Jump to content
Pedro

RARET - the Portuguese / American Cold War propaganda transmitter

Recommended Posts

Woke up feeling normal, today, and went for a ride to check out the RARET. Even though this didn't create the photo content I was looking for I have just recently found about this bit of history and it interested me, so here it is.

RARET is short for portuguese RAdio de RETransmissão (Retransmission Radio). At the time Portuguese leader (dictator) demanded that this station only retransmitted content created elsewhere, and no person worked there that wasn't a sympathizer to his party, the Estado Novo, to do this his political and censorship state police went through every worker with a fine tooth comb. (PIDE - Police for Investigation and Defense of the State)

Portugal wasn't really a place of free speech or liberty back then, which is quite ironic since this station started to retransmit the american "Radio Free Europe / Radio Free Asia" mostly trying to convert people on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

13130032_1-for-web-nb-72-750x971.jpeg.899789ea7816377c760f0b8bce127731.jpeg

Salazar's phrasing very roughly translated by me, it's a difficult speech to convey in English: "A big number of European countries, threatened in their life and liberty, are now counting with the aid of the United States and with the help of each other for the defense of divulging their patrimony. It seems difficult, in such circumstances to be absent from this."

The content transmitted would in languages very much foreign to most portuguese residents, so people from the Eastern block were in charge of monitoring them to make sure they wouldn't be retransmitting Russian programes. Mr Pasqualino (an Italian), a guy who was fluent in 12 languages was the master linguist, often pointing out they were receiving the Russian transmission which arrived here in far stronger signal than the American. It's very recognized that without him this station would frequently be transmitting the Russian signal, and that would be most inconvenient.

He would receive transmissions from Germany in Vila Franca de Xira, record them, and then drive them over to Glória do Ribatejo for broadcasting those recordings. Strange times. Eventualy, this was streamlined...

The engineers brought from the armed forces to work the radio and electronics eventually got into a groove and found themselves with plenty of free time, hence they were put to use in a Technical School that was built in Gloria do Ribatejo (name of the town translated to Ribatejo's Glory). This school was open to whoever intended to enroll, and was responsible for a big increase of kids from this village to get a quality education and a substantial increase in their progression to Universities, not much of an occurrence before that.

The RARET obviously had a medical facility to care for it's staff, this was quickly put to use and open to the community, their ambulance and maternity ward made a big difference in the lives of those people back then.

The RARET transmited from 1951 until 1996, which quite surprised me. Upon shutting down, some building were donated to the community, some were converted to the local council management, some modified and converted for community groups to use. All the now obsolete radio equipment was dismantled and donated to the local council, who having no alternative use sold it for scrap.

The whole thing was a big positive influence in the quality of life of this village, and it stopped with the best impact it could have. The main buildings are currently abandoned just a couple of kms out of town, and I went to have a look.

Unfortunately I couldn't really get a close look at the thing, I rode around the entire compound searching for an opening but it would have involved climbing over a fence or forcing a gate, and I wasn't going to do that.

Main entrance:

IMG_2582.thumb.jpeg.b44e9db27f2e1a056a8855af09114d94.jpeg

IMG_2583.thumb.jpeg.8187723a37ceba2f273006fde16c8ea0.jpeg

IMG_2584.thumb.jpeg.9bcbe89ef83ac9d7a679094a0b4a8449.jpeg

IMG_2586.thumb.jpeg.a9c989ba63f6c6cad0ab26c3a3b83a9d.jpeg

 

A glimpse at the compound homes, now unused, apparently 70 homes used to be occupied by people working here. 

IMG_2588.thumb.jpeg.28adb6beaf1226076795ec7df2a6946e.jpeg

IMG_2587.thumb.jpeg.6c933b9bb6c2237727e940e70c1b2e94.jpeg

IMG_2589.thumb.jpeg.0e592576492c2a7939dfb73cde030663.jpeg

The main building in the distance, 

IMG_2592.thumb.jpeg.b4859c003578964c74bf733275edfb36.jpeg

IMG_2595.thumb.jpeg.74dfcb53d0f05bf7a669ac1ad5145dbe.jpeg

 

Typical local broken road around the fence, plenty of houses around though.

IMG_2593.thumb.jpeg.df561296aa2e498ccc1d9d17fd35270b.jpeg

IMG_2599.thumb.jpeg.1614c5c9889083f18f758dddcf201e11.jpeg

 

Rear entrance, also pretty shut

IMG_2596.thumb.jpeg.7e3aa862683fecc62a95cc4808e26cbd.jpeg

IMG_2597.thumb.jpeg.2fcdb304d1aa8386d5eba8f3c133d2b8.jpeg

 

 

On the edge off the Village, a few posters with period pictures were posted this year, celebrating the 70 years of the first transmission in 4th July 1951.

