Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2007 (2)


Welcome to this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Thanks for the response on last issue, which again came from all around the world.

Hans ten Hoge (Hogendoorn) former RNI, sent me news about a French language publication on the early years of Radio Luxembourg. On the next internetsite you can find more: http://www.editionsharmattan.fr/index.asp?navig=catalogue&obj=livre&no=23969

In the last issue of the report I mentioned that a song was recorded by the Emperor Rosko and Dave Cash. Reading the report Rosko was very surprised I knew already the information as he wrote: ‘Hi Hans , blast but you are fast! I was going to surprise you with the song news ! I think it is called ‘Turn On the Pirates’, but what do you know 5000 miles away ! I hope you got a copy! Who told you about it? They were fast. You are tooooooooo famous! Can you repair the name? it is called ‘Turn on the pirates’!! not off ! Emperor Rosko.’

Well is was Dave Cash en Mr Muffin who both informed me as well as the mp3 was sent to me. On Saturday July 7th I also heard the song for the very first time on the radio in the UK Top 20 Country Artists and Compilation Charts on BBC Local Radio. Not that it is already in the charts. Even Dave Cash mentioned that he’s not sure the song will ever be released on cd. But another airplay it got on Monday 10th on Big L.

Dave and other people on BBC Radio Essex did some really good programs early July. One was a documentary special in which also listeners could phone in with their memories. Well edited program including Paul de Haan and his memories not forgetting to mention his big dog, which was in last report too. Not forgetting the excellent show which Dave Cash did together with Johnny Walker. Most of the time, during the past four decades, they were each competitor and once they worked on the same station, Radio West in Bristol. But this July it was the very first time in 40 odd years they were in the same program. And of course I can’t forget to mention that it I got an e mail from Ron O’Quinn that I had to listen to Essex for he would appear in the program too. A pity I read the e mail in the evening, when it was already transmitted. Lucky enough Martin did record it. Nice memories Ron and have a good trip over to Europe at a later stage.

Dave Cash some 7 years ago at Liberty Radio (Archive Freewave)

Rosko sent in some more breaking news as he wrote: ‘You can now look for the ‘Turn on the Pirates video, staring Emperor Rosko as Johnny Depp.’

In an e mail exchange Dave Cash wrote that he hoped to see me at BBC Pirate Radio Essex in August and I wrote to him that it’s a pity as I had to choose between the Pirate Radio Essex thing and the Big reunion in London. And as the latter one was chosen I wrote him back that I should meet him there. Dave Cash came back with: ‘Unfortunately, there is the small problem of weekend BBC regional shows to do on the weekends, so I'll miss the reunion. For more information on the programs see www.bbc.co.uk/kent

Earlier this month, just when the last Hans Knot Radio Report was published, I heard the sad news that Charlie Wolf had recently been diagnosed with cancer due to a tumour on his right kidney. Surgery will be done and doctors are optimistic for Charlie’s recovery after the operation. Charlie hit the airwaves in 1984 in Europe on Laser 558 and made millions of friends by fighting around with the DTI on international waters. As Charlie is a reader of the report too I can wish him this way a good recovery in name of all colleagues and other readers.

Next an interesting story: ‘Hello Hans, Thank you for your monthly report, it has taken me back to many places. I think it is now time to share my memories with everyone else. I have worked in broadcasting since 1976, and have the 'Lady' to thank for still being here all these years later. I have resisted the temptation to do this for many long years. You may remember our first contact was regarding an interview with Mike Hagler, which was part of the pod-cast programmes that Martin Newell and I have produced over the past year http://www.martinnewell.co.uk
I think that part of my reason for keeping out of the way was because of my relationship with Ellen Kraal (Samantha to most of the listeners from Radio Caroline).

Tony James Photo: Leen Vingerling

In October 1984 we had both been on the Ross Revenge at the same time and it was during the time that the second studio on the ship had been used overnight for testprogrammes on 576Khz I think it was the Barrington bearded wonder himself who realy made it happen? Although Peter Murtha was on board at the time. We had made the 'production' studio as ready as it could and after Radio Caroline went off air the 10 or 5 kW transmitter was fired-up and we transmitted for a few hours and awaited reports from land. The idea then was to build another studio which came about well after I left, to transmit the religious stuff.

