It might be difficult to imagine, but there was a time when American culture’s kookier side was confined primarily to AM radio broadcasts and TLC daytime documentary filler—and not, say, disseminated wantonly to millions of people over unregulated social media, thus allowed to grow into an outsized, malignant tumor on the U.S. political body. Ah, a simpler era.
For those yearning for the halcyon days of Weekly World News and “leaked” alien autopsy footage, the folks over at Coast to Coast AM have kept beloved late-night radio oddity curator Art Bell’s legacy alive and well. Bell, who passed away a little over year ago, was the longtime host of his widely syndicated showcase of the weirder sides of our culture. To preserve and celebrate his work, Coast to Coast AM has unlocked the Art Bell Vault, a curated archive of some of the show’s best, oddest episodes for fans of all things alien, paranormal, Sasquatch, and/or just good ol’ fashioned strange.
20 ad-free shows are currently available in their entirety for Coast Insider members, with the promise of two classic episodes added each week going forward. Guest listeners won’t have access to the entire streams, but can still listen to episode segments, such as a 1995 interview with “aspiring time traveler ‘Mad Man Marcum,’ who detailed his attempts to build a machine to journey into the past.” Available episodes also include conversations with a guy about a purported bottomless hole discovered in his backyard, a discussion with famed exorcist Father Malachi Martin, and an interview with a guy named ‘Bugs’ who claimed to have shot a Bigfoot once. Oh, Art also talked with acclaimed theoretical physicist and educator Dr. Michio Kaku a couple times, if you’re into that sort of far-fetched nonsense.
If nothing else, the archive is a good reminder that you can get your conspiracy fix without any of the shame that comes from listening to an out-of-breath, chili-stuffed Alex Jones desperately bray on about gay frog agendas, or whatever.