An Archive of Jacob Appelbaum’s Post-Katrina weblog

A few links regarding the possible blocking/jamming of communications

Posted in Katrina,radio by jacob on September 7, 2005

“we now have a new unconfirmed report that the culprit may be the
Pentagon itself. The emitter is an IF (Intermediate Frequency) jammer
that is operating south southwest of New Orleans on board a U.S. Navy
ship, according to an anonymous source. The jamming is cross-spectrum
and interfering with superheterodyne receiver components, including
the emergency radios being used in New Orleans relief efforts”

President of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, Aaron Broussard, on
Meet The Press: “Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three
trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need
them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel
on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with
our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday — yesterday
— FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines.
They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in,
he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is
getting near these lines…”


17 Responses to 'A few links regarding the possible blocking/jamming of communications'

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  1. […] It’s been reported that some of the radio frequencies used in the New Orleans relief effort are being jammed. Rumours from the blogosphere seem to suggest that this may be coming from a pirate radio station in the Caribbean or from a US Navy ship (presumably/hopefully unintentionally). […]

  2. Kevin said,

    WTF? Okay, this is getting weird… is there more information regarding this one way or another?

  3. DCrisis said,

    I haven’t heard it, but what frequencies is it reported on? HF? Could also be Broadband over Power Lines or a damaged power transformer. I’ve been listening to the scanner feeds of air rescue traffic and the State Police/ national guard 800 system and it sounds fine. There’s not enough of it, but what’s there seems to work. I have all my tools packed but they haven’t picked me to go yet.

  4. Possible Communications Jamming?

    There is a strange story coming out of New Orleans that there is an unidentified pirate radio station blocking/jamming of communications. This might be something for an enterprising journalist to inquire about. Especially in the light of lessons learne…

  5. Check political blogger Billmon’s piece on this story:

  6. Engineer said,

    If it’s IF jamming it’s at 455 KHz or 10.7 MHz which are the “standard” frequencies for radio IF chains.

  7. J Elad said,

    Might be one of these ?

  8. Jamming? Which ham conmfirmed that, and what’s their callsign? With accurate details, ARRL ‘Official Observers’ outside the area can use direction-finding to accurately triangulate the source. The ARRL and the FCC are _very_ eager to make sure ham radio works and can *quickly* shut down interference sources, once confirmed by actual, licensed operators.

    However, given the extent of damage to city power systems, it’s also veyr possible the power grid’s not behaving. The power company could be putting RF on the lines to trace what’s grounded and what’s open, preparatory to energizing priority lines. That could also cause the problems you describe.

    So, find a ham, and use ham skills to pin this down.. but without real names showing qualification to accurately describe the problem, I’d avoid the conspiracy theories.


  9. igli said,

    About the so-called jamming in New Orleans: According to what I read on this site, it is apparently coming from a Navy ship. Most likely this alleged jamming is nothing but the air search radar of that ship, being used to track and control the flight of the helicopters that are delivering supplies. It is well known that such high-power radar systems have a lot of bleedover into other EM bands. Did you watch CNN a few days ago and see the live broadcast from the news chopper that the photographer Alpaugh was sending? He was showing a Navy ship docked in New Orleans and the radar of that ship was active. Every time the radar beam swept across the helicopter Alpaugh was in, you could hear an audible “thwip” noise on the audio feed he was sending. Alpaugh himself commented on being able to hear it in his headset.

  10. Randy said,

    I gotta call bullshit on this one. I had heard this rumor a few days ago and heard from a most-hardcore ham radio operator that there was no jamming going on in NO.

  11. jacob said,

    These are good updates. Strange activity is certainly documented. I’ve heard all sorts of information and nothing seems to have been confirmed as of yet. Being a skeptic is a good start to finding the truth,

  12. […] Xeni Jardin: Bloggers following the emergency communications flow in New Orleans report that some frequencies are being actively jammed. This post on Jacob Appelbaum’s blog points to speculation that a government agency may be responsible for some of that activity. Link Katrina […]

  13. Clif said,

    Actually the radio “jamming” was caused by God. A massive solar flare (4th largest since records have been kept) caused the interference. Mark another one up for the religious right.

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