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Fallout 3: Numbers Station



Estimated reading time — 5 minutes

Fallout 3 contains several in-game radio stations. The most diverse and important station is Galaxy News Radio.

Many players of the evil persuasion know that you can kill Three Dog and he will be replaced by the technician Margaret. She is not a charismatic person and has very little to say, seeming to not enjoy her new announcing duties. She also never appears in person, and therefore cannot be killed. Once Three Dog is dead, you’re stuck with Margaret.

What most players do NOT know is that under certain circumstances, GNR will become a “numbers station.” A numbers station is a station that broadcasts an unusual coded message. Many of these exist in real life and some hypothesize that they are a nuclear retaliation control network. Simply check Wikipedia for more information about these odd broadcasts as they relate to the real world. Back to Fallout 3…

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No one is really sure which actions are needed to hear the numbers station in Fallout 3. It appears that you must kill Three Dog, because no one has reported hearing the numbers station with him still alive. It also appears that you have to skip over the quest “Galaxy News Radio” where you help boost the signal so that the station can be broadcast further than just the immediate DC area. This is easy enough to do with either a speech check or simply using the FalloutWiki to look up where to go next and advance the main plot. Finally, you definitely have to destroy Raven Rock. This is the actual trigger to turn GNR into a numbers station, and it will remain such for the rest of the game. However, the vast majority of the players who perform these three actions still continue hearing the standard GNR broadcasts, so there must be several more requirements the community has yet to isolate.

If you’re lucky enough to have hit upon the right set of circumstances, just after destroying Raven Rock, you will get the message, “Radio signal lost” and a few seconds later, “Radio signal found.” You cannot, however, actually listen to GNR just yet because you didn’t boost the signal and are out of range of the broadcast at the exit of Raven Rock. Luckily, Raven Rock is situated in the mountains and is right near one of the few places outside DC that you can get high enough to catch the signal. So far, the confirmed location to hear the GNR numbers signal are:

  1. Within the immediate DC area obviously…this is true for the regular GNR throughout the game.
  2. At the top of the ferris wheel at point lookout
  3. On the tops of some of the satcom arrays you can climb in the northwestern map area.
  4. On the roof of Tenpenny Tower, though this may be within normal broadcast range anyway. Feel free to playtest and get back to me on this.
  5. On the highest point of the broken bridge around Arefu…again, may be within braodcast range anyway.
  6. On some of the highest points of the mountain tops in the area near Raven Rock. This is obviously your easiest chance to first listen to the numbers station.

When you tune in, you will hear an old familiar voice…Three Dog, despite the fact that you killed him earlier. However, you will quickly notice that he does not seem to be “in character.” So I guess it’s not technically Three Dog, but just the voice actor, Erik Dellums. He reads a series of numbers in a monotone, depressed sounding voice. He always recites a list of single digits between 9 and 12 characters long. For example, “nine-three-seven-nine-one-seven-two-zero-three-four.” Hever never uses a multi-digit number like “eleven” or “forty.” These numbers are followed by widely varying lengths of Morse code. This is then followed by the song “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.” All other music tracks seem to be inactive on the numbers station.

The Morse code was the easiest part of the mystery to crack, as the code is widely available and many people actually know it by heart. We quickly had a list of a great number of messages in English. Some sounded completely mundane and even comical, such as “Washed the car today, maybe Chinese for dinner.” or “Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts.”

You may be saying, “But wait, YouTube doesn’t exist in the Fallout universe,” and you are right. As far as we could tell, all of the messages sounded like they were based in our reality somewhere near present day.

Some of the messages, however, are quite sinister, such as, “The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these, we are all Brits.” or “I can’t believe they’re actually done it. Not long left. The noise. I can’t take the noise anymore. I have a pistol in the attic.”

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Just recently, a player on the wikiforums noticed a message that brought to light the meaning of the messages. He was reading a thread that collected all known messages, transposed from Morse to English, and saw the line, “one-two-zero-five-five-two-eight-two-zero-one-zero. What are you talkin’ about? You’ll be missed.” He realized this referred to the recent death of Gary Coleman, and the quickly realized the numbers were the time and date of death. He immediately scanned through the messages to try and find more examples of this apparent future telling by a game that’s more than a year old. The next message he read shocked him and pushed him to enlist the aid of the others to decipher the codes. The message was “nine-four-five-four-two-zero-two-zero-one-zero. Accident in the gulf, several dead. Oil spill apparently averted.” He realized this was the BP explosion and the erroneous day-one assessment that the well was not leaking.

