Art Bell

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Art Bell
Born Arthur William Bell, III [1]
(1945-06-17) June 17, 1945 (age 69)
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina[2]
Occupation Broadcaster
Spouse(s) Sachiko Toguchi Bell Pontius (dates uncertain; divorced)
Sakamoto Kyo Bell (dates uncertain; divorced)
Ramona Bell (August 1991January 5, 2006 †)
Airyn Ruiz Bell (April 11, 2006 – present)[3]
Children Vincent Pontius, Lisa Minei, Art, Asia Rayne Bell
Parents Arthur William Bell, Jr. ( – 2000)
Jane Lee Gumaer Bell ( – Dec 23, 2008) [1]
Call-sign W6OBB

Arthur William "Art" Bell, III (born June 17, 1945) is an American broadcaster and author known as one of the founders and the original host of the paranormal-themed radio program Coast to Coast AM.[4] He also created and formerly hosted its companion show Dreamland. Semi-retired from Coast to Coast AM since 2003, he hosted the show many weekends for the following four years. He announced his retirement from weekend hosting on July 1, 2007, but occasionally served as a guest host through 2010. He attributed the reason for his retirement to a desire to spend time with his new wife and his daughter, born May 30, 2007. He added that unlike his previous "retirements," this one would stand, while leaving open the option to return. Classic Bell-hosted episodes of Coast to Coast AM can be heard in some markets on Saturday nights under the name Somewhere in Time. He started a new nightly show, Art Bell's Dark Matter, on Sirius XM Radio that began on September 16, 2013 [5] and ended 6 weeks later on November 4, 2013.[6][7]

Bell founded and was the original owner of Pahrump, Nevada-based radio station KNYE 95.1 FM. His broadcast studio and transmitter were located near his home in Pahrump while he hosted Coast to Coast AM except from June to December 2006, when he lived in the Philippines. He returned to the Philippines March 10, 2009 with his family after having significant difficulties obtaining a U.S. visa for his wife Airyn.[8]

Early life[edit]

Art Bell was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina to Arthur Bell, Jr., a United States Marine Corps Captain, and Jane Gumaer Bell, a Marine drill instructor. Arthur Bell, Jr. died in 2000 and Jane Bell died December 23, 2008.

Art Bell III was always interested in radio and at the age of 13 became a licensed amateur radio operator. Bell now holds an Amateur Extra Class license, which is in the top U.S. Federal Communications Commission license class. His call sign is W6OBB.

Bell served in the U.S. Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War and in his free time operated a pirate radio station at Amarillo Air Force Base. He would go out of his way to play anti-war music (like "Eve of Destruction" and "Fortunate Son") that was not aired on the American Forces Network.[9]

After leaving military service he stayed in Asia, living on the Japanese island of Okinawa where he worked as a disc jockey for KSBK, the only non-military English-language station in Japan. While there, he set a Guinness World Record by staying on the air for 116 hours and 15 minutes. The money raised there allowed Bell to charter a DC-8, fly to Vietnam, and rescue 130 Vietnamese orphans stranded in Saigon at the war's end. They were eventually brought to the United States and adopted by American families.[10]

Bell returned to the United States and studied engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He dropped out and returned to radio as a board operator and chief engineer, and had opportunity to be on the air a few times. For several years he worked behind and in front of the microphone. After a period of working in cable television, in 1986 the 50,000-watt KDWN in Las Vegas, Nevada offered Bell a five-hour time slot in the middle of the night. Syndication of his program to other radio stations began in 1993.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Art Bell was living in Watsonville, California and worked for KIDD 630 AM in Monterey, California during the early 70s.[citation needed] He also worked for KMST channel 46.[citation needed]

First a rock music jockey before moving into talk radio, Bell's original 1978 late-night Las Vegas program on KDWN was a political call-in show under the name West Coast AM.[2] In 1988, Bell and Alan Corberth renamed the show Coast to Coast AM and moved its broadcast from the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas to Bell's home in Pahrump.[2]

Broadcast facilities of KNYE in Pahrump, Nevada.

Bell abandoned conventional political talk in favor of topics such as gun control and conspiracy theories, leading to a significant bump in his overnight ratings. The show's focus again shifted significantly after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Many in the media did not want to be blamed for inciting anti-government or militia actions like the bombing. Subsequently, Bell discussed off-beat topics like the paranormal, the occult, UFOs, protoscience and pseudoscience. During his tenure at KDWN Bell met and married his. third wife, Ramona, who later handled production and management duties for the program.

According to The Washington Post in its February 23, 1997 edition, Art Bell was at the time America's highest-rated late-night radio talk show host, broadcast on 328 stations. According to The Oregonian in its June 22, 1997 edition, Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell was on 460 stations. At its initial peak in popularity, Coast to Coast AM was syndicated on more than 500 radio stations and claimed 15 million listeners nightly. Bell's studios were located in his home in the town of Pahrump, located in Nye County, Nevada; hence the voice-over catchphrase, "from the Kingdom of Nye."

