1954 AND THE CREATION OF ITA
On August 4, 1954, the British Crown launched a second public UK broadcasting organization, but it was restricted to television transmissions. The new entity was called the Independent Television Authority, and went by the initials ITA, except that there was nothing 'independent' about it.
ITA controlled every aspect of the stations under its authority. This included their locations, construction and operation of transmitters. ITA farmed off non-competitive zoned franchise areas to program contractors who sold time in their locations to advertisers. They were not allowed to mirror the system of program sponsorship employed by totally independent television stations in the USA.
The dawning of ITA was the result of a political pressure group spearheaded by Charles Orr Stanley, Chairman of the Pye Group of companies based in Cambridge, England. ITA was not what Stanley had campaigned for. What Stanley wanted were independent stations who could buy their own transmitters made by his companies. What Stanley was confronted with were two Crown television systems: BBC and ITA.
Meanwhile, radio broadcasting had been left in the hands of the BBC and nighttime incursive coverage was left primarily to 'Radio Luxembourg'. It had been Stanley's overall plan to end the BBC monopoly of the airwaves and introduce truly independent competitors for viewers and listeners with television and radio stations. ITA was a poor substitute for competitive broadcasting because it was not an independent television company, but an extension of governmental control through Crown licensing.
HOW THE ERA OF UK POP BEGAN
The shock waves created by the arrival of American rock 'n' roll on the British airwaves were fostered by the man who created the explosion on U.S. radio. His name is Alan Freed, and by 1956 his show began airing from New York via transcription and transmissions by 'Radio Luxembourg' on Saturday nights.
In December 1957, the fledgling BBC television service tried to capture young viewers by offering a television show which began at five minutes past six on Saturday evenings called 'Six Five Special', and concluded by seven o'clock.
The show was produced by Jack Good and he began the momentum in Britain to both stimulate and harness British pop music with his own style of presentation. He was so successful that one of the ITA program contractors called ABC then hired him to produce their own expanded version of a pop music show called 'Oh Boy!' which ran from September 13, 1958 to May 30, 1959. Some episodes were shown in the USA. It was replaced on the UK ABC franchise by another Jack Good show called 'Boy Meets Girls' which ran from September 12, 1959 to February 26, 1960. All of sudden British single acts and bands had a showcase presentation of their own featuring singers such as Cliff Richard. When the Beatles emerged on the scene they were eclipsing a lot of existing British pop stars. Then new British singers and bands suddenly appeared and began a period known as the 'British Invasion' of the USA pop music charts.
IN 1959, GROUND ZERO IS SHIPLEY IN YORKSHIRE
But in Britain during 1959, Charles Orr Stanley of the Pye Group was about to launch a new political pressure group seeking to break the Crown stranglehold on radio broadcasting, because at that time, the focus was on television as the forum for pop music.
Stanley's plan was composed of both an overt and covert formula. His covert plan was surrounded in secrecy, but his overt plan was bathed in publicity. It did not begin in London, but in a town called Shipley in Yorkshire.
It was to Shipley that Stanley attracted the people behind Ross Radio Productions who made pre-recorded shows for Pye at studios in Hampstead where Simon Dee would later be sent for his first audition as a disc jockey on the embryonic 'Radio Caroline'. In addition to Ross Radio, were people connected to Stanley's plans aiming for a commercial radio license on the Isle of Man. In addition to these recruits was the man who formed the Local Radio Association, and his colleague who would later become head of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), which replaced the ITA.
RONAN O'RAHILLY ARRIVED IN LONDON DURING 1961
According to the factual family details behind his arrival, he was on a mission to raise money for his father's business, which at that moment in time was cash-strapped.
Although Ronan pretended to have turned his back on the family business his father had created, that was itself one of his foundational lies that he told over and over again. His gullible listeners believed him.
So what was Ronan O'Rahilly doing between 1961 and 1963? He was working for London gangsters while trying to find a source of funding for his father. That is how he came to meet Allan Crawford who was also looking for money.
Then there were two people looking for money.
To understand how they both helped each other, it is necessary to know a bit about the father of Ronan O'Rahilly, and why he sent him to London in 1961.
THE FATHER OF RONAN O'RAHILLY WAS BORN IN ENGLAND
Ronan's father Aodogán was born at Hove in England and went to the USA where he married an American citizen. Aodogán lived in home near Dublin that was constructed using plans that he bought in America.
In 1929, Aodogán O'Rahilly began a roof tile manufacturing business named Weatherall, which he registered as a limited company on November 30, 1932 in the Republic of Ireland.
Over the years Aodogán O'Rahilly built-up his manufacturing business which was located near to his home on the outskirts of Dublin. But this was to turn into a major headache, because the road system in Ireland was not designed for large trucks which he need to transport his products. To overcome this problem he acquired property in the remote and financially depressed area of Greenore which he had plans to develop.
At one time it had been a ferry port bringing in holiday makers who could also board trains at a terminal station. But the trains stopped running and so did the ferry service. By the early Nineteen-Fifties, Greenore was a neglected and financially strapped area of Ireland bounded on one side by Carlingford Lough, through which the border with Northern Ireland was maintained.
The property bought by Aodogán also nudged-up to the Irish Sea which once served as a deep water port, where years earlier, ferries disgorged their passengers onto the waiting trains. But once the rail and ferry services disappeared, so did the Irish Customs officials and the staff who once attended the Refreshment Rooms. Then the weeds took over and the old abandoned railway buildings began to fall apart through neglect.
From the beginning it was essential for Aodogán O'Rahilly to gain Irish government support for his business activities. In 1936 he became a director of the Turf Development Board, which was renamed Bord na Móna. It was this entity which managed the production of peat, a valuable source of inexpensive energy in Ireland, especially during the years of World War II.
Meanwhile the port also lay abandoned after Irish Customs withdrew their services when the ferry stopped calling and the trains stopped running. The same year that the Chamber of Commerce observed how depressed Greenore had become, Aodogán O'Rahilly registered Greenore Ferry Services Limited, even though he did not own a ship.
