Clyde Lewis (born Louis Clyde Holder on 22 February 1964) is an American talk radio host and conspiracy theorist. He is the creator and host of Ground Zero, a talk radio show dealing with paranormal and parapolitical topics. Lewis’ career in radio began in Utah in 1982 where he started Ground Zero in 1995 in Salt Lake City. Lewis has produced Ground Zero programs online, on radio and on television.
Lewis endorses or entertains the possibility of a myriad of bizarre conspiracies and farfetched supernatural phenomenon. In an interview in 2012, Lewis said he believes that beings from outer space have come to earth and "They are here to eat us...We are being farmed for our organs." He also believes the moon landing in 1969 was faked. Lewis is also on record as a fervent "birther" (a fringe theory that President Barack Obama was born in Africa and is therefore not eligible to be president) who says Obama "was conceived during a CIA operation" to infiltrate "communists" because "the communists were black at that time." Lewis regularly cites weather control by the government or "rogue scientists" to manipulate global politics, once suggesting that Hurricane Sandy was created to help Obama by delaying the 2012 presidential election. He also says Prince William of Britain "has every chance of being the Anti-Christ" and claims Men in Black once bombed his car "to scare him".
Like his birtherism, Lewis's other conspiracy theories and claims often overlap with right wing memes, for example, his ardent denial of climate change which he claims is a global conspiracy directly linked to Nazi ideals; he writes that efforts to combat climate change could lead to another Holocaust, this one carried out by the UN's "green police force, carrying out the same old and tired lies that led to genocidal directives that killed millions of people 70 years ago." Lewis also believes that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting could have been a conspiracy designed to facilitate government gun control (accomplished by using devices to beam homicidal thoughts into the shooter's mind.)
Lewis was targeted in an episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! debunking conspiracy theories. He also appeared on the television programs Sightings, Strange Universe and the Discovery Channel special Return to the Bermuda Triangle. His work has been published in both UFO Magazine and Chris Fleming's Unknown Magazine, and has been featured in Rolling Stone. Lewis is the model for characters in such books as Safe House by Andrew Vachss, Supernatural Law by Batton Lash, and Alien Invasion by Michael Tresca.
A fan of science-fiction and B movies, comic books and mythology, Lewis has also published his own fanzines and co-written scripts for television and radio. He appeared as an actor in the movies Nightfall (1988), which he co-wrote with director Kevin Delullo; Cage in Box Elder (2000); and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV, in which he provided the voice of the title character.
1982: KBBX, a gospel station in Bountiful, Utah, as a producer and engineer.
1989–1991: Short stints at KZHT, KMGR, and KJQN, also in Salt Lake City.
1992: Hiatus from broadcast radio, during which he taught classes at the American School of Broadcasting and also published a horror fanzine called B-Lame, which he continued through 1994.
1993–1995: Returned to the former K-LITE, which had become Z-93, where he resumed producing the John and Dan Show. He created his own show, "In the Pink", where he synchronized Pink Floyd music with sound effects and movie soundtracks.
1995–1997: KCNR, Salt Lake City, where he was a CNN regional correspondent, reported for Metro News, co-hosted the show Drive-By Radio with Rick Emerson, and began Ground Zero, the show he is best known for.
1997–1999: KBER, Salt Lake City, continuing Ground Zero.
1999–2001: Moved to Portland, Oregon to produce The Rick Emerson Show during its year-and-a-half syndication. Ground Zero became syndicated March 12, 2000 on the NBG Network until 2001. Its flagship station was Portland's KXL.
2001–2005: KOTK, Portland, Oregon, continuing Ground Zero. KOTK became Max 910 in 2004, and changed its format in 2005, removing Ground Zero from terrestrial radio.
2005–2009: Lewis continued Ground Zero in the form of a weekly presentation called Ground Zero Lounge at a Portland nightclub, Dante's, which was recorded and broadcast over the Internet.
2009–2011: Ground Zero returns to terrestrial radio on Portland's KUFO FM on December 13, 2009, broadcasting from 10 PM to 12 AM on Sundays. In April 2011 KUFO changes their format to talk and merges with KXL.
