We are following the recruitment of young George Saunders from his job at Marconi, to becoming the Chief Engineer on board the mv Mi Amigo - via initial recruitment in 1964 by John Howard Gilman in a Chelmstord pub.
Although George was finally hired at Greenore, Eire following a final vetting by Alfred Nicholas Thomas: he did not travel back to England from Greenore on board mv Mi Amigo.
When George Saunders arrived in Greenore, which seems to have been around the date of Friday, March 13, 1964, the mv Mi Amigo was tied up next to the mv Caroline (ex-Fredericia.) Harry Spencer was already busy at work in liaison with his crew from the Isle of Wight, and they were building masts for each ship that were capable of supporting the antenna systems that had been designed by John Howard Gilman for each ship. Clearly Spencer and Gilman were at Greenore working in coordination on one project, not two competitive projects as the bogus books about Radio Caroline all want their readers to believe!
Now if Spencer and Gilman were working on one project at Greenore, what of Alfred Nicholas Thomas who was the person in charge and to whom Gilman was reporting to? After all, Saunders only came to Greenore for a final, a interview conducted by Thomas, and he only got the job after Thomas gave his approval. But Saunders did not stay in Greenore very long, because he obviously still had to still give his notice to Marconi back in Chelmsford telling them he would be leaving: unless of course bored George had been already booted by Marconi. However, given George's cautious nature, that seems hardly likely.
The significance of the "Made in Texas" label relates to answering this question: Who was the engineer in charge of the mv Mi Amigo after leaving Greenore? Obviously it could not have been George Saunders, and the broadcast snippet of true 1960's Texas radio delivery as accessed above, was broadcast on Monday, May 18, 1964. That was long after the mv Mi Amigo had departed from Greenore. So if George Saunders was not in charge of the initial broadcast engineering, which seems likely due to the notice he would have to give to his employer at Marconi (assuming that he was still working there and did not quit before he went to Greenore, which seems to be an unlikely and imprudent thing to have done), then who was Bob Scott and his dj son 'Johnny Jackson' supposed to be turning to for broadcast engineering guidance?
The answer is provided in writing by Allan James Crawford.
Bob Scott and Johnny Jackson were Texans whose true identity was as father John Thompson and son Johnny Jackson. Allan Crawford sent this note out to Bob Scott on the mv Mi Amigo, with instructions that identified who was in charge of broadcast engineering:
Milan Leggett was the Engineer in Charge representing Gordon McLendon's broadcasting interests as owner of the mv Mi Amigo. Allan James Crawford did not own the ship, and neither did Project Atlanta Limited which was registered in London on August 1963. At the time of registration, that company did not have its heavy-weight board of directors that were added later; prior to December 1963 when the mv Mi Amigo departed from Galveston Island, Texas.
The "Mr Thomas" that is referred to in Crawford's handwritten letter, is Alfred Nicholas Thomas who was working for Charles and John Stanley of the Pye Group of companies. Milan Leggett was in charge of McLendon's interests, and Thomas was in charge of the Pye interests.
As if to put the McLendon 'stamp of ownership' on the mv Mi Amigo, the company registered in the UK by Allan James Crawford was named Project Atlanta Limited. There is the possibility that when Crawford originally began working on a broadcasting venture in 1962, with plans to use the Trinity House Vessel (THV) Satellite, he may have originally intended to call his station 'Atalanta' due to a Belgian connection. However, when Crawford's first attempt was doomed, his second attempt involved trying to humor Gordon McLendon, and thus Atalanta became 'Atlanta'. There is a certain amount of McLendon humor involved here. It was in the tiny town of Atlanta, Texas where McLendon went to school and began using its stadium speaker system as his foray into play-by-play commentary. To name the offshore station 'Radio Atlanta' after such an insignificant dot on the map, smacks of McLendon's version of Scottish humor where his Houston station call letters were KILT and illustrated with a tartan configuration, and where he referred to himself as 'The Old Scotchman', and not 'The Old Scotsman' referring to genealogy.
We do know that Harry Spencer had been at Greenore prior to the evening of February 25, 1964, which is when he watched the Cassius Clay fight on TV with the locals. We also know that Planet Productions Limited was not even registered until two days after the fight on February 27, 1964. So who was paying Harry Spencer, and how where they paying him?
For that answer we have to return to Spencer's summons to 47 Dean Street, in the Soho District of London. That meeting was called by Allan James Crawford, but it was not conducted by him. When Spencer arrived he first met Arthur Nicholas Thomas, and he grilled Spencer about erecting a mast on a ship that would be capable of supporting a radio broadcasting antenna.
Then he met Captain De Jong Lanau, Superintendent of Wijsmuller Shipping and Towing, and Lanau had Ronan O'Rahilly in tow. But all of this was at Allan Crawford's offices and studio, and so far, nothing had happened. There were no secrets during this planning phase, and this was only the beginning of what would always develop as a joint project!
But we know more!
We know that Gilman was working with Thomas, even though he does not appear to have been present at the meeting. We also know that Thomas was working for Charles Orr Stanley and his son John Stanley and that they managed the Pye Group of companies. In addition, we know that Thomas and Gilman had previously worked on the GBOK project from the Pye facility at Sheerness.
According to Spencer, it was Allan Crawford who called the meeting, but it was Captain De Jong Lanau who hustled Spencer off at short notice to Rotterdam. That is where he discovered that he was to work on two ships, and not one, and the first one was the mv Fredericia which was already in Rotterdam. He was then told about the mv Mi Amigo which had not yet docked in Spain after a voyage that began during the closing hours of 1963 from Galveston Island, Texas.
Furthermore, we also learned from Spencer how he would be paid for his work on the mv Mi Amigo. Spencer was told to present his invoice to Captain De Jong Lanau of Wijsmuller!
Clearly separate financial accounts had been created, but Crawford was working with Captain De Jong Lanau of Wijsmuller, and it was that company which coordinated all work performed on both the mv Caroline and the mv Mi Amigo,
Concurrent with these activities was broadcast training for both ship stations that was also undertaken at Crawford's premises located at 47 Dean Street. All of Radio Caroline's early programming was created on tape in the top floor studio owned and controlled by Allan James Crawford.
But it is that fable spun by David Block of Leslie Perrin and Associates public relations firm, which we will explain tomorrow. It is the same story that resulted in George Saunders claiming to have fired Ove Sjöström due to incompetence. But, it is also the same story that links Arthur Carrington to Alfred Nicholas Thomas via a long relationship. That connectivity of interests runs through the person of Charles Orr Stanley and his Pye Group of Companies!
This is the story that we will elaborate upon tomorrow.