In November 1961 Ian Cowper Ross was in court in the North of England after taking and crashing an expensive Jensen car. He almost lost his foot, and he gained the nickname of 'Flipper' after surgeons managed to save it during a long hospital stay. Ian was quite reckless as a teen, because he had previously crashed a motorbike.
In 1962 Ian was not only just leaving his teens, but he was unemployed, and according to his own words, he was living in the shadow of his older brother. His father, Charles Edward Ross tried to get his two sons to go into business together cleaning cars. He was not successful. Neither was the Jensen Car Company of Birmingham. Its owners, who Charles worked for, tried to get John Sheffield to raise additional finance by selling shares in the company to Sheffield's Norcros Group. Sheffield was unsuccessful, and eventually Sheffield kicked Jensen out of his group, and soon after that, Jensen went out of business.
Meanwhile Ian started hanging around Chelsea, going to bars and clubs, and at one of them he met Christopher Moore who was playing records. But while Ian was having fun, he came into contact with a young woman named Bunty who became more than his wife, she became his meal ticket to the good life.
Ian began dating Bunty, and then by his marriage to her, Ian gained an aristocratic father-in-law; mother-in-law and by way of Bunty's sister, Ian also gained connection to another aristocratic family. That connection led to a young Earl-in-waiting who was a part of a venture that was later exposed in court as a huge scam. It eventually made millions, but it cost the Beatles a fortune. It may also have caused the lawyer for their manager to hang himself, and a few days later it may also have led to the death of Brian Epstein.
For Ian it opened the door to the glamour of Hollywood via roller disco on the West Coast of the USA. How Ian's life went full circle and brought him back from California to England is another part of this story. Upon arrival, his aristocratic mother-in-law set the stage for Ian's biggest confidence trick of all time.
In 1989 Ian created a bogus story about the 1964 birth of Radio Caroline which was published in 1990 with help from his aristocratic mother-in-law. One year later in 1991, that book led to a full blown documentary screened on BBC-TV. The story in his book is called 'Rocking the Boat', and it was a tongue-in-cheek work that gave rise to the creation of a character named Jimmy Shaw. But in the BBC-TV documentary, Ian became an on screen narrator of a tale that was based upon his book, but the TV show was passed off as a factual account of events.
However, Jimmy Shaw does not appear as a name in the BBC-TV documentary. How the dots got connected that led to Jimmy Shaw becoming identified as Charles Edward Ross is a story in itself, and the most recent version is due to a 'bible' published in 2019 by Paul Alexander Rusling, who drew upon the previously published works of Ray Clark.
Back in the days when Ian was just leaving his teens (and a court room), he first met club DJ Christopher Moore who in turn introduced Ian to Ronan O'Rahilly. Now there was a trio: Ian, Chris, and Ronan, and it was Ronan who drowned everything in blarney. When this team of three collided with various people (who we will also identify in future updates) behind the creation of 'Radio Caroline' in 1964, they used Ronan as their shield against publicity. They made Ronan into their 'star', and used Ian as a back-up scriptwriter for Ronan - not that Ronan was ever short of his own embellished stories.
The strangest part of this tale is that back in the Sixties, Ian was not a key player. Ian invented a bogus role for himself in 1990 with the help of his aristocratic mother-in-law. That is when Ian began to wax eloquently by constantly spinning his fictitious blarney as though true. Then a tribe of hack writers began quoting Ian, and they in turn created a library of books. Although these publications were of limited interest, when newspaper writers and the producers of radio and television programs began citing their contents as their own authority, millions heard this message of nonsense and so millions became deceived.
The antidote to their deception is this Blog. It will be expanded within our forthcoming book 'Dial 999 for Caroline - the girl who never was'. That book will finally expose Ian's hoax story and reveal in minute detail how and why 'Radio Caroline' was created in 1964.
[Text revised by Copy Editor on 4/3/2021]