You would have to ask Mike Barrington about the actual details of the transmissions, but they did happen around mid October 1984. Chicago was actually more interested in working out a way of ducting the heat from the generator hold into the living areas and whether we could do this with existing materials that could be found around the ship! My guess is that Peter probably had tuned up the transmitter in the afternoon and left the rest to Mike…

Willy tenderman, Elton Andrews, Nick Richards, Tony James and Peter Chicago (Photo Leen Vingerling)

Ellen and I were going to work on the Voice of Peace together and I have a fantastic letter (probably one of our last communications) and something that I hold dear to my heart. For we had decided to jump ship if that’s the right term and run off together into the sunset off the coast of Tel Aviv. It was alas never to happen, but I have such fond memories of the most tenderise, caring and wonderful woman that has ever come into my life! I have some personal tapes, some pictures and a letter. That’s all that is left from the woman, always it seemed on the dole, spending time at Grandmas and always on the run from herself. I have heard lots of bad press about Samantha, let me now tell all of you who heard her programmes, and the slightly fumbled approach to the equipment, that she was there for all of you. And she was there for me.

She has left as bigger void as the late great
Tony Allan (Smith) if any of you have audio out there then pass it on. I have some wonderful treasures, one of which is the tape of 'the Gospel hour' due to be transmitted on the 19th March 1980, of course it did not reach the ship! And a few letters from Valkenbosschlaan 18 And lots, and lots of happy memories Pictures to come as soon as I can get round to scanning them. All the best Tony Street aka Tony Gates/Tony Johnson and any other name gathered along the way.’

Thanks Tony for sharing this memory. I hope one day you can sent us the pictures you’ve promised. In the meantime our man in France, Leen, worked some out for me with thanks to him too!

We know him from Radio Essex, RNI and of course Radio Luxembourg. Here’s an e mail from Mark Wesley: ‘Hi Hans. Thanks for the new report. Always good to read. I have finally got around to making my personal film documentary about Radio Essex from November 1965 until close-down at Christmas 1966, available to the general public. The DVD also has a film about the return to the Radio Essex tower, called "40 Years On", plus an animated 3D photo realistic helicopter flight around the tower. It's available at www.radioessex1966.co.uk
I intend to place links to other important radio sites within my site. I was wondering whether you would be interested in mentioning this in your next report. Or, perhaps we could have a reciprocal on-going link. Yours would appear in the important links page. Please let me know what you think. Best wishes. And look forward to seeing you on August 4th too. Mark Wesley.’

Thanks Mark and links have already been made. If you want your offshore internet site have linked with the site from Mark Wesley please write to Hknot@home.nl and I will forward it to him.

Many new photo’s newspaper cuts and other things have been edited to the Robbie Dale’s Archive. You can find the updates at www.hansknot.com

In last issue I asked you the reader if you’ve something to tell about the landbased pirates which came on the air after the MOB became Act. Mentioning Radio Kaleidoscope in last issue got a follow up written by Phil Crosby in Australia:

Thames Radio & Radio Britannia

A brief tale of landbased UK pirate radio 1968 – 1972.

‘Like most of Britain’s youth, I was devastated when the MOA came to pass on 14th August 1967. On that day we lost not only vitality and choice in radio entertainment, but also something much more sinister: freedom of speech in broadcasting. I was a young radio enthusiast living in South London, and although I was a member of the local ham radio club, my interests went beyond experimenting on the shortwave bands. My school friends and I were all keen devotees of Radio Caroline, but her increasingly flagging transmissions were not getting the message to the Government. And after hearing landbased Radio Free London emulate the former ‘Big L’, we decided to launch our own station.

It wasn’t hard to modify ham radio transmitter circuits to the medium wave, and the parts were all readily available from war surplus shops in London’s Tottenham Court Road, or simply scrounged from old TV’s and radiograms. Before long our shed in suburban Coulsdon became the source of a 15 watt signal playing an eclectic mix of records at strange hours and variable frequencies. With financial help from friends and donations from a local record shop, this evolved into Thames Radio on 220 metres, broadcasting briefly each Sunday using a long wire aerial across the garden.

