Art Bell (Arthur William Bell III) was born June 17, 1945, in Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina, and died (cause unknown) on Friday, April 13, 2018. An autopsy will be performed next week, but the mere flashing of the announcement of a "mysterious death of the famed conspiracy radio show host" on such a significant date has social media a'buzzin'.
Art Bell was the creator in 1984 and former host of Coast to Coast AM, and the creator of Dreamland, Midnight in the Desert, Art Bell's Dark Matter, and other shows. Coast to Coast AM, at the high point of Art's involvement, before he semi-retired in 2003, and more permanently did so in 2007, was syndicated on over 500 radio stations in North America. His listenership reached from 10-15 million people per week, according to TIME, and was ranked the number one overnight radio show in America during Art's heyday.
I've known Art for decades, being a regular guest on Coast to Coast AM over 40 times, including many shows hosted by Art, before George Noory replaced the retiring Art. Art Bell and I "live on" during his classic hosted episodes repeated on Saturday nights, under the name Somewhere in Time.
Bell served as a forum for many Fortean and cryptozoological topics that will not be mentioned in the obituaries you read in the mainstream media. We discussed Bigfoot, Yetis, Chupacabras, Mothman, Thunderbirds, other cryptids, and the twilight language often. I jokingly would have to steer him away from his humorous questions about Sasquatch and whether they were being dropped by "flying saucers."
Friday the 13th
Bell decided to exit on a day considered unlucky in Western superstition. The radio host Art Bell, 72, died April 13, 2018, a Friday, at his Pahrump, Nevada home, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Art Bell served in the 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 make a point of playing anti-war music (like Eve of Destruction and Fortunate Son) that was not aired on the American Forces Network. In his broadcast years, his conspiracy world view included shows on Area 51, UFOs, aliens, intruders shooting guns on his property, his pro-Obama stance, and his pro-Trump conversations.
Sachiko Toguchi Bell Pontius, married 1965, divorced 1968. Children: Vincent Pontius, Lisa Pontius Minei.