BBC Radio 4 Documentry (Approx 28 Mins)
Simon Fanshawe embarks on a detective journey into the clandestine world of radio cryptography.
Tracking The Lincolnshire Poacher
The Lincolnshire Poacher (also known as the E3) is the nickname of a powerful and mysterious shortwave number station that uses two bars from an old English folk song called “The Lincolnshire Poacher” as an interval signal. The Lincolnshire Poacher is believed to be operated by the British Secret Intelligence Service (Mi5 / MI6) and transmits from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Amateur direction findings have linked it with the Royal Air Force base at Akrotiri, Cyprus, where several curtain antennas have been identified as probably being its transmitter. It plays an electronically synthesized female voice with an English accent reading groups of 5 numbers. The final number in each group was spoken with slightly more lifted voice. It is most likely that the station was used to communicate with undercover agents operating in the Middle East, and decoded using a ‘One Time Pad’.