When Music Pirates Used Pirate Ships

Renegade radio stations in the 60s challenged government control of the airwaves from international waters and helped launch the rock revolution.”>

Music pirates are boring nowadays. The pirates den is a bedroom in moms flat. Or maybe thats a pirate using the free wi-fi at Dunkin Donuts.

That wasnt always the case. Music pirates once had their own ships, just like their skull-and-crossbones predecessors in the Caribbean. The deejays didnt wear eye-patches or talk like Jack Sparrow, but before they were done reinventing radio rules, they helped shape the musical tastes during the rise of rock and even changed international maritime law.

Long before Napster and torrents, the pirate radio stations of the 60s found a home on the high seas. These renegade outfits operated from a host of different ships that circumvented government restrictions by broadcasting from international waters. At their peak, these stations attracted millions of listeners, who grooved to rock n roll tunes ignored by the state-controlled radio outlets.

On Aug. 2, 1958, Radio Mercur became Europes first offshore pirate music station, operating from a converted fishing boat stationed in international waters between Copenhagen and Landskrona. Retailers in consumer electronics backed the venture, with the hope of selling more radios if a wider range of programming were available.

Their bet paid off: The station eventually attracted 5 million listeners, and one advertiser, a German seller of nylons and stockings, boasted that a radio campaign on the station generated increased sales of 3 million units in just two months. Sales of transistor radios skyrocketed across Europe, with teens seizing the opportunity to listen to their own music in their own room, freed from the controland out-of-date song preferencesof their parents.

The piracy movement quickly spread from country to country. In 1960, Radio Veronica shook up the heavily regulated Dutch broadcasting business when it started operations in a converted German lightship anchored off the coast. The next year Radio Nord, backed by Texas money, took on the Swedish radio establishment from the Bon Jour in the Baltic Sea. In 1962, Radio Antwerpen began transmitting off the Belgian coast.

Britain, then at the forefront of commercial music world, would not long remain immune from the pirates. English rock was shaking up the world, but fans in the United Kingdom only enjoyed a few hours per week of this exciting new music on stuffy BBC radio. Radio Caroline, with its cooler vibe, now changed all that.

In February 1964, at the very moment when the Beatles were setting off the British rock invasion with their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, a different kind of musical assault was underway back in the U.K. The instigator, Irish businessman Ronan ORahilly, came from a family of rebelshis grandfather had been a leader in in the 1916 Easter rebellion and died in an attack on British machine gunners. Now at this critical juncture in music history, ORahilly acquired a 188-foot ferry ship named the Frederica. This would serve as his pirate ship, and he also had an Easter rebellion in mind.

The Frederica was soon converted into a floating radio station, and renamed the Caroline. It started broadcasting on Easter Sunday, and didnt stop. Back in those days, most radio stations didnt operate after midnight, but Caroline kept going round-the-clock.

Yet pirates are dangerous characters, even in the music business. In June 1966, Smedley killed fellow pirate Reg Calvert, owner of Radio City, as the result of contentious merger discussions between the two stations.

No one was forced to walk the plank, but an actual pirate raid had taken place two days earlier, when thugs working for Smedley launched a surprise attack on Radio Citys fort. Alan Clark, a disc jockey for Radio City on board at the time, recalled the details of the raid in a 1997 interview: There was a dispute between Reg Calvert and Oliver Smedley and this dispute took place at the time of a seamens strike It climaxed in Major Smedley recruiting some striking seamen to sail out to the fort in a tug and take the place over.

I was there at the time, along with a number of other people, and we were quite surprised to peer out of a porthole to see this tug nearby and lots of men rowing towards us in their boat. Then of course they came on board, took over the place, ripped the studio apart, placed it out of bounds. There was no violence. They didnt hurt us or anything like that but they certainly kept us off the air for a few days.

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This incident led to Calvert confronting Smedley in his home a few hours later. Oliver Smedley wasnt the man to take threats lightly. He had been a paratrooper in World War II, and earned a Military Cross during the battle of Normandy. As soon as Calvert arrived, Smedley retreated to his bedroom and loaded his shotgun. Without giving his adversary pirate any warning, Smedley shot Calvert. At the subsequent trial, Smedley convinced a jury that he acted instinctively and in self-defense, and was acquitted.

For a brief spell, it looked as if pirate radio would enter the mainstream of the music business. Radio 390, launched in 1965, was the most ambitious pirate operation of them all, with a strong signal and a full range of programs, including music, dramas, weather, and news. Like Radio City, this station operated from abandoned military towers. But a court eventually ruled that its facility, located on a sandbar off the north coast of Kent, was located in British territorial waters and the station disappeared from the airwaves in 1967.

