These two sentences served to introduce viewers of the National News on the evening of November 26, 1977, to Vrillon (or Grahama) of Ashtar Galactic Command. The odd, metallic voice had interrupted the news at 5:12 p.m. and continued for five minutes, overriding the transmitters for everywhere south of the Thames in England. At the very least, this would involve overpowering the signal for five transmitters - no small feat for hijacking pranksters.
"It covered Kent Surrey Hampshire and parts of Berkshire as far North as Reading, South west to Portsmouth and East right over to Dover" - Firemoon on ATS, October 28 2010
The engineers at the broadcast stations were totally unaware that the signal had been hijacked. Their monitors showed the news broadcast as it should have been. The only reason those at ITV learned that a Flying Saucer Occupant had stolen the show was because of angry and confused viewers calling the stations. Engineers were unable to correct it, and when the representative from Ashtar Galactic Command had said his piece, the regularly scheduled programming returned. Amusingly enough, in at least one video of the event on YouTube, the message ends just in time for the beginning of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Falling Hare" - the World War II era cartoon in which a gremlin gets the best of Bugs.
At first glance, it seems like a great prank and a bit of a cultural curiosity. It's reminiscent of the "Max Headroom Incident", a broadcast interruption in 1987 perpetrated by a few industrious early hackers who managed to override the signal from the Sears Tower in Chicago during an episode of Dr. Who. Or so we're told... those responsible for that hijacking were never caught. Such is also the case with the ITV message from the Space Brothers. The other similarity, for whatever it's worth, is both events occurred in late November - the Headroom incident being on the 24th anniversary of the JFK assassination. Everything is significant - even the things that aren't!
But this was the second time British broadcast had been shanghaied by shifty alien beings - and the second time a certain fish doctor had been involved.
On the 8th of January, 1971, Greater London Radio featured a call-in show on the topic of Flying Saucers. Rex Dutta was a guest on the program, having recently published his book Flying Saucer Viewpoint. It is due to Rex that any transcript of this interruption exists - he managed to obtain the tape after the broadcast and a full transcript - along with his commentary - appears in his second book on otherworldly contact, Flying Saucer Message. The tape is long missing, but copies of his book still exist out in the world. And the transcript of the interruption of 71 has an added twist - in this case, the metallic alien voice called in as many listeners had over the course of the program. As opposed to the 1977 television interruption, an active conversation developed between a man only identified as "Assistant Producer" and a Space Brother who failed to give a name, confusingly settling on simply "Sir". (Rex Dutta explains in the book that due to laws regarding libel in the UK at the time, he had been advised against using actual names of the other people involved. It seems a sticking point for him that associating someone with the subject of Venusians, anomalous aircraft, etc, would be considered libel.)
Rex would later investigate the 1977 Ashtar Galactic Command incident, in the meantime publishing a third book on the subject of UFOs Reality of Occult/Yoga/Meditation/Flying Saucers as well as editing and distributing a magazine called "Viewpoint Aquarius". He ran his magazine from his "bread and butter", as he called it - Fish Tanks LTD, located on Blandford St in London.
Rex Dutta was a world renowned fish expert, having written 20 books on fish and fish care. In the above video, he is shown as a "self-trained" fish doctor with exotic equipment for nursing fish back to health. On the web page for this video in the Pathe archives, the description of it ends with
"Note: Rex Dutta and his wife Olive (?) Dutta appear in a few Pathe films -
Who were they? -JH"
Who indeed, JH. Who indeed.
I was fortunate enough to follow this line of inquiry based on the accounts given by someone who knew Rex, and considered him a mentor. Known by some as Firemoon, by others as Rev, he's been known to respond to "oi, you!" and also SteveDoG. For my purposes here, I'll just call him Steve. Steve's invaluable firsthand account of his relationship with Rex Dutta and their joint investigation into the Ashtar Galactic Command broadcast heist led me down a road of curiosity to find out more about the enigmatic fish doctor, UFOlogist, and as it turns out, occultist, Rex Dutta. The interesting thing about the video above, is that it shows him at the precipice of a life-changing event - in 1954, his mother would give him a copy of Flying Saucers Have Landed by George Adamski and Desmond Leslie, and he would shortly thereafter join the Theosophical Society to which his wife and mother both were already involved members. Flying Saucers only make sense, he would contend, through the lens of Theosophy, and his three books on the subject expound this Blavatskyan interpretation of the phenomena in near exhaustive depth. His quirky writing style and enthusiasm make for a fun read, and his recognition of events such as the two broadcast interruptions as "cosmic jokes" allowed him a unique vantage point from which to share the message that "Oneness is". His books are dedicated to the "People of the Web" - designed to be read and understood by those "with eyes to see and ears to hear".
Steve's investigation along with Rex into the 1977 event is recounted on various threads on ATS and I've spent the better part of the past year looking into the details of Rex's life, and this event in particular. You can read about the time Vrillon spoke to all of South England on various sites, but as Steve would say Rex had connections that allowed him access to people and information that most investigators of UFOs wouldn't get. Suffice to say, the idea that a few pranksters somehow overrode the signal for five separate transmitters covering an area of 1500 square miles would have required a great deal of power and equipment that the average person simply wouldn't have. In one engineer's estimation, according to Steve, "6 flat bed trucks worth of batteries" would have been needed without a commercial power supply. The official story at the time was that perpetrators from Hampshire were "caught and dealt with", but no record exists of such an arrest and their identities remain unknown. Engineers at the stations were told to say "no comment" if asked about the event, under threat of termination from their jobs. Broadcasting personnel that gave information to Steve and Rex did so under conditions of anonymity.
So what exactly did happen on the night of November 26, 1977, at 5:12 p.m.? Why all the secrecy in both the 1971 and 1977 events? Was Max Headroom also part of Ashtar Galactic Command? I'll attempt to further parse these things out, and also get more into the life and work of Rex Dutta in a series of entries following this one. Our story continues in "The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part II"...
"Fish Heart Beats" - 1953, Pathe films
"Flying Saucer Theosophist" - Pelletier, Rogelle, FOHAT Vol XI, No. 4, Winter 2007
"Hidden Mysteries - Alleged TV and Radio Broadcasts from Space" - Jon Hurst
"Rex Dutta - a Tribute to an Original Theosophist" FOHAT vol XI, No.1 Spring 2007
Flying Saucer Message - Rex Dutta, 1972