Aodogán O'Rahilly wanted to expand his Weatherwell roof tiles business by exporting them to the United Kingdom. That is why he had embarked upon a plan to acquire and then demolish the old railway buildings at Greenore, and later its hotel, in order to construct a brand new factory and road system on the site. But the lack of a ferry and rail services had a knock-on effect and it caused local the economy to stall. Aodogán O'Rahilly became overstretched financially and was unable to move forward with his plans.
BOTH AODOGAN AND GREENORE NEEDED A CASH INFUSION
To demonstrate that his intentions were more than words, he used his resources to invest in the construction of a large waterfront crane capable of loading containers on to ships. It was essential for Aodogán O'Rahilly to put a part of his plan into operation in order to attract outside financial investment, because local people had begun to both complain about the lack of job opportunities and his failure to bring jobs to the Greenore area. By investing in something huge such as a waterfront crane, it provided certain assurance to the public that could see it, that Aodogán O'Rahilly intended to make good on his promises. His overall plan was still moving ahead, but at a much slower than he originally intended.
Aodogán O'Rahilly used his Irish government connections to get the Irish Customs to reopen a waterfront office at Greenore, and then he was able to lease the services of a ship, and then begin exporting the output of his Dublin-area factory via the rudimentary Port of Greenore. In this way he could demonstrate the reality of his plans to bring employment opportunities to this financially depressed and remote area of Ireland, but he was walking a fine line between financial success and financial failure. His cash-flow problems did not give him much leeway to either swim, or sink.
He leased part of the Greenore property to cattle producers who needed a stockyard where they could assemble herds for export to the United Kingdom, and he also leased a British-owned ship, appropriately called Friendship', to call at Greenore. This was a significant act because of the myth that Aodogán O'Rahilly hated all things British, even though he had been born in England. While Ronan's grandfather had participated in the aborted rising against the British Crown, his father was anything but a British rebel. He was courting their favours, and getting them.
The facts on record reveal that Aodogán O'Rahilly put business first, and that meant having good relations with both the Irish and British governments.
In 1959 Weatherwell Ltd registered another Irish company called Greenore Ferry Services Ltd., which in turn chartered the mv Friendship, a vessel loaded with containers and carrying Weatherwell tile products. On Wednesday, July 13, 1960, this ship left Greenore for the Preston area in Northern England.
By building a new factory at the water's edge and buying his own ship, Aodogán O'Rahilly figured that he could save money and expand his business. But to do that he needed investment capital, and now that his plans to reactivate Greenore had actually limped off the ground, he had to move forward. It was a matter of months after the mv Friendship left the Port of Greenore, that Aodogán O'Rahilly sent his son Ronan off to London in search of money.
ENGLAND IN 1960
A few days before the mv Friendship left the Port of Greenore for the first time on July 13, 1960, another Irishman with a home in the Republic, put his own plan into action. His name is Charles Orr Stanley, and he was at that time the Chairman of the Pye Group of companies based in Cambridge, England.
On July 5, 1960, Stanley put CBC Radio Cambridge on the air from the grounds of the Royal Agricultural Show. Because the show grounds were privately owned, the radio station was able to feed its signal into the electrical power system. Due to the way in which the property was fed with electricity, its signal did not radiate far beyond the wiring, and therefore the General Post Office turned a blind eye to this event, even though there was a UK law specifically banning this kind of activity. But why would they do that? The answer resides in the power of an institution known as the Crown, and the infatuation by its regal figurehead with an American evangelist.
When the 1960 Royal Agricultural Show closed, PYE moved its 'packaged' radio station to an exhibition hall in London and rebranded it as 'Radio Westminster'.
THE MEN WHO INVENTED A MYTH
The fact that the introduction to 'Dial 999 for Caroline' has been forced to begin by debunking the life and times of Ronan O'Rahilly, is indictive of just how successful the commercial propaganda machine has become in obliterating the true story of pop music broadcasting in the United Kingdom. Ironically, that fake story did not gather momentum until after 1990 when a new British broadcasting law came into effect.
How and why that happened will be explained in detail later within this work. But right now it is sufficient to point out that it was not until after 1990 that the totally false story about Ronan O'Rahilly began to be spread far and wide. Its 'trigger' mechanism was the publication of a novel called 'Rocking the Boat'. It was written by a young man whose father was a promoter of a franchised laundry business.
Ian Cowper Ross lived a 'Walter Mitty' life in which he attempted to turn his fantasies into reality, and on some levels he succeeded. His success has resulted in the dismay of everyone seeking the truth about Ronan O'Rahilly and 'Radio Caroline'.
Prior to 1990, the true story about 'Radio Caroline' had been published in many journals and newspapers, but it had always been explained in fragments that buried the true story. In the days when 'Radio Caroline' was being planned and before its advent in 1964, its mastermind gathered investors together in order to promote this station as an audible political pressure group. The intention was to obliterate references to the true story by overwhelming reporters with misleading information.
A very complex story was boiled down to a very simple story. The person pulling the strings in this 'Ozland' was not a young girl named Dorothy, but a seasoned businessman from the Republic of Ireland. His name is Charles Orr Stanley, and at the time he was Chairman of the Pye Group of companies which had its headquarters in Cambridge, England.
Charles Orr Stanley was the man behind the creation of 'CBC Radio Cambridge'. But when his open and above board approach did not work, he slipped into the shadows and came up with another plan. Instead of using the same methodology he had employed to politically pressure the licensing of commercial television, which resulted in the creation of the Independent Television Authority, he developed both an overt and covert plan of action to get licenses for independent radio stations.
The overt side involved his part in the complex gathering together of entities such as Ross Radio Productions and the subsequent 1959 registration of Radio Yorkshire (Development) Limited. In 1960 this was followed by his creation of 'CBC Radio Cambridge'.
His covert plan of action involved the temporary creation of an offshore radio station which through trial and error became the twin stations called 'Radio Caroline'.
JIMMY SHAW - THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS
In 1990, new British broadcasting legislation effectively reactivated aspects of a series of Victorian anti-free trade laws designed to stop smuggling. Those laws were euphemistically called the 'Hovering Acts' because they gave powers to the British Royal Navy to go beyond territorial waters and board 'mother ships'. They were vessels which 'hovered' (anchored) just beyond British jurisdiction. The term 'international waters' was an agreed-to concept more than a fact. Its purpose was to allow the free passage of ships from being boarded by any nation or group, such as sea pirates whose only intention was to steal cargo.
