SRS-D Index QSL Info Pages QIP Links QIP Sources QIP Subscription Bellabarba's QSL-Page
Clandestine Radio Watch Clandestine Radio QSL's Pirate Radio Address List Pirate Radio E-mail's/www's


The 'Giovanni Bellabarba' QSL Page

A page about QSL's for "questionable reception reports" containing no or wrong details :

QSL Information pages QIP

Last update for this page :
Sonntag, 14. November 2010

contact me via

Pirate Radio Address List Piraten.WdB

Introduction Examples The 2 Bellabarba's DXW 69/
Postcards of Bologna
KGB Radio
DX'ers Comments Lazy or neglectful QSL Managers ? Beppe Gornati Giovannis Logs in PLAY-DX Examples from other 'special' DX'ers
  The “relative” value of a verification Conclusions Links  

 Discussion about G.Bellabarba (on an exta page)

from the editor :

July 31, 2003 
Copies of two older reports from 2000 and 2001 have been added. (also inculding 2 more postcards from Bologna)

May 26, 2003
Now the discussion is about Dario Monferini and me -> Discussion about G.Bellabarba
Support, 'no interest', strong accusations - it's all in there .. 

April 9, 2003
A discussion about Bellabarba is going on in several mailing lists. -> Discussion about G.Bellabarba
Support, 'no interest', strong accusations - it's all in there .. 

January 29, 2001
A reception report to a normal NA MW station. Look at the details !

January 16, 2001
Ein Wunder ist geschehen : OP Tim Oberkrainer von Radio POLKAWELLE teilte mit, daß von dem allen Stationen bekannten OM Giovanni Bellarba ein RR über das letzte Polkawellen Programm eingetroffen ist ! Und das unglaubliche an der ganzen Geschichte ist die Tatsache, daß es Programmdetails gab - leider aber kein Rückporto ! Ob dieser RR bestätigt werden wird - darüber gab es keine näheren Informationen von Tim Oberkrainer.

October 3, 2000 :
After exactly one year without any new news there was another 'report' by the Bellabarba's 'published'. See the details below ! The interesting thing is, that they again mixed up the 'details' they gave for the stations broadcast !

October 4, 1999 :
All new logs of the Bellabarba QSL's in PLAY-DX now belong to the 'BELLABARBA QSL collection'. The latest way of the Bellabarba's to get QSL's : They / He just ask for a 'blanco' QSL card. That's sounds OK, its much more honest than his 'art of QSL'ing' in the years before. But they / he still 'forgets' to enclose return postage along with his QSL requests.

Introduction :

The aim of this page : to warn both, the stations and the DX'ers : There are some DX'ers who send out bad or even fake reception reports in order to get QSL cards from stations they can't normally hear. Publicity will end this bad habit of some DX'ers and the stations will trust their listeners again !

Giovanni Bellabarba from Italy is one these 'special guys'. He sends out non detailed reception reports and has been doing so for a long time (some say for at least 20 years). He seems to be specialized in sending these reports to low power stations on SW / MW or to FM stations.

A lot of stations and people already told him, to stop this bad behavior, and in mid 1998 he promised to do so. But here on this page I'm presenting some new reports from him (Reminder to No Name, Yellow Submarine, Bermuda Dreieck), all from late 1998 or from 1999. So its clear, he did not stop this !

The following copies of his reports may give an example of how he's doing it :

Examples :

From 1986 :

Example 1 : Giovanni's RR to (local) Radio Auran Aallot (Turku, Finland - 90.5 MHz) : Report

From 1997 :

Example 2 : Reminder to a Dutch pirate (who wants to remain anonymous) : Report

From 1998 :

Example 3 10 years later, Carlo tried it with Auran Aallot ! Report and Envelope

Example 4 : RR to (pirate) Radio Engelsmann : Report + Original log of this station by D.Taylor in Play DX

Example 5 : RR to (pirate) Radio Noname : Report + Giovannis Envelope (report was sent 4 months after bc !)

  • Did you note, that all reports didn't contain any single detail ?

  • Did you not, that he changed his address in 10 years, but not his style of reporting ?

  • He is even saving his money by not including any return postage !

Another 'quite good' method is to send a 'follow up' report with no details (just date time QRG) after a non existent first report and requesting a QSL card for that 'first report'. Stations should think, first report is lost somewhere and so issue a QSL for him.. The following two examples will illustrate this :

Example 6 : Reminder to (pirate) Radio Noname : Report

Example 7 : Carlos RR to (pirate) Radio Blandengue : Report (who sends a follow up after only 5 weeks ? !)

Example 8 : The Operator of (pirate) Radio Project One received (summer 1998) a follow up for its station. But he never received any report from Giovanni before..

Example 9 : The (pirate) Radio AmMeerLand received (in Aug. 1998) a report for 3925 kHz. They were never on 3925 kHz, but in the pirate magazine SRS News there was a typo, saying that they were on 3925 kHz in August....

Example 10 : RR to (pirate) Radio Yellow Submarine : Report + Giovannis Reminder

Example 11 : The Station RNE 5 in Salamanca received reports from both, Giovanni and Carlo.
M.Molano of RNE 5 Salamanca : -I'm personally convinced, there is only one... using both names. Take a look of both envelopes : written by the same typewriter. Both Post-cards written by same person.-
That's true, but they both exist, Giovanni and Carlo, working together. The reports look identical (despite the fact that one is with typewriter, the other written by hand). This is in accordance to the samples above, Carlos letters are handwritten, Giovannis with typewriter. We can further assume, that Carlo tries to get those qsls Giovanni did not get, because first report to Auran Aallot (example1) was from Giovanni, second from Carlo. With RNE 5 its the same. Carlo uses the 'material' (letters, cards, envelopes) of Giovanni.

From 1999 :

Example 12 : Reception Report to (pirate) Radio Bermuda Dreieck : Report (not shown)

Example 13 : Reception Report (Reminder) to (pirate) Fantasy R Network : Report
Fantasy RN never received a normal 'first report'. 

Example 14 : Reception Report to (pirate) Mozart Radio : Report
See the very interesting pseudo details : classical music (!)

