Since 1988 I’ve traveled back and forth from Colorado, even lived there for a spell back when my firstborn was born. Since my first ever visit, the mountains cast a magical spell on this bayou and beach born native. Except for flying twice, all of those trips, probably a hundred, were by car (pickup truck mainly). Which means long, long hours behind the wheel.

But at night from Fort Worth to Amarillo across the great expanse of north Texas prairies where the ghost of Quanah the great Comanche Indian Chief still sits his pale horse, there was always an entertaining voice coming through the darkness on the dashboard radio, that of Art Bell.

Fittingly on a Friday the 13th, Arthur William Bell III passed away at the age of 72

Photo: Coast to Coast AM - Art Bell June 17, 1945 - April 13, 2018

While cable tv today is filled with ‘paranormal’ and 'conspiracy theory' shows about ghosts, UFO’s, Bigfoot hunts and sightings, Gollum’s and fanged tooth snake eels and Area 51, they all owe their Genesis to the late night radio talk show host who started Coast to Coast AM, syndicated across hundreds of mostly AM stations across the country.

Thus you can drive for hours and hours late at night listening to the host entertain guests and phone calls from listeners across the fruited plain. Some of the phone callers were the most entertaining.

It keeps one alert and awake and scouring the dark roadsides for crawling or flying oddities.

It’s like hearing bedtime ghost stories around a crackling campfire about the Squonk, The Bilidad, Splintercats and the Hideybehind who’s always right behind you, but every time you turn to look he jumps just out of your view, always hiding just behind you.

And the Squonk, who could eat children in a single bite, but only those bad children who remained awake in their tents instead of sleeping. The Squonk looked at your eyes first, if you were sleeping like a good camper, he’d pass you by.

A radio program like this would never find success during the light of day. While the sun is out people are working, in a hurry, concerned with other things and wanting to listen to music or politics and news to pass their toil hours. Bell’s program thrived in the night. Syndicated since 1992, the program became a radio juggernaut by getting away from music and politics and covering these mostly forbidden gems of information.

There weren't two shooters in Dealy Plaza, there were between 3 and 5.

Bell actually retired from the program (quite abruptly, but that’s another story) some years ago and turned the microphone over to another personality adept at being ringmaster of this nighttime celestial circus: George Noory. So, whenever I make my Colorado runs these days to visit the son and daughter in law, Coast to Coast AM and the radio ghost stories of the airwaves are still there to keep me awake.

Art Bell created something that was best aired and consumed in the shadows and darkness of the earth turned away from the sun. The wee hours when the insomniacs who have encountered space aliens, some multiples of times, and the Bigfoot hunters, and the pyramid skeptics picked up their telephones and dialed in to participate in the conversation live, coast to coast.

You know, after considering this all weekend, and remembering some of the things I heard in a darkened vehicle in the lonely expanses of the Texas panhandle I’ve come to this: Art didn’t die, he left. In a glowing orb with a low faint hum that sped away at incredible speed, much faster than anything our own military might have.

If you bump into me at 2 AM in a Childress, Texas, truck stop, and I seem to be in a rush to get back on the road, it's because after the break they're going to interview a man who's flown intergalactically through space inside of a pyramid distributing Bigfoot creatures on various planets throughout this and other galaxies. They do this because it's a penal system, the Bigfoots have committed some kind of crime on their own home planet, and must spend time on others as punishment.

And yes, not only is travel faster than the speed of light possible, dear friends, it's routine!

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