Until 1990, publishing interest in the subject of offshore broadcasting during the Nineteen Sixties was very limited. It was very simple and oft-repeated story which became a footnote relating to past events. It was also a fake narrative waiting for someone to expose it.
The fiction had been engineered by Charles Orr Stanley to disguise his real plan of action. To accomplish this he employed Leslie Perrin and Associates. It was a public relations firm which emerged out of Leslie Perrin's individual job as a pop music reporter for the 'New Musical Express'. Its work for Stanley involved misleading anyone who wanted to know anything about the purpose, people and invested capital behind 'Radio Caroline' as a company.
British Board of Trade investigators discovered in 1965 that there was no company registered in the United Kingdom that was legally entitled to trade as 'Radio Caroline'. It was a phantom. Listeners could tune in and hear broadcasts made in the name of 'Radio Caroline', and newspapers reported on the activities of disc jockeys who claimed to be employed by 'Radio Caroline', and yet, in 1965, the twin stations did not have a corporate identity registered in the British Isles.
Even though new radio ships had appeared in defiance of British law, and therefore could not openly and legally trade in the UK due to the 1967 Marine Offences Act, within certain coverage areas their presence was noted by the press. However, they were primarily noted as interlopers, rather than the manner in which stations of the Nineteen Sixties had been reported as part of British broadcasting operations.
But in 1990, with the help of his eccentric and wealthy mother-in-law, Ian Cowper Ross was able to create a fantasy tale about himself and then sell it in book form published by the prestigious publisher William Heinemann Ltd. One year later in 1991, Ian Cowper Ross appeared in a pseudo television documentary called 'A Pirates Tale' which was transmitted by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
On screen, Ian Cowper Ross waxed eloquently about his book tale involving a person that he referred to as "daddy". While he used an abbreviation of his real name on the book cover, the story inside the book was about a person called 'Paul Shaw' . It should be noted that the father of Ian Cowper Ross is Charles Edward Ross. He was a director of a laundry company started in Scotland that began to successfully franchise dry-cleaning services. But the book was not about his real father, anymore than the book was about Ian Cowper Ross.
The story was about a fictitious character named Paul Shaw who had a father name 'Jim' who was referred to as 'Jimmy'. On television Ian Cowper Ross recited the fictitious story about "daddy", but was careful to never link his real persona directly with the imaginary persona of a character called 'Jim' or 'Jimmy' in his book. There was more of a link by inference than anything else, but not specifically to a person named 'Jim' or 'Jimmy Shaw'.
But when the 1991 BBC television program was transmitted with Ian Ross as one of its presenters, he avoided any reference to himself as 'Paul Shaw'. His references to "daddy" were picked-up by some viewers who then began referring to a 'Jimmy Ross' as the original source of financing of 'Radio Caroline'. The first time that the name 'Jimmy Ross' had been used was in a newspaper item back in the Nineteen Sixties. It seems to have been used one time as a 'planted' misdirection engineered by Leslie Perrin and Associates.
After the book was published and the television program was broadcast, Ian Cowper Ross began adding various fictitious biographical details to his fictitious characters. Suddenly an entire avalanche of magazine articles and books began to appear after 1990 which stated that 'Jimmy Ross' (who did not exist), either worked for an unnamed merchant bank, or that he was closely associated with John Sheffield (who did exist), and managed a real holding company called Norcros Ltd.
Because John Sheffield is a real person, and Norcros Ltd is a real company, when Jocelyn Stevens' name appeared in the press during 1964, and Stevens began to repeat the fabricated story invented by Leslie Perrin about Ronan O'Rahilly starting 'Radio Caroline', then other writers began to note that Jocelyn Stevens had married the daughter of John Sheffield. It was a chain of misdirection that began anew after 1991, and that is what makes this story very strange because on the surface it is about long-forgotten UK events that took place during the Sixties, and which finally terminated in 1967 by the Marine Offences Act.
The question is why was this story resurrected in 1990?
One answer has to do with Ian Cowper Ross and events in his personal life. But another explanation involves a criminal case that was later heard in the USA. It involved the person of Ronan O'Rahilly and a ship called 'Ross Revenge'.
1965: THE CROWN SEARCHES FOR 'RADIO CAROLINE'
In 1965 the U.K. Board of Trade attempted to uncover the true origins of that station, but they were not successful. They went in search of a company called 'Caroline Sales Ltd'., but they were unsuccessful because that company did not exist. Neither did any company registered in the United Kingdom which had a legal and legitimate control over the twin stations calling themselves 'Radio Caroline'. Ronan O'Rahilly claimed to be one of two joint managing directors, but this was a lie, because there was no related company in existence for him to be a director. The video link below is a summation of the 1965 U.K. Board of Trade investigation:
JAMES MURPHY, THE DTI AND THE FCC
Our own involvement in this story concerns another offshore broadcasting venture that took place in the USA. It is covered in our series of monographs which have appeared in various academic journals and which are available to read online free of charge and can be accessed via this banner. Our investigation resulted in the discovery that the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) were working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the British liaison officer was James Murphy, an investigator working for the UK Official Solicitor (Temporal) with an assignment that included bringing an end to the use of the mv Ross Revenge as an unlicensed broadcasting ship.
This international cooperation began in the Sixties when the US Treasury became aware that the Cosa Nostra in New York were laundering stolen bonds in Europe with the help of the Kray Twins and their criminal organization in London. In New York the connections led into the music business.
RONAN O'RAHILLY AND THE 1982 CRIMINAL CASE IN THE USA
Today the 'Ross Revenge' is related to a venture now using the name Radio Caroline', although it is unrelated to the original venture of 1964-1967, although it is tied to the venture that was eventually driven off both the High Seas and the unlicensed airwaves by enactment of the 1990 Broadcasting law.
This is where the links to Ian Cowper Ross do go back to 1964 when he was hired by Stevens Press Limited and in a press release written by Leslie Perrin, identified with a phantom entity masquerading as 'Radio Caroline Sales'. In 1990, Ian Cowper Ross began the complicated process of covering up a series of criminal activities that used the name of 'Radio Caroline', but which were not directly related to each other by personnel, or even by purpose. However, the indictment of James G. Ryan by a Grand Jury on October 5, 1983, in the United States of America District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was not vague at all.
