Harry Spencer, who we have referred to previously, is the person who was called by Allan James Crawford to come up from the Isle of Wight to Crawford's office and studio at 47 Dean Street.
Spencer was a specialist when it came to rigging masts on ships, and in this instance he was to install two masts to support two antennas, both designed by John Howard Gilman for installation on two ships.
Spencer recorded his involvement with Crawford in an Appendix to a book written by Ralph C. Humphries. In the instances where Spencer wrote from first-hand personal knowledge of an event, his recital appears to be accurate and very specific. But where he recited information that he had derived from other people, and where he had no direct knowledge, his account is both vague and contradicted by events authenticated by other means. There is more than one example of these errors in his written work. Therefore, with that caveat in mind, we draw now your attention to his own following accounts, which are based upon his first-hand knowledge:
On Wednesday, February 5, 1964, Harry Spencer was at El Ferrol in Spain, awaiting the arrival of the mv Mi Amigo with Captain de Jong Lanau of Wijsmuller.
On Thursday, February 13, 1964, mv Fredericia departed Rotterdam, Holland, bound for the Isle of Wight, but then changed course for Greenore, Eire. It would appear that work on the two masts was originally going to be performed in the Isle of Wight, within the territorial waters of the United Kingdom. If so, then the switch to Greenore was a last minute decision. Did the word come down that the GPO was about to raid the ships, just as it had raided GBOK at Sheerness?
Remember, paperwork exists to prove that the GPO was discussing the idea of jamming Radio Caroline when it first started up! Even the idea of boarding the ship was considered and even tried out. It should be noted that Crawford's original ship, the THV Satellite, was docked at the Isle of Wight, so the mv Fredericia was redirected to Greenore at the last moment!.
Harry Spencer drove to Holyhead; took his car loaded with equipment on the ferry to Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, Eire, and then drove on over to Greenore. When he arrived at Greenore, the mv Fredericia was already docked alongside the abandoned railway terminal. Spencer was given a cabin to stay in while he worked on the ship.
While working on the mv Fredericia, he was invited to a meal with the O'Rahilly family, and Harry Spencer wrote:
"Mr O'Rahilly senior was a definite republican, he was a product of the 1916 and 1922, problems and solutions. He would not speak to me, or even look at me, in fact he sat with his back to me. I could hear him ask his son, 'What's the English man saying now', or 'what is he doing?'"
Spencer also wrote that:
".... the mv Mi Amigo had since arrived and the Fredericia, which had now been renamed Caroline, was nearing completion. The captain, and some of his crew, wanted a good night out, before the ship sailed, so we all went to Dublin. Plenty of alcohol was consumed, and some of the crew dallied with ladies of the night."
"We had some German generators to fit on the mv Caroline, I had made some suggestions where to site them, I marked out areas of steel bulkheads that would have to be cut, and marked out on the deck where the plant would be sited."
"I needed extra staff for this work, about half a dozen in all including engineers, welders, burners, etc., which we got from Dundalk Engineering Works. The work continued apace, but when the company discovered that this was to be a radio ship, the workers did not return."
"Two social events took place around this time; firstly we were invited to the crane driver's house, to watch a Cassisus Clay fight ...." [As previously noted, this event took place on February 25, 1964, which was two days prior to the formation and registration of Planet Productions Limited in Dublin on February 27, 1964. At the second event, Harry Spencer wrote that he had a social evening with food and dancing:]
"I then entered a conversation with a local Catholic priest who asked me how the work was progressing. I told him that we were having a problem, because the Dundalk Engineering would not allow their men to work on the ships, once they found out what they were really going to be used for."
"'Well now, when would you be wanting these Dundalk men to come?', he asked."
"Ideally tomorrow, but I don't think that they will be allowed to come."
"'Ah well, we will see about that', he smirked.'"
"The next day the workers duly arrived, such was the power of the priest, in Ireland, at that time."
So there is the issue: there is the problem that caused George Saunders to be sent to fix the pending disaster on board the mv Caroline. George blamed Ove Sjöström, but it seems now that Ove was not to blame!
Ronan O'Rahilly was a convenient patsy, he was not the man driving the project. That man was Charles Orr Stanley who was a Protestant Irishman with a home near Cork. That is also where REM island was being built for Radio and TV Noordzee! But it seems that this 'Radio Caroline' project was sprung on O'Rahilly Senior at the last minute - because O'Rahilly Senior was short of money! In other words, Aodogán O'Rahilly was bought off with the help of his son!
Remember, Aodogán O'Rahilly was by birth an Englishman, having been born at Hove near Brighton, and he married a U.S. citizen and lived in a house built with plans bought at a New York department store! But more than this, Aodogán went to the USA with his begging bowl right after WWII, and got rewarded with money from the US Marshall Plan. This is the same man whose brother was pro-Nazi and wanted Hitler to defeat the United Kingdom!
We will also be bringing you the story of George Saunders and his clash with Ove Sjöström into this mix. We will explain why Aodogán O'Rahilly begrudingly allowed his facility at Greenore to be used, and what Aodogán O'Rahilly and the rest of the O'Rahilly family did not want you to know.
This theme will continue tomorrow!