Example 15 : deleted

Example 16 : Reception Report to Radio Napa. Mr. Bellabarba was in confusion with the 'px'-details for this one !

From 2000 :

Example 17 : Reception Report to Radio KSMU. Mr. Bellabarba was in confusion with the 'px'-details for this one, too ! The picture of the report is here.

Example 18 : Radio Museum (details here) from Gothenburg, Sweden. The picture of the report is here.

Example 19 : Reception Report to Radio WGSR. Mr. Bellabarba gave important px-details for this one : " This is the music of your life on the new start WGSR "; ! The picture of the report is here.

Example 20 : Reception Report to Polkawelle. Mr. Bellabarba gave important px-details for this one : "Piratehits" ! The picture of the report is here.

From 2001 :

Example 21 : Reception Report to Love Parade Radio. Mr. Bellabarba gave important px-details for this one : "Techno and dance music" ! The picture of the report is here.

From 2002 :

Example 22 : According to a Finish DXer Mr. Bellabarba used details from the report of another Finish DXer when sending a report to the Russian station Nika FM. Two two reports are here, one from the Finish DXer J.Mäntylä here and one from  Carlo Bellabarba here.

Example 23 : An e-mail report to the US pirate radio station Seattle Free Radio here. Not many details .. listening time : 1 Minute.

Example 24 : Reception report to German pirate Radio Devalon. Details : 'Caroline tunes, offshore records'. The picture of the report is here.


Giovanni and Carlo :

Strange thing, the address always gives G and C Bellabarba. C was thought to be Carla, his sister. But the copies show Carlo as signer of the letters (So no sister but a son ?). The signature of Carlo seems in some cases to look like that one of Giovanni, but its not exactly the same. Who knows ? But we clearly see, they are both using the same 'technique' in order to get their cards.

From Italy Wed, 18 Nov 1998 :
" Do you know about the relationship between Carlo and Giovanni Bellabarba ? "

-Rumors has it- that they are father and son. But as far as I know, nobody actually met them, or him.

From Italy, April 2003
See the GB Discussion page : The 2 are father and son and there are people who actually met Giovanni !

DXW 69/Postcards of Bologna :

But he is not only active among Pirates or FM stations : [Quote from DX-Window 69, June 1997 :]


Several years ago, a couple of small local FM outlets in northern Sweden were stunned by the -reception reports- they got from an Italian -DXer- living in Bologna. Would you believe that this -listener- is still going strong ? Padre Germán Acosta, the manager of R María, Bogotá, 1580 kHz, proudly told me he had a listener in Bologna, Italy. So did the manager of -pirate- Toquilla estéreo, in Aquitania, Boyacá, when corresponding to a report from Bogotá DXer Rafael Rodríguez. Toquilla estéreo was heard on its second harmonic, 3279, per Dateline Bogotá, Jan 13, 1997.

Essential for a -desk top reporter- is a pen-pal or a good DX bulletin where programme content is described in some detail. In olden days, in the early 50's, the WRTH was an excellent source for programme detail. Thresholds were low, so -At 0200 GMT News in English- would sometimes produce a QSL-card from countries such as British Honduras (present-day Belize), or Trinidad and Tobago. This I know from people who actually managed to do the trick. (Klemetz / Dateline Bogota)

Guess, where Giovanni lives ! You are quite right, he lives in Bologana, Italy !

Picture-Postcards of this nice town in the centre of Emilia-Romagna (one of the 20 Italian region) : 
Bologna 1
, or Bologna 2, or Bologna 3, or Bologna 4, or Bologna 5  !

We also have a picture od those 'Italian radio-stickers' that are most time included in the envelopes to the radio stations.

KGB Radio :

His notorious attemps to betray others, normal stations and pirates, forced a Scandinavian Pirate to start a new station called KGB - Radio. Click here to see the KGB QSL card and find out, what KGB stands for ! (I don't support that - its just shown for information). Or send KGB Radio an E-mail in order to order a studio tape from this station ! If available, MW transmissions will follow...

In early December KGB Radio announced, that he now has got a scheme for a MW transmitter, he will change his name though until he gets pissed on Bellabarba again. The new name is -ECR - European Comedy Radio-. 100% weird programmes promised. This affects both MW and SW.

DX'ers Comments :

Comments of DX'ers about this page :


April 26, 2003 - from Italy

Hi Martin, pleased to read about my negative hero Mr. Giovanni Bellabarba, what a fun!


April 9, 2003 - from Italy

Hi Martin, thought you'd appreciate this trascendental explanation behind Bellabarba's "loggings"! He could use some help from Above: WBAJ is a daytimer... DXers (Distant Station Listeners) have written to us from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and ... you couldn't guess it ... Italy! In the evening, atmospheric changes enable our signal to "skip" -- even
possibly to other countries. Recently, station manager Gary Sherman received a letter from Giovanni Bellabarba in Bologna, Italy! He wrote about things he had heard on the station, and was simply amazed that he'd received the signal. "Perhaps the Lord is magnifying the station's transmissions," Gary commented.

WBAJ, at 890 on the AM dial, is one of the loudest and clearest radio stations in the area. In the last year alone, the station has been responsible for ten baptisms and had hundreds of Bible studies that the Columbia church is conducting.


July 2001 - from Colombia

Opinion sobre Bellabarba : Como opinion personal considero que duele un poco saber que este "diexista" reciba verificacion a los reportes falsos que envia, ya que muchos de nosotros nos esmeramos en tomar cualquier detalle (comerciales, anuncios, saludos, etc) para enviar un verdadero reporte y despues la emisora nunca contesta; hay que abonarle que tiene mucha suerte en recibir verificaciones (asi sean de reportes falsos).

Ademas yo he visto reportes a emisoras colombianas de muchos otros diexistas de otras latitudes que tambien dejan mucho que desear en cuanto a los detalles y que de todas formas la emisoras les ha verificado, ya que en esto a veces a las personas que trabajan en ellas les sorprende mas recibir una carta de lugares lejanos que su contenido en si.

Solo considero que no debe darsele importancia a las informaciones sobre las verificaciones que recibe Bellabarba, y continuar con la satifaccion de practicar un bello hobby como es el que nos une, y atesorar las confirmaciones que recibamos ya que son fruto de un verdadero placer de escuchar la radio.