The court papers filed in Philadelphia alleged three counts of perjury; six counts of mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. Details provided within the indictments revealed how the motor vessel 'Ross Revenge' had been obtained, and then put to use under the name of 'Radio Caroline'. On April 5, 1989 in case file 84-00314-01, a verdict was handed-down in which James G. Ryan was sentenced to five years imprisonment; five years probation; a $10,000 fine, and an order for $332,000 in restitution.
The biggest mistake that Ryan made was in trying to swindle Roland Bartlett, then serving life imprisonment after being convicted as a hit man. Ronan O'Rahilly was suspected of having been a part of the financial swindle, but because he did not show up in Philadelphia, and because the money syphoned off had disappeared into secret bank accounts in Switzerland via Lichtenstein, he was able to continue with his life of lies, deceit and fraud.
RYAN AND RUSLING
The dark world of James Ryan also became involved with the murky world of Paul Alexander Rusling via a project known as 'Laser'. Ryan's initial 'Caroline' plan was to add up the amount of available air time to be used for selling commercials, and then sell 'tickets' to investors.
These 'tickets' represented periods of air time to be sold as commercial breaks. Investors became customers who actually bought a 'product', rather than speculators who handed over money for a nebulous venture. The problem that soon came to light was that these 'tickets' were being oversold. In other words there was more than one ticket on the market representing the same time period.
Ryan had several other ideas, and one of them was to create 'catalog' stations that would advertise free magazines to listeners who would then buy from their pages displaying nothing but products. The sellers were not buying forbidden airtime, they would be buying printed space in catalogs. It would get around the problem of selling advertising on offshore radio that was forbidden by British law. This idea worked for paid religious broadcasts when they gave away free publications which they advertised on air, and it could possibly have worked for commercial products as well.
Paul Alexander Rusling became entangled with Ryan in a venture known as 'Laser'. It was Rusling who spun a fanciful tale within his print-on-demand book that he called the 'Radio Caroline Bible'. At first he tried to partially attribute his work to this work, while at the same time plagiarizing material from this work which he then attempted to hammer into his own false narrative.
It is due to these various ongoing activities, which at one time or another, all used and abused the eponymous name of 'Radio Caroline', that have made this investigation very difficult, very time consuming and very expensive. Clearly the claims made by the people currently using the name 'Radio Caroline' and promoting their use of the present hulk called 'Ross Revenge' which originated within the shadowy world of James G. Ryan, have shouted that no one will be interested in reading the true story about 'Radio Caroline'. However, the authors of this work believe that academia has a right to know the true story in order that students of tomorrow will not repeat the fake stories about 'Radio Caroline' that abound today.
HOW THE MYTH ABOUT CAROLINE KENNEDY BEGAN
It was not until 1965 when the original 1964-1967 enterprise known as 'Radio Caroline' began to extrapolate its invented cover story about Caroline Kennedy. It began in New York City with Robin Leach, who had been born in England. At the close of 1964 he returned to visit his parents and the London representative of a U.S. weekly newspaper that hired freelancers and published bizarre stories with great success.
The visitor was Robin Leach who later became the star of the TV show 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'. The London newspaper office manager introduced Leach to the London tabloid world that was also frequented by magazine publisher Jocelyn Stevens, and the need for a diversionary cover story to conceal the true origins of 'Radio Caroline' then found its way to New York where Leach was a freelancer working for the U.S. weekly.
Leach and his partner had a contemporaneous need to involve Robert F. Kennedy, who was the brother of the assassinated U.S. President, in a story of their own. Thus need met need when Bobby Kennedy was told that 'Radio Caroline' had been named after his niece.
In 1965, Ronan O'Rahilly was sent to New York to connect with the payola world of U.S. record producers, and when he appeared as a mystery guess on a U.S. television network program called 'To Tell the Truth', there was no hint of the Caroline Kennedy myth, because it was yet to be born. After the myth was launched by Leach, it became the job of Christopher Moore to feed that myth to the weekend U.S. syndicated press, and it thus appeared in the Sunday newspapers across the USA during November of that same year.
The years from 1964 saw a motley group of individuals move from one London address called 'Caroline House' to 6 Chesterfield Gardens which was then renamed 'Caroline House'. It was one of a row of terraced buildings erected on what had been the garden of 'Chesterfield House' on Chesterfield Street. The owner of number six was the owner of restaurant at number eight. He had previously announced plans to merge several of these terrace buildings into a London hotel after the 'Indestructible Paint Company' which occupied number six as its home office, was bought out.
Among the crew who moved from the first 'Caroline House' to the second 'Caroline House' were people who became entangled in a huge financial scam involving the promotional franchising of Beatles' merchandise. That operation was also tied to activities in New York City, and it was responsible for the hoopla that erupted when the Beatles' first touched down on American soil. But this tangled web also involved a very young member of the British aristocracy who was tied at arms-length via marriage, to Ian Cowper Ross.
This incredibly tangled tale of massive fraud eventually resulted in the deaths of both Brian Epstein and his solicitor. There are so many lies, thefts and abuses of trust that are wrapped-up in this story that also underpins the downfall of the Kray Twins, it is no wonder that so many people have so much to lose by this story being revealed at this time. Although many of the people who are featured in these events are now deceased, the people who have made a living out of telling everyone how the so-called 'Swinging Sixties' came to be, are still alive and still making money off their own and perhaps unwittingly deceit in print, on radio, on television and in movies.
The man behind the scenes who packaged rock 'n' roll and pulled the strings during the New York payola scandal of the Nineteen Fifties, is the same man who promoted the 'Caroline Good Guys' with Jack Spector on the original 'Radio Caroline' stations, is also part and parcel of one gigantic theme of deception, trickery and for some, misery, as well as wealth and undeserved adulation for a few. This is the story we are peeling back and revealing. It is complicated enough without people coming along and feasting off the carcass of the totally false story about 'Radio Caroline'.
