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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tally Ho Chaps!


Another night another two hour stag. The hourly radio check over and done with I wasn't expecting much radio traffic for the next hour. After all the instructors were all getting their heads down. And then........

"Victor Three, Victor Three this is Victor Two. What is your position?" A terribly plummy voice was transmitting on the HF radio net.

HF is a funny beast. Radio waves can be sent up into the atmosphere and if the conditions are right they can be bounced off various layers before coming back down. A bit like a massive free natural satellite. If you know what you are doing you can talk over a great distance with an HF radio set.

The flip side is that sometimes radio waves can get stuck. They can bounce around in the atmosphere for years before escaping and returning to earth. Apparently, and I've never managed to find out if it is true, the distress signal from the Titanic only finally disappeared in the late 1980s.

Victor Two and Victor Three had a short and very boring conversation. Who were they? I have no idea. They sounded military but certainly wouldn't have been the modern airforce. Bored and with a long time to go till I would be relieved I created lives and loves for them in my mind. Were they still alive? It's quite possible the conversation they had was 30 or 40 years old.

Half an hour later I heard someone else talking. This time it sounded like an Eastern European language. Who, where, what and why crossed my mind. It certainly broke up the monotony.

13 Comments:

Blogger Haggiswurst said...

My first job was as a Radio Operator.

8:18 pm  
Anonymous OldGuy said...

Wow, like conversations from a whole different era.

Cool !

8:34 pm  
Blogger SeizeTheNite said...

Now that would be an interesting job...
Thats amazing about the Titanic!

8:47 pm  
Blogger Monica said...

That is just crazy, to hear something like that would make my hairs stand up.

wow.

(thanks for the picture, you nut.)

10:51 pm  
Blogger zilla said...

I liked your inventive breakfast recipe and would opt for it over baked beans any day of the week, cold and wet or not!

However, the real point of my comment is that when I read the first paragraph of your most recent post, I thought you had written "Another night another two hour shag."

And I thought to myself, "Oh, dear. Our favorite soldier must be on leave."

Keep up the writing. It's always interesting to catch up on your posts.

11:48 pm  
Anonymous Mark said...

I'm against you in battle of the blogs at the moment but I just wanted to say you have a nice blog and you have inspired me to read up on HF radio since I'm a lapsed radio ham.

8:21 am  
Blogger greavsie said...

What was that Film about a Radio message fro mthe past?

11:55 am  
Blogger Plark said...

I'd love to hear a thirty year old conversation. I love anything that connects to the past.

Fascinating.

12:47 pm  
Anonymous Haddock said...

I would've thought that a signal bouncing around the layers of the atmosphere would have disapated long ago.
Must admit I don't believe the Titanic bit, but it's a nice story though.

1:47 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Greavise - Not much of a film buff I'm afraid.

Haddock - I've no idea about the actual truth of signals bouncing around for years is. I searched for a while before I posted this. I know that on the course we told these things could happen. As for the conversations I heard - they could have been from any time or place.

2:58 pm  
Blogger Monica said...

There was a film called 'Frequency" about a dead father communicating with his son some years in the future based on the the waves. Is that the one?

6:09 pm  
Anonymous Z said...

the distress signal from the Titanic only finally disappeared in the late 1980s.
I need to know if that's true. That's amazing. Wow. wow. Wow. How do I get me one of these HF experiences?

1:05 pm  
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