P.D. Lamentable es tambien que un colega a quien admiro y respeto, que ademas me apoyo mucho cuando me
iniciaba en nuestro hobby; utilize las paginas de su publicacion para reportar las verificaciones de Bellabarba;pero sus razones tendrá, de todas formas respeto mucho su actitud,su opinion y su trabajo en el Diexismo.


July 2001 - from the USA

Re : The Giovvani Barbara QSL COLLECTION!!!!!

Just to introduce myself, I have been a Dx-er for over 20 years and enjoyed the hobby including the collection of QSL cards.

After going through your web site on Mr.Giovanni's collection I can only say that you are lucky to be free after going to such extremes so as to tarnish a person's image. Whatever a person does for pleasure is his personal business.You have no right to correct a person, that is for the law to handle, not small fry like you.

This is just a hobby and there is nothing illegal other than dishonesty and surely you have no legal obligation to tarnish his name. If he decides to take legal action and sue you for defamation only then will you realise the consequences.

It is rather unfortunate that you behave like a child and post threathening information on your site such as KGB radio.

I feel it is high time action will be taken against you. You are suffering from nothing but jealousy.

I am a lawyer by profession and feel terrible to see a person humiliated as is being done by you. I can assure you that if need arise, I will offer my services to nab you and quell your defamation activities.

Yours Sincerely,.... Ex-District Attorney


May 2001 - from an NA pirate

Our friend from Bologna sent us a reception report for\par a broadcast from last US Thanksgiving. We are an American shortwave pirate station.... The e-mail did not indicate who he was aside from the initials "gcb". It contained an attachment in a strange format that we could not read. We told him to send the report to our mailing address as we will no longer accept reception reports by e-mail. I guess we'll have to see if he writes.


October 2000 - from Radio Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden

I am QSL manager for the transmissions tied to the Radio Museum in Gothenburg, We have an transmitter on 1584 kHz, with a power of a 150 Watts. The antenna is too short so the performance is not the best, but the amazing fact is that the transmitter is well heard from various places in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Many nice reception reports recived by letters, e-mail and tape recordings. Actually there was a couple of these reports I have to reject because of the lack of or incorrect details in the reports.

Also we at the Radio Museum have received a report from the famous mr Bellabarba, on one of our transmissions but no details except 'language = swedish'. I hav not sent any reply to him. Same layout as the report I have seen on your homepage, a postcard from Bologna and a sticker from Radio Monte Carlo, Italie.

Now, it happens that I know that on this very same frequency 1584 kHz according to latest info, is actually an local MW transmitter located in Bologna, running much higher power than our 150 watts, and perhaps on 24-hr service.... !

So it should be very very hard to receive our 150 watts TX at 13.00 UTC if I was living in Bologna and have the local powerhouse running on the same frequency at the same time.... HI

The report from mr Bellabarba report will be put up on the wall in a frame at the Radio Museum as a example of an faked report. I my self is an old experienced DX-er and a hamradio operator, using an ICOM IC-746, vertical antenna on the ham bands and a 150 meter LW. Mostly I like to listen to the MW.


October 2000 - from Radio KSMU / USA

Martin, the FM station where I work in Springfield, Missouri USA just received a " G. & C. Bellabarba " form letter " reception report ! " Carlo is the signer on this one, and claims to have heard KSMU-FM at 9pm on 1 July 2000 " during my fantastic holidays in Missouri " on his Grundig 700... as usual, NO program details. He doesn't even provide space on the form letter for any details--just " The language of your transmission is... " and a blank to be filled in. In our case, he said the " language " was " Celtic "... well, the MUSIC at that time was Celtic, but the programme HOST most assuredly speaks (American) English ! (So even the one " detail " he includes isn't really correct !) Enclosures ? A nice Bologna postcard and a " 105 Radio Network " sticker... but return postage ? Of course not. But he does say " I would be very happy if you could send me a card or letter of verification, to confirm my reception. Please indicate the date, the time, and the frequency of my listening.... " And, there's an EMAIL address : I think I'll send him an email reply politely but firmly declining his request for a QSL based on the lack of details ! When the Station Manager tossed the letter to me in our staff meeting today, and I saw the return address of " Carlo Bellabarba ", I nearly choked !


June 15, 2000 - from the USA

I was just looking through your Bellabarba pages again, and you know what really burns me about all this ? This son-of-a-b*tch can get replies to FAKE reports from stations who never answered my honest-to-God GENUINE reports (R.Cora Peru-4914, R.Catolica Nicaragua-720, Voice of Cambodia-11940, to be specific) ! Admittedly, mail from the U.S. is subject to a lot of thievery, molestation, etc. that a letter from, say, Italy, might not be (so it's entirely possible my reports have never reached their intended targets)... and anyway, no one ever said life is fair. But this is ridiculous !


October 1999 - from Radio Napa / Cyprus

Subject : Bellabarba Date sent : Sat, 2 Oct 1999 13 : 58 : 52 + 0300
Hi Martin, I thought I would let you know that Mr. Bellabarba recently sent Radio Napa a reception report claiming he heard our English " pop service " on 103.1 FM. However this is our Greek news channel (24hrs a day !) He needs to do his homework ! Best Wishes from Cyprus


March 1999 - from the BDXC in the UK

There has been a lot said on the internet about this man from the lovely medieval city of Bologna, and on the subject of fake reception reports in general. Some comments are included at the website which make interesting reading, such as this from an anonymous pirate radio operator. " With my pirate & lt; station & gt;, I got a couple of fake reports from people. One was from Argentina and the guy sent an IRC. I QSL'd it since it seemed that he really wanted the verification... Some people have also told me about fake reports coming out of Israel and India....Some countries require would-be hams to verify a quota of radio stations. Once you collect the QSL's, you can then take all of the amateur radio exams. If this was the case for your Italian friend, then he's probably saving those cards to become the Minister of Information in Italy ".

I'd not come across fake DX-ers before but glean from this that there have been a number over the years, and as someone else on the website comments : " it's much easier to cheat with so many stations having audio on the Internet - and anyone can play back a recording of someone else's DX catch and write down a summary ".

