E18, Fife Free was a Bulgarian numbers station. The oldest logs of this station show activity in the late 1980’s but it could have been active earlier than this. ENIGMA assigned the ID at a much later time in July 1997. Before it was observed again in 1997, it was last spotted on 8072 kHz at 20:00 UTC on September 3rd, 1989. So there was about an 8 year gap of inactivity for this station until it came back one day. The station was last spotted on December 26th, 2002.
Unlike the other Edna Sednitzer stations, E18 transmitted in LSB mode instead of AM. After the transmissions finishes, what sounds like a hand-set being replaced can be heard. It was possible the messages were sent over a radio-telephone circuit.
The E18 numbers station maintained two schedules in 1997, one calling ID 307 and another calling 718. Then next year in 1998, the only schedule was active for ID 307. In 2002, it was active on Wednesdays at 2245 UTC, and sometimes repeated the next day.
Schedules in 1997
- 2nd Wednesday of the month on 8025 kHz at 21:00 UTC calling 307
- 3rd Thursday of the month on 7455 kHz at 05:00 UTC calling 718 (possibly a test, wrong serial no. sent)
- 2nd Thursday of the month on 8025 kHz at 21:00 UTC calling 307 (repeat of Wed.)
- 3rd Friday of the month on 7575 kHz at 06:00 UTC calling 718
The serial number was a message identifier that moves up with every message, most likely changing every month like M13 did.
|298||Number 109||Group 27||43549 09128
|298||Number 109||Groups 27||43549 09128
|0 0 0|
|Serial number||Group count||5-digit message groups||3-digit ID
|Serial number||Group count||5-digit message groups|
Numbers Station Summary
Nickname: Fife Free
Emission mode: LSB, Possibly AM
Voice Summary: Automated woman’s voice with a slight accent that was as very monotone and robotic. Pronounced 5 as ‘fife’ and 3 as ‘free’.
Believed Country of Origin: Bulgaria
Counterpart Stations: G22, S04, M13
Station Family: Family 15 “Edna Sednitzer”
Simon Mason’s Fife Free Page (Archived)
ENIGMA Newsletter Issue 13 (July 1997), Page 6
ENIGMA Newsletter Issue 16 (January 1999), Page 7
ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter Issue 15 (March 2003), Pages 10, 22
Recording from Numbers & Oddities