Our downfall came in early 1969 when we attempted our first all day transmission while my parents were out. Commencing at 10:00, things were going well until a lookout noted two serious looking men approaching on foot, one with an earpiece. It was pretty obvious that the house with several long haired youths out front was the source of the station, and I nervously answered the front door whilst my pals scattered. Having no knowledge of my ‘rights’ and being quite scared, I obeyed their instructions to cut some of the transmitter wiring and hand over the valves. The next evening the two men returned to discuss my activities with my father, and introduced themselves as GPO Officers Mr. Crow and Mr. Smith. They commented on the signal being “of quite good quality, and heard as far as Battersea”, which I was secretly pleased about. They then demanded I hand over the transmitter, but I had foreseen this and had prepared a dummy, which they happily took away. I was never prosecuted and I believe this was because I was still just 17 and one of the first stations raided.

Of course, to any true pirate operator, being caught and shut down simply makes you more determined to continue, and my group was no different. By good chance, a friend’s father was a freelance journalist by profession, and had some mysterious background in wartime radio equipment, as well as a subversive streak. He suggested that we build a more powerful transmitter, and using the (then) new cassette tape technology, pre-record programs and move the transmitter around each Sunday, hopefully delaying being tracked down by the authorities.

As the GPO became better at locating the growing number of landbased pirates around South East England, many other groups had adopted this operating model, notably Radio Jackie who eventually became the most famous. Again, like other groups, we financed our station through daytime jobs and running discos and used the equipment to record our shows. Each Sunday we would set up at someone’s house and transmit programs under the new name of Radio Britannia (“Britons never, never shall be slaves”!) on 254 m (1183Kz). Often we completed the full 2-3 hour transmission, but sometimes the familiar faces of Stan Smith and his bully sidekick, Eric Gotts in a slow passing car forced an early closure of the station. By 1970 our audience across London and Surrey was increasing, but we were running out of locations, and resorting to hooking into public phone boxes, railway waiting rooms, and other strange sources for mains power.

Our benefactor then came up with a new solution. Together with my main ally Adrian, we purchased several DC-DC converters which although inefficient, ran silently and generated the necessary high voltage to run the 807 PA valves in our 100 watt rig. We now scoured the lovely English countryside for hidden spots not too far from a road (we had to carry several huge batteries!), string up an invisible and expendable aerial between two tall trees, banged in some earth stakes, and tuned up the rig. Using lookouts with walkie-talkies, we never got close to being raided, and never lost the gear. Using pre-recorded programs on cassette tapes, we broadcast almost every Sunday (and Xmas which was a GPO accepted amnesty day) until 1973, with a couple of specials into 1974 (with joint transmissions on 49m) and 1975. Our music mix was mainly a ‘Gold’ format with some contemporary pop. I still produced a 30 minute program under the name John Dale, but most programs were supplied by a professional DJ under a pseudonym. We carried no paid advertising, but supported free radio events, charities and advertised our own ‘Paintbox’ mobile disco*.

After a while, we got smarter and arranged the equipment in the boot of a car. This meant we no longer had to lug the heavy gear across fields, but could immediately drive away if the GPO arrived, just sacrificing the aerial if found. For those technically minded, the transmitter was crystal controlled with oscillator, buffer, and driver into the PA, which was modulated by 4 EL84s series-parallel. We used a standard pi-tank and RF ammeter to tune max power into a long wire aerial. Our transmitter was once loaned to Radio Jackie in the early 70’s to keep them going for a couple of weeks.

We used an address in Coulsdon, Surrey for fan mail and requests, and often received reports from places beyond our service area of South London and Surrey, and even from Holland on a few occasions in winter. The mail always got through, probably because it is (or was) an offence in the UK for anyone to interfere with Her Majesty’s Mail.

I sometimes wonder why Radio Britannia is hardly ever mentioned in histories of landbased UK pirates, but I think maybe because our target audience was slightly older than most stations, and our small group didn’t mix much or QSO with others, so we were largely unknown in pirate circles. We still have the equipment in my friend’s loft in Surrey, although looking at those power hungry valves and heavy batteries and transformers, it’s a wonder we didn’t consign them to the bin years ago! Phil Crosby, Sydney, Australia 2007.’

