Years ago, before anyone else thought of doing it, a guy by the name of Mike Leonard published a huge encyclopedia of information about offshore broadcasting. For its time it was very good, but then, Mike became careless. He published a second and much, much thinner volume and it was not very good. So Mike's next move was to go 'cyber' and create a 'museum', but some of its information and some of its 'artifacts' are bogus - such as his dedication to perpetuating the myth of the salvage yacht called 'CETO' ....
REVISED TEXT: 1/18/2022 - Please note that the text that follows in this section differs from our original publication of this Blog entry. It has been amended due to an overlooked but unrelated segment in a book referenced below, which in turn has now raised further questions about a sequential chain of bogus information that has been inserted into the timeline of British offshore broadcasting. (An explanation will follow in an updated edition of this Blog.)
There is a BIG problem with Mike Leonard's Internet page, and it is the same one that was promoted by Paul Rusling's "Sir Hans Knot" on his own web page: The CETO was not a radio ship!
So why the big fuss over highlighting something that never was?
Offshore radio enthusiasts are fond of doing that. Readers begin to wonder whether they worship the ships rather attempt to distort broadcasting history, which they most certainly do. In this instance they should have taken note of the text on pages 66-68 headed 'Ships and Stunts' which is part of this book:
However, while this book by Keith Wallis (with the help and endorsement of Professor Sean Street) attempts to document the life and times of Captain Leonard F. Plugge as "a pioneer of commercial radio", when it gets 'off topic', that is, away from the life of Captain Leonard F. Plugge, it also falls victim to a fairly recent attempt (in terms of published 'history' of events), to an overlooked aspect of the passage into UK law of the 1990 Broadcasting Act. The relationship of that Act of the UK Parliament to the subject matter under investigation by this and our companion Blog will be addressed separately.
But the anoraks, the really loony anoraks who seem to worship the idea that a transmitter can be placed on board a ship to broadcast - so long as it is not a BBC broadcast from a BBC radio ship, well they have created this mythology about the salvage yacht CETO, chartered by the 'Daily Mail' as an inshore publicity stunt, in order to obliterate what really happened in 1927, a year before this 'Daily Mail' publicity stunt was ever dreamed of. Yet the brand new British Broadcasting Corporation under the management of John Reith did use a vessel to begin offshore broadcasting in 1927, and then they repeated this achievement in 1928, in the months before the 'Daily Mail' tried to copy the BBC! But there is more! In 1949 the BBC working with Pye, successfully commenced television transmissions from another ship, and as you now know, the censored story of Pye is central to the true story of offshore radio - the story that the anoraks do not want you to know! This is what Mike Leonard has put online - see the image above and then read the text again below:
So, as dutifully noted by Mike Leonard in lockstep with Rusling's "Sir Hans Knot", here is the pitiful excuse why the 'Daily Mail' could not do what the BBC did - or did they? In other words, any radio historian will discover that the 'Daily Mail' rode on the back of the infant BBC to gain publicity. The CETO was not their only neo-BBC cloned idea. In other words, this was never intended to defy the GPO or impact the BBC, it was just a publicity stunt using loudspeakers blasting at the shoreline from within spitting distance (so to speak) of the shoreline!
The bottom line is that anoraks are FRAUDSTERS!