Critical reputation[edit]

Fans regard Bell as a master showman, noting that he calls his show "absolute entertainment"[11] and expressly says he does not necessarily accept every guest or caller's claims but only offers a forum where they will not be openly ridiculed. Bell was one of only a few talk show hosts who did not screen incoming calls, but this changed in 2006. On the October 31, 2006 edition of Coast to Coast AM, (renamed for the night to Ghost to Ghost AM), Bell was asked why he was now using call screeners. The explanation given was that for him to use unscreened open phone lines while in the Philippines would require listeners to call there directly at enormous cost to them. Art admitted that he should have chosen New Zealand instead of the Philippines as an alternative to the USA. He said, "It was a bad choice, and I'll regret it, one day, in the near future." He subsequently stopped screening calls upon his return to the United States.[citation needed]

His calm attitude, patient questions, and ability to tease substance from nebulous statements of callers and guests gave his show a relaxed yet serious atmosphere.[citation needed] This earned him praise from those who declare that the paranormal deserves a mature outlet of discussion in the media as well as the approval of those simply amused by the nightly parade of bizarre, typically fringe topics. Ed Dames, Richard C. Hoagland, Terence McKenna, Dannion Brinkley, David John Oates, and Robert Bigelow have all been regular guests. Some of Bell’s regular guests, particularly Hoagland, continue to be regular guests on Coast to Coast AM now hosted by George Noory.

Bell's own interests, however, extend beyond the paranormal. He has interviewed singers Crystal Gayle, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Eric Burdon and Gordon Lightfoot, comedian George Carlin, writer Dean Koontz, hard science fiction writer Greg Bear, X-Files writer/creator Chris Carter, TV talk host Regis Philbin, Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, actor Dan Aykroyd, former Luftwaffe pilot Bruno Stolle, actress Jane Seymour, actress Ellen Muth, actor and TV host Robert Stack, human rights lawyer John Loftus, legendary disc jockey Casey Kasem, and frequent guests physicist Michio Kaku and SETI astronomers Seth Shostak and H. Paul Shuch.

Beginning in late 1996, Bell was criticized for reporting rumors that Comet Hale-Bopp was being trailed by a UFO. It was speculated that members of the Heaven's Gate group committed mass suicide based on rumors Bell aired, but others dismissed the idea, noting that the Heaven's Gate website stated: "Whether Hale-Bopp has a 'companion' or not is irrelevant from our perspective."[12] Susan Wright reported, however, that Bell was also "one of the first to publicize expert opinions refuting the 'alien' companion" said to have been shadowing Hale-Bopp,[13] such as that published in 1998 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggesting that "the satellite's main diameter is ~30 km," and accordingly natural rather than artificial.[14]

Political and religious views[edit]

Bell chooses not to discuss his political views on Coast to Coast AM though occasionally he has brought them up. He has expressed support for the right to bear arms and same-sex marriage.[citation needed] He also used to be, in his own words, a "staunch" supporter of the death penalty, though he has changed his mind at least to some extent due to innocent people being sentenced to death.[citation needed]

Bell has completely dismissed the 9/11 conspiracy theories, having uploaded an image stating "God Bless George W. Bush and the U.S.A." to his website following the September 11 attacks.[15]

Bell is a member of the U.S. Libertarian Party.[citation needed] Originally, Coast to Coast AM was a conservative political talk show, but in recent years Bell has expressed both conservative and liberal views on the air. On air, Bell has shown support for immigration reform and decriminalizing marijuana. He has also criticized humankind's role in facilitating the onset of global warming. Bell has also stated that he opposes abortion, believes the U.S. should finish the job in the war in Iraq and supports a free market economy.[citation needed]

Bell supported Barack Obama for President of the United States in both the 2008[16] and 2012 elections.[17]

Callers and guests[edit]

