Monday, October 31, 2016

Some Updated Info On Skyking Traffic Meanings

Sorry I haven't updated in a bit. I've been devoting my time to some personal matters.

I have been given information that affirms some speculation and dismisses some others about Skyking traffic. One source was a video (see below) and another was from a message I received from someone a little more familiar with the subject than I.

HFGCS typically transmits two types of messages: "All Stations" and "Skyking." A third message is possible but rarely (if ever) heard. (There are the occasional oddball calls where someone has the radio patched into a telephone to make a call home, radio checks and other such things but not relevant to what we listen for.)

The interesting thing I have learned is "Skyking" is not a singular entity or some Doomsday Plane command craft like many (including myself) have speculated. Skyking is a message priority.

Skyking means, "This is urgent traffic."

Alright, so we hear a message like this: "All stations, all stations, this is Andrews, standby. NV6YI, NV6YI, NV6YIH6D9TTSA3B. Time: 34, Authentication: FY. I say again: NV6YI, NV6YI, NV6YIH6D9TTSA3B. Time: 34, Authentication: FY. This is Andrews out."

It basically means: "Attention all receivers listening, I am Andrews Air Force Base and I have traffic for (a certain unit, usually a 5 character code repeated twice). Please stand by and not broadcast while I send my message (to certain unit) unless you have urgent traffic. (Certain unit), (coded message for that unit). The time is (minutes in the hour), this message is authenticated that this is me by the two-digit code that will match yours."

This is routine traffic for HFGCS. Normal broadcasting for this station. Could be a lunch menu, could be a message that some guy's wife left him while he was stationed in Guam. Who knows.

Now, if we hear something like: "Skyking, Skyking, do not answer. NV6YI, NV6YI, NV6YIH6D9TTSA3B. Time: 34, Authentication: FY. I say again: Skyking, Skyking, do not answer. NV6YI, NV6YI, NV6YIH6D9TTSA3B. Time: 34, Authentication: FY. This is Andrews out."

It means: "Attention all receivers listening, I have URGENT traffic for (a certain unit, usually a 5 character code repeated twice) and (certain unit) should not respond as it will give away their position. Please stand by and not broadcast while I send my URGENT message (to certain unit) unless you have EMERGENCY traffic. (Certain unit), (coded message for that unit). The time is (minutes in the hour), this message is authenticated that this is me by the two-digit code that will match yours."

Skyking just means whomever the message is intended for should get it quickly.

This video should educate you a bit on that. (Start at 58:40 if it doesn't start there.)

So, what's the third type of message?

It's a "Flash" broadcast. Absolute emergency. America is under a Pearl Harbor like-attack broadcast or very serious emergency.

It's called a "Foxtrot Flash" message. As far as anyone I have talked with knows, one has never been transmitted, not even on 9/11.

Based on regular and Skyking traffic on HFGCS, the message would likely start with "Foxtrot, Foxtrot" or "Foxtrot Flash, Foxtrot Flash" or something very similar. What would follow would probably a passphrase or a brief alphanumeric character set.

Hi Guys

d+n15xtL here.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Keep Getting Errors Trying to Respond to Your Comment on My Last Post, Anon

Anonymous commentator,

You asked:

We had 2 skyking messages at 0:55 UTC and 3:13 UTC
1st one:
Didn't get a recording or a full copy of the second but:
Andrews to Skyking

SANTANA, with an authentication and time One Three

Are these normal? i thought messages were usually alphanumeric.

My reply to you keeps saying:

Whoops, that's an error.

We apologize for the inconvenience.
Try refreshing the page to see if things are back in order.

Don't know why but here's my response:

These calls are uncommon, but not unprecedented. I typically suspect code word calls to be drills for nuclear forces. HFGCS rarely transmits a code word.

That said, the situation in Turkey and US nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Force Base leave me suspicious that the last few days of code words have something to do with the safety of the bombs at Incirlik. Only speculation.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sorry for no updates as of late

My computer's HD fried a few weeks ago and I was only able to afford to replace it last night (a used one from Craigslist).

I heard about the very unusual things happening on SKYKING since the Turkish coup attempt and am looking into some recordings made.

All I know:

  1. Andrews AFB made three calls to SKYKING with the code phrase "Bear" about 20 minutes apart from each other. This is unusual as the code was not a typical alphanumeric code and that the code phrase was reused 3 times.
  2. At least one call with the code phrase "Lion" was sent after this.
If I were to speculate, I'd say this had something to do with the security of the approximately 80 B61 nuclear gravity bombs stored at Incirlik Air Force Base, Turkey.

Now what exactly did "Bear" mean when it comes to action? I have no idea. I'd imagine it has something to do with putting extra security around the weapons in some fashion during the failed coup. "Lion" might have been a "stand down" code or another order about what to do with the B61s.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Traffic on HFGCS has seem to have returned to more "normal" operations today.

Is there any subject about SDR or "SKYKING" you'd like me to write about? Leave a comment if so.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Thank You

A Kind Stranger has made a generous donation on March 7th of this year and I did not notice until last night. (The email associated with this blog is not my primary account and not checked daily.)

Your generosity is greatly appreciated. I cannot express my gratitude enough in mere written words.

Monday, January 11, 2016

University of Twente's WebSDR is Out of Order.

Sadly, the best all spectrum WebSDR site has been down for a few days now.

There are other, very similar ones, but they do not cover the vast frequencies UofT's does.

If you're bummed the University of Twente WebSDR is down but want to listen for SKYKING calls (especially if North Korea goes crazy) and don't like or use Sigmira, GOOD NEWS!

Here's 2 stations that operate similar to WebSDR (same interface).


Select the 30 Meter Band. Type 11175.00 into the frequency and select USB and turn on Squelch. A USSTRATCOM call will be heard, albeit weaker than WebSDR due to distance.

2. Your other choice is

Select the 30 Meter band, type 8992.00 in select USB and Squelch.

This one is in Michigan and will receive the signals quite well due to proximity to broadcasts and having a well grounded PA0RDT antenna.

For other frequencies, go to and search for what frequency you'd like to listen to to fins an SDR that receives it. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

List of Known Transmitting Stations on the SKYKING Channel.

SKYKING is not the name of the transmitting station, it is the generic name for the broadcasts heard on 8992 and 11175 kHz USB. In fact, many transmissions aren't even directed at SKYKING. Many are directed at stations assigned alpha-numeric codes, usually 5 or 6 letters & numbers long (Four Whiskey Foxtrot Niner Kilo or something to that effect).

NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and US Military (among others) use a phonetic alphabet when they say letters over a radio channel. It makes it easier to understand the letter being said through static by saying a word, distinct from anything else, that begins with the letter being transmitted.

To say "A," a military user (and in many cases, law enforcement) would say "Alpha." It's unmistakable to the recipient -even with heavy static- that "Alpha" was sent. "A."

The most common phonetic alphabet in the English and European world is the NATO Standard.

Transmissions come from two distinct sources on SKYKING; base names and code names.

Known Bases:

  1. Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. HQ to the American Air Force's nuclear arm. A commonly heard broadcaster, typically sends messages to SKYKING. "Offutt out" at the end of transmission.
  2. Andrews Air Force Base (Joint Tactical Base) in Maryland, not far from D.C. and home to Air Force One. Typical messages are sent to SKYKING, (also leaning the theory of SKYKING being TACMO elements further). "Andrews out" at end of transmission. 
  3. Edwards Air Force Base in California (near Rosamond). Uncommon transmitter. "Edwards out." 
  4. Reykjavik. This is a NATO base not commonly used since the Cold War. It has, however, been very frequent in broadcast in the last week as of the time this blog has been posted. "Reykjavik out." 
Code names. Unsure if these are bases, stations or vehicles (aircraft) transmitting:

  1. MAINSAIL: Common transmitter. Typically sends the messages to SKYKING specifically. Many of the longer codes heard in the last year have been sent through MAINSAIL. "MAINSAIL out." 
  2. TOY SHOP. Uncommon. Heard in the late 1990s and began transmitting again in the early 2010s. Typically a weak signal through WebSDR, suggesting it is West Coast in America or possibly in Japan or in the Southern Hemisphere (Diego Garcia?) "TOY SHOP out." 
  3. FUZEBOX. Again, a code name not heard in many years that is recently transmitting again, but some speculate it is NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex which has recently been re-activated to active duty (2014) instead of reserve. Signal quality on WebSDR would suggest either a very powerful transmitter or something on America's East Coast (Mount Weather?) as opposed to Central North America. "FUXEBOX out." 
  4. COLLAPSE. A rather ominous code name that began transmitting again when Russia started supporting Assad in Syria and a code name that has not been heard in many years. COLLAPSE has a signal strength similar to FUSEBOX when listened to on WebSDR.  Female voices have been heard on this callsign on several occasions in recent days along with male voices."COLLAPSE out."
  5. FLAT TOP. I cannot find any sources on this name being used before. Since SKYKING is an USAF channel, it is unlikely FLAT TOP means an Aircraft Carrier, but rather is an ode to the flat top haircut common to the military in the 50s-90s. "FLAT TOP out." 
I'm sure I am forgetting bases and code names, but I'm starting the list here.