Ronan O'Rahilly died yesterday and Malcolm Smith (who calls himself Peter Moore), created a strange tribute to him on a domain web site that he calls 'Radio Caroline' (http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#home.html), but which is totally unrelated to Radio Caroline 1964-1967. Someone posted it under the name of 'Mourner' on my Comments Forum.
I had to verify that this was not a sick-joke wind-up and therefore I went to the source site, just in case. But it is genuine and so here are excerpts from Malcolm Smith's script, with highlighting added by me:
"Ronan O'Rahilly 21st May 1940 – 20th April 2020.
I first met Ronan at a protest March in 1970, being delighted to shake his hand. Sixteen years passed before we met again when having taken on some tasks for the station we were both in a basement office in Covent Garden where he viewed me with caution and suspicion and maybe always did. Ronan identified me as an incorrigible chatterbox while he kept conversation to a minimum, stating 'there is no obligation to divulge information just for the sake of doing so'. ....
Chris Moore suggested that for Ronan, life was a game where the subject matter was immaterial only that he would see a situation where money or a possession might be available, when he would employ his persuasive skills so that the money or possession became his. Then the game was won and it was time for the next game.
Ronan was also the master of the put down, made more cruel by his deadpan delivery. At a .... social event, neither of us really wanting to be there, he espied one time Caroline DJ Keith Skues who in 1967 had quickly taken the chance to join the BBC. He was selling copies of his book Pop Went The Pirates. With an anger undimmed by the passage of 25 years, Ronan explained how Keith had deserted as soon as things became difficult. His actual words were far more harsh than that and I hoped that Skues would not approach us but he did. .... 'Ronan baby, when did we last meet, it must be twenty years ago'. 'Probably', said Ronan. 'Ronan baby, we should not leave it so long next time'. "Why not?', said O' Rahilly.
From Surrey he had me give him a ride home in a splendid Range Rover that I had borrowed. He was convinced that it was mine and that maybe I had bought it from my Caroline earnings which of course were nil. All the way to Chelsea and in many different ways he tried to get me to admit that the car was mine finally or seemingly letting the subject drop before saying "So, how much did you pay for it?". There was no malice in the question, just that his mind would not compute that a person would work for so long without expecting any reward.
On various journeys, our subjects covered were strange and delightful. When a person might drop into to conversation that they had bought a new lawn mower, Ronan would talk about the time he bought an experimental nuclear spaceship, or his promotion of an engine that ran on water, which of course it did not.
.... Conversely on the Saturday of the 1989 raid on the Ross he called me when I was veering between despair and furious anger. "Look at it this way" he said calmly and slowly, "It could have been just another boring Saturday afternoon for you". But later he became so guarded as to only hold conversations in moving vehicles or on deserted railway platforms. We dragged his doomed legal case concerning the raid to one law firm after another, often having to lodge cash deposits into court to keep the case active. Ronan really thought that he was playing poker with HM Government and that if he kept raising the stakes they would blink first. They did not and the money was lost.
For a man who lived on his wits, dementia was the cruellest blow. (sic) .... A clever man, sometimes verging on genius. Eccentric of course, sometimes unscrupulous, but suddenly kind and warm hearted. A rogue maybe, but a charismatic and loveable rogue. ...."
I have deleted loony references to his many claims to his own self-importance which were derived from either the achievements of other people, or plucked out of thin air as mere daydreams.
To my mind this is a very strange 'tribute' to Ronan O'Rahilly by Malcolm Smith, because if I was the living subject of these words I might be tempted to conclude that the writer was mocking me as a total fool and con-man. On the other hand, that is exactly what Ronan O'Rahilly was!
One thing is certain: Ronan O'Rahilly did not create Radio Caroline and he had absolutely no impact on the development of British broadcasting. Ronan O'Rahilly was a fraud who fooled a lot of people and some of them have created a quasi-religious cult around him.
If remembrances should have been made to offshore broadcasting pioneers who did influence British broadcasting, they should have recalled Allan James Crawford; Don Pierson and Ted Allbuery.
You might think that with all the books, magazines, newspaper articles plus radio and television documentaries that have been published, that someone would by now be able to tell the authentic story about the beginnings of offshore commercial radio in the British Isles, or even how Radio Caroline came into existence. But the sad fact is, they have not done so to date!
What does exist are lots of people copying what other writers have written and just adding to existing confusion. One of the best sources remains official governmental investigations trying to accomplish the same thing, but because their finding often clashed with the pop version of events that was itself intentionally obfuscated to mislead, the pop writers (such as Rusling), just added fuel to the fire of confusion. Reconciling the incomplete official investigative reports with the pop stories only results in a great big muddle.
There is only one alternative and that is begin anew by analyzing what does exist, and then discarding that which is obviously untrue.
The other question that remains to be answered, is where does this story begin?
Some want to follow the story of broadcasting from ships that takes them back into the beginnings of broadcasting itself, but it is totally unrelated to the question of how and why Radio Caroline was created? So how about identifying one key person, such as Allan James Crawford, and following his biographical trek through time?
