Yosemite Sam

Ya better say yer prayers ya flea-bitten varmint! I'm a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies!
Above is the proper quote from Yosemite Sam as we know him from the famous Warner Brothers cartoons. Below, the pirate has transmitted what sounds like a data burst, followed by part of the quote, "Varmint, I'm a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies!". The transmissions were heard for some time, until amateur radio operaotrs tracked the signals to a government contractors' installation in the desert, at which time they abruptly stopped.

12/22/2004 19:41 Maybe the spook.gummint.mil is running a propagation test.
3.7 MC 00:30:20Z
6.5 MC 00:30:40Z
10.5MC 00:30:50Z
3.7 MC 00:31:00Z
6.5 MC 00:31:20Z
10.5MC 00:31:30Z
3.7 MC 00:31:40Z
6.5 MC 00:32:00Z
10.5MC 00:32:10Z

12/22/2004 21:11 110 degrees from central Az would put the signal into Mexico or on the border of SE Arizona not area 51 which is in Nevada. However, that said, Ft Huachuca home of Inscom and various other Army communications labs and test facilities, that would be the most likely source. Unless one has a pretty sophisticated DF system, it would be difficult to pinpoint even a near location. The best we could do with our systems which were enhanced with the Navy system was to an elipse of maybe 25 x 75 miles which still leaves a lot of territory. To get it closer would require some sort of mobile systems. The FCC df system at Douglas, if still in operation, might be too close and would be a lot of bounce due to the nearby mountains. The possibility of a propagation study for various ranges is a distinct possibility. I used to be on the mailing list for propagation information from one of the labs there.

12/22/2004 21:11 Listen to these frequencies.. at intervals of 40 seconds, the voice of yosemite same appears, and says "varmint, I'm gonna blow ya to smitherines!" Its' preceded by what sounds like a dightal signal. This has been going on 24x7 for several days now on 3700KC, but is best heard at night. There is much speculation about this on the glowbugs list. Some speculation that it's military in origin. It's apparently DSB or ISB, so can be heard with an SSB receiver. The timing has a slot in it, a missed time, see below:

3.700 MC 00:30:20Z
4.300 MC
6.500 MC 00:30:40Z
10.50 MC 00:30:50Z
3.700 MC 00:31:00Z
4.300 MC
6.500 MC 00:31:20Z
10.50 MC 00:31:30Z
3.700 MC 00:31:40Z
4.300 MC
6.500 MC 00:32:00Z
10.50 MC 00:32:10Z

1/14/2005 22:59 on 5, 10, 15, 20MHZ

1/15/2005 02:22 on 5 mhz under WWV using the Icom's autonotch filter on LSB. The strange thing is Sam's message is truncated, it's now just the data burst followed by the single word, "Varmint". Also, it appears in a staggered, random-seeming pattern, once, maybe twice a minute, sometimes at :05 past the minute, sometimes at :20 past.

1/14/2005 1900 Z on 10, 15, and 20 MHz at around 1900 UTC in NW Wisconsin

1/15/2005 1400Z Hearing Sam weakly under WWV on 5Mhz strong on 10, moderately strong under 15

Buzz with VARMINT at 08, 28, and 48 seconds after the minute. Gee, it's easy to correctly find the right time now. :-) WWV is S7 and Sam is not as loud as WWV. Easy to hear at 08 and 48, but 28 is difficult to hear over the WWV tone. Im in Lincoln Nebraska. Time: all day, but right now its 2142Z. 1/15/2005 15:41 I remember when we first heard it here on 3700 on Dec 17 we thought it was saying Herman also, but since proved it was Varmint. This is the same, though to me the buzz at the beginning sounds different somehow.

1/15/2005 22:11 Y. Sam on 5 MHz this evening. Here in Idaho WWV is really strong but once in awhile I catch a "grrrrrr...varmint!" Nothing on the other frequencies so far.

01/16/05 0420Z hearing WWV, HD2IOA Guayaquil, Ecuador, and only hearing Yosemite with the grrrr and the word varmint... YS is S8, Ecuador is S7, and WWV is underneath all of them.

0120 18 Jan 2005 5.000 Mhz, random transmissions during "quiet" period of WWV broadcast "[buzz] Varmint!" The "data" can be heard a bit better a few KHz down, it's is better copy at 4995 that at 5000. Side note, can also copy the russian time signal on 4995. Been ages since I had heard it.

02-24-2005 from twomules@dwave.org on the WUN list: "Yosemite Sam was busted Feb 17th. The transmitter was west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, just off I-40. Heard on Glen Hauser's World of Radio this evening. The FCC enforcement bulletins should have more details." For more info on YS, see http://www.spynumbers.com/YosemiteSam.html

3/6/2005 16:45 "Amateur Radio NewslineT Report 1438 - March 4, 2005 Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1438 with a release date of Friday, March 4th 2005 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

THAT FINAL ITEM: HAM VS. SPY (RADIO) And finally this week, when a pair of New Mexico hams decided to trace down some interference on the 75 meter band, they had no idea that they may have been entering a world of spy versus spy. Or should we say hams versus spy. Here's more:
-- On Wednesday, February 16th, Mike Stark, WA5OIP and Mike Langner K5MGR set out to locate some annoying interference on 3 point 700 Mhz. A signal that had been on the band since last December. The interference manifested itself as a digital data burst followed by an audio clip from a Yosemite Sam cartoon. Nope. I am not kidding you. Each transmission ended with the famous line where Sam says:
--- Actual interfereing audio: (data buss followed by) "Varmint, I'm agonna blow you to smithereenes..."
-- The interference came on for just a few seconds at intervals of just under 2 minutes. The fact that Yosemite Sam was loud and clear told the Stark and Langer that the interference was intentional and not simply a transmitter gone bizzerk. Using Stark's mobile installation the pair quickly found that the signal grew stronger as they headed West. They then shifted to a Potomac Field Intensity Meter with a shielded loop antenna. Using this gear they located the offending transmitter at the MATIC facility on the Laguna Indian Reservation. MATIC is an acronym for the Mobility Assessment Test and Integration Center. This is a military facility used to develop advanced battlefield communications systems and not generally known to the public. The two hams dove up to the building. At no time did they leave the public highway. Langer began taking pictures of the towers, antennas, and building. Immediately a not-very-friendly guy started walking towards their truck. He was yelling and gesturing for the hams to stop taking pictures and go away. Langer and Stark beat a hasty retreat. Now here's the real kicker. The ham radio T-hunters found the interfering transmitter at about 2:30 in the afternoon. The signal went off the air around 5:30 that evening and has not been heard since. Langer suggests that the origin was a contractor's employee having having a little fun on the radio. Obviously his or her superiors got the message that ham radio operators do not consider interference to their spectrum to be something to enjoy."

Also see: