U.S. News and National Top Stories NPR coverage of national news, U.S. politics, elections, business, arts, culture, health and science, and technology. Subscribe to the NPR Nation RSS feed.
Producer David Goren has the story of a mystery on shortwave radio. There are a number of stations which transmit nothing but numbers -- a series of numbers, read by an unidentified voice, all day, every day. We hear from several shortwave enthusiasts, and experts on international espionage, who believe that the numbers are encrypted code, delivered by government intelligence agencies to spies around the world. It is a mystery where the transmission come from, and who they are meant for. We hear the transmission of these "number stations" from the CIA , western European countries, and Russia. After the Cold War, many of the transmissions that were originating from Communist countries stopped. Many number stations today can be linked with Cuba, China, and Taiwan. Shortwave experts and code experts continue to be fascinated by the number stations -- the notion that what is coming out of your radio is meant for one person only, in a coded language only he can understand.
Lost And Found Sound: Numbers
Lost and Found Sound: Manicurists
'Lost & Found Sound': The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Cpl. Michael A. Baronowski
Lost and Found Sound: The House of Night
Lost and Found Sound Finale
'Lost & Found Sound': Wartime Quest for Sound
LOST AND FOUND SOUND: Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins
LOST AND FOUND SOUND: Aimee Semple McPherson
The years just after the Second World War saw the advent of a new genre of classroom films: "social guidance" or "attitude enhancement" films -- we'll call them "mental hygiene" films. Young people in schools across America saw films with titles like "Dating Dos and Don'ts," "Mind Your Manners," "Are You Popular?" and, "Narcotics: Pit of Despair." Topics included table manners, etiquette, fitting in, posture, dating, highway safety, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. They were tools of social engineering, made to shape the values and attitudes of an entire generation of American kids. More than three-thousand of these films were made over nearly three decades. Now, fewer than half of them survive. Ken Smith has written a new book called "Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films, 1945-1970". He'll be our tour guide through this Lost and Found Sound report on this funny, fascinating, and largely forgotten genre of American filmmaking.
LOST AND FOUND SOUND: Mental Hygiene Films
LOST & FOUND SOUND: WHER - One Thousand Beautiful Watts
LOST & FOUND SOUND: The Transistor on the Schoolbus
Lost & Found Sound: The Man Who Loves Sound
LOST AND FOUND SOUND: Fred Friendly at Quonset