Although Allan Crawford did give a number of interviews in later life, he did so from memory, which by then was fuzzy. Another problem with those interviews is that there seems to be certain aspects of his life that Allan Crawford did not want to reveal to the public.
Because he did not publish his memoirs, the next best thing is to turn to his brother-in-law Bernard Harte who did write and publish a book about the history of radio in general (Harte, Bernard. When Radio Was the Cat's Whiskers . Rosenberg Publishing. Kindle Edition); which also includes a recital about his relationship with Allan Crawford. Unfortunately his recital contains "fill" material which he has obviously incorporated from other sources. However, Bernard Harte did relate some aspects of Crawford's life that are informative in a general way.
"Allan was born and raised in the New South Wales city of Newcastle. I first met him at the Crawford family home in the suburb of Merewether when I was courting his sister Jean, soon to be my wife. It was during the war years. .... Allan was then .... employed .... as a sub-accountant." I have redacted Harte's text to the salient points of interest to us.
"Three years later he was flying bombers over Germany. When the war ended, Allan elected to take his discharge in England to enable him to study music at the famous Guildhall. When he was in London he happened to meet Ralph Peer, principal of the US Southern Music Publishing Company. Peer was about to set up an office in Sydney and offered Allan the job of manager, impressing on him the fact that he would have to operate on a shoestring budget, at least for the first year. Allan accepted."
From this we know that Allan Crawford was in London following WWII, and he studied music, met Ralph Peer who offered him the job of opening an office for Southern Music in Australia.
"In the mid-fifties he went overseas on a business trip .... While he was in London the manager there died and Allan landed his job, which went smoothly until Ralph Peer passed away. His widow clashed with Allan—end of story."
Harte tells us why Allan Crawford came back to England and took over the London office of Southern Music, and it may be that Ralph Peer became ill; his wife took over the U.S. headquarters then Crawford fell out with her and left, after which Ralph Peer died. However, the events that then took place in Crawford's life are not properly recorded by Harte, because some basic information is clearly in error.
By December 1999, Allan James Crawford who became afflicted with diabetes, which resulted in the amputation of one leg and confined him to both a wheelchair "and a rather lonely life". Then he lost his other leg and his eyesight and he spent his remaining days in a nursing home bed in Wales. But shortly before he died a person who his brother-in-law met and only identifies as an "Englishman" had befriended Allan Crawford and then stole £20,000 by forging his signature.
".... this very talented man, who bore his illness and disability with fortitude and dignity, left us suddenly as the result of a bout of pneumonia. Before he died he dictated his life story on tape. I’m sure his autobiography will be a bestseller." Unfortunately this recording seems to have disappeared and it has not, as far as we are aware, been published to date.
However, it does appear that Allan James Crawford did leave Peer-Southern in London on August 17, 1959, and that date provides us with the start of a timeline leading into events surrounding the birth of offshore commercial-sponsored radio broadcasting to the British Isles.
The next part of this existing mystery, is to document from all of the conflicting pieces of information currently in circulation, the movements of Allan James Crawford in connection with the birth of British offshore radio. Part of the mystery about this man may become clearer when we follow the end of Radio Caroline South and the disposal of its ship 'Mi Amigo'. Because if we can work backwards in time from known facts, perhaps we can then link them to other facts in evidence that are coated with many bogus interpretations and claims.
If we can establish what is known as fact, then we can discern what is true and what is false about the claims currently in circulation. Having that kind of information as our guide, it should be possible to follow both individual biographies and company records to form a proper timeline of events.
George Hare (left) seems like a good starting point because following the death of Radio Caroline he was working for Phillip Solomon in Dublin who was milking the twin transmitting ships until they gave up the ghost and Wijsmuller called them home to Amsterdam. (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/towed1c.htm).
According to George, his boss did not tell him what his ultimate game-plan was, but if anyone thought they were getting the better of Phillip Solomon, he obviously set out to prove that they were wrong. His idea was to pay for airtime in order to plug his record label, and that is what he did. Since there was no formal structure after August 14, 1967 to the entity which called itself Radio Caroline, all Solomon had to do was keep the stations on the air without bothering about the maintenance of the ships themselves, but Wisjmuller was not similarly persuaded, and they eventually pulled the plug.
This is where George Hare leads us to Wijsmuller and the financial structure behind that Dutch entity, or at least the branch of it that connected to both the mv Caroline, and the mv Mi Amigo. That trail leads us to the Republic of Panama.
One person who was always perplexed about the people he worked for was former Marconi engineer George Saunders. He was Chief Engineer on the mv Mi Amigo (Radio Caroline South), and sometimes 'Doctor Fix-It Quick' on the eponymous ship that was home to Radio Caroline North. He was also the stand-in for John Howard Gilman, who, with his secretary Dorothy 'Kitty' Black at her desk in Caroline House, ran more than just the engineering side of things at 6 Chesterfield Gardens.