However, it is obviously a tiny number of people that are so desperate for QSLs that they falsify reception reports. Why bother ?, even if successful you know yourself if you didn't really hear a station, so surely that nullifies any pleasure, unless you get some buzz out of deceiving QSL managers.


January 31, 1999 - from Germany

Das Problem Bellabarba ist ja seit Jahren in der DX-Szene bekannt. Auch die Namen Mantegazza und Reibold
sind mir in diesem Zusammenhang nicht neu.

Aber die Herren Reibold und Co. treiben ja nicht ganz allein ihr Unwesen. Zumindest in der Vergangenheit verfügten sie über " prominente " Helfer. Ich möchte an das sog. DX-Programm von Deutschlandradio Berlin (DX-Aktuell) erinnern, das von Wolfram Hess gestaltet wurde und vor einigen Jahren völlig zurecht eingestellt wurde. Wolfram Hess war es doch, der Herrn Reibold ein hervorragendes Forum zur Verbreitung seines Mülls bot. Soweit ich mich erinnere, war der ganze Zirkus mit dem Sechs-Kontinente-Diplom in drei Minuten oder so ähnlich doch auf Wolframs Mist gewachsen. Wolfram war sicher selbst auch der Gelinkte. Als DX-Editor hätte er K.D. Reibold aber auf die Schliche kommen müssen. Dass er nichts gemerkt hat, spricht im Nachhinein noch für seine mangelnde Qualifikation. Aber lassen wir das. Ist ja auch schon eine Weile her.

Was ich damit sagen will, ist folgendes : Bellabarba, Reibold, Gager und Konsorten treiben doch nur deswegen ihr Unwesen, weil sie ihre sog. QSLs immer wieder da und dort veröffentlichen können. Diese Herren verfügen über ein derart überzogenes Ego, dass sie ihre Namen und ihre " DX-Erfolge " ständig irgendwo publiziert sehen oder hören müssen. Nimmt man diesen Leuten das entsprechende Forum, ist der Reiz weg. Niemand, auch Reibold nicht, ergötzt sich an pazifischen MW-QSLs im stillen Kämmerlein. Diese Typen sind auf Publicity angewiesen.

Daher sollte man sich Gedanken darüber machen, wie man die Editoren diverser DX-Publikationen zu einem Boykott der QSL-Meldungen besagter OMs bringen könnte. Besonders optimistisch bin ich über die Erfolgsaussichten aber nicht, wenn ich sehe, dass selbst Dario Monferini wieder den Bellabarba-Schrott veröffentlicht..... Ich befürchte aber, dass wir auch in Zukunft immer wieder einmal den genannten Namen begegnen werden...

[Die Nennung der obigen 'verdächtigen' OM's ist die Privatmeinung des DXers, ich kannn sie weder bestätigen noch dementieren. Eventuell mögliche Richtigstellungen werden natuerlich weitergeleitet / veröffentlicht. - Martin Schöch]


January 25 / 30, 1999 - from Sweden

I'm a member of the Umeå Kortvågs klubb, one of Sweden's leading AM DX-clubs. We've heard of this man for a long time too - in fact he used to copy tips from the mag to send reports.
I think I got a copy from CIOR PrincetonBC 1400 AM he sent. Of course he didn't hear it. It is difficult enough in the Arctic region - not to say Italy !

You know, we do have a few guys like this in Sweden too - but nothing as sincerely bad as Bellabarba. It is often cleared when you take contact with the DX-er and explain the ins and outs of the hobby.
In our country a DX-er who do not play the rules are called Hubert.


January 23, 1999 - from the USA

I just took a look at your webpage on fake reports.
It reminded me of a now-long-forgotten DXer's reception reports. When I was in Honduras in 1982-84, I was the volunteer veri-signer for La Voz del Junco, 6075. I received a computer-printed report from this guy (quite rare in 1984).
The only program details he had were :

Identification : -....La Voz del Junco....-

I wrote him back and said I really had to seem something more than that and if he couldn't understand enough of the program to send me a tape. I never heard from him again. However, in traveling in South America the following year and visiting stations, I saw several more of his reports. They were all identical except for the date, time, and frequency and insertion of the correct station name in the above details. His name was somewhat recognizable in the early 1980s, but I haven't seen anything of him for over a decade. Good thing, I guess !


December 31, 1998 - from a pirate

Wenn OPs diese Briefe beantworten, sind sie doch selber schuld. Schließlich müssen sie das Porto aus eigener Kasse zahlen. Man sollte es nicht so verbissen sehen. Ebenso wie Pseudo-QSL-Jäger gibt es auch noch 'chronische Stickerschnorrer'. leider weiß ich die Namen nicht mehr.


December 23, 1998 - from the USA

I finally checked out your fake QSL page. It's great ! Some of it was really funny, in kind of a disturbing way. I forward mail for stations, so I've seen some fake reports. I haven't seen too many fake reports from North America--most of those that have little or no detail are from new DXers who don't know any better. I have seen some fakes (or just lousy reports) from
Italy (especially) and Germany + two dandys from Pakistan.

On the flip side, (as you know) I write books and QSL stations. I've had times where I requested blank sample QSLs for books and the stations sent me complete verifications for things that I didn't hear ! I've also had pirates send me full-data QSLs for things that I never heard. In other cases, I've sent reports and never received a QSL...but later received a filled-out QSL from the same station for one of these sample requests. Overall, it's kind of funny how these things work !

It did make me kind of sick to see that Giovanni Bellabarba has more QSLs from Latin American stations than I do ! And mine are real, detailed, include $ 1, etc. Perhaps, for every station I hear, I should send a report with no details, that looks obviously faked--and see if my QSL rate improves ! If I did that, someone might put up an - [contrib. name] Fake QSL Page, - but at least I'd have my QSLs...and I would've added a little more mystique to the hobby ! : o)


December 10, 1998 - from a Dutch Pirate

hallo martin I just reeded all the stuf about Giovani and the other fakers and I must say it's very sad and also difficult for QSL managers. I recieve also now and than R.R's with a big question mark, also some with no details at all, or only the e mail as proof that they heard me, (but they can find that on the internet). So I'd like to ask to all the listeners that they must send details. And if they don't have the knowledge of the music the stations are playing they should be making a tape or so.
I know that people like Giovani exist only because station managers are not careful enough and that they should control the program details.
But I control them and some time's it is difficult for me, to decide should I sent or not (for example only a line of text of a record I was playing with a piece of the e mail addres) so I don't know all the text of al the records i played. What I always do, is when they did send an incoreced R.R. but with an irc or us dollar I send only a massege that their radio report was not corect. and I think every free radio station should do that, anyway thats my idea.