But by then, the British government had grown tired of pirates. The Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, enacted on Aug. 14, 1967, made it illegal for anyone in the U.K. to advertise on the pirate stations or supply their ships.

Radio Caroline survived this change by supplying its operation from the Netherlands, but it would continue to face legal and nautical challenges in subsequent years. Meanwhile, most of its pirate competitors shut down. For better or worse, the golden age of pirate radio was coming to an end.

Other countries enacted their own regulations, and one by one these alternative sources of music gradually disappeared from the airwaves. At the height of activity during the mid-60s, more than a dozen stations were broadcasting from the North Sea, but by 1970 only two were leftRadio Veronica and Radio North Sea International.

Even so, the age of piracy had a lasting impact on British music. Six weeks after the passage of the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, the BBC launched an expanded pop-rock format, modeled on Radio London, and even hired a number of former pirate disc jockeys.

Yet the music pirates of the 60s anticipated the future in other ways as well. In the digital age, radio broadcasts cross all borders and boundaries via the Web. Except for a few totalitarian regimes, nations no longer expect to control the musical tastes of the citizenry. Songs can reach anyone in any jurisdiction nowadays, and dont require a pirate ship to do so.

In short, we enjoy our music, and dont need to worry about government intrusion into our playlists. We choose our tunes freely, and no one censors our music, or shuts it down at midnight. We take all that for granted, but we ought to thank the pirates who took the plunge into those uncharted waters a half-century ago, and proved how beautiful free-flowing music could be.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/18/when-music-pirates-used-pirate-ships.html

Cruise Ships In The Arctic Take Titanic Risks

More and more floating pleasure palaces are plying the increasingly ice-choked and unstable waters near the poles. What could possibly go wrong?”>

This year, the new 820-foot-long, 13-deck cruise ship Crystal Serenity will be the first large-scale tourist ship to navigate through the Northwest Passage. And while amenities such as a casino, a movie theater, six restaurants, and a driving range may be what most potential tourists consider first, the safety precautions the cruise line is taking should be most important.

As the ships parent company, Crystal Cruises, notes, Two ice searchlights, a high-resolution radar and other equipment will be installed to allow the vessel to scan the waters ahead looking for underwater obstructions or uncharted rocks. The cruise liner will also carry a helicopter for ice condition reconnaissance, and will be accompanied by an escort ship with damage control equipment.

These precautions constitute the minimum security protocols for the safe travel of large ships in unstable, ice-choked waters. And the very fact that such extreme measures are necessary tells us that large cruise ships shouldnt be in polar waters at all.

Yet, according to a 2009 NOAA STAR report, tourism is the single largest human presence in the Arctic, with the majority of travelers visiting by ship.

Certain forms of Arctic adventure tourism have existed since the early 1800s, from mountaineers to adventure seekers, but today the industry has expandedin regions including Alaska, Canada, Norway, and Icelandto include nature lovers and leisure travelers, in part because of greater access due to melting ice.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/29/cruise-ships-in-the-arctic-take-titanic-risks.html

Artist creates amazing T-shirts for fandom ships from Johnlock to Stormpilot

Fans looking for a unique way to show their love for their fandomshipsneed to look no further than the stylish and clever “Ask Me About My Ship” T-shirt collection created by artist Fox Estacado.

Each shirt displays the words “Ask me about my ship” on the frontsometimes with art that nods to a specific fandomand can be lifted to reveal fanart of a couple from that fandom underneath. There are 11 shirts included in the series so far featuring a range of relationships like Sherlocks Johnlock,The AvengersStucky, and The X-Files‘ Mulder and Scully.

Estacado’s latest release in the collection is a Stormpilot shirt inspired by Star Wars: The Force AwakensFinn and Poe that is now available for preorder on her website. Estacado told the Daily Dot in an email interview that she only recently saw the movie and especially loved the two characters.

“The film was so generous with Finn/Poe momentsPoe giving Finn his name, their excellent teamwork to escape the First Order, Finn keeping Poe’s jacket when he thought he was dead, their triumphant reunion, and ‘Keep it, it suits you.’ I also saw the potential for a fun and playful relationship, and that’s the flavor of the relationship I chose to depict on the shirt,” she said.

She was inspired to create this collection in 2014 when one of her fellow podcasters on the Three Patch Podcast, Shannon Sauro, shared a photo of a shirt with a hidden image underneath. Estacado mentioned that it would be fun if the image was Johnlock and then went on to draw the design and create a few shirts. The shirts gained attention and sold out, and soon after, Estacado was receiving comments from those who didn’t ship Johnlock but liked the idea of the shirt.