On January 19, 1966, George Saunders was on board Mi Amigo the night it went aground at Frinton-on-Sea, and then he was approached by agents of the Crown who wanted him to set a propaganda station just outside Ian Smith's self-declared Republic of Rhodesia.
When George Saunders left the employment of the people who had control of engineering side of Radio Caroline South, he asked for a letter of reference, and he received a letter which mystified him for years. Now that mystery has been solved, and tomorrow I will show you the first part of what has been uncovered.
I write the "first part" because what you will learn tomorrow is the tip of a gigantic iceberg of information that has been hidden from view!
We are peeling back the layers of obfuscation and outright lies deliberately spread by people like Ronan O'Rahilly who was but a mere "decoy duck" (as one MP called him.) This story is far, far, far, far bigger than anything to do with pop pirate broadcasting as you will begin to learn right here, and it has several major branches attached to it that have affected millions of people who had no interest in anything to do with offshore broadcasting.
By calling itself the 'Offshore Radio Museum', it might be reasonably expected by a visitor to that cyber site, that they would find a collection of facts about the subject of offshore radio:
If Paul Rusling is but one in a long line of self-publishers and careless mainstream book publishers who have issued fiction in the name of fact, then the 'Offshore Radio Museum' has to be associated with that 'Wikipedia' class of unreliable cyber information about maritime broadcasting stations.
For instance, enter the words 'Radio Atlanta' and this is what you find [with my notations added]:
"In 1960 an Australian ex-wartime bomber pilot and music publisher, Allan Crawford, established a business in London managing minor artists and producing cover versions of hit songs on his own record labels." [A few entries back I had written that Allan Crawford left Peer-Southern on August 17, 1959 following a dispute with the widow of Ralph Peer. However, because of the fuss that people like Scottg were creating over dates, I discovered that Ralph Peer died on January 19, 1960, so I will have to undertake a more thorough review to discover exactly when and why Crawford left Peer-Southern.]
"Crawford had, until 1959, worked both in Britain and Australia as Managing Director of a music publishing company - Southern Music - before leaving to establish his own business, Merit Music Publishing Ltd. which produced records on labels including Rocket, Sabre, Crossbow and Carnival. .... Crawford set about convincing a number of wealthy and influential backers of the commercial potential for launching a radio station to challenge the BBC monopoly. The result was the formation of Project Atlanta Ltd., which initially had 38 separate investors each holding anything between just 50 and 10,000 of the company's 150,000 £1 shares." [Now this is where this cyber museum and Wikipedia throw their arms around each other! Project Atlanta Ltd was not incorporated until August 1, 1963, and its directors did not include any of those "wealthy backers" that it came to have by the end of 1964. But that is not what this cyber "Museum" says:]
"By early summer 1962 Allan Crawford was aware that the Scandinavian offshore stations (with the exception of Radio Syd) were about to close because of new legislation coming into effect at the beginning of August to outlaw them. Crawford had closely followed events surrounding these Scandinavian stations and he negotiated a deal with the American backers of Radio Nord to purchase that station's vessel, Magda Maria, complete and ready to broadcast, together with the entire contents of the fully equipped land-based studios in Stockholm." [The problem for the cyber 'Museum' is that no such deal was concluded because Crawford did not have the kind of money necessary to make such a deal.]
"In addition Crawford was interested in taking on some of the Radio Nord technical staff and marine crew to continue running the Magda Maria and all its equipment. The prospect of this sale to Project Atlanta had, in part, led to the early closure of Radio Nord - in June 1962 rather than at the end of July when the Scandinavian legislation came into effect." [According to Bill Weaver, the man who shut down Radio Nord, there was a far more sinister reason for shutting it down, and that was compounded, according to Weaver with the theft of company assets in Stockholm.]
"Bob Thompson (one of the American backers of Radio Nord) and Allan Crawford reached a preliminary agreement for the purchase by Project Atlanta of the Magda Maria and all the associated radio equipment and even agreed a delivery date for the ship to drop anchor in the Thames Estuary. But before anchoring off the British coast it was agreed that the Magda Maria would go into port for a complete technical and marine overhaul." [Now that is a statement by someone who is unaware of Bill Weaver, because he had full control of the ship and its radio equipment, and his base of operations was a hotel in London.
So, this cyber 'Museum' is stating as fact, something that is factually impossible.
This "deal" that is being supposedly being negotiated by 'Project Atlanta Limited' in 1962, is allegedly taking place one year before the company was registered!
But none of this troubles the script writer for the cyber 'Museum', and so far, until right this minute, right here and right now, no one has laughed this cyber 'Museum' to scorn.
But just to make sure everyone understands that the cyber 'Museum' is talking about 1962 and not 1963, their listing continues with more errors!]
"Even before Radio Nord had closed rumours of the sale of the Magda Maria started to circulate in Sweden during the early part of June 1962 and the station's owners became very nervous that the authorities would attempt in some way to seize the vessel, possibly if she sailed through the narrow channel between Sweden and Denmark. These fears proved unfounded, however, because after lying at anchor for a few days following Radio Nord's closure, the Magda Maria successfully slipped away from Scandinavian waters sailing quietly through The Oresund and into the international waters of the North Sea."
"The Magda Maria docked at El Ferrol in northern Spain on 2nd August 1962 where a complete overhaul of the vessel took place as part of the agreement with Project Atlanta. The renovated ship left El Ferrol on 14th September 1962, giving her destination as Dover, England and a few days later she dropped anchor, as agreed, in the Thames Estuary."
Now you wonder, so what?
Well, the cyber 'Museum' seems to dwell in a cyber bubble, unaware of events such as the aftermath of the 'Bay of Pigs' and the US embargo of Cuba, or that Bobby Kennedy had asked for the ship as part of 'Operation Mongoose'.
While the anoraks were busy putting Rusling's 'bible' at the top of the Garry Stevens' Forum, and keeping it there, they were spending waking hours attacking the people behind this blog. Not the issues, just the people, and one person in particular.
Is this their means of distracting from the obvious truth that the Malcolm Smith concoction that calls itself 'Radio Caroline', is based upon nothing more than Rusling's fraud, the nonsense on the cyber 'Museum', and all of those ridiculous 'Jimmy Ross' and 'Caroline Kennedy' myths?
The real problem is that no one before now has tried to set down a definitive account of all of the interrelated and interconnected events that took place between 1964 and 1967, because no one has even set down a definitive account of what exactly happened in 1959 that took events up to the year 1964.
That is what is being worked out here, because CNBC; Voice of Slough and GBOK which is followed by GBLN, are at the moment a confusing sea of ventures that also swirl around the company registered in April 1960 as CBC (Plays) Ltd. But what was that company in 1960: who incorporated it; why did they incorporate it, and why was it specified as a company whose main business was 'plays'?
This is what I will be documenting on this blog, as well as the new Timeline page that I have just created. If these loopy anoraks would spend more time discussing the origins of Radio Caroline and less time attacking me personally, then something might be achieved. Sadly it was when 'The Trio' extended an invitation to Paul Rusling that he merely stole what he wanted to produce yet another deceitful and fraudulent book.
On the other hand, in forthcoming issues of this blog, I will be documenting the real events referred to here.
When I began looking at the mountain of evidence that has been collected, it become obvious that the first thing I had to do was create a new integrated timeline.
I have also come to believe that by shutting out the panorama of world events and burying himself in the tiny little world of fans fused to the idea of broadcasting from ships, people like Paul Rusling not only missed out on the big picture, but they also missed out on the inter-connectivity of the story about offshore radio. No wonder Paul Rusling [and other authors] have fallen for the myths and hoaxes put in their way! So today I have been working on codes for various links; moving pages and creating a place for an integrated timeline.
The person called 'Scottg', who seems to be located in the southeast of England, has been very noisy and somewhat threatening over the subject of Pye; a company called Faraday, and a station called GBOK. What he failed to understand is what Allan Crawford once told a member of 'The Trio' when he recited details about the inter-connectivity of Radio Nord's owners with the owners of Radio Veronica and its offshoot CNBC, and how those entities became entangled with John Thompson's 'Voice of Slough', and how he became the antagonist of his former partner and conman Arnold Swanson whose GBOK became involved with Pye, before Pye became involved with Allan Crawford; who became involved with Dorothy Black, and all of this was being documented by the British Crown and its media control arm called the General Post Office.
Now as if this was not enough, while all that was going on in the British Isles, related matters were taking place across the Atlantic Ocean which exploded in a rogue split within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who teamed up with Cuban expats and their abysmal attempt to invade Cuba and topple Fidel Castro. Then, as the precursor to the advent of Radio Caroline, some of the people involved with Radio Nord and subsequently Radio Atlanta, also became entangled with events that led to President John F. Kennedy having part of his brain splattered over his wife one sunny day while driving through Dallas, Texas.
Finally, add to all of that the building of the Berlin Wall, threats of the nuclear annihilation of the inhabitants of the British Isles which had become home to the U.S.A.'s Polaris nuclear submarine fleet based in Scotland. They were on station almost next door to Radio Mercur where they attempted to bottle-up part of the Soviet Fleet within the Baltic Sea. To know what I am referring to it helps to have an atlas to hand with vital place names market upon it. Therefore I am also in the process of creating a separate page to show these locations. I have also circled the locations that are of importance to me, personally.
Once I have this bit of housekeeping underway, I will begin by filling in details of this new and universal Timeline - which is already linked as a page at the top of this blog page.
Having had the opportunity to go through the mountains of collected data from researched topics that all began by curiosity arising from the subject of offshore 'pirate' radio broadcasting, and then looking at another mountain of books about this subject, and that is in addition to the vast back-numbers of newspaper and magazine articles, not ignoring all of those documentaries both on radio and television, well it is enough to confuse anyone looking at this topic for the first time.