  • John Lear, ufologist, was a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM, and whom Art credits with getting him on the paranormal track for his show. Lear and Lazar have unveiled their infiltration and revelations of Area 51.
  • On March 23, 1994, Bell interviewed Neal Chase, who had predicted the nuking of New York City for that exact day. Bell became hysterical and lost his radio composure when he read the headline that came over the newswire just at the start of his interview with Chase that "Newark Had Been Nuked!" This headline referred to the exact report of the eye-witness account of a pilot flying into Newark seeing the giant Hiroshima and Nagasaki sized fireball and mushroom cloud from the Edison gas explosion. The pillar of fire—after the initial flash of the blast—reached over 1,000 feet (300 m) into the night sky.
  • In April 1996, Bell received a package of what would be known as "Art's Parts". These parts were allegedly pieces of debris from the 1947 Roswell UFO crash. Extensive analysis of the metals indicated they were made of an odd bismuth material.[citation needed]
  • On May 24, 1996, Bell interviewed William Luther Pierce, author of the highly controversial book, The Turner Diaries,[18] in which Pierce—writing under the pseudonym "Andrew Macdonald"—depicted a race war leading to the extermination of Jews, non-whites and gay people. In a remark that Bell later said nearly caused him to lose his temper on the air, 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, was an Asian-American of Filipino descent.
  • One of Art 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 mysterious opening is said to be a fantastically deep vertical shaft which possesses extremely bizarre properties. No such hole has ever been physically located by anyone attempting to verify this story.[citation needed]
  • 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 called back on April 28, 1998, admitting that the original call was fraudulent.
    • This incident formed the basis of the song "Faaip de Oiad" by the rock band Tool which features said interview (with Art Bell's part cut out) dubbed in over frantic drumming and buzzing static.
    • The interview was also sampled in Konkhra's track "Religion is a Whore", The Faceless's "Planetary Duality", experimental Texas quartet The Paper Chase's "It's Out There and It's Gonna Get You", MC Lars' "Lars Attacks!" and Sweet Valley's "So Serene" (around the 22:40 mark).
  • J.C. Webster III, or "J.C." – Webster began calling in 1996, and has since been on the air over 50 times. He purports to be a Baptist Revival preacher, and believes Art to be "the Devil's Mouthpiece". He has continued to call George Noory and guest hosts. Although some listeners have expressed a disbelief that someone like J.C. could exist, Art Bell and George Noory have repeated their beliefs that Webster is real, and is neither a "put-on" nor a "plant".
  • On the night of October 23, 1997, Art interviewed Harlot the Witch (Patsy).
  • In 1997, Cusco's Michael Holm, the group's leader, revealed that a song on Apurimac III – Nature Spirit Pride – "Pahrump-Big Water" was titled in recognition of Art Bell and Coast to coast.[19][not in citation given]
  • 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, Art 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.
  • In the mid to late 1990s, a regular caller named "Fritz" would call in and give his view on various matters.
  • In the mid to late 1990s, another regular caller known only as "Charlie Liberal" used to call with his perspectives on current events.
  • "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 Art 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 have yet been made available.
  • A caller in 2000 named "Daniel Murray" claimed he was a Majestic agent from Downey, California.[citation needed]
  • In 2003, Chris Clements, a freelance writer with the Washington Post, called Bell to tell him he had evidence of a financial connection between the Bush family and the Bin Ladens. Clements went on further to tell of how his research showed that 9/11 may have been orchestrated by the Bush family and hinted at proof of a coming police state with secret prisons and the chipping of citizens. Clements promised to forward all of his information to Bell but it was reported[by whom?] that Clements died in a suspicious car crash in the weeks after his call.
  • In October 2003, Bell interviewed Temple of the Vampire representative Nemo. Nemo spoke about the Temple of the Vampire's beliefs and practices.
  • In February 2005, Bell received a call from a person calling himself "Oscar", proclaiming to be "the Son of Satan". Oscar had since also called George Noory, but disappeared after a June 2007 on-air confrontation with J.C.
  • In March 2005 a man also called about disturbing events on Kwajalein and Johnston Atoll about a weapon that only targeted certain people and could leave others unhurt. He indicated he had been on both islands (that are US military only) and that these weapons had been tested in 1993. Bell lost the call after another voice came on the line with a click saying: "Shelton, terminate the call from A-6." Art tried to call the man back but was unsuccessful.
  • In 2009, David Van Dyke, a photojournalist with Metro News Canada, called into Coast-to-Coast (guest-hosted by Art Bell that night) and warned listeners that Toronto would become a testing ground for police tactics and subverting citizens at a soon to be announced global summit. Weeks after the call Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Toronto would play host to the G20 summit. Van Dyke, also a Toronto citizen, returned to the show after the announcement and declared that Toronto's downtown would be "stripped of everything not bolted down. Even trees and sticks will be removed, so that the oligarchy could not be touched." Van Dyke went missing shortly after the second call. Van Dyke resurfaced in mid-2010 following the G20 Summit in Toronto and was interviewed on local news channel CP24 while protesting outside a court hearing for G20 detainees. Van Dyke claimed he was held against his will in a stone-block room for "what felt like years" while being subjected to various psychological stress tactics. "German industrial metal music blasted frequently. A bright strobe light came on intermittently, and when it wasn't on a TV constantly played a loop of interracial porn," Van Dyke told CP24. He also claimed he was only fed raw steak and agents "dressed in pink bunny costumes" shouted anti-Marxist slogans at him. At this point the interview was abruptly ended by the reporter.[citation needed]

Amateur radio[edit]

Bell became a licensed amateur radio operator at the age of 13. His first call sign was KN3JOX, first listed in the Winter 1959 edition of the Radio Amateur Callbook. He soon upgraded to K3JOX, and he later held W2CKS, first listed in the Spring 1967 Callbook. Bell holds an Amateur Extra Class license, which is in the top U.S. Federal Communications Commission license class. His call sign is W6OBB.

According to QRZ.com, Bell took and passed the Philippines amateur radio exams and became a Philippine Class A amateur radio operator with the call sign of 4F1AB.[21] While in the Philippines, Bell is active on 40-10 Meters, as well as 144.600 MHz simplex in Manila.

Honors[edit]

In 1998, Bell was named as recipient of the less-than-prestigious Snuffed Candle Award. The CSICOP Council for Media Integrity cited Bell: "...for encouraging credulity, presenting pseudoscience as genuine, and contributing to the public's lack of understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry."

In 2005, the City of Las Vegas renamed a portion[clarification needed] of 11th Street in the downtown area "Art Bell Drive".[citation needed]

On March 10, 2007, Bell received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the trade publication Radio & Records in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

In July 2008, it was announced that Art Bell would be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. On November 8, 2008, the ceremony took place in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed]

Marriages[edit]

  • Airyn Ruiz, April 11, 2006 – present. Children: Asia Rayne Bell
  • Ramona Lee Hayes, August 4, 1991 – January 5, 2006 † (see below)
  • Vickie L. Baker, married March 1, 1981, divorced, July 3, 1991. Children: Arthur William Bell[citation needed]
  • Sachiko Toguchi Bell Pontius, married 1965, divorced 1968. Children: Vincent Pontius,[22] Lisa Pontius Minei.[citation needed]

Retirements and comebacks[edit]

Bell has retired and returned to Coast to Coast AM several times.

