Former “Coast to Coast AM” and “Dreamland” radio host Art Bell, W6OBB, of Pahrump, Nevada, died on Friday, April 13, at his home, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office announced. He was 72. A KSNV news report indicated that Bell’s family was with him when he died. The Sheriff’s Office said an autopsy would be performed.
“The cause of Bell’s death was yet to be revealed,” is how International Business Times put it in its obituary of Bell, lending an air of mystery to its account, much as Bell himself enjoyed doing on his long-running radio show that trafficked in conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and “dark matter.” Ham radio came up too, from time to time. In early 2004, Bell aired an extensive, live interview with then-ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP (SK).
“Coast to Coast AM” was syndicated nationwide in the early morning hours and, at its peak, was said to have reached 50 million listeners. A decidedly unconventional yet distinctive radio host, Bell produced the show from his own studio in the High Desert of Nevada. Often, after his show was over, he would get together on 75 meters with a group of friends. He used the phonetics “Old Broken Bottles” for his call sign.