Any person trying to make sense of all this would need to self-isolate and shut out the world to look at all this material afresh. But who has time for that, in this busy world?
However, thanks to the Chinese gift to the world of their pandemic, nearly everything has shut down in fear, of what is not very clear. Sounds like the old Buffalo Springfield record from 1967 called 'For What It's Worth', which begins with: "There's something happening here; What it is ain't exactly clear ..." I lean to the famous explanation by President Roosevelt on March 3, 1933, when he said: ".... the only thing we have to fear is ... fear itself ...." and that fear has led to what he further defined as: ".... nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
That digression brings me to another one. It is a published academic article by members of 'The Trio', which begins with these words:
"On April 6, 1917, the United States of America began assembling a fighting force to engage in WWI. This American Expeditionary Force would eventually total almost 5 million men under arms, of whom 116,000 would die and 230,000 would be wounded when combat came to an end the following year. As if this was not enough mayhem for any generation, an influenza pandemic swept the world during this conflict and it killed more people in weeks than the sum total that died in combat during The Great War." See: http://foundthreads.com/04.html
So, thanks to the Chinese dictatorship and their Wuhan lab; plus the wonders of the Internet (which is still functioning), and to memory sticks; the cloud, and a laptop; I have been able to sequester myself without worrying about the time, or a schedule, and I have immersed myself into a bygone time: the years of the Cold War following the aftermath of World War II. It is from within that same time-frame that the sub-theme of offshore commercial broadcasting to the British Isles began to emerge, and finally it found success, albeit of a very limited duration, between the years 1964 to 1967.
But that story line does not begin a vacuum, and nor is it a story that is merely about pop records and a market of baby-boomers emerging as teens. They are fringe players, but the vast amount of publications and audio-video material created about that era would have you believe that it all took place in some form of surrealistic self-isolation from the real world decades before the Chinese pulled their pandemic stunt.
In fact, those teenage baby-boomers of the Sixties, formed a small cultural part of a bigger picture that was the offshore radio world of yesterday.
After finding more questions than answers in relation to solving the immediate mystery behind that single paragraph on page 276 of 'Radio Man', and then digging into the past of a former lightship that was earmarked in the press to become an offshore radio station; it became necessary to look for a universal time line into which everything fits, and more importantly, to look for a catalyst: a pebble or a stone that might have been thrown into a pond that began the ripples that simultaneously began to emerge in all directions. But what if more than one stone or pebble was thrown into that pond of time, and what if they were thrown in at the same moment in time?
Other writers have followed surface trends such as anecdotal cameo reminiscences by former disc jockeys, or even various hangers-on whose embellished tales of what they claim to have overheard, or witnessed, forms a new narrative; albeit a narrative without demonstrable authenticity. That is not what is being constructed on this site now that I have the time (thanks to Wuhan) and the resources (thanks to 'The Trio'), and a place to spread out and analyze all of this (thanks to my uncle.)
So let me establish a major first point: It is not a single stone that is being cast into a still pond; because the pond is not still. Other people are simultaneously casting their stones into that same body of water. Therefore I have to define what metaphorical body of water these stones are being cast into. In this instance it seems to be the vast Atlantic Ocean which is by no means still, and which ultimately connects the continent of North America to the archipelago that forms the British Isles.
Reading the story of Ralph Peer (in 'Creating Country Music'), it became rapidly apparent that his life connected with more the world of 'primitive' musicians, because he also connected to the embryonic record industry; the stirrings of broadcasting, and the re-writing of copyright law to apply to printed sheet music and its performance on record. Not only that, Peer's influence has been reflected on worldwide. But Ralph Peer was not alone in having this kind of influence; in broadcasting there have been men such as David Sarnoff and John Reith who caused the medium to be shaped according to their views. However, all of them interrelated with the world of money and the political powers that controlled the controllers.
So money does seem to be a worthwhile theme to follow, as per that exhortation in 'All the President's Men', and since by happenstance, or serendipity, right at this moment I happen to be looking at political-money documents retrieved from the British National Archives at Kew, that is where I will begin. These documents also connect up with the story of GBOK, so if, like the person who calls himself 'Scottg' you are wondering when I will tell you about Farraday Electronics, the answer is, I will get to it, when I get to it. But unlike people such as 'Scottg', my approach will remain that of a person presenting a case before a court of law, and before moving to point number two, it is necessary to establish point number one.
If you haven't heard the routine by Steve Martin many years ago when he dealt with this issue of establishing the first item of evidence before moving on to the second point by simply mentioning the first point in passing, then you should listen to this:
Today I spent time bringing about a change from book review to the first draft of material that will be used in a new book. Because the academic project is still going ahead, 'The Trio' have hived-off the commercial side which I have taken over because I have access to the same research material.
Therefore I will not be making any more additions to this blog today.
One final note. I am receiving comments from a person who has his own idea about what I should be doing. He also posts these ideas elsewhere in a form of blackmail: "If you won't tell them, I will." But I am not interested in his goals and objectives, and therefore this blog has its own agenda.