His first retirement was highly unexpected by his listeners, and was announced on October 13, 1998. Bell spoke of "an event, a threatening terrible event occurred to my family, which I could not tell you about. Because of that event, and a succession of other events, what you're listening to right now is my final broadcast on the air."[23] Hilly Rose filled in after Bell's departure. Bell returned on October 28, 1998, asserting that the brief departure was brought on by threats made against his family. On May 29, 1999, Art Bell explained that this retirement was due to an allegation made by hosts of WWCR shortwave radio that Bell had paid to cover up a criminal indictment.[24] The facts of the matter became public knowledge in 2000, when it was revealed that an actual criminal indictment was filed against a person who had assaulted a member of Bell's family. Because of the nature of the crime, Bell had wanted to keep the matter private. The hosts at WWCR shortwave radio had accused Bell of the crime, and Bell took legal action against the hosts and stations, which was settled in 2000.[25]

On April 1, 2000, Bell again announced to his retirement, which would occur on April 26, 2000,[26] but offered no details other than expressing intentions to "resolve a family crisis." On April 11, 2000, Mike Siegel was introduced as the new host of Coast to Coast AM, taking over on April 27, to an estimated audience of 22 million listeners.[27] It was later explained that Bell had left to deal with the aftermath of a sexual assault against his son. Brian Lepley, a substitute teacher, was convicted of sexual assault and attempted transmission of HIV and was sentenced to 10 to 25 years.[28] Bell returned to Coast to Coast AM in February 2001. Bell noted that since his departure the show had lost a number of affiliates, commercial content had risen to an unbearable level, and Siegel had taken the program in a "different direction" of which Bell disapproved. Bell retained some authority over the program as its creator and felt his return was necessary.

On October 23, 2002, Bell announced he would be retiring due to recurring back pain, the result of a fall from a telephone pole during his youth. Bell was replaced by George Noory as weekday host of Coast to Coast AM on January 1, 2003. It was also said that Barbara Simpson would host weekends and that Bell planned to be an occasional guest host for Noory.[29] Bell returned in September 2003 as a weekend host, replacing Barbara Simpson and Ian Punnett as host of the Saturday and Sunday evening broadcasts. In June 2005, he scaled this schedule back, calling it a "semiretirement", and hosted only the last two Sundays of every month. Bell went back to hosting every weekend show as his schedule permitted after his wife Ramona’s death a few months later.

On July 1, 2007, Bell announced his retirement stating that he wished to spend more time with his new wife and daughter. He made it explicitly clear that, unlike the circumstances surrounding previous retirements, this decision was an entirely positive and joyful one and that he would not disappear completely, announcing an intention to occasionally substitute for other hosts and host "special" shows. According to George Noory, Bell is on board to do 15 shows per year.[citation needed] Art Bell confirmed this fact in a post on the Fantastic Forum fan site.

Events of 2006[edit]

Bell's life took some dramatic twists in the beginning of 2006:

Death of Ramona Bell[edit]

Ramona Bell, his wife of 15 years, died unexpectedly,[30] at the age of 47, of what appeared to be an acute asthma attack on January 5, 2006 in Laughlin, Nevada, where the couple were taking a short vacation.

The events surrounding Ramona's death were described in great detail by Art Bell during the January 22 broadcast of Coast to Coast AM. For weeks thereafter, callers would express their sadness and sympathy for Art Bell to George Noory, who had taken Art Bell's place weekdays in 2002.[31]

Change in schedule[edit]

On January 21, 2006, 16 days after the unexpected death of his wife Ramona, Bell announced he would host Coast to Coast AM every Saturday and Sunday evening, and that former weekend host Ian Punnett would work a new live prefeed program for the four hours preceding Bell's slot on Saturday nights (9:00 pm – 1:00 am ET). Punnett's show was titled Coast to Coast Live with Ian Punnett. When returning to the show the following day, Bell spent the first hour recounting the death of his wife.

New Marriage[edit]

By the end of January, Bell began hinting that he was making a significant life decision, but that he would keep it a secret for at least one year, asking listeners to remind him in 2007 to let them in on it. By March, he was saying that he would soon take a "huge risk" and "do something rash." On April 15, 2006, he ended the mystery and, to the mild surprise of listeners, revealed that, after several weeks of mourning, he had recently gone to the Philippines and married Airyn Ruiz,[32] whose name is pronounced like the name "Irene," but Art likes to pronounce her name as "Arin." This is because during their Internet dating Art imprinted the spelling of her name with that pronunciation. Airyn Ruiz Bell is a recent college graduate. Ruiz – given Bell's private e-mail address by an amateur radio friend – had contacted Bell to offer condolences shortly after Ramona's death. After "dating" via Internet videoconferencing for "hundreds of hours," the two married one week after Bell arrived in the Philippines to actually meet her in person. Bell also paid for his friend – who was courting Airyn's sister – to accompany him to the Philippines and marry her. The two couples wed in a double marriage ceremony on April 11, 2006.

On October 7, 2006, Bell announced on Coast to Coast that Ruiz was pregnant with the couple's first child. Art told listeners that the couple's child was indeed a girl as many listeners suspected. He noted that they had been hoping for a girl and had announced only a girl's name for their unborn child in hopes of receiving a girl.

Art and Airyn's baby girl, Asia Rayne Bell, was born by caesarean section on May 30, 2007.

Relocation to the Philippines[edit]

At the same time, Bell announced he would be leaving his longtime homestead in Nevada and relocating to the Philippines, near Makati, Metro Manila, intending to continue hosting Coast to Coast AM weekend editions via an ISDN connection. He departed the United States on April 29, 2006, stating an intention to remain abroad for at least a year, while maintaining ownership of his property in Nevada and of the radio station KNYE. Bell resumed hosting on June 18, 2006 but then encountered technical problems that kept him off air until July 23, 2006, when the ISDN line was finally installed.

In July 2001, the Philippine Daily Inquirer printed an email letter purportedly from Bell that made derogatory statements about Filipinos. This letter was subsequently demonstrated to be a hoax perpetrated upon Bell, who in fact had a publicly loving relationship with his Filipina wife and his previous wife Ramona, who was also Filipina, and who often spoke openly about his admiration for the Filipino people on his radio show. Subsequently, the Philippine Daily Inquirer printed a retraction and apologized for printing the statement upon their verification of the hoax.