2011–present: Ground Zero returns to terrestrial radio on Portland's KXL AM/FM on April 11, 2011, broadcasting from 9 PM to 12 AM Monday to Friday.
July, 2012: Premiere Radio Networks announced the nationwide syndication of Ground Zero Radio with Clyde Lewis starting August 27, 2012. The show will air on Premiere Radio Networks.
Ground Zero Radio
Ground Zero is a show whose scope includes paranormal, political, and entertainment topics.
The show began in 1995 as KULT Radio at KCNR. One week later, under pressure from those who disliked the name, he changed it to Ground Zero. Two weeks after that came the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, after which he was pressured to change the name again, but refused. The AM talk station programed the show on Sundays before two nationally-syndicated paranormal radio shows—Art Bell's Dreamland and Michael F. Corbin's Paranet Continuum.
When the show moved to KBER, it became the top-rated show in its time slot in Salt Lake City.
Lewis was investigated by the FBI after his remark during the broadcast on March 25, 1997, a night marked by a full moon, that “This would be a great night for some cult to commit suicide.” That same night, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide at Rancho Santa Fe in California. Lewis had no connection with the cult; his remark had been a grisly coincidence.
Lewis moved to Portland, Oregon at the behest of Rick Emerson, his former co-host on Drive-By Radio, to produce Emerson's new syndicated show; his last KBER broadcast was May 16, 1999. Ground Zero was subsequently picked up by the NBG Radio Network.
The show lost its syndication in June 2001, after Lewis claimed on the air that the pending execution of Timothy McVeigh would result in a terrorist attack on United States soil, an eventuality that could, he suggested, be averted by keeping McVeigh alive long enough to extract information from him about existing terrorist cells in the country. Advertisers pulled their support, and NBG dropped Ground Zero after a contract dispute. Lewis wrote about the broadcast and the subsequent September 11 attacks in his essay "America's 911".
Ground Zero moved to Portland's KOTK. His producer from 2001–2002 was a former NASA contractor, Daniel Cascaddan. Other producers included Aaron Duran, with whom Lewis created the spinoff show News at Ground Zero, to which Sadie Gregg contributed.
MAX 910 went off the air due to a format change in 2005, ending Ground Zero's broadcasts on terrestrial radio for four years.
Ground Zero aired on "Krocks Radio One", an Internet radio station on Fridays from 10pm to 1 am from August 2009 to December 2009. This show was discontinued due to taking the news position at 750 KXL. Krocks Radio One continued to air the live shows from KUFO and aired replays of the show throughout the week.
In December 2009, Ground Zero returned to terrestrial radio on Portland's Rock FM 101.1 KUFO-FM on Sunday nights. In taking on an additional freelance news position at 750 AM KXL, Lewis had to discontinue his weekly event, Ground Zero Lounge. In November 2010, Clyde Lewis severed all ties with KROCKS Radio One due to undisclosed differences.
The radio show successfully continued on KUFO for 4 months after the online split from KROCKS. At 8 AM on March 15, 2011, KUFO's rock format was flipped to a simulcast of KXL-AM's lineup of news and conservative talk show hosts, including Portland-native Lars Larson. The former KUFO website released a farewell message, and all of the stations personalities were fired. Clyde was already a freelance reporter for KXL and was asked to continue Ground Zero five nights a week.
On July 30, 2012 it was announced that Premiere Radio Networks had picked up nationwide syndication rights to Ground Zero. The show will be nationally broadcast weeknights 7:00pm – 10:00pm Pacific time beginning August 27, 2012. The show will then continue from 10:00pm - Midnight on KXL-FM in Portland.