If you would like to contribute information that is documented, and which might be valuable if it is something not known to 'The Trio', please send it to me. However, please keep in mind that this blog is not beholden to anyone but me, and of course 'The Trio' I work with.
"To understand the London incarnation of Allan James Crawford, it is necessary to meet his mentor, Ralph Peer. What Crawford did in his native Australia (and what he subsequently did to shake Australian politics), I will come back to later.
But Ralph Sylvester Peer is someone who is known to everyone who has ever studied the creation of the musical genre that came to be known as "Country and Western" (C&W) music. We are not talking about making music, but recording it. Peer was the father of Country music - because he was responsible for "fabricating" its "authenticity."
It was after Peer died that Crawford's troubles began because he could not get along with Peer's widow, and so on August 17, 1959 Allan Crawford left the company known as Peer-Southern and with him went his contact to Eric White who at the time, represented one of the largest public relations firms outside of the USA.
If you recognize the name of Eric White, that is because Eric White and Associates later represented the fledgling Radio Atlanta, and long afterward Atlanta became Caroline South and Crawford became heavily involved in a political scandal in Australia; White was exposed as an 'asset' working for the secret services of both Australia and the USA during the Vietnam War.
Here is an overview of the musical legacy that Ralph Peer created and left behind:
Yesterday I acknowledged the help given to 'The Trio' by David Dudley [left] whose son Simon bought the former wooden construct lightship 'Lady Dixon', after it had been rotting away following many years of neglect. David Dudley discovered that this hulk had at one time been the proposed home of GBOK, which was intended to become an offshore radio station, and Dave became fascinated by the history of this hulk.
Today I want to put a lot of information in order of sequence that other writers have ignored; either because they were specializing on a specific aspect in the life of one of the participants, or as in the case of Paul Rusling's 'The Radio Caroline Bible', because he did not understand the subject he was writing about which is why he avoided all mention of GBOK in his 'Bible of Bilge'!
You read that right! In the softback version of Rusling's book you can search the Index for any reference to GBOK, and you won't find one. You can flip through the pages to see if it is there, and if it was missed out of the Index. Well, if it is there, I could not find it. Can you?
So what did Rusling do with this gap in offshore broadcasting history? Well, he just pretended that it was not there! Then what? Well, by eliminating GBOK he also eliminated the 'hook' that Pye latched on to, because Radio Caroline really came out of GBOK, and not Radio Atlanta, because Atlanta and Caroline were really two sides of the same coin, but each side was different.
However, the story behind-the-story of GBOK, as well as its inter-connectivity with the start of Radio Caroline, is a vital part of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, and if that thread is left unaddressed, it leads to invented links such as the ones that Rusling attached in his make-believe and cobbled-together series of fables. In fact, the more that his 'bible' is analyzed, the more impossible it becomes to try to correct his many misspellings; typographical errors and just made-up nonsense!
Rusling's bilge book does more harm than it does good, and yet, a little army of trolls stand behind their cult leader Rusling to defend his fiction. Why, because Rusling is supporting Malcolm Smith's claim that the tiny station he represents is the latest incarnation of Radio Caroline, except that it is not. Radio Caroline died in 1967, never to return again.
Others have adopted that name for other projects, but they are not related and neither is there a continuous timeline of broadcasting from 1967 to the present day. Rusling's book is built upon plagiarized texts which have been twisted to the point of total distortion. That is one of the main reasons why it became very necessary for 'The Trio' to distance themselves from everything connected to Paul Rusling due to the long-term harm that he has set in motion.
Therefore in this blog, the time that follows is based not upon the fantasy published by Rusling, but upon the actual and documented timeline established after decades of research, and which owes its origins to work performed by 'The Trio', with help from many people such as Dave Dudley.
In the next thread I will bring into focus several different people who were active during the same period of time, and I will reveal how they interacted with each other, learned from each other and helped to propel events that led to the creation of Radio Caroline. This will include the story of GBOK.
There have been many people who have used and abused the work of 'The Trio' and there have been a few who have shared their own resources and worked together for a common cause.
Dave Dudley was such a man.
Dave's son Simon bought the former 'Lady Dixon' lightship which he began converting into a home. His father became very interested in the history of the hulk and 'The Trio' began sharing information with David. He told 'The Trio' what he had discovered about the proposed home of GBOK, and 'The Trio' shared their information with him.
Then tragedy struck and 'The Trio' received this note from SImon:
"Unfortunately, due to David being taken ill, he will not be responding to this email address for the foreseeable future. Thank you.'
On Monday May 16, 2016 another email was received from Simon:
".... can you please take David off your email list for the moment as he is in hospital in a coma after a tragic accident last friday."
Finally, on Sunday July 17, 2016 this last email was received from SImon:
".... thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot. Sadly i think it is now a matter of days as David pulled out his feed tube in the week and the decision was made not to replace it. He is on morphine in case of any pain but i think he is ready to leave us. Will you please pass on our thanks to everyone else."
Another door to research had closed.