LONDON IN 1961
According to Ronan's own account, he arrived in London during 1961 with little money in his pocket, but the financial strength of his father allowed him to gain access to enough credit to buy a decent suit. By all accounts, Ronan's youthful manner of verbal delivery made a respectable presentation when he approached anyone with money, for money.
He arrived in London at the dawn of Beatlemania. It was a sound which the Beatles had yet to perfect, and which was therefore yet to be heard by the masses. In London, a lot of young people were trying to imitate American singers and bands which they heard performing at a number of venues.
In those days, clubland in London was divided between wealthy aristocrats and not-so-wealthy aristocrats who pretended to be wealthy. Both categories gambled at illegal venues which sometimes resulted in disastrous consequences for those who could not pay their gambling debts.
At the other end of the class spectrum were the late teens and early twenties who populated clubs featuring bands who imitated what they perceived to be the latest 'American sounds' of blues, country and western, and rock 'n' roll music. This world of hormone driven youth was also the undercover marketplace for pill-popping distributors who took cover amidst the purveyors of colas.
It was also the era of frothy coffee served from elaborate Italian machines into glass coffee cups and saucers at store-front operations that sported a juke box and sometimes live performances. These were the coffee bars that populated the area of Soho in the West End of London which was dotted with strip-joints, porno-bookshops, and hang-outs for street prostitutes after dark.
To get from the department store world of Oxford Circus that fed into Portland Place which was home to BBC Broadcasting House, it was only necessary to venture further off that portion of Oxford Street bounded by the London Palladium and Regent Street, and into the land where London's Metropolitan Police rubbed shoulders and shared financial interests with the profitable world of the Kray Twins and their accomplices.
When Ronan O'Rahilly arrived he gravitated to the area of London in which Reg and Ronnie Kray were operating. The Kray Twins were still in the throws of cleaning-up the activities of an earlier criminal era whose bosses were either retiring, or dying off. Real estate property was the source of gangland wealth, and they paid-off the police to ensure that they were not challenged by interlopers. Violence was the law, and execution was the ultimate punishment dealt out to violators by enforcers representing the criminal domain of the Krays and their affiliated gangs.
Part of their income came from business occupants of property who were forced to pay 'protection money' to the gangs. Sometimes it was obtained by operating bogus firms that ran-up large credit debts and then disappeared over night. Sometimes it was gained from landlords who squeezed the dispossessed, the emigrants and the poor who paid exorbitant rents for miserable accommodation in enclaves of London. These were tenement streets such as those in the Notting Hill of that day, which lay to the West of Soho, and beyond the hustle and bustle of the London railway stations at Marylebone and Paddington.
By the time Ronan appeared in London, Perec Rachman was about to retire into a life of wealth and luxury. He was accompanied by the sexual favours of Christine Keeler and all of her Russio-British military baggage. Rachman had been born in that part of Poland that is now a part of Ukraine. He joined the Allied forces and after WWII, he came to Britain where he made a fortune by buying and renting properties in financially depressed locations such as Notting Hill. In addition to receiving funds from prostitution, Rachman also owned a club, one of which changed ownership into the hands of the Kray Twins.
Rachman's eponymous name was on the verge of becoming universally synonymous with slumlord, and his reputation was about to be drowned in the sea of scandal called the Profumo Affair. This was just as Ronan O'Rahilly began to raise his head above the sea of teenage drug exploitation. His venues were two clubs initially owned by Rachman, managed by a token employee, serviced by Ronan O'Rahilly and taken over by the Kray Twins.
O'RAHILLY MEETS ALLAN JAMES CRAWFORD IN EARLY 1963
This is the world that the young man named Ronan O'Rahilly who had been sent by his father to raise capital for his legitimate business in Ireland, came to know. It was a world awash in money, and much of that money was changing hands undercover to satisfy illegal transactions. Therefore it should be noted that Australian music publisher Allan James Crawford was operating his business in the heartland of the criminal lair known as Soho.
It was at number 47 Dean Street in Soho that Ronan O'Rahilly began to talk to Allan Crawford about money. Both of them were seeking monetary investments for two different ventures. O'Rahilly needed to raise money for his father's business that was now operating a port and chartering a ship, and Crawford was trying to lease a ship to promote his own cover-version records by plugging them on the airwaves from offshore.
Allan Crawford looked straight into a news camera recording scenes for a television news film documentary, and said that it was during the first part of 1963 that he met Ronan O'Rahilly for the first time. Crawford tried to spin the story that Ronan O'Rahilly's father was wealthy and might become an investor in Crawford's company called Merit Music Limited. The financial reality at Greenore said otherwise, and this is why the traditional tale told by both Ronan O'Rahilly and Allan Crawford does not make sense.
When the facts are reexamined, it becomes very obvious that James Crawford had a need, and for a price, Ronan O'Rahilly could satisfy it. To make sense of this financial conundrum it is necessary to understand that these two were not the only 'players' at the table. There was another party with money and who also had a plan, but it was a totally different kind of plan to either O'Rahilly's father, or Allan Crawford, and yet it was a plan that was compatible with both of them.
But this is where the veil of secrecy and the curtain shielding the 'Wizard of Oz' comes down and it has prevented the world from seeing or understanding, what was about to happen. Through a separate but related chain of events, Crawford had been introduced to the idea of broadcasting his records on his own ship-based radio station anchored in international waters, but within earshot of London. His idea was similar to the operations of the major record companies such as EMI and Decca. They bought time on Radio Luxembourg to stimulate sales by often playing only portions of their own records.
In early 1963, Crawford was having both financial and logistical problems. He had access to a radio ship, but with conditions, and it needed to be fitted with a new antenna system. The catch was that the American owners would not lease it to him until he, or someone else proved that the UK government would not seize it according to the manner outlined in Victorian-era anti-smuggling laws called the 'Hovering Acts'.
Crawford was not the originator of British offshore broadcasting, he was but the latest in a long line of projects, most of which were tied to in a chain to the activities of another Irishman named Charles Orr Stanley. He was chairman of the PYE group of companies. Stanley did not want to own and operate stations, he wanted to sell them to owners for a low set price as 'packages' contained in portable buildings.
