No matter how much idealism was involved, underwriting the first offshore station required a knowledge of national laws and international treaties, and that was not the domain of teenagers having a good time listing to the radio. Neither was the choice of location for the original station. It was at the chokehold of the Baltic Sea which is where the USSR had a fleet of surface ships and submarines ready to turn the Cold War into World War III. But for those vessels to serve any purpose they had to get out of the Baltic Sea and into the North Sea.
Another overlooked vital piece of information is the real story behind the United States Coast Guard Cutter 'Courier' which was eventually anchored off Greece. Offshore broadcasting idealists have oft-cited this ship, but little did they seem to know its back story. That ship was a stopgap measure, and it was based upon a failed attempt at offshore broadcasting by the US Navy during World War II. How do we know this? Because it is part of the official U.S. government records that explained both the financing and purpose of the floating 'Voice of America' station. Unfortunately the pop writers did not do the research required, and so they never read this foundational information.
Just like a pebble thrown into a pond that causes ripples to spread in all directions, so this story about offshore broadcasting is also linked to those initial ripples. But offshore radio was not the cause of that first splash. It was caused by a Texas company dropping anchor for the first time as part of their quest to find and exploit natural gas and oil deposits under the waters of the North Sea. Meanwhile a fleet of U.S. nuclear submarines based in Scotland sent one of their number to stand guard at that same gateway to the Baltic Sea, and that is where the first commercial offshore station was located.
Copyright 2021 with all rights reserved.