City of Gustav – One Time Pads

Gustav delves into the world of Cryptography and the Cold war to talk about One Time Pads and mysterious Number Stations.  Due to scheduling conflicts and the time constraints of the holiday season, Gustav once again takes you into the rabbit hole of his mind to learn about espionage and gadgetry.


One time pads are means of creating a coded message that only can be deciphered if you have the corresponding copy of the one time pad.  Intelligence agencies used them throughout the Cold War in conjunction with mysterious radio transmissions on what the public nicknamed Number Stations.  Number stations broadcast on short wave frequencies and deliver one way messages to field operatives.


One time pads and numbers stations


So send us your emails about  cryptography, weird radio broadcasts or anything you want to hear about  to

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U.S.S. Pueblo

Ty went to Rangers spring training and Heavy and Gustav couldn’t get together so Gustav decided to educate the masses on the U.S.S. Pueblo incident.

USS Pueblo spy ship

The U.S.S. Pueblo

Gus starts off by digging into some Korean history and showing the inherent isolationist tendencies of past Korean rulers.  Both invasions by neighbors and intrusions by Europeans, including the S.S. General Sherman incident as well as French and U.S. expeditions, kept Korea sequestered till the late 19th century.

Kim Il Sung’s rise to power is then discussed as well as his actions regarding the Korean War, the DMZ Crisis and the Blue House Attack.  By setting the scene of the situation on the Korean peninsula in the late nineteen sixties, Gustav prepares you for the tale of the U.S.S. Pueblo and her crew.

uss pueblo propaganda photo with sailor flipping off the camera

The Ever So Subtle Hawaiian Good Luck Sign

The U.S.S. Pueblo was an American spy ship working off the Eastern coast of North Korea.  She was discovered and captured by the North Korean navy.  Her crew was then taken to Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea.  The crew was tortured and used for propaganda purposes, but they came up with a way to resist, by flipping off the cameraman, which they told the North Korean captors was a Hawaiian Good Luck Sign.

Ultimately the crew was released and returned to the U.S., but a full court of inquiry was launched against the ship’s officers.  Listen to find out the rest of the story.

The full crew of Heavy, Ty and Gustav will be back next week with their usual mix of laughs, weird stories and listener emails.  You can send your own questions, topic ideas, or weird stories to

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