In October 2006, Bell threatened Rogers Cadenhead with a lawsuit for some allegedly libelous comments posted on Cadenhead's blog, which Cadenhead has said he will defend himself against under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.[33]

Return to "the High Desert and the Great American Southwest"[edit]

Bell opened his December 28, 2006 program by disclosing to his stunned listeners that he had just relocated back to Pahrump, Nevada, with Ruiz, who had obtained the necessary paperwork for immigrating to the United States. Bell had not disclosed on any previous show his plans to return to the High Desert. Despite feeling jet-lagged after a 15-hour flight from the Philippines via Vancouver, British Columbia, he did the full show. Bell was aloft returning to the States when an earthquake cut off undersea cables[34] that would have prevented his broadcasts from the Philippines. Bell indicated on his December 30, 2006 show that among the reasons for his return were a recent recirculation of the infamous fake anti-Filipino email,[35] and his homesickness for his elaborate stateside Amateur Radio station.

Events of 2007[edit]

On May 30, 2007, at 12:51 pm PDT, daughter Asia Rayne Bell was born by planned caesarean section.

On July 1, 2007 at 10:10 pm PDT, Art Bell announced his retirement from regular hosting effective that day, expressing a desire to spend more time with his family. Bell stated that he will only host occasionally on Coast to Coast.

Events of 2008[edit]

On May 23, 2008, Bell, while hosting Coast to Coast AM, stated that there would be a change in the artbell.com website in July 2008. Within a few weeks the website was no longer responding to requests and had even dropped from DNS.

On May 29, 2008 Bell sold KNYE to Station Manager Karen Jackson.[36]

On September 8, 2008, Noory stated that he would be hosting the annual Ghost to Ghost AM Halloween call-in show rather than Bell, who normally returns to the Coast to Coast to host it (along with the New Year's prediction shows). On September 19, Noory explained that Bell would be unavailable because he was on a cruise during that time this year.

On November 30, 2008, Bell hosted Coast to Coast AM. Michio Kaku was the guest. This was the first time Bell had hosted the show since May 23, 2008.[37] On December 23, Bell's mother, Jane, died. George Noory informed Coast to Coast listeners of her death during that night's show, with a number of callers offering Bell their condolences regarding the death of Bell's mother.

On December 30 and 31, 2008, Bell once again hosted his annual New Year's predictions special of Coast to Coast. Bell remarked on his mother's death and stated that he was very happy that she got to spend time with his daughter, Asia, before she died.

Events of 2009[edit]

Art Bell returned to Coast to Coast AM on February 20, 2009, for a discussion on the global financial crisis with Wall St. insider Michael J. Panzner. Bell and Panzer agreed the United States was headed for an economic depression.

Art Bell was scheduled to return to Coast to Coast AM on April 24, 2009, to host an evening of open lines, but because of engineering problems in Manila, Art was rescheduled to a later date.[38]

On May 17, 2009, Bell returned to host Coast to Coast AM live from Manila. His guest was professor Peter Ward. Topics of discussion were mass extinctions, earth's "self-destructive" phenomena, and life beyond planet earth. While on the air, Art answered an email question from a listener who asked why he was in the Philippines again and how long he'd be there. Art replied that he'd address it on "Friday" and hinted that his move might be permanent.

As of May 20, 2009, the Coast to Coast website listed that Art Bell would be filling in for George Noory on Friday, May 22, 2009 to interview Dr. Bob Koontz. However, Art Bell did not do that show. The Coast to Coast website, again, cited technical difficulties in Manila and that his interview would be postponed. Bell interviewed Koontz on Saturday, June 6, 2009.

Friday June 26, 2009 Bell hosted Coast to Coast AM from Manila with guest Dr. Dean Radin. He also commented on the death of Michael Jackson and how he had lived in Pahrump, Nevada not too far away from where Art lived.

Friday November 20, 2009 Bell hosted Coast to Coast AM from Manila with guest Starfire Tor, psi researcher and experiencer who discussed time shifts and time slips, and other strange occurrences of time. During the first 90 minutes, they were joined by Whitley Strieber, who shared his take on Tor's research.[39]

On Wednesday, December 30 and Thursday, December 31, 2009, Bell once again hosted his annual New Year's predictions special of Coast to Coast, noting that a number of the predictions this year were of an unusual and interesting nature and not mere repeats of many that had come before, though he also took several callers to task for seemingly veiling their obvious political agendas or wishes in the form of predictions, rather than offering up something from their "psychic center," which is what he repeatedly asks for during the prediction show. He also suggested that maybe Coast to Coast AM should institute some sort of prize or acknowledgment for listeners whose predictions are particularly accurate or astute.

Immigration controversy[edit]

In late 2008, Bell filed an I-751 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to get his wife a green card. In early 2009 the USCIS responded that they would need additional evidence to prove that Bell's marriage to a Filipina national and subsequent green card application therefore was in good faith. Bell responded with evidence including their marriage license, their daughter's birth certificate, Bell's last will and testament, bank records, family photos, and Social Security forms. Bell sent the package to the USCIS by return receipt mail, and he subsequently received the return receipt stamped "USCIS RECEIVED JAN-15-09."[40]

On March 10, 2009, Bell and his wife and daughter left Nevada for Manila to deal with some family business including the disposition of a condo they owned. Shortly thereafter, the USCIS denied the application on the grounds that the documentary evidence was never received, and further stipulated that Airyn Bell is not permitted to re-enter the United States, which is why Bell remains in the Philippines. Moreover, since the Bells were out of the country when the application was denied, they must start the process all over again.[41]

On his June 6 broadcast, Bell explained the situation and asked his listeners to send emails on his behalf to the White House.

Recently, George Noory announced that he has heard from Art, that the immigration controversy is over, and that Airyn has been granted permanent residency.[citation needed]

Events of 2010–13[edit]

Art Bell hosted 10 episodes in 2010, 5 short of his publicly announced, contractually specified quota of 15 shows per year. His last hosting gig was his annual Ghost to Ghost show on Halloween night (this was the first show ever wherein Art used call screeners). At the end of that broadcast, Bell said "When they next call my name we'll come back and we'll do this one more time."

As of December 2010 Art Bell was no longer listed as a host on the Coast to Coast website; his shows were no longer searchable under his name; and the only references to Bell on the site were of an historical/archival nature. However, the weekly Somewhere in Time with Art Bell broadcasts of classic Bell-hosted episodes (which have aired before the live show on Saturday nights since 2006) were not discontinued.

On December 21, 2010 the "HamCam" on Art's ham radio website[42] featured an image with the following cryptic wording: "The Wind No Longer Blows, in the End it was Without Direction. Long Live the Hot Air. 30" "-30-" is journalistic shorthand for "end of story."

It was announced in late December 2010 that Ian Punnett would host Art's annual two-part New Year's Eve prediction shows. Initially, Noory had said that Art was unable to host them because he would be traveling, but on December 24, 2010 Noory said: "We had asked Art to do his predictions show; he's going to spend time with his family. He's winding down, folks, he's winding down....I don't anticipate he'll do any more shows." On the first of the two nights (December 30, 2010), Punnett made a brief, oblique reference to his having the honor of "picking up (Art's) fallen mantle." On the January 1, 2011 show, Punnett stated he was "looking forward to doing the follow-up a year from now."

In email interactions with fans who have written in to inquire about Bell's absence, Coast personnel have confirmed that Art Bell has retired. According to Coast webmaster Lex Lonehood: "Art Bell decided he no longer wished to do live C2C shows, and asked that his name be removed from the host listings accordingly. Classics and Somewhere in Time shows will continue as is."[43] Coast producer Lisa Lyon told another fan that Bell "has chosen to retire," but that "Art Bell will always be associated with our show, and he is welcome back to the mic whenever he feels the need."[44]

Despite the above remarks from Punnett, Noory, Lyon, Lonehood and Bell, as of 01/06/11, an official public statement formally confirming Bell's departure from Coast to Coast AM has yet to be made via press release, website announcement or on-air, by any party with the authority to do so—the show's producers, Premier Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, or Art Bell himself. This lack of information has led to rampant speculation among Bell's fanbase as to the motivations and circumstances behind Bell's sudden absence; whether he has given his last live broadcast; and what—if anything—he may decide to do next.

During a chat on February 8, 2011, events became even more confusing for Bell's fans as George Noory, during a public chat responding to a question on Art Bell, stated that Art Bell isn't responding to his emails. The questioner, "Coalspeaker," asked "Have you spoken to Art Bell lately? And if so is he and his family doing well?" Noory responded by saying, "No I haven't. Art has decided to retire for good this time. I assume all is well for him and his family. He has gone through many ups and downs. I sent him a very lengthy email a few months ago, and he never responded. Though he normally would."[45] There was no further explanation beyond that point on why Art Bell did not respond to Mr. Noory's email, although it only led Bell's fanbase to speculate further.

In March 2011 a Facebook profile appeared claiming to be the legitimate page of "Arthur W. Bell III," who posted hints that there would be a "big announcement" at the end of April 2011. After much speculation and debate among fans and friends on that page and various Bell forums, and finally after direct intervention from a verified Art Bell account, the "Arthur W. Bell III" page was proven to be a hoax, with no "big announcement" imminent.[46]

On July 20, 2011, Art Bell announced via his Facebook page that he had relocated with his family to Pahrump, Nevada. Subsequent posts indicate Art and his family initially focusing on resettling his house and making it "fit for human habitation" again, giving no indication about his radio plans, if any (beyond maintaining his HAM activity). However, on July 30, Bell posted the following: "There is so much to do and only so many hours in the day. There are things going on in the background that I will talk about at the proper time. The move was a big one and we need time to adjust."

On August 19, 2011 Art Bell announced via Facebook "Phrase for the day......Stay tuned!", followed on August 31 by the message "Sorry for so few posts but we are working on this house every day like dogs, much more soon." Some Bell fans voiced speculation that the phrase "stay tuned" may have been meant to indicate Art's return to broadcasting in some form, but 2011 ended with no such announcement forthcoming, though shortly before Christmas he did report that a malfunctioning fire extinguisher in his radio room caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to his equipment and house.

On August 20, 2012, Art spoke of his grievances on Facebook with Premiere Radio stations, claiming that he would soon tell the full story of the truth of his retirement. "I am just about ready to tell the real story of my so called 'Retirements' I have asked Premiere to stop the Saturday broadcasts and thus far they have not done so as is there (sic) legal right. Free speech remains my right, I will soon exercise it."