 

IMG_2602.thumb.jpeg.8179d098c7e23171f508442ab6ac676d.jpeg

IMG_2604.thumb.jpeg.2a0b5c163acd8fdb2ea9aa4ce5773b5c.jpeg

IMG_2605.thumb.jpeg.7bfe56db6b38975a1969edfc6bf8e704.jpeg

IMG_2607.thumb.jpeg.ec12705bf317fd58f3ff374222489279.jpeg

IMG_2608.thumb.jpeg.d6f915c1f70810561bcd44688d65363e.jpeg

IMG_2609.thumb.jpeg.e9c5c556918f9693bc36cb29fa06a5f3.jpeg

IMG_2610.thumb.jpeg.8ac75b16cac09c5d152b1444257d6205.jpeg

IMG_2611.thumb.jpeg.8dd0ba2fd0cb1722b4c37e80ee9fb44c.jpeg

IMG_2612.thumb.jpeg.23347da41f068c66c6334f74dc6052a4.jpeg

IMG_2613.thumb.jpeg.4b86f89493028cdb0f15a2a0ca7432bb.jpeg

 

Popped to the village for a pick me up expresso, old builders' homes converted to a new community building and park, named after the Radio Free Europe president:

IMG_2616.thumb.jpeg.c32dfd1fef066eb806d57fbda82cda48.jpeg

IMG_2615.thumb.jpeg.28e8d78672b93066d56fafd4d04c3dba.jpeg

IMG_2617.thumb.jpeg.c4a3646cc0c4b3f4a1649320f66b0bd9.jpeg

 

During this RARET operation, Portugal went into war in Africa and Asia over it's colonies independence, the last country in the EU to have colonies is not the proudest moment in our history, but even worse is that the way we left was very damaging for those countries's future. A small memorial to a couple of local soldiers who died overseas. 

IMG_2618.thumb.jpeg.67d3164040e10ba62c7fe6aa18fa3ca9.jpeg

 

IMG_2623.thumb.jpeg.113c97408d6bfd79071f27dffc7a1181.jpeg

IMG_2622.thumb.jpeg.ea270abe7fd8f37bd835f98da5ef6623.jpeg

IMG_2627.thumb.jpeg.a07f699861623f10627dc80ac7c103dc.jpeg

 

 

It started getting warm, and I headed home. I was a little disappointed that access to the buildings wasn't easy but I did stop on an abandoned crumbling building for your delection :classic_ninja:

So here:

IMG_2630.thumb.jpeg.9b14a087a1dadb0f286958ba8a09b755.jpeg

IMG_2631.thumb.jpeg.4bd354755a07cc62812d0328b621485f.jpeg

IMG_2634.thumb.jpeg.996716e0cb551d16ea14272ab3bdbba1.jpeg

IMG_2633.thumb.jpeg.2954954dd02acc9469f7886d918cc21b.jpeg

 

Exiting, the property owner stopped by me on his pickup and was apparently very irritated that I took a couple of pictures of his crumbling building, even though it's door was wide open and I didn't go in. As I asked why he was getting so aggravated he started to get more and more irritated, and proceeded to move his pickup a few meters forward to write down my plate number, which he did over a thick cloud of dust when I got on my merry way, what a twat he was.

A brief stop over my favourite bridge on the way home, Ponte Rainha D. Amélia:

IMG_2635.thumb.jpeg.d112baa3d201473df863ba3703e7d336.jpeg

IMG_2636.thumb.jpeg.041e28ab14cda867190ccaabe3a3768f.jpeg

 

Plan was to pull some weeds in the afternoon, but it's too hot and I'm not feeling that right now. This report turned into too much of a history lesson for my taste, sorry about that, but if you're up for more here is a link to a page with some old pictures of the radio station:

https://restosdecoleccao.blogspot.com/2014/07/raret-radio-retransmissao.html

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Pedro said:

Exiting, the property owner stopped by me on his pickup and was apparently very irritated that I took a couple of pictures of his crumbling building, even though it's door was wide open and I didn't go in. As I asked why he was getting so aggravated he started to get more and more irritated, and proceeded to move his pickup a few meters forward to write down my plate number, which he did over a thick cloud of dust when I got on my merry way, what a twat he was.

Always have an excuse handy (broken down etc) and hide the camera. 

I've had a similar thing here........though in my case I can play the dumb, lost Tourist card.

Great shots of that compound though.....and I had a search for any Urbex guys who've got in and came up with this:

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, XTreme said:

Always have an excuse handy (broken down etc) and hide the camera. 

I've had a similar thing here........though in my case I can play the dumb, lost Tourist card.

Great shots of that compound though.....and I had a search for any Urbex guys who've got in and came up with this:

 

I stopped on an open trail, walked 20 meters over dirt uncultivated farmland, which was unmarked and open, and took a picture from outside a crumbling building. I told him to call the cops with a report before going away. I do understand some of these guys around here are a little too protective of their land, but fuck him, now his clean car is full of dust inside, which thinking about it didn't do much to appease him :classic_laugh:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

when I was a teenager, 13/14 I was given a radio with a short wave band and used to really enjoy listening to these stations from (to me) exotic locations. Radio Moscow, Voice of America. Radio China. My favourite was definitely Radio Tirana. As their rhetoric was anti EVERYONE. I loved it when they described the hell of living in the UK.

But, the most interesting stations were the 'Number Stations; and the most recognisable of all of them. The Lincolnshire Poacher.

Apparently it was supposed to be broadcast from Cyprus and was sending coded messages to spies on the other side of the wall/curtain. so weird though.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Motobiker said:

I loved it when they described the hell of living in the UK.

They were way ahead of the curve on that one then!

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

absolute mega report! thank you! had no idea of this place, really enjoyed the read and the picutres.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, boboneleg said:

Fuckmine, look at the clobber that lot are wearing ..................

IMG_2609.thumb.jpeg.e9c5c556918f9693bc36cb29fa06a5f3.jpeg.54bd1046730045c52c31b1b2fd6709df.jpeg

I don't think the decadence and debauchery of the 70's that we had was allowed to go on there under the regime Bob.

Same here.......there was no 60's/70's youth culture like we knew.......cos Franco would have had them shot.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, XTreme said:

I don't think the decadence and debauchery of the 70's that we had was allowed to go on there under the regime Bob.

Same here.......there was no 60's/70's youth culture like we knew.......cos Franco would have had them shot.

 

Coca Cola and rock music was forbidden in Portugal until 1974, people you smuggle Coca Cola bottles under car seats on the border like it was hash. Political ideology was censored, etc

 

  • Like 4
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Pedro said:

Coca Cola and rock music was forbidden in Portugal until 1974

Did they think people would get corrupted by drinking Coca Cola? :classic_unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, XTreme said:

Did they think people would get corrupted by drinking Coca Cola? :classic_unsure:

Yes, typical dictatorship: low education, no vices, god-country-family, no external influences, virtue, etc...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 27/08/2021 at 17:07, Pedro said:

Woke up feeling normal, today, and went for a ride to check out the RARET. Even though this didn't create the photo content I was looking for I have just recently found about this bit of history and it interested me, so here it is.

RARET is short for portuguese RAdio de RETransmissão (Retransmission Radio). At the time Portuguese leader (dictator) demanded that this station only retransmitted content created elsewhere, and no person worked there that wasn't a sympathizer to his party, the Estado Novo, to do this his political and censorship state police went through every worker with a fine tooth comb. (PIDE - Police for Investigation and Defense of the State)

Portugal wasn't really a place of free speech or liberty back then, which is quite ironic since this station started to retransmit the american "Radio Free Europe / Radio Free Asia" mostly trying to convert people on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

13130032_1-for-web-nb-72-750x971.jpeg.899789ea7816377c760f0b8bce127731.jpeg

Salazar's phrasing very roughly translated by me, it's a difficult speech to convey in English: "A big number of European countries, threatened in their life and liberty, are now counting with the aid of the United States and with the help of each other for the defense of divulging their patrimony. It seems difficult, in such circumstances to be absent from this."

The content transmitted would in languages very much foreign to most portuguese residents, so people from the Eastern block were in charge of monitoring them to make sure they wouldn't be retransmitting Russian programes. Mr Pasqualino (an Italian), a guy who was fluent in 12 languages was the master linguist, often pointing out they were receiving the Russian transmission which arrived here in far stronger signal than the American. It's very recognized that without him this station would frequently be transmitting the Russian signal, and that would be most inconvenient.

He would receive transmissions from Germany in Vila Franca de Xira, record them, and then drive them over to Glória do Ribatejo for broadcasting those recordings. Strange times. Eventualy, this was streamlined...

The engineers brought from the armed forces to work the radio and electronics eventually got into a groove and found themselves with plenty of free time, hence they were put to use in a Technical School that was built in Gloria do Ribatejo (name of the town translated to Ribatejo's Glory). This school was open to whoever intended to enroll, and was responsible for a big increase of kids from this village to get a quality education and a substantial increase in their progression to Universities, not much of an occurrence before that.

The RARET obviously had a medical facility to care for it's staff, this was quickly put to use and open to the community, their ambulance and maternity ward made a big difference in the lives of those people back then.

The RARET transmited from 1951 until 1996, which quite surprised me. Upon shutting down, some building were donated to the community, some were converted to the local council management, some modified and converted for community groups to use. All the now obsolete radio equipment was dismantled and donated to the local council, who having no alternative use sold it for scrap.

The whole thing was a big positive influence in the quality of life of this village, and it stopped with the best impact it could have. The main buildings are currently abandoned just a couple of kms out of town, and I went to have a look.

Unfortunately I couldn't really get a close look at the thing, I rode around the entire compound searching for an opening but it would have involved climbing over a fence or forcing a gate, and I wasn't going to do that.

Main entrance:

IMG_2582.thumb.jpeg.b44e9db27f2e1a056a8855af09114d94.jpeg

IMG_2583.thumb.jpeg.8187723a37ceba2f273006fde16c8ea0.jpeg

IMG_2584.thumb.jpeg.9bcbe89ef83ac9d7a679094a0b4a8449.jpeg

IMG_2586.thumb.jpeg.a9c989ba63f6c6cad0ab26c3a3b83a9d.jpeg

 

A glimpse at the compound homes, now unused, apparently 70 homes used to be occupied by people working here. 

IMG_2588.thumb.jpeg.28adb6beaf1226076795ec7df2a6946e.jpeg

IMG_2587.thumb.jpeg.6c933b9bb6c2237727e940e70c1b2e94.jpeg

IMG_2589.thumb.jpeg.0e592576492c2a7939dfb73cde030663.jpeg

The main building in the distance, 

IMG_2592.thumb.jpeg.b4859c003578964c74bf733275edfb36.jpeg

IMG_2595.thumb.jpeg.74dfcb53d0f05bf7a669ac1ad5145dbe.jpeg

 

Typical local broken road around the fence, plenty of houses around though.

IMG_2593.thumb.jpeg.df561296aa2e498ccc1d9d17fd35270b.jpeg

IMG_2599.thumb.jpeg.1614c5c9889083f18f758dddcf201e11.jpeg

 

Rear entrance, also pretty shut

IMG_2596.thumb.jpeg.7e3aa862683fecc62a95cc4808e26cbd.jpeg

IMG_2597.thumb.jpeg.2fcdb304d1aa8386d5eba8f3c133d2b8.jpeg

 

 

On the edge off the Village, a few posters with period pictures were posted this year, celebrating the 70 years of the first transmission in 4th July 1951.

 

IMG_2602.thumb.jpeg.8179d098c7e23171f508442ab6ac676d.jpeg

IMG_2604.thumb.jpeg.2a0b5c163acd8fdb2ea9aa4ce5773b5c.jpeg

IMG_2605.thumb.jpeg.7bfe56db6b38975a1969edfc6bf8e704.jpeg

IMG_2607.thumb.jpeg.ec12705bf317fd58f3ff374222489279.jpeg

IMG_2608.thumb.jpeg.d6f915c1f70810561bcd44688d65363e.jpeg

IMG_2609.thumb.jpeg.e9c5c556918f9693bc36cb29fa06a5f3.jpeg

IMG_2610.thumb.jpeg.8ac75b16cac09c5d152b1444257d6205.jpeg

IMG_2611.thumb.jpeg.8dd0ba2fd0cb1722b4c37e80ee9fb44c.jpeg

IMG_2612.thumb.jpeg.23347da41f068c66c6334f74dc6052a4.jpeg

IMG_2613.thumb.jpeg.4b86f89493028cdb0f15a2a0ca7432bb.jpeg

 

Popped to the village for a pick me up expresso, old builders' homes converted to a new community building and park, named after the Radio Free Europe president:

IMG_2616.thumb.jpeg.c32dfd1fef066eb806d57fbda82cda48.jpeg

IMG_2615.thumb.jpeg.28e8d78672b93066d56fafd4d04c3dba.jpeg

IMG_2617.thumb.jpeg.c4a3646cc0c4b3f4a1649320f66b0bd9.jpeg

 

During this RARET operation, Portugal went into war in Africa and Asia over it's colonies independence, the last country in the EU to have colonies is not the proudest moment in our history, but even worse is that the way we left was very damaging for those countries's future. A small memorial to a couple of local soldiers who died overseas. 

