|.: Radio Caroline phenomenon
Radio Caroline was launched in 1964 and its presenters became familiar faces in the Isle of Man as one of the ships was anchored in Ramsey Bay.
The station was set up by Ronan O’Rahilly who wanted a station that played pop music in order to promote the artistes he represented as an agent.
But the BBC – which had a broadcasting monopoly in the UK at the time – wanted nothing to do with the vulgar hip-swivelling pop acts of the time and so Radio Caroline was born.
Broadcasting began on Easter Day 1964 with a pre-recorded message from Chris Moore – who (it was reported) was too nervous to open the station live.
In fact, Radio Caroline had hit a serious snag just a day before it was due to go live. The transmitters on the ship had been tested with Moore presenting a dummy programme in order to test the signal and studio equipment.
But bizarrely, due to freak climatic conditions in the Irish Sea and its interaction with radioactive outfall from Sellafield, the audio compressors began receiving at an odd frequency.
As a result, the first ever broadcast from Radio Caroline was the transmission of Chris Moore’s thoughts, beamed out live as he thought them.
The phenomenon lasted for fifteen minutes as engineers scurried around trying to find the source of the problem and many broadcasting firsts were set – including the first ever transmission of the words “wanker”, “fuck”, “bell end” and “twat”.
Moore was hurriedly removed from the studio within minutes, but the equipment continued to pick up his brainwaves throughout the ship and transmit them over the music.
He was put on a fishing boat and taken to Ramsey where, once out of range of the ship, the mental transmissions ceased. Although specialists were brought in to solve the mystery, none could do so before the scheduled launch the next day and so Moore was forced to pre-record his entire output for two weeks.
Rumours of the strange incident reached the ears of the CIA who sent a team of agents to seize the equipment two weeks after Caroline had gone live and replace it with a standard, less paranormal transmitter.
The station’s owner, Ronan O’Rahilly, was eager the incident should be forgotten, and nothing was ever heard of again of either the CIA men or the mass of electronics they took with them.
Labels: chris moore CIA, isle of man, manx, radio caroline, ramsey
Written at 16:13 by
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