* Our Paintbox Disco consisted of a twin deck DJ mixing console, mixer, amplifiers, speakers and lightshow that could be set up anywhere. It was a real money-maker. In 1972 we toured Holland and Denmark, ending up at Scheveningen where we were tempted to join the Caroline ship being secretly prepared for sea. After seeing the condition of the Mi Amigo, we both decided it was not for us, and returned to the UK.

Well Phil a nice story and of course thank you so much. Anyone in the readership who wants to share a landbased pirate memory is free to do so and sent the memory to Hknot@home.nl

After Australia, the next e mail comes from the Far East: ‘Hi Hans, great news letters, always full of nice information, especially the updates about Caroline South, the Mi Amigo, and all the deejays aboard during the mid sixties.

I was meaning to respond to you about the subject of radio frequency hazards from powerful transmitters, but without proof that they cause a health risk it is still a subject open for debate. For sure being on deck next to the mast defiantly far exceeded limits set for today’s cell phone users. I don’t recall anyone in those days worrying about any hazards.


After Radio Caroline, I worked on big 100 Kw transmitters, and it was branded around that too much exposure caused male infertility; however my station manager who lived on site among the land based antenna farms, managed to father four children. I note with interest the recent picture in the July edition, showing the MV Mi Amigo transmitter control panel, most of the panel was taken up with rows of meters showing the working condition of the transmitter, it looks like from the position of the technician his right arm that he was making slight adjustments to the antenna tuning. A full colour picture can be seen of the same transmitter on my web site, along with many other Radio Caroline pictures.

Best regards, Sheridon Keith Street.

Thanks a lot Sheridon Keith for sharing your knowledge with us. By the way Sheridon was working on the Mi Amigo in the mid sixties.

Then an interesting question which I ask you o read also and give your own answer on it too. It comes from Erik van der Pol, who asked me: ‘I have a question which I’ve never seen published before. Which radioship beamed the strongest signal into our country. Can you give point from 0 till 10? Of course they can deviate now and then.
-Radio Veronica
-MEBO 2 Nordsee
-Galaxy Big L
-Radio 390
-Radio City
-Capital Radio
- Caroline South
- Radio Mi Amigo
-REM RTV Noordzee
-Radio Caroline North
-Mi Amigo 272
-Hilversum 1008 Lopik
-Hilversum 3, 675
-Atlantic 252
- Radio Paradijs
Radio Kootwijk on Longwave?
Especially Capital Radio is interesting for me as they used such a strange aerial system.

King David from Capital Radio in 1970 (Photo: Rob Olthof)

Well Erik you see that there are no points from me. I think it depends on a lot of influences. I know for instant that the signals of many offshore radio stations were far much clearer to receive in Groningen, where I’m situated then for instant in Amsterdam. Also living in a part of a town or village with a lot of influences from equipment of nearby factories can give a total different signal. And so you can have far more influences. No honest answer can be given in my opinion. Anyone who wants to give his view please feel free to write to Hknot@home.nl

'Hello Hans, well I got a little bit of radio news for you! Something different, internet radio Imagine963 is test streaming. Hans this one is for 100% real time we play a multitude of mixed music and now searching for deejays. It has been on air for past 62 hours, we do not use links to radio stations however we will relay if there is no presenters and continuous music as stop gap filler.

We originally wanted to do radio Seagull but found we could not as there already is one!, The name Voice of Peace was also suggested, but after finding many things out it was decided not to use this. However Imagine963 will be doing what the Voice of Peace would have done in the past: promoting peace and using the late LA promos and jingles, made by the late Tony Allan. They are just as good now as they've always been. Our website needs extra work to be done such as adding pages. To visit click www.imagine963.org There is a player on the start page!, If one goes to shout cast and type in imagine963 winamp should pop up and play. Our hosting is done via http://www.internet-radio.org.uk listeners can lock onto us via the host website. Will re-publish site in two weeks after completion. More updates soon. 73 Keith.!

