In yesterday's blog I focused upon 'key words' that created a riddle.
If the claims in the 2002 IEE book called 'Radio Man' are true: how can that riddle by reconciled with all of the many books, magazines, newspapers, radio and television documentaries that purport to tell a different story about the creation of Radio Caroline? Both versions cannot be true, can they?
What if both versions are untrue?
This was the dilemma that presented itself just before the lecture that was due to be delivered on October 25, 2014 at the Burntisland Communications Museum. In the accepted version of the story, Allan Crawford had one set of investors and a project from which Ronan O'Rahilly had broken away and then gathered his own investors with the help of a man called 'Jimmy Ross'.
There were supposedly two ventures: One behind Radio Atlanta and another behind Radio Caroline.
But to make that scenario work, a lot of details have to be overlooked, and most of those details are really timeline questions. For instance: How was Project Atlanta Limited put together; when was it put together, and who was on the board of that company?
You may think that is a settled question, but it is not.
First of there is that secret trip that Ronan O'Rahilly. He was supposedly a big hero worshiper of President John F. Kennedy, and yet, O'Rahilly took off for Idlewild Airport in New York on behalf of Allan Crawford in June 1963, just as JFK was touching down at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
The press claimed that O'Rahilly renamed the mv Fredericia and called it 'Caroline' after President Kennedy's 5 years-old daughter. However, we now know that this was a latter day lie. It was dreamed-up in early 1965 by freelance journalists who were working in New York for the weekly 'yellow press' U.S. newspaper called the 'National Enquirer'.
Second, when O'Rahilly returned to London, Crawford's Project Atlanta Limited was registered on August 1, 1963 with just two directors. So what about all those other high-flying directors whose names later cropped up on its board? How about them, indeed! How did they get there and when did they get there?
Third, there is that strange intervention with the timeline on November 22, 1963. That is when President Kennedy had his head blown apart in the middle of Dallas, Texas, and then, his alleged assassin was gunned down in the middle of the Dallas Police Department underground garage - while surrounded by police and reporters. All of it transmitted on 'live' television coverage.
Fourth, there is the former 'Radio Nord' radio ship, which suddenly, right after the murder of JFK, saw its refurbished transmitters and all broadcasting equipment rushed down from the Dallas factory to the pier on Galveston Island where the mv Mi Amigo was docked. Then that ship suddenly left port after its captain told authorities that it was going out for 'sea trials' in the Gulf of Mexico during the Christmas and New Years' holiday period. But that ship never returned to port and sailed instead for the Bahama islands.
Fifth, and within hours of the Mi Amigo leaving port, a retired Danish passenger ferry called Fredericia, suddenly left its Copenhagen dock bound for Rotterdam.
Sixth, years later, Ian Cowper Ross wrote a book, a novel that was published in 1990, in which he began to recite a fanciful tale that he also told on a BBC-TV 'Arena' program that year. It was all about a crazy car drive with Ronan O'Rahilly at the wheel, and they were on their way to see Ian's father, who young O'Rahilly had never met but called him 'Jimmy'. Supposedly, O'Rahilly had such a gift of the gab that 'Jimmy' arranged then and there to have a bank hand over to Ronan O'Rahilly a suitcase of cash which was enough to buy and outfit the Fredericia as a radio ship called 'Caroline'.
Seven, even though O'Rahilly had double-crossed Crawford they agreed to work together and use Ronan's father's port at Greenore. The trouble with that scenario being that Ronan's father did not own a port at Greenore, and nor was Ronan's father very wealthy.
So where does the Frankland-IEE book fit into that scenario?
Neither the accepted version of events nor the Frankland-IEE story as reported are true.
The key is in those words: "fictitious"; "manufacturing"; "made" and "nonexistent manufacturer." They all relate to the broadcasting equipment which had been installed in 1964 on board the mv Caroline (ex-Fredericia), allegedly (according to a single paragraph on page 276 in the 2002 book called 'Radio Man'), upon instructions from Charles Orr Stanley and his son John who managed the Pye Group of companies.
But is the narrative true?
It is not.
If you will recall (or refer to yesterday's blog), this mystery began when Nicholas Stanley (who had commissioned the book for a 'mere' £92,355), could not explain the source of the information in that one paragraph on page 276. He was also extremely hazy, because this event had taken place years before. He was also unsure how the information had been obtained, but he thought that the source was an "engineer" named Hill, but he did know where this 'Mr Hill' could be located, or even if he was still alive.
