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|Arthur William Bell, III|
|Birthplace||Camp Lejeune, North Carolina|
Broadcasting from a desert compound not far from the fabled Area 51, Art Bell keeps listeners up all night with accounts of UFOs, time travelers, and conspiracies.
Art Bell, the original host of Coast to Coast, one of the largest syndicated Monday-through-Friday talk radio programs in the United States, and its sister program, Dreamland, on Sunday nights, has said that his quest for wisdom began early in life. He claims that he makes no judgments about the stories that his listeners phone in regarding UFOs, monsters, government cover-ups, and Illuminati/Freemason conspiracies, but he espouses a personal theory he calls “the Quickening”: namely, that time is speeding up and bad things are happening at an accelerated pace.
Bell operates his one-man show (he serves as his own engineer, producer, information director, and star) out of his ranch-style home in Pahrump, Nevada, sixty miles west of Las Vegas, not far from the fabled Area 51, the secret military base where, some of his guests swear, UFOs are being reverse-engineered. Bell and his wife, Ramona, are not reluctant to recount the UFO sighting they experienced one night as they were returning from his previous job at radio station KBWN in Las Vegas. The Bells describe the object that hovered above their automobile as an enormous triangular craft, each side about 150 feet long, with two bright lights at each point of the triangle. Bell recalls that the UFO was silent and was barely moving as it floated directly over them.
After years of discussing alleged government conspiracies and the nefarious deeds of secret societies, Bell found himself embroiled in a conspiracy of his own when a scientist told him that a spaceship was surreptitiously following the Hale-Bopp comet. Bell repeated the story over the radio, and the airwaves reverberated with paranoia concerning the alien vehicle’s mission. However, Marshall Herff Applewhite, a.k.a. Bo, the co-creator of the Heaven’s Gate cult, knew why the spaceship was coming. Word of a UFO following close behind Hale-Bopp was just the message that Applewhite had been waiting for years to hear. The alien crew was coming from another dimension to take him and his thirty-eight followers home with them.
Bell insists that he discounted the story of Hale-Bopp and its tag-along alien craft on the air before the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, but several newspapers and national magazines slanted their reports so that it appeared Bell had been somehow responsible for the cultists’ deaths. He was offended by what he considered a groundless attack on his credibility.
Soon after the Hale-Bopp UFO tumult, a fundamentalist Christian broadcaster accused Bell of being a child molester. Found innocent of all charges, which had been completely fabricated in an effort to discredit the radio personality, Bell next faced an Internet campaign claiming that he had openly declared his hatred of all Filipinos and condemned the Philippines as filthy and disgusting. The charge was totally unfounded and deemed absurd by Bell’s listeners, who know that his wife is an Asian woman who is part Filipino. In 2001 the Philippine Dail Inquirer published a retraction and apologized to Bell after it had printed this slander as fact.
Bell was licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a technician when he was only thirteen. He has worked in commercial radio for nearly forty years, but it was when he was at the 50,000-watt KBWN that he built a following over thirteen southwestern states for his brand of conspiracy/paranormal radio talk show.
Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that Bell is on the payroll of the secret government and is paid handsomely to spread disinformation about aliens and the extraterrestrial agenda on Earth. They suggest that black ops are able to keep tabs on some of Bell’s more controversial guests by monitoring their statements on his radio program. Bell denies such accusations, stating that he is merely a radio host airing many differing and controversial views of the paranormal and the conspiratorial.
Over the years, Bell announced several retirements from radio programming, swearing each time that he was about to do his final broadcast. After a brief hiatus, Art Bell was back on the air at the request of his fans and the Premiere Radio Network, hosting Saturday and Sunday nights. On January 1, 2003, George Noory took over as host for the Monday through Friday Coast to Coast broadcasts.
On January 5, 2006, Ramona Bell (47), Art’s wife of fifteen years, died of an apparent acute asthma attack while the couple was on a brief vacation in Laughlin, Nevada. During the January 22, 2006, broadcast of Coast to Coast AM, Bell told in detail the events of his wife’s death and indicated that he would host C2C Saturday and Sunday evenings. By the end of the month, Bell was teasing his listeners about a major life decision that he was making, but he said that he was keeping it a secret for one year. By April 15, however, Bell ended the mystery by disclosing that, after several weeks of mourning, he had traveled to the Philippines and married a recent college graduate named Airyn Ruiz. According to Bell, the young woman had contacted the radio host to express her condolences upon learning of Ramona’s death, and after the two had “dated” on the Internet for hundreds of hours, Bell had traveled to the Philippines to meet and to marry her.
Bell relocated to Makati, Manilla, to begin broadcasting from the Philippines, but technical problems kept him intermittently off the air until July 23. On October 7, 2006, Bell announced on C2C that Airyn was expecting a child, and on December 28, he opened his program by stunning his listeners with the news that he and his bride had relocated back to Pahrump. On May 30, 2007, Asia Rayne Hall was born. On July 1, 2007, shortly after the birth of his daughter, Bell announced his wish to spend more time with his family. Effective that day, he retired as a radio host.
Bell did return sporadically in 2008 as an occasional host of Coast to Coast. But there were difficulties in obtaining a green card for Airyn Bell, and the family returned to the Philippines in March of 2009. On May 17, 2009, Bell hosted a program from Manila, hinting that his move to the Philippines might be a permanent one. His final turn at hosting was on what had always been his annual “Ghost to Ghost” Halloween program on October 31, 2010.
As of December 2010, Bell was no longer a host on the Coast to Coast website, but the weekly “Somewhere in Time with Art Bell” classic episodes remain. Sketchy information would seem to indicate that Bell and his family have returned to Pahrump and that the issues over Airyn Bell’s immigration status have been resolved. Diehard Bell fans insist that an enigmatic message transmitted via Facebook in August 2011 indicates that Art Bell plans a return to broadcast radio.