“As a multishipper myself with many ships in many fandoms, I thought it would be fun to expand the idea to other ships, too,” she said. “I love the interactive nature of the shirt, and I love that fans can wear their ship and show it off proudly, if they choose to.”

The ships currently in the line are a mix of Estacado’s favorites and requests from friends and followers. Estacado isn’t a full-time artist and works at a nonprofit in Los Angeles so the amount of time it takes to create each shirt varies and can depend on if the ship and fandom is new to her.

“With every ship shirt, it’s important to me to engage with the fandom, and get to know why people love the ship, its flavors, and its fannish lore. For many, shipping is a deeply meaningful experience,” she said. “My approach to fanart always comes from a place of fellowshipa fellow fan sharing my interpretation and love for the characters with fellow fans.”

It certainly gives fans a creative and fun way to answer anyone’s questions about their ships. You can see the entire “Ask Me About My Ship” line on Estacado’s website.

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/geek/ask-me-about-my-ship-shirts/

David Copperfield, Please Dont Use The Sliders To Make These Cruise Ships Disappear!

David Copperfield, there is no need to demonstrate your power! We are already awed by your mastery of magic.

We beg you, Mr. Copperfield, do not use the sliders to make this luxury cruise ship vanish.


No, not the Carnival Vista! That ship has 4,000 souls aboard. Its passengers and crew have done nothing to stoke your ire.


Please keep the slider where it is. These breathtaking feats of enchantment only belong at your Las Vegas show, not unleashed on the innocent aboard this boat.


You are blessed with incredible magical talent, Mr. Copperfield. Do not misuse your gifts by making the Disney Fantasy disappear with a simple flick of this slider. Instead, why not summon a flock of doves or levitate yourself across the Grand Canyon?


Youre a monster, David Copperfield. But you just may redeem yourself if you can resist moving the slider on this one.


We would plead for mercy, but clearly, your magicians heart is carved from stone. Nothing we can say will sway you, so go ahead, teleport the Norwegian Breakaway to where you will.


Someday, you will certainly go to hell, David Copperfield, if a hell exists that can contain you. Begone, you villain! Go back to your lair at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino!


Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/splitpic/david-copperfield-please-dont-use-sliders-make-the-4521

Deadly Waters Off Yemen Threaten U.S. Ships

Even the best-defended U.S. warships may be pulled farther away from an emerging missile kill-zone after Houthi rebels fired two missiles at American ships.”>

The waters off Yemen are becoming a killing field for ships, and while the U.S. Navy is reasonably prepared to confront the escalating danger, Americas allies in the civil-war-torn Middle Eastern country might not be.

On the evening of Oct. 9, forces aligned with Ansar Allahaka the Houthis, Yemens Iran-backed Shia political movementfired two cruise missiles toward the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason and the amphibious ship Ponce while the two vessels were sailing in international waters north of the Mandeb Strait.

Ponce functions as a sort of floating base for mine-hunting helicopters and other U.S. forces. Masons job is to protect more-vulnerable vessels such as Ponce. U.S and allied ships patrol the waters around Yemen in order to prevent illicit arms from flowing into the troubled country.

The 510-foot-long Mason fired three surface-to-air missilesincluding two high-tech, long-range SM-2 missilesand launched a radar decoy in attempt to first destroy, then distract, the incoming Houthi munitions.

The radar decoy, known as a Nulka, is a rocket that hovers in midair while broadcasting a powerful signal mimicking the radar signature of a warship. The idea is that the enemy weapon will go after the decoy instead of homing in on the real target.

The first Houthi missile fell into the sea, either on its own or after being struck or redirected by the American weapons or decoy. It is unclear whether [SM-2s or decoys] led to the missile striking the water or whether it would have struck the water anyway, an unnamed military official told the news website of the U.S. Naval Institute.

The second Houthi missile harmlessly struck the water without American missiles or decoys directly intervening.

The Americans380 aboard Mason and an additional 210 on the 570-foot Poncewere lucky. But they were also prepared to defend against missile attack. Mason packs a sophisticated radar and scores of surface-to-air missiles plus short-range defensive guns. Ponce is the first Navy vessel to carry a defensive laser cannon that can quickly blast enemy missiles out of the air from miles away.

This is what they do, Eric Wertheim, a naval analyst and author of Combat Fleets of the World, told The Daily Beast, referring to the American ships. Their job is to go into harms way. Moreover, both vessels are made largely of steel, meaning they can withstand even direct hits by missiles.

Our ships are very capable of defending themselves, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter assured reporters in the wake of the failed attack.

The same does not apply to more weakly armed and lightly built ships. On Oct. 8, rockets apparently fired by Houthi forces slammed into the catamaran transport ship Swift in the same area where Mason and Ponce would come under attack a day later.

