Cause of Mrs. Bell's death has not been determined
Sun Jan 8, 2006 14:32

The exact cause of Mrs. Bell's death has not been determined


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In Memoriam: Ramona Bell
Art Bell's beloved wife of fifteen years, Ramona, died unexpectedly last night after an asthma attack. At present, the exact cause of Mrs. Bell's death has not been determined. It apparently took place during her sleep.

Until her death, Art and Ramona Bell had not been apart a day since they were married. Mrs. Bell had suffered from asthma for years, and took her normal steps to control the attack, which occurred sometime last night in Laughlin, Nevada where the Bells were taking a brief vacation. Ramona Bell was 47 years old.




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Some critics see Bell as a kook, and some guests have been criticized as cranks or quacks; Coast-to-Coast is subject to frequent ridicule and criticism on the usenet group, and in certain AOL chatrooms. Radio host Phil Hendrie occasionally lampoons Bell, his guests, and the unusual products offered by advertisers.

Others regard Bell as a masterful showman, noting that he calls his show "absolute entertainment" [2], and further noting his statements that he does not necessarily accept every guest or caller's claims, but only offers a forum where they will not be ridiculed. Bell is one of few talk show hosts who does not screen calls. His calm attitude, patient questions and ability to tease substance from the sometimes nebulous statements of callers and guests gave his show a relaxed and serious atmosphere earning him much praise from those who contend the paranormal deserved a mature outlet of discussion in the media. Ed Dames, Richard C. Hoagland and Terence McKenna were regular guests who typically discussed "fringe" topics.

Bell's interests, however, extend beyond the paranormal, interviewing singers Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, comedian George Carlin, writer Dean Koontz, and frequent guest physicist Michio Kaku.

There are two annual features on Bell's program: On Halloween, his show is renamed "Ghost to Ghost A.M.", and is devoted to callers relating their allegedly real-life encounters with ghosts. Every New Year's Eve, Bell invites callers to make a prediction for the coming year; the predictions are then reviewed at the close of the next year.

Beginning in late 1996, Bell was criticized for reporting rumors that comet Hale-Bopp was being closely followed by an Unidentified Flying Object. It was speculated that members of the Heaven's Gate group committed mass suicide based on rumors Bell aired, but others discounted this, noting that the Heaven's Gate website stated that "Whether Hale-Bopp has a 'companion' or not is irrelevant from our perspective." [3] Susan Wright notes, however, that Bell was also "one of the first to publicise expert opinions debunking the 'alien companion'" said to have been shadowing Hale-Bopp (Wright, 187)

Bell is well known in the world of amateur radio by his callsign, W6OBB. Art and many of his fans can be heard nightly on the 80-meter amateur radio band at frequency 3840 kHz.

Retirements and comebacks, again

Bell has retired and returned to Coast to Coast several times. His first retirement, which he announced unexpectedly on October 13, 1998, was due to unspecified threats made against his family. He returned after about two weeks. [4]

In April, 2000, Bell again retired, but offered no details other than stating he intended to "resolve a family crisis"; Mike Siegel took over the program. Bell returned in February of 2001, saying he had left to deal with the aftermath of his son's rape, but was now confident the issue was resolved. Bell also had another legal matter as he was falsely [5] accused of once being a child molester. Bell also noted that since his departure, Coast to Coast had lost a number of affilates, and that Seigel had taken the program in a "different direction" that Bell apparently did not approve of. As Coast to Coast's creator, Bell retained some authority over the program, and thus felt his return was necessary.

Bell last retired in late 2002, citing recurring back pain, and was replaced by George Noory. Bell again returned in September, 2003, to host all weekend broadcasts.

In June 2005, he announced a 'semi-retirement'. For the time being, he will only host the last two Sundays of every month, leaving him more time to travel with his wife, Ramona.

Philippine allegations

A hoax e-mail recounting Bell's allegedly racist statements, calling the Philippines "a disgusting and filthy place" on-air, has been circulating online since the 1990s. Bell has repeatedly denied making such a statement, furthermore noting that his wife Ramona is partly of Philippine heritage.

In 2001, Bell sued the Philippine Daily Inquirer after the newspaper published the e-mail as fact; the Inquirer published a retraction and apologized to Bell.


Bell has written, or co-written, several books. They include, but may not be limited to, The Quickening: Today's Trends, Tomorrow's World, The Art of Talk (an autobiography), The Source, The Edge: Man's Mysterious Past & Incredible Future, and The Coming Global Superstorm.

The exact cause of Mrs. Bell's death has not been determined.



UPDATE: April 15, 2006

Art Bell's New Wife
During the first hour, Art shared the story of how he met, fell in love with, and married a very special Filipino woman, Airyn Ruiz. Art also announced that he will be moving to the Philippines on April 29th to be with Airyn, but will continue doing weekend Coast programs from that location. Photos of Art and Airyn below:


Art Bell's New Wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell
Photos of Art Bell with his new wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell:





Current Involvement

Bell's wife, Ramona, died of an acute asthma attack on January 5, 2006 in Laughlin, Nevada, where the couple were taking a short vacation. Ramona Bell was 47 years old. Days later, on January 21, 2006, it was announced that Art would host Coast to Coast more frequently, hosting the show on Saturdays and Sundays (replacing Ian Punnett on Saturday and George Noory the first two Sundays of the month).

The next day, Bell returned. He spent the first hour relating the death of his wife. Also, Bell announced that Ian Punnett (the former Saturday host) would not be unemployed. Ian would work the prefeed live for 4 hours before Bell's slot on Saturday nights from 9pm-1am ET (6pm-10pm PT; 23:00 - 03:00 UTC during standard time; 22:00 - 02:00 UTC during daylight savings time). Ian's new show is titled Coast to Coast Live with Ian Punnett

Bell announced in early March that due to the passing of his wife he would soon be taking a "huge risk" and "do something rash". On March 18 he clarified, announcing that he would be taking a few weeks off in order to have a "change of scenery". According to the Coast to Coast AM web site, Art Bell will return to his Weekend schedule on April 15, 2006.

On April 15, 2006 the Coast to Coast website announced Art Bell had gone to the Philippines and had married Airyn Ruiz, a 21-year-old recent college graduate. Airyn Ruiz contacted Art Bell through his personal e-mail address concerning Art Bell's late wife Ramona. She was given his contact information from one of his ham-radio friends, whom was currently in a relationship with Airyn's sister. Bell shocked many listeners when he announced his wedding over the air. He was not planning on telling Coast to Coast listeners about the wedding for another year, but decided against this. He also announced that he had decided to relocated to the Philippines near Manila and continue hosting Coast to Coast via an ISDN connection. Bell is currently in the process of selling his property and possessions in Nevada.


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