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From this point on, all numbers will be transcribed as times and dates. All times were given in game in military format and remain so in this document.

Numerous members of the FalloutWiki message board began looking over the messages to see what else we could learn. We quickly found that most of the dates were after the game had been released, yet oddly some were from the past. “22:15 April 15, 1865 He’s dead and blame will probably be placed on that actor, Booth. Johnson better not cheat me out of the payment.”  This shed new doubt on the official version of the Lincoln assassination.

As the community quickly started piling up interpretations of the messages, the mods of the site summarily banned everyone who had posted in, or even read the thread. All reference to the numbers station was removed from FalloutWiki and filtering software was put in place to prevent reposting of any relevant information. A few people, however, are trading emails and slowly finishing the translation of the remaining messages and putting dates to the existing ones.

“The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these, we are all Brits.” 4:02 March 19, 2014

“Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts.” 24:16 December 24, 2012

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“I can’t believe Britney’s actually won an Oscar!” 21:33 February 27, 2023

“I can’t believe they’ve actually done it. Not long left. They were warned, but they just had to keep pushing the boundaries of science. The noise. I can’t take the noise anymore. And the light, dear God! The Universe is slowly unraveling around us. I’m not going to wait for death. I have a pistol in the attic.” This is actually the only message not preceded by a string of numbers.

It may be worth noting that the latest date on any of the messages is 1:27 July 6, 2027.

CREDIT: Anonymous

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106 thoughts on “Fallout 3: Numbers Station”

  1. Heard this in-game with a console command i found in the FOwiki(which has now been removed). The command bypasses the triggers that needs to be done before hearing the station. Although i have forgotten most of the command, the primary command line was setstafe if i remember correctly..Anyways, well done. Great pasta and really creepy since Gary Coleman died later after the game was released and received its final patch.

  2. This story just got substantially less creepy since March 19, 2014 passed. I believe the Queen is still alive (unless I missed something drastic) so, sadly this no longer gives me the creeps.

    It is still, however, one of my favorite game pasta’s ever. I actually spent 2 weeks looking for the numbers station.

  3. Less than an hour remains here, I have stumbled upon this link near this time of clarity. I cried involuntarily, as the universe may have chosen me to watch…

  4. March 19 of 2014… it will be in 9 days from now. Let’s see if the creepypasta wins more “credibility” if something happens to “The Queen”.

  5. guys I think I have a theory most of you will think I’m crazy but I think how they made fallout was by looking into the future. the games are a warning to what is to come

  6. I LOVE how the “Last Known date” is the start of the Great war, for fans like me that’s EXTRA creepy. And this is totally unrelated but, did anyone find it cool how the father’s name is James and the Bible passage is from King Jame’s bible?

  7. The Future Awaits

    3 months. lets see if the queen is still alive. Ill be psyched if she dies. not to sound like a dick, but not a lot of people get to see the end of the universe :p

  8. I saw a show on Discovery Channel a couple of weeks ago where Morgan Freeman talked about this huge asteroid that might collide with earth in 2027. And that thing about the noise and the light… Sounds like a huge asteroid to me.

  9. WHO WAS MOBILE?

    But, Who was rad___ Nah, Awesome Awesome pasta. Really freaked me out. Putting fallout you the back of my games pile. ;P

  10. Love it, and the game! Heard about this Pasta before, but it’s pretty fantastic. … And 2027 is the year “The Great War” breaks out in the game, right? So I guess that’s a cool little reference to those that remember that.

  11. oN mArCh 19 We’Ll SeE iF tHiS cReEpY pAsTa Is ReAl …
    HAVE A FUCKING HAPPY LIFE QUEEN OF ENGLAND! I WONDER WHO’LL GET THE FUCKING THROWN!?

    To MuCh HoMeStUcK , S00RY

  12. I really hope this doesn’t turn into one of those end of the world panics attacks the whole country gets swept in to. Nostradamus was wrong the Mayans were wrong, every single cult leader that has ever existed was wrong im pretty sure this one its too. seems too easy to come up with an end of the world prophecy, in fact let me try;0-2-4-3-5-3-2-0-4-5 “it was inevitable…they said it with usher in a new era of threat deterence. The sun as a weapon. Now we’re the only conutry left in a scroched world. there’s no food left anywhere…Dear God, what have we done?” See? not that hard to make a vague, scary story or phrase and throw a far but still close date on it.