Swift burned and suffered heavy damage. Houthi media claimed the ship was completely destroyed. Its unclear whether any of the ships crew or passengers were hurt or killed, although the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen admitted staging a rescue operation following the missile attack.

The unarmed catamaran, which hauled U.S. troops under a Navy contract between 2008 and 2013, is now owned by an Emirati dredging company. The Saudi coalition claimed the vessel was hauling humanitarian aid to Yemen when it came under attack.

Its worth noting that ships belonging to the United Arab Emirates and other members of the Saudi coalition have maintained a steady flow of weaponry and supplies to allied forces in Yemen. Houthi media described Swift as a warship.

But as far as warships go, Swift is pretty flimsy. Made of aluminum in order to reduce weight and increase top speed, Swift cant absorb much battle damage. I can say from experience that the aluminum hull design is NOT meant for taking damage, one former Swift sailor wrote on Reddit in 2011.

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A fire would literally melt the ship in half, the sailor claimed.

The problem for the U.S. Navy is that more and more of its ships are aluminum like Swift is, including the dozen catamaran transports the sailing branch is buying and the 40 planned Littoral Combat Ships.

The transports arent meant to sail in harms way. Though well-suited for low-threat environments, craft of this type are unsuited for high-intensity combat, Wertheim said. Those are issues we need to be concerned about as we look at the type of ships were bringing in.

The Littoral Combat Ships are meant for combat, although there are reasons to doubt theyd last very long in a shooting war. The LCSs are lightly armed compared to guided-missile destroyers such as Mason.

To be sure, the attack on Swift and the failed assault on Mason and Ponce a day later seem to have rattled the American fleet. The Navys response was forceful and, ahem, swift.

Anybody who takes action, fires against U.S. Navy ships operating in international waters, does so at their own peril, Capt. Jeff Davis, a Navy spokesman, told Military Times on Oct. 11. Were going to find out who did this and we will take action accordingly.

Who did it isnt much of a mystery. There are only so many military units in the Houthi order of battle with the ability to strike a ship at sea. As the Yemeni civil war deepened in 2015, as much as two-thirds of the countrys military sided with the Houthi rebels.

The defecting forces included the armys missile command and the air forces own missile units. Between them, the two contingents deploy Chinese-made anti-ship missiles, Scud ballistic rockets, and SA-2 surface-to-air missiles that, in a pinch, can also strike targets on land and at sea.

Its unclear which of these weapons the Houthis apparently launched at Swift, Mason, and Ponce. The munitions identity matters. There are a couple of issues that go into the kind of danger a missile would present, Wertheim said, including warhead size and the speed of the missile. Warhead size and missile speed vary widely, depending on the type of weapon.

In any event, Houthi missile crews appear to be honing their tactics. The rebel group claimed its missileers destroyed two Saudi vessels before the apparent successful strike on Swift. And the attack on the American ships, while unsuccessful, has compelled the Pentagon to switch up its tactics.

The military is adjusting our force posture in that area in reaction to the entirety of things that are going on in Yemen and the waters surrounding Yemen, Carter said. That could involve pulling even the best-defended U.S. warships farther away from Yemen, out of the emerging missile kill-zone.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/12/deadly-waters-off-yemen-threaten-u-s-ships.html

Creepy Images Surface Of Newly Discovered Ottoman Ghost Ships In The Black Sea

When English researchers from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology were mapping ancient underwater landscapes in the Black Sea, they found something incredible.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project was created to perform geophysical surveys on the sea bed to shed light on why water levels rose so fast after the Ice Age, as this information may help us deal with similar situations caused by climate change.

However, their Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) accidentally came across an eerie graveyard of ghost ships in a Black Sea “dead zone.”

Read More: This Creepy Noise Coming From The Sky Cannot Be A Good Sign

The ROVs had been scanning a dead zone 1,800 meters below the surface when their cameras picked up 40 ghost ships. They are believed to be from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, which were founded in 330 C.E. and 1299 C.E., respectively.

Researchers were able to capture these amazing (and slightly unsettling) images with the 3-D recording technology built into one of the ROVs, all while leaving the sea bed and ships undisturbed.

“They are astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 metres,” said project investigator Jon Adams.

Adams hopes their 3-D recording technique will lead to more maritime archeology practices that aim to leave ancient shipwrecks intact instead of moving them to the surface and ruining them. He also plans to study the area more thoroughly in the near future.

(via Mirror / Mysterious Universe)

The sea really is full of mysteries, isn’t it? I can’t even imagine what else lies on the ocean floor. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of these cool photos soon.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/shipwreck-graveyard-discovery/