The Woodpecker DUGA-3

By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

User Friendly is a show about technology.  In 2021 we have and use communications every day.  We can talk to anyone anywhere in the world and see videos from satellite and ground views of almost any road or highway.  It wasn’t always this way.  Taking a look at where our technology originated from is important to be able to see where we will go in the future.

During the Cold War there was a competition between the United States and The Soviet Union on developing technology.  Everything from the Nuclear Arms Race to arcade games was a competition to see who could get what first.

Defense systems, including both electronic and physical people in spy networks, require technology.   It was important to hide a lot of these secret technologies.  Many were, and some still are, hidden right in front of us.

Starting in 1976 an anonymous signal began being heard around the world.  It would be heard without warning and would disrupt communications globally.  This continued to occur off and on until it was heard the last time in 1989.  The sound was a repetitive tapping noise at high broadcast power and was nicknamed by listeners “The Russian Woodpecker”.  While the complete use of this technology during the Cold War remains unanswered, it is suspected to be an “over the horizon” radar system.  The idea would be to see incoming missiles.  The amount of power they would use varied from time to time and in some cases was over 10 Mega Watts.  Conspiracy theories concerning the “Russian Woodpecker” are abundant including one that speculated it was used for Soviet mind control and /or weather control.

This is what the “Russian Woodpecker” sounded like:

Next week we will take a look at the next area of technology being used by intelligence agencies.  This is something that is still in use today – Number Radio.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

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Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw