Santa Cruz, CA… 10/06/09… A family member of ours has a shortwave radio that we have all been messing around with. We had been using it for sound effects and noises when one day it was left on in the studio. Keyboardist David Phipps’ daughter Aya was playing around with the dials when all of a sudden it stopped on this voice on the super low frequencies of the spectrum. It was a woman’s voice, artificial we later found out, counting off numbers in a very clear and concise way. We became obsessed with what we had heard and for weeks we sat behind the dials trying to find more voices.
There was only one more to be found, the voice we sampled for the beginning of the song “Central”. After a bit of research, we found that these were numbers stations, thought to be coded messages various governments use to send correspondence to spy’s overseas. This of course isn’t publicly acknowledged by any government, even though in 2001 the United States tried the Cuban Five for spying using information they supposedly received and decoded by broadcast from a Cuban numbers station.
STS9 has always been fascinated by numbers; finding this transmission captured our imagination so much that we had to see if there was something more to what we had found. Immediately we enlisted the skills of a crypto-hacker friend of ours to see if she could find any relevance to the sequence we had recorded. When she ran the numbers as coordinates corresponding to a map of military bases in California, she came up with an exact location in Big Sur. We immediately went to check it out and sure enough there was a trail about 10 miles back off of Nacimiento Rd. just south of the park that led to this old abandoned bunker type structure. It was crazy. We were all looking at each other in disbelief but there we were. We crawled through a hole at the bottom of the fence and walked inside. There we found a rusted metal box that had a few pictures, documents, patches, passports, and a knife in it. The first picture was of a document from Allen Dulles to J. Edgar Hoover on brainwashing. The second was of two men standing over a map of the Middle East. That image became the cover of our first single “Atlas” off the upcoming release ‘Ad Explorata’. One of the patches we found was the most intriguing of our finds. It had this physically impossible symbol on it that looked futuristic next to all of the older documents. It’s the symbol we lay over top of every image you will see for the album. In doing some research, we later found an old book of ‘black ops’ military patches at the Prelinger Library that had a brief description of this patch. It was thought to be for a secret unit that first used satellites to gather SIGINT (signal intelligence) from other countries during the Cold War. The story is that this team actually gathered signals from another civilization in our galaxy. Their motto was ‘Ad Explorata, Forward into the Unexplored’.
We’re not ones for conspiracies but sometimes the truth is stranger than anything we could imagine. With this, we present to you STS9’s newest studio release “Ad Explorata” due out November of 2009, inspired by the idea that there is always more to be discovered, manifested by the belief that you can always push towards the unknown and unexplored, and created by the will and desire for constant artistic evolution, expression and change.
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