Rex Dutta was a friend of mine and I have actually heard a cassette tape of the 71 broadcast. One of the LBC engineers managed to sneak one out to Rex
after there was the usual, nothing to see here, lock down in the wake of the event.
I spoke to the engineer, my apologies I don't remember the guys name save, he had a shock of quite long curly hair and a wispy beard. He did give some
extra details that are generally not known to the public. During the "broadcast" the DJ interviewing Rex tried to cut the "guy" off and simply
couldn't, every phone line into LBC and the studio had the guy's voice on it and only returned to normal, post the guy's message being completed.
That is, Rex told me the DJ actually cut the guy's line off during the "message" and tried to answer other callers and was thwarted and that, the
message, was at, no time, interrupted as it went out over the airwaves. That would suggest that, if it was a prank, then the prank emanated from
within LBC itself. The engineer flatly denied that anyone within LBC had been responsible for it and that, the rest of the engineering staff were as
mystified as he was, about how it was done.
Now, that of course doesn't mean it wasn't merely a prank however, if it was one, then it was a lot more sophisticated a prank than LBC let on in
public. I believe the interviewer was Brain Hayes, who was one tough cookie on the radio phone ins. He had that mix of polite charm and steely wit
that shredded those who dare cross him and he did not suffer fools gladly. The "broadcast" cheesed him off considerably as he assumed he was being
pranked by his own engineers. The engineer from LBC as I have said, denied it altogether, saying the staff were powerless to stop the "voice". One
thing stood out to me, given my own work, that was I thought the "voice" sounded like it had been treated with a "Harmoniser" the weird thing is, they
didn't exist at the time the broadcast was made. The particular "effect" on the voice would have, in 1971, required some pretty serious equipment to
have produced it. That does raise the spectre that it might have been the BBC radiophonic workshop pranking a "rival station". That is perfectly
possible however, given the time passed, it does beg the question why on-one has ever owned up in public to say it was them that did it.
The again, the "effect" could have been just one of those "happy accidents" and a combination of processes inherent to the very staging of a prank. I
simply can't say for sure and though a prank, does seem the most sensible and logical explanation, there is some genuine doubt as to how, who and more
importantly, specifically why?
Rex was a fascinating character, effortlessly urbane and a very "calming presence". He use to run and Aquatic Shop on Blandford Street in the West
End of London and his expertise with fish was second to none. If I remember rightly, he developed a treatment for "sick" fish that involved the use
of low level electrical charges that was, at the time, viewed as something of a break through.
It also begs the question, given Rex knew the exact details of the show he was to appear on, did Rex organise it as a jape himself? It's certainly
possible and yet, knowing him as I did, he wasn't really that sort of person. I can;t honestly say he had a vindictive side to him and for that
matter, as urbane and relaxed as he was as a person, he did take the subject of UFOs seriously. The Rex I knew was every bit the gentleman and I
personally, doubt he'd have hoaxed it without making it patently obvious in the aftermath and that it was done with a gentle humour in mind, not with
I am afraid that, I cannot substantiate via documentary evidence, any of what I have posted as Rex was a personal friend and I guess, it's only in
retrospect one realises how much someone took you into their "inner circle" and felt able to speak freely and at length about such subjects. Rex was
the mature English gent to my 18 year old wildness and yet, he felt comfortable enough with me to take me into his confidence.
I can only wonder how many others have ever heard that tape, post the broadcast and how many have ever actually met and spoken to, his friend the
engineer from LBC.
So there you have it, what might be a pretty unique insight into what happened that night direct as it were, related by 2 of the actual participants
to me personally. I am happy to stand corrected on this point however, I do believe I might well be one of only a very select few to actually speak to
both Rex any one the engineers on duty during the broadcast, without them being bound by company rules and under the auspices and aegis of the
"company line" on what occurred that night.
edit on 21-11-2012 by FireMoon because: edit to correct name.