SEPTEMBER 1963 MI AMIGO AT GALVESTON, TEXAS
The motor vessel 'Mi Amigo' owned by Tecon Corporation of Dallas, had been chartered to a faction of the CIA based in South Miami, Florida. The CIA operation in Florida was huge. It was based at a disused helium airship station which had become nominally part of the University of South Miami. This CIA base controlled a number of aircraft, ships and even ground troops, all secretly managed by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The President of Tecon was Robert F. Thompson of Dallas, who was a close friend of Robert Kennedy, Clint Murchison Jr., and Gordon McLendon.
After the CIA contract was completed, Tecon Corporation transferred ownership of the vessel to the McLendon Group of radio stations in Dallas, and Manager Charles William (Bill) Weaver) who worked for the parent McLendon company, and also managed its Houston station KILT, was assigned the task of shutting down the former Tecon operation in Stockholm, Sweden and trying to find a buyer for the vessel. Meeting with no success in Europe in trying to sell the radio ship, it was also loaded with its Stockholm studio equipment and then it sailed to Galveston Island, Texas where it arrived on March 18, 1963.
Upon arrival, the ship was stripped of all of its broadcasting equipment which was put into storage at Houston for use as 'spares' by other McLendon stations. Some of the equipment was subsequently disposed of for use in this manner.
By September 5, 1963, the empty mv 'Mi Amigo' was attracting some unwanted press attention about its previous owner, and why the ship had been chartered to the CIA. This was at a time when President Kennedy had threatened to smash the CIA for its failed attempt to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, and the subsequent missile crisis which had almost triggered a nuclear World War III. The involvement of the President's brother Robert in CIA activities and managing the Florida base, was not generally known because it was part of the secret and convert foreign policy that was being conducted by the Kennedy Administration, contrary to published public pronouncements.
NOVEMBER 1963 ASSASSINATION IN DALLAS, TEXAS
For the people maintaining that the story of 'Radio Caroline' continues into the Twenty-first Century, there is a very 'unfortunate' aspect which interrupts the story flow. On the surface it seems to have nothing but a coincidental geographical link to events that took place in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. But that is not true at all.
On Friday, on a bright sunny day at lunchtime, President John F. Kennedy was shot in plain sight and a sea of controversy blew up concerning the person or persons who shot him. The events of that day are indirectly tied to a ship tied up on the Texas island of Galveston named 'Mi Amigo'.
In the aftermath of the Kennedy Assassination, the man responsible for the care, maintenance and disposal of that motor vessel which had been called 'Bon Jour', and then 'Magda Maria' before it arrived at Galveston was faced with a dilemma. A Houston newspaper wanted to know if this ship had previously engaged in work for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Charles William (Bill) Weaver was told by the owners to get that ship out of Texas waters in a hurry. For Allan James Crawford it seemed to be a change in his fortunes, because Weaver had just refused to lease this ship to him a few months earlier when he sent Ronan O'Rahilly to Houston, Texas in June of the same year.
It was this vessel that would become known as the home of 'Radio Atlanta', and then 'Radio Caroline South'. How and why that happened, is the part of the story that those who knew the answers did not want to discuss, and those who did not want to know the answers engaged in making up extraordinarily involved tales of fantasy.
The political assassination of November 22, 1963, is an event that broadcasters do not wish to discuss within the context of Ronan O'Rahilly and Allan Crawford and their first meeting during the first part of that same year. Yet, there is no way to explain this story without creating diversionary lies and misinformation, which is precisely what Ronan O'Rahilly and Allan Crawford decided to do.
WHAT RONAN O'RAHILLY OFFERED ALLAN JAMES CRAWFORD
Although Ronan O'Rahilly did not have any money to offer Allan James Crawford, he did have an interesting proposition that could ease the immediate cash-flow problems of his father, and make Crawford's dream come true of promoting his own record labels on the airwaves heard in Britain.
For a price, Crawford could outfit his own radio ship station and the bait station used to see how the British government would react. Since O'Rahilly's location was at a remote area in the Republic of Ireland, the British government could not interfere. To meet the price demanded by O'Rahilly Sr., Crawford had to turn to Charles Orr Stanley using a middle man he had begun working with. That was the retired BBC engineer who had gone to work on a series of PYE attempts to start an offshore radio station
Since Stanley was only using offshore radio to create a de facto demand for commercial radio as an alternative to the BBC, in much the same way that he had a formed political pressure group to force the creation of ITA, he had to keep his plan as secret as possible. To enable the American owners of the radio ship that Crawford was interested in using, Stanley had to put together a disposable guinea pig operation that would test the resolve of the UK government. This was the motor vessel called 'Fredericia'. The American ship was named 'Mi Amigo'.
Remember, Stanley had a experience in creating political pressure groups to get what he wanted, because he had been ultimately responsible for forcing the creation of the Independent Television Authority who then franchised their programming and sales operations. Since 1959 he had been aggressively trying to do the same thing with independent radio stations and he had employed his own staff headed by a retired BBC transmitter engineer.
The next move by Stanley was to bring into his fold a major tug and servicing company called Wijsmuller. They were to take care of the maritime interests. The financial aspects of this coordinated project were taken care of in a similar manner by a Dr Peter Marxer. Those connections already existed in Liechtenstein because the Texan interests who controlled the 'Mi Amigo' had previously used them for an operation off Sweden. It had been partially financed by a faction of the Central Intelligence Agency.
However, because the entire operation put together by Stanley was smothered in the kind of secrecy that only a military "need-to-know" project might be construed, it left the door wide open to financial abuse since there would be no financial management company based in the United Kingdom, and of course, UK laws offered no protection from crooks.
Indeed, the entire operation was designed to both thwart existing laws and create a political change to the laws.
Since Ronan O'Rahilly was a young man who was on the one hand trying to assist his father in finding sources of money for his business, while at the same time working on a secret project involving lies and deception, young Ronan became 'Deceiver-in-Chief'.
Initially, Ronan O'Rahilly was a part of his father's legitimate business, although he pretended that he was not. He also began claiming that he started a radio station named after the 5 or 6 years old daughter of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. That was a total fabrication.
But as time went by and he was left unchallenged regarding his lies, he wrapped his tales of fantasy in a claim that he was a film maker, and that ultimately he would created a documentary about the lives of two of the Kennedy brothers and Dr Martin Luther King. It was all a sham. In reality, Ronan O'Rahilly was a rodent living off the edges of the criminal underworld dominated for a time by the Kray Twins in England, and Arthur Thompson in Scotland.