In last issue we had the memories from Alfons Gelens to the late fifties and early sixties with Radio Luxembourg. I asked for more memories and Frank van der Heerde wrote to me that the best thing was to sent all readers to the beautiful internet pages from Dick Offringa about the Great 208. It was the same Dick Offringa who sent me the next memory, which was written by Colin Nichol in Australia: ‘By the way, Dick, looking through your site again just now, I realise I might mention I actually presented the Top Twenty on 208 at one stage - I think twice only, as Don Wardell was on leave. That programme was never handed over too willingly! One of those shows was really traumatic. As you know, the technician was in an entirely different room, separated from the studio desk by two heavy, bomb-resistant doors and a passageway between. He had total control of the output. He played the discs and the commercials - the announcer could only do the talking and indicate when the next item was to be played. On the night in question, the technician suddenly started behaving strangely just after the opening of the programme and then went into some sort of shock. He froze and did nothing. For the rest of the time I had to announce the disc, rush into the control room and put the disc on, rush back to the studio - and so on through the Top Twenty, with its millions of listeners. It was a nightmare, really beyond description. Especially as I was struggling with only basic French at the time. I have wiped most of it from my mind. Obviously the programme sounded bizarre. I don't know now how it ended, but I suppose I put on the next taped programme in the control room and got the schedule back on the rails. Some time later, the same thing happened to Don Wardell, with the same technician. Then Don admitted to me that the management hadn't believed my story and instead, believed that technician, who had told them it was I who had blanked out. In the end, I was believed, but was very offended I was doubted in the first place. To begin with, it must have been obvious to any knowledgeable person listening as to what was happening. It's a wonder I was kept on at the time. The technician, I gathered later, was put on other less crucial duties.
Considering what that incident did to me, it's hardly surprising I had almost forgotten it! Colin.’

Thank you both for the memory and I indeed advice to every reader interested in the history from Radio Luxembourg to have an extensive look on: http://www.offringa.nl

For the third time in a year here’s a chapter from the book ‘Voice of Peace Memories and Abie Nathan’s work’. The chapter you’re going to read was written by myself and tells about my first meeting with Abie as well as her buying the ship in my hometown.


In my late teens me and some friends already listened to offshore radio stations like Radio London, Radio Caroline, Swinging Radio England and more. In the city of Groningen, my home place, some avid radio listeners were already active. For instant on the wall of a shed at the Gorechtkade, someone painted in 1966 ‘Radio London on 266’. In November 2005 I checked, like I normally do once a year, if the shed it still there. Some 350 metres away from that shed is a canal called ‘Oosterhamrikkanaal’. In the late sixties there were two ships at the quayside moored next to each other: The MV Zeevaart and the MV Cito. Both ships were waiting for a new future and new owners and were for sale. We could be found a lot playing around those ships as it was only 350 metres away from our home. The first mentioned ship, believe it or not, would become the radio ship for Capital Radio of the International Broadcasters Society, and would be renamed into MV King David. The latter one was the MV Cito, which would become in 1969 the MV Peace.

On June 12th Abie Nathan, after he decided to buy the ship, announced in the local press that he would join the new crew on the travel from Groningen harbour to Amsterdam, where the ship would be repainted in the white Peace colour. The trip would go from the harbour of Groningen through inner channels to the harbour of Delfzijl. Next the Waddenzee and a part from the North Sea would be travelled. After entering IJmuiden harbour the ship would take ‘Noordzeekanaal’ on the way to Amsterdam harbour. The MV Cito was a motor vessel from the so called ‘shelter type’ and had in former days sailed the seas with a crew of six. It was owned by ship owners Paap from Haren, a village near Groningen. Partners in the company were H. Paap and W.J van Wijk and together with the latter Abie Nathan signed the contract for the sale to the Peace Foundation. The first price, mentioned in the press, for the ship was 45.000 Dutch guilders and the first payment of 10.000 guilders was done at the day of the signing. Within 40 days the rest of the money had to be paid, elsewhere the ship would be lost as well as the first payment.

The ship was built in early 1940 under the name MV Rolf and was the very last ship leaving Delfzijl harbour and heading for international waters, before the German invasion in May 1940. The ship was built under number 914 at the ship wharf Brothers from Diepen at Waterhuizen with a tonnage of 400.Length of the ship was 53.90 metres, breadth of 8,49 metres and a depth of 2.40 metres. In those days the vessel could carry 38 ton of fuel and making 11 knots an hour. They used a six cylinder, four tact Motor, from the company Klockner-Humboldt Deutz. In 1950 the ship was renamed into MV Westpolder. In 1954 the ship was taken to the same wharf where it was built. Here some adjustments were made on the bridge. The ship mainly made trips in European Waters and to Madeira and countries around the Mediterranean. It was in 1960 that the ship got her new name: MV Cito.