November 27, 1998 - 'Interference' mag no 1..

Hmmm, who cares if this screwed individual sends out fake reports ? Surely this is something which only mattered to you screwed DXers out there (yes, you're all equally screwed !). If some stations accidently send out QSLs to people who havn't really heard them, then why should that bother you ? I really can't see the point in spending time and effords making inquiries and even webpages (!) about this silly subject. Whether a report is prank or genuine doesn't really matter, does it ? What really matters is a real audience - people who don't just send a silly QSL request, but valuable programme feedback Whats's in this silly QSL business to you ? You're mad ! (But I've got nothing against mad people !)


November 19, 1998- from Germany

Recht interessant die Bellabarba - Diskussion.. Das schwere Geschütz scheint ihn erstmal beeindruckt zu haben, ich möchte aber keine Prognosen über eine dauerhafte Wirkung anstellen. Möglicherweise wird die einzige Folge sein, daß Play DX die Berichterstattung einstellt. Es entsteht auch die Frage, wie echte Urlaubs-QSLs hier nicht hörbarer Stationen anderer OMs zu bewerten sind. Radio Gibraltar z.B. erhält seine RRs überwiegend von Südspanien-Urlaubern. Wenn ich aber lese, daß die Station sogar schon rrs aus Kanada erhielt, dann scheint Bellabarba bei weitem nicht das einzige schwarze Schaf zu sein.


November 12, 1998 - from Argentina

Finally, congratulations for the article wrote by you about Giovanni Bellabarba, this is very good, we can not permit to this people and its fake reports damage the activity of the free listeners, and all must fight against this incorrect people.


November 11, 1998 - DX Window 139

Fake Reception reports

I never was much into QSLing (I am basically too lazy) but I know that for many DXers it is a very serious business. So it was with some sadness that I learned from Martin Schöch that the problem of fake reports is rearing its ugly head again. Martin has set up a Web page at with comments about fake reports. This, of course, is nothing new. There have been cheats in the DX hobby ever since I started over 30 years ago. Now, of course, it's much easier to cheat with so many stations having audio on the Internet - and anyone can play back a recording of someone else's DX catch and write down a summary. To look on the positive side, I guess we should all be glad that despite these temptations very few people (I suspect a fraction of 1%) actually do cheat. In that respect, DXing is still probably -cleaner- than some activities such as athletics - though arguably less healthy : -) (Andrew Sennit)


November 08, 1998 - from Italy

Lieber Martin, recht herzlichen Dank für Deine -Bellabarba-Page-. Endlich werden die falschen Empfangsberichte dieser komischen Figur der ganzen DX-Gemeinschaft angezeigt.


November 04, 1998 - from Uruguay

These kind of reporters like Bellabarba makes stations go -blank- = no reply. Or perhaps even worse are those who only ask stickers. I have got a few answers where there is only stickers inside, but no written messages ! I'd rather take clear QSL than stickers !


November 01, 1998 - from Uruguay

Martin, Vy useful info. Why Monferini gives place in his Play DX to reports like these without commenting anything. I was suspecting that this kind of -visit- to stns gives also QSL replies that work as QSL because in the data there is no indication that -he has been visiting the country- or -the tape that he has sent us via 'x' person-.
Very sad people like these have space in QSL corners of DX bulletins.


October 29, 1998 - from Austria

Die Seite finde ich wichtig und auch gut gemacht.
Als langjaehriger Diplommanager kenne ich das Problem. Einige wenige DXer haben versucht mit Kopien von QSLs Diplome zu erhalten.
Einsame Spitze ist ein OM mit 18 QSL's, die er innerhalb eines Tages in 30 Minuten gearbeitet hat. Darunter Vanuatu, Palau, Guam, Alaska, Honduras, Nordkorea, Seychellen, usw.Eineinhalb Minuten pro Station und alle bestaetigt ! Das sind dann wirkliche Top-DXer.
Mein Ersuchen um Original- QSL wurde abgelehnt, daFür hat er sich ueber mich beschwert. Das Diplom hat er trotzdem nicht bekommen, wenn ich auch meinen Ruecktritt androhen musste.

Mit : -Folgende Seite sollte als Pflichtlektuere eingefuehrt werden Für alle Leute, die QSLs austellen : Die Giovanni Bellabarba QSL Seite - stimme ich ueberein.


October 28, 1998 - from Czech Republic

Your page on Bellabarba is well done, also graphically. I heard about this guy also in the past and I do not agree with such a sort of DXing you describe.

BUT - you sort out all places where Ballabarba was travelling, you mention the money he had to spend, BUT (once again) :
I think it is not impossible to travel so much, when somebody makes business trips or so. And when one has enough money, why he could not travel accross South or North America ?

If you want to have your Page really perfect, you should write : Bellabarba writes that he was travelling around the world, but I know that at the same time he was sitting on his back in his italian home. [See section Play DX on this please !]
Without such or similar arguments the texts on your WEB Page look to me like a boulevard reading.I am sorry for such (maybe) too strong words, but you asked for comments...


October 28, 1998 - from Italy

nice job. bellabarba is plaguing us since almost twenty years, if I remember well.

strange guy, anyway. an interesting patient.


October 28, 1998 - from the USA

That's absolutely hilarious what you did, man ! But what a poor guy ! He must have mental problems to believe that others will believe he has been in 30 countries during one month. If he's a business traveler - mind you, this is giving him the benefit of a doubt - I don't think he'd have the TIME to listen to anything, takes notes, wait for an ID, and prepare a reception report. And I'm sorry... When I travel, DX'ing is not my priority. (Maybe that's because I don't have a portable !) He's a real weirdo.