Within this sea of lies where a lot of money was changing hands internationally, it was very easy for O'Rahilly to begin believing that what he was telling the world, was true, and eventually Ronan O'Rahilly began living in a fantasy world of his own making. However, this created the ideal environment for his British handlers to take advantage of this situation.
Who were O'Rahilly's handlers?
While on one side was his father with a legitimate quest for investors in a legitimate business, on the other side were the Kray Twins and their affiliates, and they were in cahoots with Metropolitan Police. The Krays and the cops were on the 'take' and conducting as much theft as possible without anyone being able to stop them.
But the underlying causation for the O'Rahilly mythology was the pressure group business plan being pursued in secret by Charles Orr Stanley. Among the people brought in to advise and invest in the Stanley Plan was a family whose paternal head had been the man that Winston Churchill relied upon to dream up fake stories to mislead and misdirect the Nazi spy agency called 'The Abwehr'. Yet no one seemed to have noticed that Allan Crawford's plan to create a radio station promoting his own cover-versions had been taken away from him.
Suddenly, the impoverished Crawford operation gained a gold-plated board of directors representing the world of publishing and printing, and one of the biggest oil companies in the world. But again, no one seemed to have paid much attention, even though Crawford himself presented his new board of directors at a press conference, not one of them represented the music publishing and record pressing and marketing world. But they did represent the interests of the supposed 'rival' operation that came to be called 'Radio Caroline'. They also represented the world of offshore oil exploitation in Venezuelan and Texas waters that was dominated by a oil drilling firm in Houston, and by a tug and towing company based in Rotterdam.
Again, the Houston oil interests had a long connection to exploration in England. They dated all the way back to World War II, because that is when Winston Churchill brought them in under cover of a top secret plan to supply more oil for the British War effort.
In the Nineteen Sixties, in parallel to the operation surrounding 'Radio Caroline', another venture emerged from these Houston oil explorers when an offshore platform was constructed in Ireland not far from the family home of Charles Orr Stanley. Ostensibly, 'REM' island was to be a Dutch offshore radio and television operation, but in reality it was primarily a part of the plan to test treaties governing the use of international waters.
Specifically, what the oil companies wanted to know was whether a floating ship or a fixed or floating platform would trigger any national reaction by countries bordering the North Sea, because at that time (early 1964), there were no specific laws relating to the exploitation of the underwater natural resources of the North Sea.
There were just too many secret plans and too many different parties for anyone one of them to be successfully carried out without political push-back. However, in the United Kingdom where for decades, the Tory party which held the reigns of power was replaced overnight after the General Election of October 15, 1964, by the socialist Labour Party.
Suddenly, the opportunistic plans of everyone promoting offshore broadcasting began to look very shaky indeed. However, one 'saving grace' was the slim majority by which the Labour Party held power, and if that status quo had been maintained, then the course of events for offshore broadcasting may have turned out differently. But there was another General Election on the immediate horizon.
But over in the tiny town of Eastland, Texas, with its wobbly minor population of around four thousand people situated in the middle of nowhere, was a man who became their mayor, dabbled in international car imports from Britain, was a local banker, and a general all-round entrepreneur looking for new ventures. His name was Don Pierson, and he was about to change the course of British broadcasting.
Don loved reading newspapers and magazines. He devoured them in order to keep abreast of new ideas in an age where the Internet and smart phones were a wild science fiction dream of the future. Sitting in his armchair one Sunday afternoon he read a news item about Ronan O'Rahilly. It was more of a fairy tale than factual reporting, but Don Pierson did not know that Ronan O'Rahilly was a mere stooge acting out a part to satisfy the financial interests of other people.
Impulsively, Don Pierson got his wife and two children into his Cadillac and he drove them that same day after reading the news report, over one hundred miles to reach Dallas Love Field airport. They all took a 'red eye' flight first to New York, and then on to London. After ensconcing his family in the London Hilton Hotel, he chartered a small plane which he piloted out over the North Sea to take photographs of the 'Fredericia' and 'Mi Amigo' which were bobbing around on the North Sea below him.
Pierson returned with his family to Texas and decided that it would be a great idea if he put an English version of the top commercial radio station in Dallas on a ship, and then anchored it alongside the 'Fredericia' and 'Mi Amigo' off the coast of England. It would be within earshot of London, and instead of the amateur presentation by 'Radio Caroline', his station let listeners hear the professional sound of commercial radio.
But there was a problem. At the time Don Pierson did not know that Ronan O'Rahilly was a mere 'front' for a political plan managed by Charles Orr Stanley, and Don Pierson made it very plain that he had no desire to interfere with British politics. However, there was one American who wanted to do just that, and his name was Herbert W. Armstrong.
Since 1959 when Armstrong bought a defunct millionaires estate in Hertfordshire and turned it into a liberal arts college slanted towards a peculiar interpretation of the Christian religion, Armstrong wanted to find a way in which to reach the British audience with his own half-hour daily polemic monologue. But aside from being able to buy two late night slots on Radio Luxembourg, there were no other stations open to him. In the United States, Australia and other countries he was buying a massive amount of airtime to deliver his commentary.
There were tantalizing possibilities coming from entrepreneurs who wanted to start broadcasting from offshore, but as he commented "they never seemed to get going". The came an offer from Allan Crawford, but almost as soon as it chance to be considered as a contract, it was withdrawn when Crawford's original operation merged with the PYE venture called 'Radio Caroline'. The last thing that Charles Orr Stanley wanted to do was pick a fight with the British government over religious broadcasting content.
But Don Pierson had only analyzed the numbers, not the politics. Pierson knew that the Texas airwaves were filled with sounds competing for the ears of thousands of listeners, whereas on the island of Great Britain were millions of ears who had yet to hear the sound of professional commercial radio. Armstrong's broadcast could be heard daily on any number of them, and so 'Radio London' sealed a contract with Armstrong that essentially covered the operating costs of the station.
By the time Pierson's new station had reached the English coastline and dropped anchor, the 'Fredericia' was long gone to a new anchorage off the Isle of Man. It was December 1964 and the new Labour Government was totally opposed to commercial radio.