Some of the guests who have been interviewed on Ground Zero:
- Recording artists Gene Simmons of KISS, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Insane Clown Posse
- South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- X-Men comics writer Chris Claremont, Sin City comics writer and director Frank Miller
- Actors Bruce Campbell, Adam West, David Prowse, Mark Hamill; actor/directors Kevin Smith, Robert Englund; filmmaker James Gunn
- Authors Robert Anton Wilson, John Shirley
- Physicist Brian Greene
- Professional science fiction fan Forrest J. Ackerman
- Conspiracy theorists Richard C. Hoagland, David Icke, Alex Jones
- Church of Satan High Priest Peter H. Gilmore; Rex Diabolos Church, Magister Templi of the Church of Satan in Portland, Oregon
- Hacker "Emmanuel Goldstein"; attorneys for hacker Kevin Mitnick
- Attorneys for the West Memphis 3
- Ivan Stang, founder of the Church of the SubGenius
- Michael Fraughton, professional magician specializing in the supernatural
- Duncan Lunan, science writer who theorized the presence of an alien space probe orbiting around the moon and authored a book about the Green Children of Woolpit
Dark Side of the Rainbow
While hosting his show "In the Pink", Lewis was among the first to begin synchronizing Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon with the movie The Wizard of Oz, creating what is now known as Dark Side of the Rainbow.
Don’t! Buy! Thai!
In Ground Zero's early years, Lewis was involved with the Don't! Buy! Thai! campaign. The campaign was a boycott of Thai goods and services. It was headed by Andrew Vachss, a child protection advocate, and its goal was to bring about stricter laws in Thailand concerning prostitution of children.
The Toxic Avenger
Clyde Lewis voices the title character, the Toxic Avenger, and his nemesis, the "Noxious Offender", in "Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV". Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment chose Lewis from a nationwide talent hunt after the voices of the costumed actors cast as Toxie in the second and third movies were received badly by audiences. "We decided to go back to what worked in the first place," he said, "[and] found the perfect match in Salt Lake City radio personality Clyde Lewis." Lewis continues to support Troma Entertainment by making appearances at their promotions in Portland, Oregon, and at the TromaDance Film Festival in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. His voice will return for the future release of Toxic Avenger 5.
In 2002, Ground Zero began airing advertisements for a Portland bar, Bodacious Classics. In February of that year, the bar's owner, Ralph McKee, began holding Sci-Fi Night on Thursdays. Lewis, McKee and Jim Colvill created "Klingon Karaoke", in which Colvill dressed in a Star Trek-inspired Klingon costume and performed well-known songs, such as "Bad to the Bone", "Born to Be Wild", and "My Way", translated into the Klingon language. Patrons often arrived dressed in costumes themselves. In 2003, Vancouver, Washington members of the Star Wars fan group, the 501st Legion, began to attend, dressing as stormtroopers, and one of them, styled The Singing Stormtrooper, sang cover songs as well. The heavy metal band Stovokor, who also dress as Klingons, performed on occasion.
Lewis and Dr. Larry Johns, who ran the Portland Alien Museum, began a Tuesday night discussion group at Bodacious Classics in 2003, Ground Zero Live. It became the Ground Zero Lounge, a show performed at Portland's premiere night club, Dante's.
Ground Zero Lounge
Clyde Lewis's weekly discussion event, Ground Zero Lounge, was held at a local nightclub, Dante's. The spoken word show featured Ground Zero's traditional topics as well as current news about politics and the paranormal, and audience members were free to take the microphone and respond.
In 2005, footage was shot at Ground Zero Lounge for the purpose of featuring Lewis in the Conspiracy Theories episode of Penn and Teller's show, Bullshit!, which described the event as "karaoke night for whack jobs". In December 2005, the Idaho Observer published Lewis's essay, "The Harm Principle"
Ground Zero Lounge held its final episode on December 7, 2009. It was discontinued due to scheduling conflicts involved in Lewis's return to terrestrial radio.
During the summer of 2010 Clyde brought back his live audience shows and presented them at a Masonic lodge in north Portland. The shows received a mixed response. The shows failed to capture the same enthusiasm as the lounge shows and were subsequently cancelled on October 29, 2010. A new bar opened in Portland to showcase Clyde's work in 2011. The Jack London bar, situated in the basement of one of Clyde's favorite bars "The Rialto" now features the Ground Zero Lounge once a month. The Rialto is said to be the bar where Clyde claims he met an M.I.B.(Man In Black.)
Lewis has appeared as a recurring commentator on cable television on two shows: Mad as Hell TV, hosted by Courtney Scott, and Outside the Box, hosted by Alex Ansary, both aired by Portland Community Media.