However, before David became ill, a lot of progress had been achieved in trying to establish a true chronology of GBOK and how it related to the "Voice of Slough", and threads of a story that had never been published before, began to emerge. I am amending this thread so that it remains as its own acknowledgement about the contribution made by Dave Dudley whose input I shall no doubt be referring to later on.
The story of GBOK now moves to a new thread that will follow this one, but to complete this tribute to Dave Dudley, and to explain how and why he became involved with the hulk that he referred to as the 'Cormorant', please follow this very detailed thread:
This is how that thread began on September 17, 2013 at 09:23:
"My son has recently bought the Cormorant, which has a chequered history. She was built in 1876/78 by the Victoria Shipbuilding Co., West Passage Cork, Ireland. She was 91 ft long, 21 ft wide and her draft was 11ft. She cost £7.500 to build and served on many Irish stations. Her construction was a composite of teak planking over Iron Frames. In 1942 she was sold to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners and renamed "Lady Dixon" after the Harbour Masters wife. .... Later in life she was destined to become a pirate radio station, but Customs and Excise intervened! Later she is reputed to have been moored at Pitsea and converted to a houseboat under her original title of Cormorant .... Now she is moored at Hoo near Rochester. Only one third of the above deck accommodation is habitable and below deck is in a poor state and bare ...."
David's many updated posts read like a story in itself, and therefore if you would like to know more about his involvement with this vessel, I encourage you to follow the thread I have listed. His last entry before going into hospital was on April 30, 2016.
Meanwhile, before I continue with the story of GBOK on my own thread, here is what David wrote on January 16, 2016 at 10:41 ....
"DavidD: Talking of detective work, Mervyn Hagger has been corresponding with me and given me a brand new take on pirate radio stations. He is firmly of the opinion that a lot of people have been and still are repeating myths originated for the specific purpose of creating obfuscation, and consequently everything from BBC to Wikipedia archives (which he reckons are always dodgy), are parroting back stuff that is entirely bogus. The real story of offshore radio is somewhat mind-boggling and it is not the story that the fans of offshore radio (1960-1968), think that it is.
"Arnold Swanson was Canadian by birth. He had no money and was a vacuum cleaner salesman and not an expert in anything - except conmanship. On top of which he was exposed in the British press as a fraud, and in Canada he was convicted of 'Saville-like' crimes and his wife divorced him.
"Thompson had spent time in Canada. There was obviously a split-off from Thompson by Swanson, but Thompson retained a lucrative underwriting radio sponsorship, while Swanson seems to have gained control of the Lady Dixon, while Thompson had a mere 70 ton motor boat. This and more from ‘proper’ researchers like Mervyn, Chris Edwards (Offshore Echos Magazine) and Jon Myers (Pirate Radio Hall of Fame). I very much welcome guidance from such stalwarts to keep me away from untruths and Chinese whispers, such as the often quoted origin of Cormorant – the Victoria Shipbuilding Co. I discovered that no such firm existed and she was built by the Cork Harbour Docks and Warehouse Company, who owned the Victoria dock.
"Mervyn sent me one tit-bit that Chris Edwards found during his research at the national Archives, Kew – I really must get down there! This is an extract from an official memo dated 13 February 1962.
"The Controller: Further to my report dated 5th February, 1962, on 6th February 1 received a press cutting from the Scottish edition of the "Sunday Pictorial, dated 4th February, 1962, from which it will be seen that Mr Arnold Swanson gave an interview to a reporter in which he said that he had invested £30,000 into the scheme for commercial broadcasting from a ship, that he had sold £100,000 worth of advertising time, that the broadcasting station would operate from a converted lightship flying the flag of Monaco and moored off Southend. The call sign of the station was stated to be 'GBOK'. As a result of this information I made enquiry of Trinity House and ascertained that four lightship vessels were sold in 1959. - J Johnstone.
"The memo goes on to detail investigation into the disposal of the Trinity House vessels – red herrings! Mr Johnstone also investigated Scottish Lights, to no avail. He missed out the real source – Irish Lights.
Scottg is impatient. He wants me to hurry up and get past GBOK so that he can start reading about Radio Atlanta and Radio Caroline. I suppose if he has turned to page 29 (softback) in his copy of Rusling's 'The Radio Caroline Bible' and started to read "The first steps of Radio Caroline" just above a picure of Allan James Crawford, he has read the following at the bottom of the page:
"The BBC were very aware of developments in radio. They deployed two of their retired engineers to other offshore ventures to observe. These 'advisors' took on consultancy roles for Radio Veronica and for two embryonic projects set to broadcast to the UK, GBOK and GBLN."
If Scottg actually paid for his copy of Rusling's rubbish he should demand his money back without delay.
We bought our copy in order to perform this review of its contents, so we view it as a 'tool of the trade' to examine it for accuracy (it fails miserably), and for plagiarism (it excels in that)! But because Paul Rusling is not at all well versed in the history of offshore broadcasting, no matter what he claims, even when he steals his source material, he still manages to present a mixed-up and pathetic account of the subject. But then, Rusling admits that he does no research and that he hates studying books, so what should a reader expect of an author with such poor credentials?
