The Mysterious Yosemite Sam Transmission

Josh Clark

Somewhere in the New Mexico desert, possibly on the Laguna Indian Reservation outside of Albuquerque, there is a radio transmitter that occasionally sends a mysterious burst of transmissions. These transmissions, called the Yosemite Sam transmission for reasons that will soon become clear, don't make sense to the degree that they make one think they must make sense in some way that's not immediately apparent.

Spynumbers has a great post that says that beginning in December 2004, the FCC began getting reports of the Yosemite Sam transmission, which begins as an 800 millisecond data burst, similar to the sound a Blu-Ray player might make when it makes some horrible error. That is immediately followed by a clip of an arch nemesis of Bugs Bunny's, Yosemite Sam, announcing, "Varmint, I'm gonna blow you to smithereens!" Radio geeks/conspiracy trackers/curious people pinned down the phrase from the 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Bunker Hill." Why it's attached to a burst of compressed information (often used by intelligence community) is mysterious enough. That it is transmitted in on four frequencies -- 3700, 4300, 6500 and 10,500 kHz -- for a full two minutes without any missed time mark tends to make it all the more mysterious.

Here is the Yosemite Sam transmission.

And here is who I have come to believe is responsible: