Who was this crazy preacher?
July 26, 2006 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify and find a recording of this extraordinary sermon, possibly by Malcolm X, heard accidentally on the radio fifteen years ago.

Sometime around 1989-90 I was listening to the radio in Finsbury Park, London when I accidentally tuned into an extraordinary broadcast. It was an American preacher, who sounded black, declaiming about the end of the world, and in particular about UFOs which were even now approaching Earth at 'miles an hour!'. I instantly hit 'record' and made a cassette... which I have now lost.

(At this time I used to tune into a lot of pirate stations, which popped up and down sometimes only for a day at a time, so it's not like I was likely to find the frequency again. These stations often didn't have much in the way of DJ patter or a fixed frequency).

Now I am fairly sure that this was a recording, since the guy sounded American. I've wondered for years who he was, but recent blog posts suggest to me that it might possibly have been Malcolm X or another preacher associated with the Nation of Islam.

I seem to remember it was a Sunday afternoon, so it may well have been a broadcast of a religious nature.

If it was a recording, I also suspect it was on vinyl as this was long strange stuff like this had found its way onto CD.

It seems hideously unlikely that anyone on Metafilter will know what this is, and even less likely that they will be able to locate a recording... but you never know...

over to you, hive mind

(I want this for a musical project, by the way)
posted by unSane to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Try this.
posted by neuron at 5:51 PM on July 26, 2006

Response by poster: I'm now starting to think that it may actually be Elijah Muhammad: this transcript of a sermon of his sounds eerily similar to the style of the one I remember:

posted by unSane at 6:38 PM on July 26, 2006

I'm guessing it is Muhammad's successor, Farrakhan? From Wikipedia:

On October 24, 1989, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC., Louis Farrakhan claimed he had a vision of being abducted in 1985 by an invisible pilot in a UFO and carried up on a beam of light to a "human built planet" known as the "Mother Wheel." There the voice of Elijah Muhammad informed him that the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, under the direction of Gen. Colin Powell, were planning a war, which Farrakhan said he later came to realize was "a war against the black people of America, the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan." "I saw a city in the sky," Farrakhan said, after which the UFO "brought me back to Earth and dropped me off near Washington; over to Tyson's Corner and Fifth Street I think...to make The Announcement." His entire inspiration for the "Million Man March", he says, is based on this "vision of being swept into a UFO that took him to a larger mothership." (The Washington Post, Sept. 18, 1995, p. D3).
posted by inksyndicate at 11:11 PM on July 26, 2006

I agree; I'd bet dollars to donuts that it was Farrakhan. Elijah Mohammad died in 1934--did the quality of the recording sound that old, to your recollection?

Do you remember what time of year it was when you heard it on the radio? Perhaps they were broadcasting his annual Savior's Day speech, held yearly on February 26th. I can't find any transcripts online, but as inksyndicate indicated, the timeframe you give is around the time Farrakhan was most focused on UFOs. The web seems to indicate he mentioned UFOs in his 1991 Savior's day speech, but with no direct quotes; perhaps it was his February 1991 speech you heard broadcast (though it's a year later than you mentioned)?
posted by neda at 11:41 PM on July 26, 2006

Well actually it was Elijah Muhammed's predecessor, Fard Muhammed, who disappeared in 1934. Then Elijah was around until 1975.
posted by inksyndicate at 12:14 AM on July 27, 2006

Whoops, sorry I mixed them up. Thanks!
posted by neda at 5:44 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: It could easily have been 1991.
posted by unSane at 7:14 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: Also, I've now listened to some recordings of Elijah Muhammad and his voice is wrong.
posted by unSane at 7:14 AM on July 27, 2006

Farrakhan is my guess as well. He's way into numerology and weird things.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: I found this video of Farrakhan talking about the Mother Wheel to Ted Koppel:


However I'm pretty sure the voice is different again.
posted by unSane at 1:49 PM on July 27, 2006

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