With my pirate (........), I got a couple of fake reports from people. One was from Argentina and the guy sent an IRC. I QSL'd it since it seemed that he really wanted the verification. It's not that important to me, you know. Some people have also told me about fake reports coming out of Israel and India.

According to gossip, some countries require would-be hams to verify a quota of radio stations. Once you collect the QSL's, you can then take all of the amateur radio exams.

If this was the case for your Italian friend, then he's probably saving those cards to become the Minister of Information in Italy.

Someone like him will do a search for his name on the Internet search engines... And he WILL find your shrine to him ! That will be funny !


October 28, 1998 - from Germany

Gut gemacht ! Endlich mal schreibt jemand mal was zu diesem Arschloch ! Ich bin im übrigen sehr verwundert, daß Dario dessen -QSL--Meldungen abdruckt. Vor Jahren hatte Dario eine ganz andere Meinung zu dem Kerl.

Der andere -DXer- (ich schäme mich, die so zu nennen) ist bekannter : Dieter K. Reibold. Macht sogar eine DX-Sendung bei HCJB. Er hat sich schon in Magazinen zu seinen schönsten QSLs ausgelassen : Z.B. Radio Fiji auf Mittelwelle 774 kHz, gehört in Bayern (um 1300 Uhr Lokalzeit in Fiji !) Und dann dies Gewese mit dem Guinness Book of Records. Behauptet der gute Mann doch allen Ernstes, binnen 30 Minuten 30 Sender aufs 5 Kontinenten gehört zu haben. U.a. Radio Tonga auf 5030 ! Überhaupt scheint dessen Lieblingsgebiet die Südsee zu sein. Er hat alle Papuanis bestätigt (wohl aber kaum gehört....), und sich dann von der papuanischen Botschaft bestätigen lassen, daß er alle hat ! Traurig, traurig. Ich frage mich wirklich, was das Motiv dieser Leute ist. Von jedem ernsthaften DXer werden die doch nur ausgelacht. Schade nur, daß diese Leute unser Hobby kaputtmachen.

[Die Nennung der obigen 'verdächtigen' OM's ist die Privatmeinung des DXers, ich kannn sie weder bestätigen noch dementieren. Eventuell mögliche Richtigstellungen werden natuerlich weitergeleitet / veröffentlicht. - Martin Schöch]


October 27, 1998 - from France

I have just visited The Giovanni Bellabarba QSL Page (as advised by SRS News) and I really found it fascinating !
What is the interest of receiving a QSL if you never heard the station ? I cannot understand. A QSL is not worth a dollar - it has only an affective value. But only if you listened to the station !
Anyway : nice page ! Thank you Martin !


October 26, 1998 - from Finland

I am a programme manager of Radio Auran Aallot (Turku, Finland - 90.5 MHz) and a dx-er.
Our station got a fake report about 10 years ago and now again 6 months ago from Bellabarba (I still got them).
-Report- was equal as you had on the page. No details and tuned locally, but at the first time in Italy !
Perhaps we should send him -Fuck Off- white-blank post-cards together during the same week - or so !
I found both reports, but the one that came this year is at my job. It was listened in Finland but the enclosed report is tuned in Bologna ! Heh !


October 26, 1998 - from the UK

I like the bellabarbara stuff....

programme details....speaker.....


October 26, 1998 - from Sweden

Thanks for your very good picture of what Bellabarba is doing. I have read about and noticed his activities in Play-DX and have, for a long time, wondered a lot why Monferini publish them in his bulletin, especially when they are published without any comments at all. I think the best way to stop him is to make no notice at all about his loggings or QSL-reports. Boycott him ! No publicity - no fun !
But it is very good that you draw attention to this in the way you did. I think the guy is crazy / handicapped in any way and maybe has nothing to do but send reports and letters. When he is out of audible new stations, he takes the next step, and the next, and the next !
What about Mr B Gornati, mentioned several times in Play-DX nr 997, as a world around travellor ? Hong Kong, Turkey, USA, Australia etc... He is of the same -caliber- as Bellabarba or is it just a joke ? Who knows, if you don't really know the Italian way of DX-ing. I think its a shame for the world DX-ing to publish these QSL-reports in a wellknown DX-bulletin as Play-DX without any comments at all, joke or not ! [Explanation about B.Giornati from Play-DX]


July 11, 1998 - from Germany

Wenn sich Derek allerdings mit Bellabarba anlegt, dann kann ich nur sagen Applaus, Applaus. Diese fake-reporters zerstören nämlich viel Goodwill bei den Stationen. Hat eine Station erstmal ein paar dieser -Berichte- bekommen, dann ist's vorbei mit QSLs für ehrliche DXer. Nur kann ich kaum glauben, daß Bellabarba was mit Play-DX zu tun hat. Dario Monferini läuft doch Amok, wenn er den Namen nur hört.


July 01, 1998 - United Kingdom (Comment was not about this page)

.. All correct reports will receive our special QSL, but please note - bogus report senders such as our friend Mr Bellabarba will find their reports quickly filed away in the rubbish bin !; -)

Lazy or neglectful QSL managers ? :

Comment from staff of Play DX from Italy on October 30, 1988

you write : "Giovanni is specialized in sending fake reports to low power stations on SW / MW or to FM stations. In the past he always used to tell them, he heard them while visiting their area. Lately he has changed that by telling them, he has heard them on a tape he received from another one who visited the area. [This was written in a previous version of this page - Martin]

Well, I don't really know if that holds true completely. I'm still convinced the guy (who is mentally ill, don't forget, it's a blatantcase of QSL-delusion mania, it happens with many -dx-ers- and not only in Italy, alas) sends his reports as originally logged in Bologna, or simply avoids stating where on earth he was during the -reception-.
Matter is, Play Dx editor Dario Monferini always uses to add a -HRD in Usa, Brasil, Caribbean or whatever- when quoting about Bellabarba -tips- (don't forget there's precious information in them : a correct address, the name of the v/s, all that could help people to get through with genuine reports !).

