The Mail on Sunday has a write up about the involvement of Radio Ham Robert Rowlands who ‘stumbled’ on a gang of bank robbers ‘on the job’.
There was so much mystery tied up in this story that it has inspired a film The Bank Job.
Click on the link below to hear the recording made by Mr Rowlands.
A change from the usual tone of this blog.
Back in the 1970’s in our little village in Northamptonshire things were quite different from today. A-10 Tank Buster Planes would appear over the houses at 7.00AM and mount an attack on the Local Railway Station. ‘Oh no they do not’, said the Commander of the nearby RAF/USAF Air Base.
One morning one of those planes turned back after the mock attack and did a Victory Roll just above he houses at the end of the road. ‘Never’ said the Commander ‘any pilot that did that would be instantly dismissed from the Services’.
Daily at a regular time in the morning a Low Flying Twin Propeller Plane with a large pod added under the nose would fly low, East West. In the afternoon back she would come. Its path took it over my Allotment Garden Plot. One day it appeared flying so low that I looked up as I dug the ground with my Fork, I followed its path above my heard and lost balance. Knocked off my Fork by a low flying aircraft.
Clearly we were a strategic area for some reason and surveillance was being carried out.
My QTH was between the path taken by the Survey Plane and that of the Tank Busters. I mention this to add another dimension to an Aliens story.
There is a Magic Length for a Top Band 160m Antenna, 150 Feet, end fed. This can be tuned with a 1000pF variable capacitor. I devised a method of attaching the centre of an inverted V arrangement of such a wire to the top a mast at the apex of the house. This doubled back to the house at either end and was anchored to a post at the rear and a tree at the front of my garden.
I popped it up on my Saturday off. It tuned beautifully and worked really well. I went to bed happy with my new antenna that night.
At 5.00AM we were awoken by a high pitched noise, bleary eyed I stumbled to the shack thinking I had left a radio on, as I approached the shack I could tell it was not from there, it was very directional and there were peaks and troughs as I moved around.
My next thought was to check the TV, the Off Air test tone was much lower in frequency than this one but I had to check. As I descended the stairs the noise vanished returning as I ascended. Outside, I thought. I flung open the window which faced the front garden, as I did my neighbour opened his too.
“What are you doing”, he said.
“I was going to ask you the same thing”, I said.
It was very misty my new wire antenna was dripping with condensation.
“It’s that aerial of yours”, said the guy next door.
“No way”, I replied.
“Well then”, he said, “I looked out of the back it is that Power Company Transformer, I am going back to bed”. He was a Geography Teacher not into anything at all technical.
“No I don’t think so, but I can’t explain it” I said.
I went back to bed too the noise carried on for some time then went away. We discussed it in the morning, I asked people who lived opposite, they heard nothing. We never heard that noise again.
I might have completely forgotten that episode had I not met a neighbour from a house at the rear. We met in town, typical, you do not see people who live quite near, This guy worked shifts and through the week ends.
“Hey”, he said did you hear anything last Saturday early in the morning, I was on an early shift, I left my house and there was a high pitched noise above your house, do you know, it worried me, I didn’t like it, I went back in the house and did not leave until it stopped, I was late for work”.
“So it was nothing to do with the Supply Transformer, that is on your property.”
“No definitely above you house, there was a heavy dense fog so I could see nothing”.
Still this story may never have got told, had I not met another neighbour from some 150 Yards up the road, again in town and about 10 days after the event.
“I have been wanting to talk to you”, he said. “On the Sunday morning before last I was going out early, poaching actually with my shotgun. I loaded the car and looked down over your house, there was a brilliant light, huge it was, I must admit I was scared, I thought it was Aliens, I got in my car and drove off in the opposite direction.”
“Any noise”, I asked.
“No silent and very misty”, he said.