Morse Code Secret Message in Colombian Song

FARC Guerillas. Wikipedia photo.

FARC Guerillas. Wikipedia photo.

Morse Code was used in 2010 to get a secret message to hostages being held in the Colombian jungle by FARC guerrillas.  Some of the hostages had been held for years, and the Colombian army wanted to deliver a message that they hadn’t been forgotten, that some hostages had already been rescued, and that they were next.

Since it was known that some of the prisoners knew Morse Code, and the captors probably didn’t, the Army decided to insert a Morse message into a popular song and get it broadcast on the air.  The result was the song heard on this YouTube video, Mejores Dias (Better Days), recorded by Colombian studio musicians Natalia Gutierrez Y Angelo.

I knew there was Morse Code coming, and I heard it the first time.  If I hadn’t been expecting it, I suspect it might have taken a couple of plays for me to notice.  And once I knew it was there, it took me several times to get the entire message, since it is well hidden in the music.  But if I had a lot of time on my hands, I would eventually decode the entire message.  It’s in the chorus, starting at about 1:30, 2:30, and 3:40 in the video, following the words, “escuchas esta mensaje, hermano” (listen to this message, brother).

To make sure that the song was heard, the Colombian army arranged to have it inserted into the play lists of the government-owned stations serving the jungle areas where the hostages were being held.  The guerrillas listened to the radio, and the hostages later reported that they even liked the song.  The message was heard, as rescued hostages later reported.

The message reads:   “19 LIBERADOS. SIGUEN USTEDES. ANIMO.”  (19 PEOPLE RESCUED. YOU’RE NEXT. DON’T LOSE HOPE.)  Even if you have only a passing knowledge of Morse Code, you will hear it, and you’ll eventually be able to decode it.

More information is available at TheVerge.com, at the article linked below.

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