Meanwhile, problems had developed at senior level in Bradford where 48 bankers boxes that 'might' contain the answer, would only be available for inspection at an old RAF airfield and now storage facility at Wroughton, during one time per month. That is, as long as the Museum at Bradford had a 'minder' to spare and send down to Wroughton with the appropriate box to be inspected.
The problem for 'The Trio' was that not only did they not know which box contained the information they were after; they did not know if any of those boxes contained that information. Nor did they know what exactly it was that they were looking for. The Museum at Bradford did supply a very general list of contents for each box, but the boxes were more-or-less in the bundled condition that they were in when Nicholas Stanley had finished with them and turned them over to the Museum. Some, were later found to have grown mold and had to be withdrawn for "health and safety reasons"!
It seems that not only Philips have a hand (for whatever their reason), in destroying the original Pye archives, but no researcher at the Museum had picked-up from where Nicholas Stanley had left off and created a newly cataloged and detailed record about the contents of those boxes. No one else was trying to obtain access to those boxes in order to create a documented history of the Pye Group of companies that could then be researched for academic purposes. The book 'Radio Man' was, it seems, to have been the final answer.
At Bradford repeated inquiries by 'The Trio' became an irritation because these 48 boxes which had been donated by Nicholas Stanley, appeared to be the sole remaining archives of the Pye Group of companies, and yet, the Museum had just shelved them and forgotten about them for years, until 'The Trio' began asking questions. One reason that nothing had been done to catalog them was that they were not stored at Bradford, but off site at Wroughton, and the Museum also claimed that it lacked the money to hire someone travel down to Wroughton to do that job. Since no one was making a fuss, there was no reason to assign anyone to do that job.
Then 'The Trio' began making a bigger noise!
The Museum eventually assigned Ian Baird (who is indeed related to the eponymous famed inventor), to work with 'The Trio'. But just as soon as he got on with that task, we were told that funding for his employment would not be continued and so he was leaving for another job. 'The Trio' would have to wait until someone else could be hired.
Like a lot of these cultural operations, this Museum which is affiliated with the Science Museum in London, did have money to build a 'palace' to house artifacts, but the research side of this impressive structure took a back seat.
It seems that 'The Trio' have a habit of causing angst whenever and wherever they start to poke around into dark corners where no one else dares to go. Bradford was no exception. But as soon as it became obvious that 'The Trio' were in contact with Nicholas Stanley and that his bequest had been shelved and ignored, the Museum suddenly sprang to life and hired a young lady to write a blog for the Museum about their Pye archived materials! Keep in mind that this all began with 'The Trio', but you can find the result of her undertaking Online at:
However, don't look for the connection between Pye and Radio Caroline, because it is not there.
Meanwhile the 'anorak community' which swirled around this subject were also either uninterested, or they laughed to scorn at the claims uncovered in the book 'Radio Man' whenever they were mentioned by 'The Trio'.
It was due to this hostile environment that 'The Trio' decided to see if there were any open-minded students of broadcasting history who had an interest in the subject about the origins of Radio Caroline. So they commenced publishing an informal, no-cost-to-subscribers newsletter called 'Caroline Investigation'. Part of its purpose was to keep assembling names as subscribers who could then be invited to participate in a symposium. So a long list of names was added, including that of Paul Rusling!
In addition, pages were added to 'Facebook' but none of it produced any contributory information or funding to aid with further research. 'The Trio' plus one other person who did assist them in a major way with their Wroughton research, remained on their own.
Tomorrow I will explain in detail what happened at Wroughton and how 'The Trio' began to realize that everyone was lying, and that no one ever want the true story of Radio Caroline to be told. But you will learn what 'The Trio' discovered, and you will also come to understand why the Garry Stevens Forum turned from cooperation into sheer hate for anything to do with the 'The Trio'.
The Trio' was about to relegate Ronan O'Rahilly to the dustbin of lies with all of the other con-men of history whose fake stories they have encountered. In addition, Malcolm Smith had turned for help to Paul Rusling and they set about the business of creating a 'bible of lies' about the mythological continuation of Radio Caroline throughout the years. That 'bible' would then be used to assist a tiny community radio station and a rusting hulk to gain and maintain gullible supporters!
See you here tomorrow!
[Textually corrected: 4/1/2020]