Art Bell passed away this weekend at the age of 72. I know that R. Lee Ermy passed away as well and that he left an incredible mark on the world both as an actor and as a member of the U.S. Marines. Art Bell was the icon of icons for weirdo radio guys. There are literally dozens of us.
Art Bell hosted Coast to Coast AM. A show unlike any other radio talk show where they discussed the abnormal. The unprovable. The wierd. The strange. The spooky. Ok…it was a breedign ground for tin foil hats but, dang, was it interesting. Everynight, midnight wopuld hit…you would suffer through 5 minutes of news and commercials…and then that theme song would start. It sounded like it was made the band that influenced Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. Then that unmistakeable voice…that later would become the model for which every conspiracy theorist everywhere spoke…would break in….
“From the High desert in the GRRReat American Southwest…”
…and off you went with the maestor of weirdo. And who knew where the night would take you if you just listened long enough. Like…
- On May 24, 1996, Bell interviewed William Luther Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, in which Pierce—writing under the pseudonym “Andrew Macdonald”—depicted a race war leading to the extermination of Jews, non-whites and gay people. Pierce denounced interracial marriage, calling white people who married non-whites “traitors to the white race”—apparently unaware that Bell himself was in an interracial marriage, as his then-wife, Ramona Bell, was an Asian-American of Filipino descent (after Ramona’s death, his subsequent wife Airyn would also be Filipino).
- One of Bell’s Coast to Coast interviews occurred in 1997 with Mel Waters who discussed what is known as “Mel’s Hole” in rural Washington State. The opening is said to be a fantastically deep vertical shaft which possesses bizarre properties. No such hole has ever been physically located by anyone attempting to verify this story.
- On May 23, 1997, Bell interviewed a man who called himself “Victor” who claimed to have been at S-4 (near Area 51) and was responsible for the release to the public of a nearly three-minute video commonly called the “alien interview”. For almost two hours Victor described the EBE (extraterrestrial biological entities) program at S-4, verifying most of Bob Lazar‘s claims.
- On September 11, 1997, Bell took a call from a frantic man claiming to be an ex-Area 51 employee who grew progressively more upset as the call wore on, culminating in the show’s going temporarily off the air because of a satellite failure. The gentleman allegedly called back on April 28, 1998, admitting that the original call was fraudulent, however the second caller’s voice, tone and mannerisms have called into question whether this was the same person. Many believe this was a cover up from the government as the original call was cut off. (Seventeen years later, comic book writer Bryan J. L. Glass called in to Jimmy Church’s Fade to Black claiming to be the man behind the call)
- In 1998, Bell received two faxes from John Titor, a self-proclaimed time traveler from 2036, who made many fantastic predictions and discussed time travel.
- In a 1997 show, Bell interviewed a gentleman claiming to be a time traveler from the year 2063. He was known as Single Seven, a rank in the time travel unit he was in.
- “Bugs” – An aging farmer who has repeatedly told of his account of shooting and burying two Bigfoot creatures back in the 1970s in the Texas Panhandle, initially thinking they were bears. Bugs has mailed a map of the location of this “burial” to Bell, to be released to the public upon Bugs’ death. During his first appearance in 1996, Bugs said he had taken a dozen Polaroid photos of the creatures he would be willing to send to Bell. None of the alleged photos has yet been made available.
…and that was just some of the oddity that was Coast to Coast AM.
From on of the bald headed, combat boot wearing, weirdos you catered to, RIP Art. Wherever…or whenever…you are.