Paul Rusling is a leader of the blind and he is taking them into that proverbial ditch. Not only that, they are paying him to mislead them! Now that is the mark of a 'good' con-man!
So what should Scottg expect to learn about this same period of time that is true, and which, to the very best of our knowledge, is accurate? We are always willing to stand corrected once proof is presented. That is why we are taking this so slowly and documenting everything.
That being the case, let us take another look at Rusling's words and ask some basic questions about the opening lines of page 28 (that end conclude with the quotation above):
"The first tentative steps to set up what was to become Radio Caroline were taken in early 1960 when New Zealand born music publisher Allan Crawford decided to leave the Australian Southern Music Group and set up his own music publishing business, Merit Music in London."
Well we begin by correcting the year when the story of Allan James Crawford took a turn in a different direction.
Next we correct the birth place of Allan James Crawford. He was born in Australia which is not a part of New Zealand.
Finally, Southern Music was a United States company with a very long and prestigious history that set up a branch in Australia. Then it set up a branch in London, England, and when its very famous founder died, Crawford fell out with his widow who had took over control of the company. It was then and for that reason that Crawford decided to start one of several businesses of his own.
Now since this is the opening paragraph to the beginning of Rusling's account of how Radio Caroline began, it is no wonder that at the bottom of the page his last paragraph is just as bad:
"The BBC were very aware of developments in radio. They deployed two of their retired engineers to other offshore ventures to observe. These 'advisors' took on consultancy roles for Radio Veronica and for two embryonic projects set to broadcast to the UK, GBOK and GBLN."
Since the BBC is an arm of the Crown corporation sole, and was at that time the product of the Crown's General Post Office (GPO), exactly who might have been aware of developments in radio at the BBC? Rusling does not say.
But Rusling does go on to claim that someone at the BBC: ".... deployed two of their retired engineers to other offshore ventures to observe."
Let's begin by looking at that word "deployed". It is a word often used by the military for sending troops on a mission, in which case the troops would not be retired military, but still serving in the military. Rusling's use of this word is a contradiction in itself because Rusling is claiming something that could not happen. Therefore, how could someone at the BBC order two of their retired engineers to do anything at all?
Well Rusling contradicts himself yet again by claiming that these two retired engineers are now working for the BBC as "advisors", and "advisors" to the BBC in that sort of capacity do not do so as unpaid volunteers.
But these individuals, says Rusling, are "double-dipping", because they "took on consultancy roles for Radio Veronica and for two embryonic projects set up to broadcast to the UK, GBOK and GBLN."
That is a mouthful.
So is Rusling saying that these two retired BBC engineers were rehired as BBC "advisers", who also began working for Radio Veronica; GBOK and GBOK? Three more entities? They were busy old men (assuming they had retired at normal retirement age. That amounts to 4 sources of simultaneous income. Or is Rusling saying the GBOK and GBLN were part of Radio Veronica, which would mean 2 sources of income (BBC and Veronica.)
Or, what does Rusling mean?
Well he is the teacher so he should know what he means, but his readers will have great difficulty in trying to discover what is going on in his head. As I previously claimed, if you are following Rusling you are by now in the ditch with him. In other words Rusling has not the slightest clue what he is writing about, because what he has written is gibberish.
This is why it is so difficult to tell this story.
If readers had no idea of what Radio Caroline was, that would make the job of informing them a lot easier. But even when Rusling opens up the story about Radio Caroline, he does not know who Allan Crawford, is, where he was born or who he worked for. Then, when he concludes this same page he manages to contradict himself twice with a single paragraph.
For this and a multitude of related reasons I am going to take this recital very, very slowly and that means that Scottg won't get a quick overview because that is impossible. If I did, I end up spending more time in correcting what Rusling thinks that he knows, than telling in telling you what he does not know.
Short and to the point blogs.
You may get more than one update per day, but from now on they are going to be concise and limited to specific points and very focused.
Click above: All human beings are freeborn, but false recitals of the past opens the door to the false idea that some human beings are born superior to other human beings, and the result is human enslavement.
From our bookshelf: a horrific and hidden story that exposes the British Crown (that created the GPO back in the year 1660 to censor communication), which enslaved White people in order to settle their colonies! They were the Crown's blueprint to also turn Black people into slaves!
Watch video interview with the authors.
More from our research library shelves: Here is a book you should read because it exposes acts by the Royal Family of Belgium, to the horrors of slavery in Africa. It is exposed in part by one of the early leaders who tried to liberate Ireland from the slavery imposed on Ireland by the British Crown!
King Leopold III of Belgium also has links to the work of
Herbert W. Armstrong regarding his financing of British offshore radio: This will also be exposed
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within updates of our continuing serial Blog!
Click for our previous academic series.
Click for our earlier research into the financial backing of the UK offshore radio stations of the 1960s.