Lewis was the subject of a 2007 documentary, "The Day Called X", about the Portland, Oregon, portion of his career. The documentary premiered at Willamette Week's Longbaugh Film Festival in Portland on March 31, 2007.
The Southern California band, Sons of Nothing, wrote a song called "Mr. Serious" about Clyde Lewis, included on their 2006 album, Clarity.
A role-playing game for the d20 system, Alien Invasion, has been developed by Michael Tresca. The gamemaster's sourcebook, written by Tresca, features Clyde Lewis, Aaron Duran, and Sadie Gregg as non-player characters belonging to the organization "Ground Zero Radio". Lewis wrote the introduction to the book.
In October 2007 Clyde was diagnosed with malignant double renal cell carcinoma. In order to save his life Clyde was told that he needed painful surgeries in order to remove his tumors. Fearing that he might die, Clyde decided to appear in a special farewell movie that he dedicated to his listeners. The film short "Wordspeaker" was written and directed by Vancouver Washington native Dennis Sparks. In it Clyde plays an aging talk show host who doesn't know when to give up. The ending was dark and sad and featured a performance of "Manon: Adieu notre petite table" by Sadie Gregg. The film is now featured on the Internet Movie Database.
In the winter of 2007-2008, Lewis underwent two surgeries to remove malignant tumors from both of his kidneys. In the spring of 2008 just months after Clyde had recovered from two kidney surgeries, he was notified that an old colleague, William Wolfgang Gossett was being investigated as a suspect in the D.B. Cooper case. Clyde rallied a team of investigators and joined the investigative team Tosaw, with lawyer Galen Cook to look for clues surrounding the infamous hijacker's jump near the Columbia River in Washington State.
In June 2010, a suspicious anomaly on a cancer scan raised the concern that his cancer had returned, but more accurate tests in November revealed that it was a thickening of tissues related to the kidney healing from surgery.
On October 24, 2010 Clyde appeared on the Learning Channel documentary "Return to the Bermuda Triangle."
On October 31, 2010 Clyde along with Illusionist Reed McClintock, Reverse Speech inventor David John Oates, and mad scientist Dr. Jonathan Burgess attempted to contact the dead using a radio similar to "Franks's Box." Lewis claimed that he was trying to fulfill a dream not realized by inventor Thomas Edison. The on-air experiment was called "The Edison Enigma/Operation Friendly Ghost."
This was considered to be a world wide seance as people from all over the world claimed that their dead loved ones had spoken to them. Lewis also produced evidence of clear EVP during the experiment. The experiment was repeated the next week but was called off halfway through the show because many involved felt an evil presence in the room. Footage was shot in studio documenting paranormal activity during the broadcast although Lewis now claims (predictably) that the owner of the footage is holding it for a high price that he cannot afford. The Broadcast was simulcast on FATE radio and on 1670 Am in Casper Wyoming.
- "Dead Air", Unknown Magazine, Vol 1, #4 "Ghosts Issue", Fall-Winter 1999
- Arave, Lynn (1996-03-15). "KSL 1160 is named finalist for crystal radio awards". Deseret News.
- Arave, Lynn (1999-05-15). "‘K-Talk’ now available on the Web — Ground Zero Ends?". Deseret News.
- Frost, Bill; “Dark Side of the Rainbow: In the Pink with Dorothy at Ground Zero”, Weekly Wire, 21 July 1997.
- Kaufman, Lloyd, Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director. Los Angeles: LA Weekly Books, 2003, ISBN 0-312-28864-6, page 244.
- "Set your phasers on fun" Portland Tribune, May 24th, 2002
- Jigar Mehta, "With a Song in Their Heart, Klingon Wannabees Star in Portland Bar", North Gate News Online(UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism), October 31, 2003.
- "Galactic Citizen addresses local issues'", Positively Entertainment and Dining, Volume 27, Number 9, September 23, 2003
- "The Harm Principle: FEMA Unmasked", The Idaho Observer, Clyde Lewis, December 2005
- "The Truth Is Now Out There", Rolling Stone, September 8, 2005, p. 59.