Why Dario's doing so ? Quite simply because it's the only way to fight against Bellabarba (we've been doing that for 20 years !). First, you have to point out how absurd can his -reception- pattern get. Secondly, there's a more important point : there would never be a -Bellabarba Case- if it weren't for the radio stations themselves, which NEVER check the details out when issuing a QSL ! You could react saying that this is a bona fide activity and that a station never presumes a report is being faked. But so, what the heck a QSL is ever worth of, don't you think ? ? I mean, assuming that program reporting is worthy at all, I expect the station to verify the report content, shouldn't I ? We could even stop talking about Bellabarba forever, pretending he's never existed. He would keep on, I told you : he's MAD, we can't kill him after all. What Play Dx is in for is unveiling what's happening behind the scenes of the QSL -market-. A lot of exotic stations aren't interested at all about someone catching their signals five thousand miles away. They receive a report and they find stickers, postcards, stamps even 1 or 2 dollars bills attached ? Fine, they issue a QSL.

Bellabarba is a crazy quack, but all those stations aren't serious at all (even if Bellabarba really told them he logged them locally).
We would very much like you to add a note in this sense on your nice page, but still want to apologise on behalf of Bellabarba for his behavior. He's casting a ugly stain on the hobby and perhaps causing a lot of station to stop issuing QSL forever. But please, don't forget there's plenty of Bellabarba out there. Perhaps even in Germany.

It's true that everyone should be taken for -self responsible- when sending Dario a fake tip, but our policy was always the same : when anything -suspect- reaches the HQ, Dario would filter that out completely or -correct- it (in the case of a wrong station tip, that usually works : the original contributor writes back saying 'oh, sure it was that, I'm sorry for the mistake', so everyone learns something). As for Bellabarba it's a different matter : Dario says he wants to publish news about his fake reports for the reason I already explained to you. But to put it in somewhat -improved- light, he adds that Bellabarba actually sent a report when travelling in the region. Everybody knows we're talking about fake reports, but it sounds slightly better and you feel more morally inclined to accept the information about the address or the v/s. Mind you : Bellabarba will NEVER Stops sending out his reports, nor reporting about QSL he gests back. I'd say we'd just trying to catch two birds with the same worm.

Comment from Editor of Play DX from Italy in lay DX 1029 - June 19, 1999 :


Answers to a question about Beppe Gornati :

This was the question :
-What about Mr B Gornati, mentioned several times in Play-DX nr 997, as a world around travellor ? Hong Kong, Turkey, USA, Australia etc... He is of the same -caliber- as Bellabarba or is it just a joke ? -

Comment about Mr. B. Gornati - November 05, 1998 - from Play DX staff :

I'd like to make something else very clear. What I've just told you about Bellabarba and how Dario prefers to alter a little bit his contributions to Play Dx should NOT in any way be extended to Beppe Gornati, another long time contributor and a -hard traveller- Dx-er. Beppe is employed by a pharmaceutical company which sends him all over the world, mostly in exotic countries and towns. Being a passionate listener, Beppe TRULY and FAITHFULLY logs a lot of radio stations on his way and dutifully sends his reports once he's back to Italy. Mind you, that's not a practice I'm much keen about, meaning that I love to listen to local stations while travelling but I don't give - please escuse - a damn for QSLing'em; I've stopped sending reception reports all the way, even to real dx. But what Beppe's doing is perfectly legitimate and a well established behaviour among dx-ers at large. And in his case he DOES really log all those stations because he's REALLY there (Bellabarba doesn't leave his kitchen chair except when he has to pee). Once again, Beppe's gathering information which could prove beneficial to all of us and while I personally wouldn't collect QSL that way, there's nothing wrong or suspect in what he's doing ! Thank you for your kind attention and please forgive my writing you every other day on these marginal topics. I just owed it to Beppe Gornati...... No, Beppe is a genuine traveller, we all can vouch for him. He's employed by a pharmaceutical company and you should have a look at his photo album. The least exotic place he travels to is Dushambe. I, for one, wouldn't collect QSL that way, but he DOES log his stations locally and sends his reports once back to home, clearly explaining that his receptions are NOT dx.

Subject : Bellabarba' style QSLing
Date sent : Thu, 24 Dec 1998 23 : 55 : 18 + 0100

Dear Martin,

having read (with some delay) your pages and having seen the different comments also including my name and the -defense- organized by Dario Monferini, I would like to add my own statements.

1) Since more than 20 years I'm usually flying 250-300 hours / year on behalf of chemico-pharmaceutical companies (I was a chemist once, now I have forgotten my chemistry....) having started my career as Area manager export, then Export Manager, then Commercial director, etc. The above is known not only in my professional field but also to few DXer friends.
2) When I'm traveling, I'm carrying my usual Sony 7600, except in some -sensitive- countries (Iran style..)
3) Evening time, in my hotel room, I have often the opportunity to listen, maybe drawing a 10 mts LW or, otherwise, using the stylus.
4) In very few cases, due to time span and location, I have been able to organize myself with my old R-5000 + a 60 mts LW or a AD sloper. For an australian it could look naive (not so sure), but for any european to stay on the coast of Darwin and listen to Indonesia or PNG in MW is a dream and a unique occasion, at least it was for me....
5) On all the a.m. opportunities, I'm filling my log with data and, when back home, writing the relevant reception reports.
6) As Dario knows and mentioned, I'm always stating that I was.....etc. Quite often (but not always) this is acknowledged and noted on the QSL card received; in one case, RTV Hong Kong refused to QSL because I was in H.K. and not out of the territory ! In other cases (typically south american) they see a european address and get excited, forgetting everything else; I
remember cases in Ecuador when they expressed their joy in somebody hearing them from Italy and sent me back the tape of one of their broadcasts where they were reading my letter (-when I was in Guayaquil.....etc-).
7) The above just to explain how I listen and write; now my opinions.
a) I never called those listenings DX, they are not DX in my opinion, Dx are what I hear from home.
b) I'm not partecipating to any competition / contest for QSL collectors, it would'nt be fair in any case...
c) I like to write to the stations, to get an answer AND yes, also a QSL when possible, I collect them for my pleasure, souvenirs and information.
d) I have always discussed with Dario on this issue and its uselfuness; the only reason I still give my QSL -tips- to PlayDX is that I have accepted his issue on giving information to other fellows hobbysts. I'm the first to know that a MW station v/s from southern Chile or Mauritius is not of much use to anybody in Europe or in N. America; but, maybe, that could be of use to anybody living -nearby- or, as I also did, to go visiting them and then being unavoidably. interviewed live (it happened to me few times...). To me DXyng is also a human aspect and experience.
e) I'm the first to be embarassed by the Bellabarba's QSL and his wellknown (also in Italy) behaviour; what I know is that I behave differently and that, when waking up in the morning, I can avoid spitting to my face when I see it in the bathroom mirror.....
f) Apart from the QSls, I have at home also all my logs, with dates and locations, at anybody's disposal for verification. One could always fake also the logs, but for a hobby that does not give you any profit (on the contrary), any glory or anything else if not personal satisfactions, that would mean only masochism or plenty of free time available, what I have not, still having to feed a family and a very hungry dog...

I apologize for this (probably too long) letter, but I wanted to clarify few things, as I sincerely hate to be compared to persons (unfortunately italians) that I despise for their behaviour or, at least, I do not understand.

Best '73s and merry Xmas - Beppe Gornati

Giovannis Logs in Play DX :

Many of you asked, why does Dario Monferini, head of Play-DX, print Giovannis 'logs' ? The answer is simple - they still have, even if they are faked, some information about address, v/s etc !

About the questions of all the that places Giovanni visited (we had to assume a that Giovanni visited these places after reading his QSL logs in Play-DX) - that error is caused by Dario Monferini. He knew, that Giovannis QSL logs were based upon fake reports, but since Giovannis logs still contain information, Dario deceided to add a 'heard in... aerea' in order to show, that it has not been heard in Italy ! Strange, isn't it ? But that's Darios method to show - there is something wrong in this QSL business !

Comment about Bellabarba's statement, that he visited Turku - November 05, 1998 - from Play DX staff :

= Now its a copy of a 1998 report. And there he states, he visited
= the Turku area ! What's this ? I'm a little confused..

and so am I, that's quite a deviation from his style. Well, I can only assume that he knows about what's being said against him in this field and he's simply trying to -get wise-. I think he keeps on reading Play Dx and that he knows perfectly well he's being depicted as a -business traveler-, so he's actually profiting from his -status-. 20 years ago it was much easier to send a letter to an Fm station in Peru telling them their signal had been logged in Bologna. Now, after he's been fought over on every possible bulletin and on your excellent Web page, he thinks it more prudent to tell the managers his reports are for local receptions. Who knows... Perhaps that partly excuses Dario from his own behavior. Bellabarba -reports- remain a FAKE.

Other DX'ers with no-detail reports :

Giovanni is not the only one : (and not only Italians do this 'kind' of hobby !)

Example 1 : Vittorio Mantegazza, Saronno, Italy : 1991 to RNE 5 Salamanca and 1992 to RNE 5 Salamanca
Perhaps not really fake reports, but without any substancial detail !

Example 2 : Paul Gager, Deutschkreutz, Austria : All to RNE 5 Salamanca : examp.1 + 2 examp. 3 examp. 4
M.Molano of RNE 5 Salamanca : -We have too half a dozen fake reports from an Austrian guy : Gager Paul. This guy is a little more intelligent. He uses as program details the names of football players or teams. His 'reports' are all in Sundays when there are league matches. His problem was very simple : we don't broadcast these stuff but our local team plays or a musical program.

The “relative” value of a verification :

Martin, here is an article related to QSLing and the “relative” value of a verification.
Perhaps this short text could be of interest alongside with the Bellabarba info on your site. -Henrik Klemetz

Dateline Bogota 1994

On a fqy of 6580 kHz, about a decade ago, the Ecuadorian pirate called "RJ", or Radio La Voz de la Juventud, used to be on the air every Sunday night, local time. The stn is now off the air, and no one ever managed to track them down as far as their QTH is concerned. But there is actually a QSL around, a PPC of doubtful value as we shall see.
Working in Ecuador in the mid-80´s, I used to tune in to their request shows where "el que firma PQA saluda a ARF" (signature PQA greets ARF) etc. Nothing was said of the location of the station, only a recorded spot for an electronics store called Electrónica Loaiza seemed to give a clue, however vague, to the location and the people behind the operation, for the voice was recognizably that of Luis Eduardo Herrera, one of the speakers who was working with Emisoras Luz y Vida, 4851v, in Loja, Ecuador.
I met with Señor Herrera during my a trip to Loja in 1985. Now, almost 10 years later, during another trip to Loja, I saw Herrera for lunch, and learnt about his involvement in "RJ". On the phone I also talked to the man behind the pirate operation, technician Francisco Javier Loaiza, who is now C.E. with one of the local AM stations in the area. He said that he operated his "La Voz de La Juventud" station from a place called Chivatos, not far from Catacocha (Loja), with a power of 70 Watts.
A few years ago, Paul Edwards, a New Zealand DX-er, tried to locate "RJ" while touring southern Ecuador, but he had no luck. Still earlier, in the mid-80´s, a well-known North American DX-er received a PPC in reply to his report. Despite the reply, mailed from a place called Gonzanamá, the PPC cannot be considered as a valid verification.
The North American DXer has sent me a photostat of the handwritten letter that came together with the PPC, both of which were signed by the same person. From the letter it becomes clear that the report, tucked into an envelope together with a cassette tape containing rock music, was never claimed at the Gonzanamá Post Office, so, instead of returning the item to sender, the postal clerk decided to open it to see if he could help. Reading the formal verification request, he clerk decided to sign the PPC and send it back to show his appreciation of the enclosed cassette which he had now listened to.
The Ecuatorian P O clerk ended his letter by a humble request. Now that he was returning the card with a signature on it could he please have another cassette of rock music?

Conclusions :

Layz QSL managers make it easy for people who send faked or non detailed reports.

What's the value of a QSL if you can (simplified) simply buy it ?

This is not stamp collecting, gentleman !

A QSL should be a unique personal verification for every DX'er. Keep that in mind and behave like that !

This page should be a 'warning' to all QSL-managers !

Links :

Link to the Bellabarba-Manifesto made by the Italian Group Faiallo

The members of this groups are opposed to the usage of the 'Bellabarba QSL logs' in Play DX and QIP.

Another page by the group :

Hope to get your comments !