  13. For anyone who doesn’t know this 2027 is When the Combine (from Hl2 fully take over earth) and they went too far is the Reasasonce cascade from Hl1 or Black mesa(mod based or a remake of HL1).

  14. fallout is my favorite game of all time.

    But this is my favorite creepypasta of all time and my first one. (:

  15. no no no who ever says its fake your wrong its real but somthing els happind i save my game and turnd it of after 30 minits later i turnd it on and my saved game was still there i loded it and i respond out side the numbers station i went in and i herd the numbers without me doing enything thene i herd a nock on the door i ansered it was the the guy who sold me the game he said i need it back i said ok i invited him in my game frozed and it was making a wierd noise like a glich i listen closely and heard leave apt #12 now i dident know if i heard it right but i got scared so i tried to turn off the xbox it did not work i unpluged it it just made it worst we turnd the tv of and it stoped i wornd the pepol in apt 12 thay said after my partie iand i got to the nuber staion wierd things happend thay live right next door and ther son was over after we sold the game to some sucker 4 45$ HE WAS happy but he died in his sleep a week later thay said the he was stabbed and blood all over the walls saying this is your punish ment me and the pepol at apt 12 moved out i maired there my freaind sister he was the one who was at my apt but the strang evnts stilled happend in apt 12 and 13

  16. I love these types of game related Creepy Pasta. I mean, I feel that they’re good because they are not too crazy and could exist (and lets face it, someone has probably made a mod of this and other similar pastas by now)

  17. The only one I find hard to believe is the youtube message because of the time even in militay time there is no hour of 24 after 23 it starts over at zero but all the others seem like possible illuminatic warnings but the illuminati is just a conspiracy I don’t believe it but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest

    1. 24:16 is 12:16 midnight in military time.
      since in military time there is no zero hundred hours. it goes one to twenty-four

  18. One way to research it is starting a discussion on Falloutwikia. If it stays up, it’s fake, but if it’s taken down, you know!

  19. you know if the queen of england dies on the date and anytime near the time said in this pasta im gonna freak lol xD

  20. Well shit, my birthday’s on July 7th. Damn scientists have to go and destroy the universe the day before, of all days :(

  21. This is by far one of the coolest Pastas that I have ever read. It’s actually very chilling, considering the fact that Fallout 3 has many hidden references in it and such.

  22. I was loving it until the Britney thing. Kinda took away the creepyness. Just left me with a “yeah, right” at the end

    1. Academy Awards (AKA Oscars, the award that they’re saying a woman named Britney won) is for achievements in the film industry. Britney Spears (who I’m assuming you think it’s referring to) is in the musical industry and I think we can all agree that she will probably not be branching out to film.

      So this is probably referring to another Britney in the film industry, someone possibly undiscovered currently.

  23. “Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts.” 24:16 December 24, 2012 the time 24:16 is incorrect, not only does it read without a colon, but after 2359 hours it resets to 0000 hours. takes all the mystery away when you see :(

  24. LOVE it. Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games ever, thank you derpbutt! 10/10 because the only improvement possible can only come in the form of a sequel. My day is made.

  25. Well will ya look at that… a fanfiction that made the cut.

    Even more bizzare, fanfiction about a videogame that features a nuclear wasteland, horrific monsters, psychotic raiders, countless bodies, abandoned cities, and an overall feel of hopelessness and dread… yet he focuses on the freakin’ radio. The radio that plays cheery, ironic, and classy ’40s showtunes, he focuses on THAT for a creepypasta.

    And yet he still makes it genuine. Bravo, sir.

    1. Yep. Let it be known that I don’t simply auto-deny all video game pastas – if they’re a cut above, like I feel this one is, I have no issues with posting them.

    1. that is pretty awsome thinking off them actully^^
      If the world ends upp like fallout….. well watch out for deathclaws then :P

  26. I’ve only ever seen this played by other people… hmm. I wonder if this works somehow… there are plenty of easter eggs and glitches in games…

    1. that is what fallout dose best! ;)
      beside there always is updating games right? so wouldn’t make it creepy that some off the stuff is there for fun :P
      well I haven’t played fallout 3 so much I played new vegas however! Now I need to go out there and explore!!!! :D

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