Pierson's 'Big L', which mimicked Dallas, Texas and known as 'Big D', was a political horror story in Britain. It had been just over twelve months earlier that President Kennedy was gunned-down on a bright sunny day at lunchtime in that same city. Now Pierson was bringing the culture of that dreadful place to the ears of Londoners and a big slice of England.
It wasn't just the socialist politicians in the new Labour Party British government who were upset, the real investors behind 'Radio Caroline' were about to see half of their audience which tuned to 'Radio Caroline South' transmitted from the 'Mi Amigo' now retune their transistor sets to jingle strains of 'Wonderful Radio London'. Crawford lost control, and his own dreams of a station promoting his cover-version records on behalf of Merit Music vanished. It was time for a rethink.
Crawford and two of his colleagues then came up with a plan of their own to launch another version of 'Radio Caroline' on the Shivering Sands disused fort that was home to Reg Calvert's offshore station called 'Radio City'. More funds were raised from small investors and a retired transmitter once used by KCUL in Corpus Christi, Texas was bought, disassembled and shipped to Shivering Sands. Unfortunately, part of the transmitter fell into the sea while being hoisted on to one of the towers.
After being retrieved, dried-out and put on the air, it was discovered that it required more electrical power than the electrical power then available on Shivering Sands. So with begging bowl in hand, Crawford managed to get enough money to buy a new generator in England, only to have the UK Customs tell him that it could not 'exported' to Shivering Sands. At that point in time Crawford's additional investor pulled out and Crawford's dreams vanished for ever. Although he was still a nominal a part of the entire 'Radio Caroline' operation, Crawford decided to quit.
Meanwhile, in addition to the problems created by Don Pierson with his rival station, 'Radio Caroline' was in an administrative shambles. It was operating two ship stations and one of them had severe competition, but the organization was being bled into financial failure by the Krays with the help of their agent Ronan O'Rahilly. The problem was that the real management headquarters was not at 6 Chesterfield Gardens in Mafair, but in Valduz, Liechtenstein under the direction of Dr. Peter Marxer.
This resulted in the immediate control of 'Radio Caroline' affairs being under the day-to-day control of Ronan O'Rahilly, who was not capable of managing anything and who was himself a mere puppet on the strings of 'The Firm' managed by the Kray Twins. While various cosmetic schemes and some serious advertising promotions were attempted, the 'Radio Caroline' operation was a financial disaster.
In 1966, not only did Charles Orr Stanley's PYE Group of Companies go 'pear shaped', but Don Pierson, who had fallen out with his 'Radio London' directors, decided to compete with himself and everyone else for listeners and advertisers. Just as the Summer of 1996 was approaching, Pierson fired up a top 40 station and an easy listening station from the same ex-CIA ship which he also anchored off southeastern England.
It was at this unfortunate juncture in time after March 31, 1966, when the British Labour Government became celebrants of a major majority in the House of Commons as a result of another General Election and Pierson was once more rocking the North Sea with another boat, that retired Oliver Smedley and his side-kick script writer Kitty Black began a phase that would mark the beginning of the end for all British offshore radio. Crawford had already pulled out of 'Radio Caroline', and neither Smedley nor Black were a part of any sort of management process at Chesterfield Gardens, so they formed a new company of their own.
Their idea was to seize 'Radio City' under the pretext of retrieving the second-hand KCUL transmitter. Their plans went horribly wrong because the evidence points to the fact they were also in bed with the Kray Twins. However, it was apparently unknown to Reg Calvert who was the primary operative of 'Radio City', that its engineer was a member of the extended Kray gang.
On June 21, 1966, Eugene Paul Elvey, Chief Engineer and sometime disc jockey at 'Radio City', facilitated the raid led by Smedley and Black. Both of them had been involved with Crawford in his early planning stages of his Merit Music radio venture, but now they were operating on their own, or at least in coordination with the Kray Twins via Paul Elvey.
Smedley and Black led a crew of dockworkers out to the Shivering Sands fort and occupied Radio City in order to hold Reg Calvert to ransom, in a version of the Kray's protection racket. In the end it led to Smedley shooting and killing Reg Calvert. In her book called 'Life and Death of a Pirate', Reg Calvert's daughter Susan Moore explained how and why Elvey made that raid possible by opening a hatch for the raiders to enter the underside of a fort tower.
In the dark of night with everyone asleep on the Shivering Sands complex, the raiders left their boat which was bobbing up and down on the North Sea, climbed up a ladder attached to one of the towers, and entered 'Radio City'. We now know, as a result of the various trials involving both Smedley and then the Kray Twins, that Elvey was a hit man who had been working for the Krays at the time of the raid.
With Ronan O'Rahilly already on the payroll of the 'Kray Twins' beginning with their ex-Rachman clubs 'Discotheque' and 'Scene', Elvey added the aspect of murder to mayhem in the world of offshore radio. In his published diaries, Tony Benn explained how he was briefed about the gangs who had taken control of offshore radio, and clearly he was referring to both Radio Caroline and Radio City.
This was the moment that the UK Labour Government decided to act, having just won their large majority in a second General Election. The Marine Broadcasting Act came into force on August 14, 1967, after which the days when British firms could legally advertise and operate from remote offshore radio stations, were over.
Believing his own nonsense, Ronan O'Rahilly claimed that he could keep the 'Radio Caroline' operation going after all of the other offshore stations had closed down. But the con-man was out-conned by Philip Solomon who imitated Allan Crawford by creating his own record label and exploiting it over the two ship stations called 'Caroline'. However, Solomon was not paying Wijsmuller for keeping the ships crewed, nor was he concerned about the increasingly poor condition of both vessels, and in March 1968 they were simply towed away by Wijusmuller without advance warning.
This is the real story behind the myths surrounding Radio Caroline, and why to this day, it remains a story untold and drowned in lies and deception. Those claim that 'Radio Caroline' returned are merely spinning more fake tales while even denouncing Ronan O'Rahilly and embracing his memory at the same time. These are a new batch of daydreaming fraudsters composed mainly of fans who chip in their own money and time to promote a new lie the hope that one day their deceit might become accepted as reality.
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