After arriving in Amsterdam harbour on June 13th the ship got a place at the ‘Steenen Hoofd’. Next a lot of volunteers, mainly young people, worked on the ship to get it painted into white, also with black the word ‘Peace’ in English, Dutch, French, Hebrew as well as in Arabic. Abie told the volunteers that he needed another 200.000 dollar to get the ship equipped with the radio facility. The cost for the crew was mainly to be paid by an American religious organisation which promised to pay 250.000 dollar a year to Abie Nathan. He told one of the press people that he signed a contract with these American organisation in which was also the obligation for the people on the radio station to transmit on daily base text from the New Testimony. Abie: “I’ve signed this contract by saying that I agree if I could also get the chance to transmit lines from The old Testimony of the Bible as well from the Koran. As soon as the ship is ready we will sail out to New York and after all the equipment is built into the ship we’re off to Israel to transmit 12 miles in international waters the message of Peace mixed with Arabian and Hebrew music. Messages will be mainly in four different languages including French and English.” Already in 1969 the name of Tony Allan was mentioned to be the most important deejay for his station, although it would take some 4 years before Tony could be heard on the Voice of Peace.

At the end of June I decided to get in contact with Jaap Stengs, speaker for the Peace Foundation in Amsterdam, and he told me the ship had gone to the ‘Oostelijke Handelskade’ behind the storehouse ‘America’. Taking the train to Amsterdam and walking from the Central station it took some 3 hours to get there from Groningen Central Station. Responsible at that moment on the Cito was captain Van Wijk who, together with a group of volunteers, was painting the ship. During the painting also another group of volunteers asked interested people for a donation and there was the possibility to get shares from the Peace Foundation. Therefore the giro 99912 account was opened on the name of ‘Vredesschip Nederland’. In almost all big newspapers an advertisement with a photo of the ship could be found in which the people of Holland were asked for their donation and therefore to buy a share in the Peace Foundation, this with the slogan ‘Nu is het Uw beurt’ (Now it’s your turn).

During the last days of that month Abie appeared a lot in Dutch newspapers and on radio and television: ‘I’m really satisfied in the way Dutch people give their money and enthusiasm to paint, this without being paid for it. Yesterday an old man came on deck the ship and told me he had no money but loved to help a few hours with the work on the ship. When he finished I was very surprised that he yet gave me ten Dutch guilders’ On the other hand Nathan claimed a few days later that he wasn’t happy at all with the publicity so far.

Abie: “I’ve spoken to several editors of newspapers and after bringing my plans and ideas for the Peace Projects they all promised me a page large advertisement but so far I haven’t seen nothing at all. If nothing happens I’ve to stop the plans. In New York the transmitters already arrived and I’ve made a deal with a big television organisation to make publicity for us when we get the transmitters on board. Also I arranged already a place at a quayside in New York, where we can be for longer time. But if there’s not enough money we have to cancel it all. It’s time one or two big companies in Holland show up with a lot of money for the case of Peace.’

In Holland there’s a organisation set up by several religious parties called ‘De wilde ganzen’ (Wild Gooses). This was et up with the meaning getting money together for all kind of charity. They could push the Dutch people by promoting their actions on radio and television. So Abie had the luck that also a week long the Wild Gooses made action to get listeners interested in giving money for the Peace project. It was Professor Röling of the University of Groningen, who spoke in a radio program of the IKON that the way Abie Nathan planned his project was a fascinating new way of trying to reach Peace in the Middle East. Rölingh: “I believe this sympathic man needs all the help of the Dutch inhabitants and so I ask you all to give money for the Peace project. Maybe it will costs Nathan a period in jail so let’s go and give all a bit in the case of Peace.’

On June 25th Abie organised a small Peace Party for people who did a lot for him during the then past weeks. At the end of the party Abie stumbled as a case, which he hadn’t seen, was in his way. He felt and was brought to the ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis’, an hospital were it seemed he had heavy bruises at his hips. He stayed in the hospital for some days. On July 10th again a payment of 50.000 guilders was made to the owners of the MV Cito, whereby they decided to give Abie Nathan a little more time for getting the rest of the money.