On November 1, 2012, Bell updated his Facebook status with the following: "I wish my name was no longer associated with what Coast has become!"[47]

Art Bell's Return to Radio, September 2013 on SiriusXM Satellite Radio[edit]

In January 2013, Bell announced via Facebook, "I am now in negotiation for a new Radio show, stay tuned. No promises but the wind may be about to change direction!"[48]

"I guess it is time to end any further speculation that I will return to the air any time soon. I have given (2) very solid offers a lot of thought and have turned them down. My reasons are many, though I am profoundly sad at the current state of the show, both offers would have been direct competition with Coast and anger is the wrong reason to proceed. Also I really do not want to destroy what I built despite its current state. Asia will be in first grade in the Fall and getting up very early, I would be up late and sleeping late, I would not see much of her or Airyn. Life is short and I want to spend what I have left with my Family. I hope my friends understand..."[citation needed]

In June 2013, Art Bell announced on his Facebook page that his official Website, artbell.com, would be relaunching. On July 10, 2013 a red, white, and blue textual representation of a smiley face was displayed on the website. The site's favicon is a picture of a grey alien.[49] On July 11, 2013, the smiley face was replaced with a red, white, and blue Morse code script that translated to "WANNA TAKE A RIDE?".[50]

On July 29, 2013, Art Bell officially announced a return to the airwaves with a launch date of September 16, 2013. His new show Art Bell's Dark Matter broadcasts on SiriusXM satellite radio's Indie Talk channel (channel #104), Monday through Thursday from 7 PM to 11 PM PT with repeats during the remainder of the night and "best of" shows airing on Fridays.[51] His official website was updated on that date to include the announcement.[52]

On November 4, 2013, Art left Dark Matter after only 6 weeks.[6][7]

On November 7, 2013, Art Bell announced and began testing for potential Internet streaming sources.[53]

Art Bell's 24/7 Radio Network[edit]

In November 2013, Art Bell launched his 24/7 online radio network run by Keith Rowland which streams live from his website Darkmatterradio.net. The current lineup has shows such as Dark Weekend, Fade to Black, Podcast UFO, Skywatchers Radio, The Malliard Report, among others.

Art Bell plans to use this network to host his own radio show once his non compete clause can be worked out with Sirius XM.[54]

Feud with George Noory[edit]

Art Bell started a short lived show, 'Dark Matter,' on Sirius, which was ended due to Sirius' decision not to provide an internet streaming service. Art Bell stated that the decision to come out of retirement was his, and was a response to Noory having "ruined" the franchise by taking it in a political talk radio direction, with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as a regular guest. Bell wanted to see a return to the open-minded exploration of the supernatural that had defined his own earlier tenure.[55] Noory has previously stated that Art Bell was "winding down."[56] Bell was critical of the recent firing of popular Saturday host John B. Wells by Coast to Coast, even though Wells often tackled controversial political subjects that Bell usually avoided.

On a show in September 2013, Noory was a guest on David John Oates's show,[57] Oates being a guest who was banned by Art Bell. Bell sued Oates and Robert Stephens, of Montana, for "seeking to malign, harass, cyberstalk, defame, injure and annoy" Bell by making false and defamatory statements, including calling him "crazy" and suggesting that Bell had been arrested on pornography-related charges. Bell's suit stated that several witnesses had reported hearing Oates accuse Bell of pedophilia. This was proven to be 100% false. As a result Oates was banned from Coast to Coast and had to publically apologize to Art Bell.[58]

After Bell and Sirius mutually agreed to end the Dark Matter Show on Sirius due to them failing to provide a stable stream, George Noory took that time slot.

Books[edit]

Bell has written, or co-written, several books. They include The Quickening: Today's Trends, Tomorrow's World; The Art of Talk (an autobiography); The Source: Journey Through the Unexplained; The Edge: Man's Mysterious Past & Incredible Future; and The Coming Global Superstorm (co-authored with Whitley Streiber), which became the basis for the popular movie, The Day After Tomorrow.

Other work[edit]

In 1996 Bell appeared in an episode of the NBC science fiction series Dark Skies as William S. Paley, head of CBS.

On September 30, 1998 NBC's Today Show aired a taped segment of reporter Fred Francis interviewing Bell. Francis questioned Bell about Hale-Bopp, Area-51, eccentric callers claiming to be "six-fingered alien hybrids" as well as the UFO sighting experienced by Bell and his wife Ramona. The segment also featured members of Bell's audience reacting to topics being discussed.

In 1999 Bell appeared as himself on the series Millennium. The episode called "Collateral Damage" aired in the third season and dealt with a former U.S. soldier who claimed the government he fought for was indeed responsible for horrendous tests on soldiers and Iraqi civilians. (This episode was broadcast on January 22, 1999. The Washington Post, 1-22-99.)

In 1999 Bell was interviewed on Larry King Live. (This was broadcast on March 5, 1999. The Washington Post, 3-5-99.)

Progressive rock band Tool's 2001 album, Lateralus, featured a track entitled "Faaip de Oiad" (Enochian for "The Voice of God"), which includes a clip of the "distraught and terrified" Area 51 employee call from September 11, 1997.

In 2005 Bell and then-wife Ramona were featured on the ABC news special: Peter Jennings Reporting: UFOs — Seeing Is Believing, which reported on the entire scope of the UFO experience, from the first famous sighting by Kenneth Arnold in 1947 to the present day. (This was broadcast on February 24, 2005. The Washington Post, 2-20-05.)

In 2005 snippets of Bell and callers to his show were featured on the song "Conspiracy Radio" on Sean Hogan's album "Catalina Sunrise": Bell is credited for "voice overs" on this track.

In 2006 Bell was featured in the video game Prey and played himself. He hosts, as in real life, Coast to Coast AM, and the player is able to listen to the broadcast at several terminals throughout the game. The broadcasts describe what is happening on Earth as the game unfolds. The game plot centers around a massive space ship and alien abductions. Bell receives a number of calls about people who have seen smaller craft as they abduct people. The protagonist is one of these people and listens to the radio while on the space ship.

