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First, read this story.
Then, play the sounds.

Paul Garner, host of a British radio show, pretended to be a cab driver, giving the Heathrow Airport public address system announcers a piece of paper with two foreign-looking names of people to be paged. The names appear innocent enough, until you hear them read.

Look at the chart below, reading the names to yourself. Then single-click the speaker icon to hear a recording of the actual PA system in the airport terminal. In case you have trouble understanding what you are hearing, hold your mouse still over the speaker icon to read the English "translation."

Here are the actual recordings:

Number

Names Paged

Click to Hear
(new window)

1
Arheddis Varkenjaab and
Aywellbe Fayed
2
Arjevbin Fayed and
Bybeiev Rhibodie
3
Aynayda Pizaqvick and
Malexa Krost
4
Awul Dasfilshabeda and
Nowaynayda Zheet
5
Makollig Jezvahted and
Levdaroum DeBahzted
6
Steelaygot Maowenbach and
Tuka Piziniztee

The story behind the recordings:

Martin Pointon, who assisted Paul Garner in this mission, said, "We'd sit on the balcony at Terminal 3, Heathrow, directly under one of the PA speakers. We had a DAT machine hidden in a bag with its microphone poking out the top. We'd find a flight that had recently arrived from someplace like Saudi Arabia, then go to the Airport Help Desk, hand them a prewritten note with the names of the two fictitious passengers we were supposed to pick up, and ask that they be paged. This way, with the flight information was written on the note, it looked like everything had been arranged in advance. We even wore ID badges and carried a mobile phone so we looked more like taxi drivers. If they'd asked, we'd pretend to be unable to pronounce the names ourselves and just hand them the bit of paper."

"We got busted doing #5! They actually threatened to arrest us because 'there have been complaints!' We toyed with trying it again just to see exactly what they would arrest us for, but we decided instead that it was easier just to go to Gatwick. But that's why #6 sounds bad; Gatwick is much noisier and the ceilings are higher."

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