A special Students Club wanted to make a collection on the Dam, the main square in Amsterdam, and had asked permission to the City Board. However on August 8th a letter was received, in which the refusal of the permission. The next day, as a result of the refusal, a demonstration was held in the centre of Amsterdam. It was a period that a lot of demonstrations were held in several big cities all over Western Europe, many of them ending with a fight between demonstrators and the police. However this one went in total Peace.

One of the Dutch contacts Abie had in Holland was with top radio producer Hans Zoet from the NOS, who had smuggled a lot of painting from Israeli well known painters to Holland. Abie had asked him to do it for him. One of the flights, Zoet made, he was searched by the customs officer and they found the painting in one of the suitcases. But Zoet had a fake invoice with him and when the customs officer saw the paintings he couldn’t believe that he had paid 60.000 guilders for it and decided to let Zoet pay a lower import duty than the 0,6% he had to pay. So on the day the above mentioned demonstration was held also an auction took place in the Apollo Hotel were 150 several artworks went to new owners. The auction brought in 25.000 guilders for the Peace Foundation. On forehand Abie organised a press conference on July 29th on which he told that he needed around 50.000 guilders from the auction to get the total ownership of the MV Peace and get into international waters. The paintings, Abie told, were gifts from Israeli people and there would be sold only one small piece of art, which was personally owned by Abie, a little carving made in Persia in the 12th century. Another of the many stories which were printed in the Dutch Press mentioned an amount of 39.000 guilders.

MV Cito in Amsterdam

Finally August 12th 1969 was a kind of happy day as, after 75 days of hard working and trying to get the money together, the ships papers came in hands of Abie. It was officially given to him by Mr. De Paap and Mr. Van Wijk from Haren, near Groningen. A small press conference was held whereby for the first time Abie Nathan announced that the MV Cito would be renamed in MV Peace. Next to that he made clear that the ship’s registration would be in the future in Panama. Also the real amount to be paid became known as 160.500 Dutch guilders.

Just a week later it was the moment for crew and people, participating in the weeks before, to say goodbye to the Peace Ship. It was a very officially moment whereby the Catholic Bishop of Groningen, Mrg. Möller, Imam Ah Akmal from The Hague, vicar Van Boeyen and Rabbi Soetendorp together baptised the ship for a good travel to New York and later to the Middle East. On the ship was a 6 men’s crew, with captain Oosterhout as the first man. He thought that is was possible to bring the MV Peace to New York within 19 days, where it would be rebuilt into a floating radiostation.

During this short ceremony Bishop Möller thanked Abie for his several ways he put his life for Peace and also thanked him for this initiative to bring a ship to sea for the message of Peace. The ship itself carried in five language the message of peace painted on the ship and Möller hoped that God, or Allah, or Jaweh, as ‘God’ was named by several religious organisations, would bless the crew on the forthcoming trip to Peace. Not much later, after all invited people had left the deck of the ship and were back on the quayside, the motor of the former MV Cito was started and it was off to the United States, where it took some years to finalise the idea of the Peace Project.


A lot of work has been down to research not only the history of the Voice of Peace but also the various humanitarian jobs Abie Nathan has done through the past 4 decades. With assistance from people next to Abie, deejays and staff of the station in the past, Hans Knot has succeeded in writing a 250 pages book. In the book are many exclusive photographs, but as there were hundreds of photos sent in by many people, a ‘photo cd’ will be included. The book, was officially presented at the Annual Radio Day in Amsterdam in November 2006. The book can now be ordered from the publisher. The price for people in the Netherlands will be 30 Euro, including postage and packing. For people outside the Netherlands the price will be 33 Euro. You can sent in your money by sending it in an envelope to SMC, PO Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam. Also you can pay your money to Giro account 4065700 on the name of Mediacommunicatie Amsterdam. Don’t forget to mention IBAN number: NL 37 PSTB 0004 0657 00 BIC: PSTBNL21 . No Bank cheques are excepted due to high exchange costs.

There’s another special offer from the Foundation for Mediacommunication.
3 CD’s filled with MP'3's with programs from RNI and Radio Caroline for just € 15,-- including postage and packing. Or 10 pounds sterling.
Send the money to: SMC, PO Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam. Also you can pay your money to Giro account 4065700 on the name of Mediacommunicatie Amsterdam. Don’t forget to mention IBAN number: NL 37 PSTB 0004 0657 00 BIC: PSTBNL21 . No Bank cheques are excepted due to high exchange costs.


From Germany a photo copy of an article was sent to me by Thomas Völkner. It tells in German about the important role John Peel played through several decades. In October it’s 3 years ago that John suddenly died during a holiday in Peru. German WDR radio will bring special programs in October. October 22 23.05 CET brings WDR3 Open Pop Drei and they also bring the program ‘1Live Plan B Soundstories, which will be transmitted on WDR 3 on October 23.00 CET.

Thanks a lot for this announcement Thomas. Now something about a long lost interview which was found back early 2006.


It was January 2006 a lady from Amsterdam, Hoodle van Leeuwen, contacted me. She got my address from people at the Dutch Broadcast Archive in Hilversum. They advised her to make contact with me as I had researched and written a lot on the subject ‘Offshore Radio’. The reason why she contacted me was a couple of boxes she had in her cellar for more than 35 years. The official owner was the American Dave Carmichael, who also lived in the same building at the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam as Hoodle van Leeuwen in 1968 up till late 1970. Carmichael left the place with the promise to come back in a years time, after a trip to Scandinavia. However he never returned to Holland and so the unique material was kept in the cellar. Dave Carmichael is better known to radio listeners from Caroline in the sixties and RNI in the seventies as Carl Mitchell.
In the archive is a lot of rare material including a typed out version as well as a partly handwritten transcript from an interview with John Lennon. It was made in October 1969 in London by Robbie Robinson. Robbie is better known as Robbie Dale. He had the transcript for sometime at home and then it suddenly disappeared. I’ve informed him that I now have the interview in my archive and promised him to bring it to our meeting, in London, in the summer of 2007. My opinion is that Carl, who was a little swindler, tried to make money from the interview.

Robbie Dale interviews John and Yoko

I scanned a part of the handwritten letter part to Robbie Dale and he confirmed it was not his handwriting and the way it was written it seems that the one who wrote the intro, tried to sell Robbie’s interview. The archive from Carl Mitchell contained all kind of letters from people complaining about have paid money to him in 1970 – after Carl advertised in newspapers and the Dutch version of Musical Express, that a special RNI LP would be released. Forget it, he took the money and no LP was ever pressed. Even letters from the publishing companies are found in which they ask for money, as the advertisements had not been paid for either.

We can also see, from a letter from Camera Press, that he tried so sell Robbie/John and Yoko interview to an English organisation. The same he did with German magazines. However, after some 35 years, I can make Robbie Dale happy to bring back to his place the original transcript of the exclusive interview he had with John and Yoko. I’m proud to announce that Robbie Dale gave me the permission to publish the English version of the interview now in 2007. The very exclusive interview can be found now on: www.hansknot.com and on www.soundscapes.info (Volume 10).

Reader Frank Köhlinger has a new record by sending in the longest internet address for the Hans Knot International Radio Report. It takes you to an interesting story in Dutch about life aboard the MV Magdalena, in 1979 the radio shop from Radio Mi Amigo 272. For non Dutch language people I advise you to have a look too due to the photographs which are added to the story.

Dear Hans we would be pleased if you are willing to consider publishing this interesting announcement. Thank you, Steve Reid. ‘Hello dear radio friends! The month of august 2007 will be Mi Amigo month on Laserhothits, All Europe Radio. Original recordings from Radio Mi Amigo. Laserhothits, the radiostation, Saturdays on 6275 kHz.’

Next an e mail from Meindert Dikboom. He’s into American Radio since more than four decades and loves to search on internet for stations he likes. A couple of weeks ago he rang the alarm clock stating that probably due to new rules there would come an end to listening to American radiostations by the web in Europe. This time, July 15th, he has big news as he discovered on the net the legendary radiostation KMIN/KDSK from Galup in New Mexico, which still can be heard loud and clear on the internet. It’s like Radio London from the sixties now in 2007. Go and have a listen at http://www.kdsk.com as long as it’s possible. ‘

Well another long issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Reports ends here. Hope to receive another lot of memories and stories from you at the regular postbox Hknot@home.nl and please sent photographs to hans.knot@gmail.com




Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Radio London Commercials


Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990


Read Hans Knot's former report