Tag Archives: Bill Patalon

Lowell Thomas: “The Forgotten Man Who Transformed Journalism”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who shares the following story from The Smithsonian:

The Forgotten Man Who Transformed Journalism in America

Lowell Thomas was the first host of a TV broadcast news program, and adopted a number of other new technologies to make his mark in the 20th century

By the time Lowell Thomas turned 25, he’d already worked as a journalist, earned multiple degrees, and found a place on the faculty at Princeton University. But seizing a rare opportunity during World War I changed him from youthful overachiever to media heavyweight. During that conflict he met T.E. Lawrence, soon-to-be famous as “Lawrence of Arabia”—and Thomas played a large part in giving Lawrence that fame. The encounter launched Thomas into the media stratosphere with a groundbreaking multimedia presentation that captivated millions.

But while Lawrence’s work ended abruptly with his untimely death, Thomas went on to live a long, remarkable life. He traveled Europe, the Middle East, India, Afghanistan, New Guinea and Tibet, even meeting the Dalai Lama. He made fans out of Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill and led a prolific career in the news, making reports by print, radio, and TV—and reshaping them all into more formal, serious mediums.

Yet for a man with such a hyperbolic life, his legacy has been largely forgotten. Mitchell Stephens, a professor of journalism at New York University, set out to remedy that lapse in public memory with his new biography, The Voice of America: Lowell Thomas and the Invention of 20th-Century Journalism. Smithsonian.com talked with Stephens about his book, and why Thomas still matters today. […]

Click here to continue reading the full article at The Smithsonian online.

Many thanks for sharing this, Bill! What a fascinating fellow.

RadioWorld: FCC Puts Pirate Activity in Spotlight

(Source: RadioWorld via Bill Patalon)

Over the course of two days in May, the Federal Communications Commission took action on four allegedly unlicensed pirate radio operators.

In all these cases — one in Mount Vernon, N.Y., one in Dallas and three in a single location in East Orange, N.J. — the FCC reiterated that operating radio transmitting equipment at certain levels without a valid station is against the law, ordered them all to shut down, laid out the potential ramifications and gave each a window in time for them to explain their actions in writing.

Pirate radio has been a renewed point of concern for broadcasters in the United States, with recent debate over the possible impact of cuts in field offices and with Commissioner Michael O’Rielly keeping a spotlight on the problem.

Continue reading at RadioWorld…

1940 Pearl Harbor QSL card

pearl-harbor-qsl

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who shares the following QSL card via Twitter:

Thank you, Bill!

Uncovering Wullenweber’s “Elephant Cages”

800px-CDAA_Elmendorf_AFBMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bill Patalon, for sharing this article via Gizmodo:

In the early days of electronic espionage, the US intelligence community didn’t have the benefit of all-seeing spy satellites—it had to intercept and interpret high-frequency radio waves transmitted by the Soviet Union. To do so, the Americans relied on a network of mysterious structures whose real purpose was kept highly classified throughout the Cold War.

Nicknamed “Elephant Cages” by outside observers, these structures were actually high-frequency antenna arrays, part of the US military’s AN/FLR-9 “Iron Horse” system. These arrays, commonly known as “Wullenweber” antennas—and named after German WWII scientist, Dr. Hans Rindfleisch was Wullenwever—are a type of Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA). They can be used for a variety of purposes from intelligence gathering and identifying high-value targets to navigation and search and rescue operations.

Each elephant cage consisted of an inner ring of antennas tuned for high frequency waves surrounded by one or more outer rings tuned for lower frequencies. These antennas would listen for HF radio waves bouncing off the ionosphere (which is what also allows HF radios to communicate beyond the horizon) and triangulate the precise location of the signal’s source.

Click here to continue reading at Gizmodo…

If you’d like to read more about “Elephant Cages” check out the following links: