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Monday, April 16, 2018

Obituary: Art Bell, mysterious narrator of the nightime, dies at 72. RIP

With great sadness, it was learned that on Friday, the 13th of April, 2018, legendary host and pioneer of late-night radio, Art Bell died in his home in "the Kingdom of Nye" a.k.a. Pahrump a small town in Nye County Nevada. County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly confirmed Bell's death in a Facebook post to the community. Wehrly described him as a "longtime resident" of the area and stated an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Bell peacefully slipped away in his sleep, going into the next world to finally find the answers to the mysteries he had spent his life seeking, he was 72 years old.

If your radio was tuned in after midnight in the late 1990s, odds are you would have heard a soothing, lone voice in the night, urging you to re-evaluate your perceptions of reality, to re-examine the things you thought to be mere fantasy. This was the legendary voice of Art Bell on his paranormal call-in radio talk show, Coast to Coast AM, where those things that go bump in the night: Bigfoot, UFOs, Area 51, extra-dimensional entities... were all carefully examined and respectfully submitted to you for your approval. Also among Bell’s frequent subjects were examinations of popular conspiracy theories including the time travel allegations of John Titor.

"From the high desert in the great American southwest, I bid you all good evening, and/or good morning," Bell’s voice would intone as he began the show every night, broadcasting from his home in Nye County, Nevada. During the height of Bell’s tenure as host of Coast to Coast AM, the program was carried by more than 500 stations nationwide.

What Bell did worked only on radio, and only late at night. Was Bell merely "playing along" with his random callers while listening to their incredible stories or was he, in fact, the architect behind such exchanges himself? No one really knows, but one thing is clear, Art Bell had the ability to use the power of radio and the "theatre of the mind" to successfully capture our sense of wonder, as well as the paranoia and fears that we all keep stashed away in the back of our minds.

Here is an example of the program in its hey-day: Imagine, if you will, being awake (possibly driving alone in the car) sometime after midnight on September 11, 1997 listening to Coast to Coast AM when Art Bell receives this frantic call on the Area 51 line...



2 comments:

  1. I sometimes suffer from terrible boughts of insomnia from time to time and the winter of 1997 and summer of 1998 were some of the worst times for me... I was up nearly every night back then with Art Bell. Even after his retirements I would check to see if he was on many nights before going to bed and if he was on I would to listen to him for as long as I could. He could take some of the most hokey things and present them in a very interesting, entertaining, and most of all convincing way. Also our favorite Gunnery Sergeant, R. Lee Ermey died over the weekend as well... Now we are all watch for whom ever number three will be...

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  2. Number three is Harry Anderson... RIP Harry the Hat. :(

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