In the real world where bodies have to be fed and bills have to be paid, being a private and non-subsidized researcher is somewhat problematic due to the limitations of both time and resources. The beginning of this project was no exception.
In 1970, the financial conditions for employment in the United Kingdom became bleak and worse was to follow. One day that year the entire department that Mervyn Hagger worked in was suddenly shut down as part of the contraction and British rationalization process which had begun by the group of companies that he worked for. The 'luxury' of having a printing and publishing arm was something that was not essential to a conglomeration making everything from electrical switchgear to hospital beds, and parts for the Concorde, and so his job, and those of his colleagues, vanished overnight. But with that termination came an opportunity in the form of choice and money.
Choice was presented because Hagger now had all the time in the world and with severance pay he had a momentary opportunity to pause, take stock and decide what to do next. His choice was to go to the U.S. Embassy and get and extended travel visa. While getting his travel plans together he spent some time listening to the uproar that had been caused by the arrival of a new offshore station called 'Radio North Sea International' (RNI).
What exactly the fuss was all about is still not clear, but the U.K. government decided to recycle the same U.S. made transmitter it had used to blast propaganda at Premier Ian Smith's independent nation of Rhodesia from just outside its borders, in order to blast interfering noises on top of the main broadcast signal emanating from RNI. Just prior to departure for the USA, Hagger listened to the station via a shortwave signal that was not being jammed.
Much later, journalist Paul Harris who had written the first independent book about the offshore stations of the Sixties, wrote an amended version of his story in which he asserted that the owners of RNI, who were connected by British police to an electronic fragment discovered near the site at Lockerbie in Scotland where PanAM flight 103 had crashed, was linked to the East German secret police (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit), Ministry for State Security (referred to as the 'Stasi'.)
But the strange thing about that still unresolved episode, is that although the U.K. Foreign Office and therefore the British Crown with its Secret Services must have viewed RNI as a political threat, for some reason they chose to ignore the anti-European polemical broadcasts by Garner Ted Armstrong. Yet it was those broadcasts which had provided the backbone funding for most of the offshore radio station of the Nineteen Sixties.
Years later on November 13, 2014, ex-Radio London DJ Dave Cash, then employed by BBC on their 'Radio Kent', interviewed Tony Benn about Dr Gilder's academic monologue regarding Armstrong's 'The World Tomorrow' radio program. The article asserted these broadcasts had Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) connections. Benn replied to the effect that he didn't know that, but it would not surprise him if it was true.
So although the non-political music programs of RNI were deemed to be a threat to the British Crown, the political broadcasts heard on most of the offshore stations and paying the core of their bills, were not seen as a threat worthy of setting up a jamming station.
This is curious, to say the least.
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