IMG_2618.thumb.jpeg.67d3164040e10ba62c7fe6aa18fa3ca9.jpeg

 

IMG_2623.thumb.jpeg.113c97408d6bfd79071f27dffc7a1181.jpeg

IMG_2622.thumb.jpeg.ea270abe7fd8f37bd835f98da5ef6623.jpeg

IMG_2627.thumb.jpeg.a07f699861623f10627dc80ac7c103dc.jpeg

 

 

It started getting warm, and I headed home. I was a little disappointed that access to the buildings wasn't easy but I did stop on an abandoned crumbling building for your delection :classic_ninja:

So here:

IMG_2630.thumb.jpeg.9b14a087a1dadb0f286958ba8a09b755.jpeg

IMG_2631.thumb.jpeg.4bd354755a07cc62812d0328b621485f.jpeg

IMG_2634.thumb.jpeg.996716e0cb551d16ea14272ab3bdbba1.jpeg

IMG_2633.thumb.jpeg.2954954dd02acc9469f7886d918cc21b.jpeg

 

Exiting, the property owner stopped by me on his pickup and was apparently very irritated that I took a couple of pictures of his crumbling building, even though it's door was wide open and I didn't go in. As I asked why he was getting so aggravated he started to get more and more irritated, and proceeded to move his pickup a few meters forward to write down my plate number, which he did over a thick cloud of dust when I got on my merry way, what a twat he was.

A brief stop over my favourite bridge on the way home, Ponte Rainha D. Amélia:

IMG_2635.thumb.jpeg.d112baa3d201473df863ba3703e7d336.jpeg

IMG_2636.thumb.jpeg.041e28ab14cda867190ccaabe3a3768f.jpeg

 

Plan was to pull some weeds in the afternoon, but it's too hot and I'm not feeling that right now. This report turned into too much of a history lesson for my taste, sorry about that, but if you're up for more here is a link to a page with some old pictures of the radio station:

https://restosdecoleccao.blogspot.com/2014/07/raret-radio-retransmissao.html

Excellent report, Pedro. I think that the history lesson is interesting and gives context to the photos, so keep it going. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting.

I can remember visiting Lisbon a few times on ships in 80 - 81 and can remember hearing Russian on the radio. Vividly remember wondering why Portuguese should sound like Russian. Weird how your RR triggered that memory. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Specs said:

Interesting.

I can remember visiting Lisbon a few times on ships in 80 - 81 and can remember hearing Russian on the radio. Vividly remember wondering why Portuguese should sound like Russian. Weird how your RR triggered that memory. 

When you were working on the ships Alan, did you ever get any time where you were warned of the Russian 'threat '  ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, boboneleg said:

When you were working on the ships Alan, did you ever get any time where you were warned of the Russian 'threat '  ?

Seen a few. We used to do some spying observing now and again. 😇

 

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 27/08/2021 at 20:38, boboneleg said:

Fuckmine, look at the clobber that lot are wearing ..................

IMG_2609.thumb.jpeg.e9c5c556918f9693bc36cb29fa06a5f3.jpeg.54bd1046730045c52c31b1b2fd6709df.jpeg

Not seen the like since the last selfie Pete posted.

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guy 2nd from the right reminds me of my dad.

Every day!, trousers, sports jacket and collar and tie.

Same when at home doing things like gardening, same clothes.

Every holiday photo we had, be it walking along the sea front or sat in a deck chair, same clothes.

But if it got really warm, he would take off his tie and undo his shirts top button......he did not do that very often though.

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Clive said:

The guy 2nd from the right reminds me of my dad.

Every day!, trousers, sports jacket and collar and tie.

Same when at home doing things like gardening, same clothes.

Every holiday photo we had, be it walking along the sea front or sat in a deck chair, same clothes.

But if it got really warm, he would take off his tie and undo his shirts top button......he did not do that very often though.

 

My neighbour's father always wears a tie. Working on the car, gardening or painting, always has a tie. He's not a lot older than me!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/09/2021 at 09:57, Clive said:

The guy 2nd from the right reminds me of my dad.

Every day!, trousers, sports jacket and collar and tie.

Same when at home doing things like gardening, same clothes.

Every holiday photo we had, be it walking along the sea front or sat in a deck chair, same clothes.

But if it got really warm, he would take off his tie and undo his shirts top button......he did not do that very often though.

 

yep my dad was the same he was an engineer and always wore a tie with his overalls 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Privacy Policy