In 2007, Bell appeared as himself in the movie I Know Who Killed Me.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Profile: Art Bell". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Knight, Peter (2003). Conspiracy theories in American history: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 120. ISBN 1-57607-812-4. 
  3. ^ "Art Bell's Wife Denied U.S. Visa". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Martin, Robert Scott (August 26, 1999). "Legal Web Heats Up Around Art Bell". Space.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ David Bauder, Art Bell returning to radio with Sirius show about the paranormal, San Jose Mercury News ENTERTAINMENT July 29, 2013
  6. ^ a b "Leaves SiriusXM". Art Bell. 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  7. ^ a b Speigel, Lee (4 November 2013). "Paranormal Radio Host Art Bell Mysteriously Disappears From SiriusXM". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Bell, Art (June 6, 2009). "Art Bell's Wife Denied U.S. Visa". Articles. Coast to Coast AM. 
  9. ^ Voice, Just A (September 24, 2006). "Arthur "Art" Bell, III". The Compass Blog. WordPress.com. 
  10. ^ "Art Bell". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  11. ^ Genoni Jr., Thomas C. (March 1998). "Peddling the Paranormal: Late-Night Radio's Art Bell". Skeptical Briefs (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) 8 (1). 
  12. ^ Genoni Jr., Thomas C. "Art Bell, Heaven's Gate, and Journalistic Integrity". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2006. 
  13. ^ Wright, Susan Leslie (1999). UFO Headquarters: Investigations On Current Extraterrestrial Activity In Area 51. New York: St. Martin's Paperbacks. p. 187. ISBN 0-312-97181-8. 
  14. ^ Sekanina, Z. (1998). "Detection of a Satellite orbiting the Nucleus of Comet Hale-Bopp". European Space Organisation. 
  15. ^ "Art Bell 9-11 Outrage". Wingtv.net. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Art Bell Endorses Barack Obama". DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE ENQUIRER. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Art Bell makes his call!!". Coalspeaker. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  18. ^ http://www.oocities.org/tribalism/pierce.html
  19. ^ "Bio". OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF CUSCO. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. [not in citation given]
  20. ^ Brown, Janelle (August 10, 2001). "Paranoia for fun and profit – CIA". Salon.com. 
  21. ^ "Callsign 4F1AB". Qrz.com. January 21, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  22. ^ Volk, Steve (July 4, 2007). "Lost in Space: The unacknowledged son of one of America's most popular talk show hosts works in the mailroom at Philadelphia magazine.". Philadelphia Weekly. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  23. ^ The Seattle Times" 10-13-98
  24. ^ "The Washington Post" 5-29-99
  25. ^ "Statement Regarding Art Bell Lawsuit". coasttocoastam.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2000. 
  26. ^ The Washington Post 4-1-00
  27. ^ "The Seattle Times" 4-12-00
  28. ^ Thevenot, Carri Geer (May 7, 2002). 07-Tue-2002/news/18691181.html "Ex-teacher sentenced in sex case". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 
  29. ^ Most information from "The Seattle Times" 10-26-02
  30. ^ "Stories published January 7, 2006". Las Vegas Sun. January 7, 2006. Archived from the original on 10 January 2006. 
  31. ^ "Coast to Coast AM. Sunday January 22nd, 2006". Coasttocoastam.com. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Art Bell Remarries". Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country. April 16, 2006. Archived from the original on 23 April 2006. 
  33. ^ Cadenhead, Rogers (23 October 2006). "Art Bell Threatens Lawsuit Over Weblog Comments". 
  34. ^ Winston Qiu (19 March 2011). "Submarine Cables Cut after Taiwan Earthquake in December 2006". Submarine Cable Networks. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ Voice, Just A (October 19, 2006). "Art Bell’s Alleged Hate Letter to the Filipino People". The Compass Blog. WordPress.com. 
  36. ^ "About Us". Kingdom of KNYE. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Future Technology & Parallel Worlds - Shows". Coast to Coast AM. 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  38. ^ "Open Lines with Richard Syrett – Shows". Coast to Coast AM. April 24, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Time Anomalies – Shows". Coast to Coast AM. November 20, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  40. ^ "USCIS Received Jan-15-09". Coasttocoast.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  41. ^ "Art Bell's Wife Denied U.S. Visa - Articles". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  42. ^ "Art Bell's Web Camera". Usadigitalmedia.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  43. ^ [1][dead link]
  44. ^ "Art Bell has quit Coast". S3.zetaboards.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  45. ^ [2][dead link]
  46. ^ "Fantastic Forum 4-15-11". Fantasticforum.com. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Because it's a scary world: Art Bell speaks!". Horror Report. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  48. ^ Layne, Ken (January 31, 2013). "Radio's Hero Of The Weird, Art Bell, Announces (Maybe) His New Show". The Awl. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  49. ^ "Art Bell official website". Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Art Bell official website". Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  51. ^ Bauder, David (2013-07-30). "Radio's Art Bell returning with Sirius XM show". Bigstory.ap.org. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  52. ^ "Dark Matter". Art Bell. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  53. ^ "LIVE Streaming Now on Dark Matter Radio Network". Art Bell. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  54. ^ "Dark Matter Radio Network Launched". Art Bell. November 18, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  55. ^ Dickey, Jack (September 23, 2013). "Insomniac Radio King Art Bell Reclaims His Crown". Time. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  56. ^ "George Noory Comments On What Happened To Art Bell". YouTube. September 22, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  57. ^ "David John Oates - Guests". Coast to Coast AM. September 5, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  58. ^ Joal Ryan (May 30, 1999). "Art Bell's Strange Days". E! Online UK. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]