000):
The transmission of September 14, 2000 at 1137 UTC was thought to be the final transmission. After this transmission there was silence and it wasn't heard from again until October 12, 2000.
UPDATE (February 19, 2001):
I have not received the beacon at all since the year 2001 has rolled around. Let's hope that it has been "neutralized".
UPDATE (April 2, 2002):
Surprise, surprise! At 0438 UTC I detected a very weak and frequency unstable signal on 10.1078 MHz. At first I just thought it was a rare DX station from Outer Slabonia but I noticed that it never stopped transmitting! I made about a 12 hour recording of the signal and it was indeed continuous but I could only pick out a letter here and there. The signal would shift +/- 50 Hz and this made the already weak signal difficult to decode. I will have to wait until better propagation to determine if this is the same beacon or not. The world environment has changed significantly since I heard the beacon last.
UPDATE (April 30, 2002):
False Alarm! The signal heard at 10.1078 MHz was the HP1RCP/B beacon. This is a legal(?) beacon in Panama running only 1/2 watt using an unstable Ramsey kit transmitter. It is to be replaced soon by a new transmitter from Small Wonder Labs and moved to a frequency of 10.140 MHz. The new power will be 1 watt. The beacon message at the present time reads as follows:
First received June 2, 2000:
This could be read as:
The United States government ripped of the camels[. Therefore,] they can't put "In God We Trust" on the money [anymore.]
I'm not sure exactly who the "camels" are (cigarettes have been suggested but that doesn't seem to make sense) but all U.S. money does say somewhere on it "In God We Trust".
First received June 19, 2000 at 1150 UTC:
Is this a message to someone (Camels)? Who knows. Notice again this misspelling of words. The word "AND" may be spelled correctly. When I listen to the last letter the last dit sounds a little lower in frequency so it may be intereference. This causes it to sound like "dah dit dit dit" instead of "dah dit dit" for the letter D.
I heard the beacon again on the morning of June 20, 2000 but it wasn't detecable until 1205 UTC. I had started recording at 1105 UTC but nothing was received until the 1205 UTC transmission. On June 21, 2000 it was heard as soon as I started recording at about 1130 UTC but was very weak. Bruce, KI7VR in Vancouver, Washington reported an S3 reception of the signal at 0755 and 0804 UTC on June 21, 2000.
First received July 05, 2000 at 0435 UTC:
There are no misspelled words this time! It is becoming obvious that these ominous messages may have two or more meanings, much like some of the word games on "Wheel of Fortune" where they run sentences together to make a puzzle.
First received July 23, 2000 at 0416 UTC:
Copy was very rough on this one so I'm not sure what the last few words are.
First received July 24, 2000 at 0417 UTC:
The "*" is a place holder for the letters of a word that doesn't belong on this page. Notice once again the frequent misspelled words. We could use Sherlock Holmes on this one. There are a lot of clues if only we had an idea as to what they meant. I thought the word EFRAT may be a signifant clue as to the nature of these transmissions since EFRAT is an Israeli settlement that is widely considered illegal by the international community according to Wikipedia.
First received July 26, 2000 at 1152 UTC:
It sounds like the originator of this message has a personal issue with the "camels".
First received August 08, 2000 at 1145 UTC:
Copy was weak on this one and I missed some of the text in the middle.
First received August 09, 2000 at 1125 UTC:
It looks like he really has a problem with the "camels" and maybe the english language!
First received August 24, 2000 at 1116 UTC:
It would interesting to figure out what the sender means by "TRACKS". There is obviously and common theme with all of the messages. Notice the frequent mentioning of "15 years of chasing" and "your 42 P, 42 PFUS, or 42 PFUSE" in several of the messages.
First received September 11, 2000 at 1129 UTC:
This is a repeat of earlier messages although it isn't worded exactly the same.
I heard this same message until 1137 UTC September 14, 2000. At this time I recorded what seems to be the last transmission. The message did not repeat and it wasn't heard from again until the middle of October.
First received October 12, 2000 at 0316 UTC:
This is the first transmission I have heard for over a month. Obviously this is meant to be or sound like a threat to someone. "Print the tracks" is supposed to mean something important to someone I guess.
It was noticed again that the transmission did not repeat after about 1115 UTC on October 12, 2000 until on or before November 8, 2000.
First received November 29, 2000 at 0451 UTC:
Fading was bad on the signal this night but most was copied.
First received December 04, 2000 at 0410 UTC:
Once again the "*" is a place holder for the letters of a word that doesn't belong on this page. I don't think the sender likes Americans. This particular evening transmission seemed to catch the attention of other passerbys on the frequency.
First received December 24, 2000 at 0051 UTC:
More insanity. Who know what "NO CUTS" means.
To get an idea of how difficult it may be to receive this beacon check out the spectrogram I made on June 21, 2000. You can see the beacon come up twice along with other signals on the band. Notice the time delay between transmissions.