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from the June 2010 Star Beacon
by Ray Larsen
Radio has always been a
major part of my life. As a working musician, Iíve enjoyed close
relationships with local DJs. After playing loud four-hour gigs,
there was often a lonely two-to-three-hour drive home or on to the
next city. Sometimes I just wanted silence, but often I would tune
around on the AM radio, listening to call-in talk shows broadcast
from big city stations that were hundreds, even thousands of miles
away. During daytime hours, only local AM stations are receivable,
but at night the AM band (550 to 1700 kiloHertz) comes alive with
distant stations whose signals reflect off that great mirror in
the sky, the ionosphere.
One late night I will never forget (in the fall of 1994), I was on
the road, tuning around on the radio. I hit on a station
broadcasting the Art Bell Show and UFOs seemed to be the topic of
discussion. After about 15 minutes of listening to Mr. Bell, I
must admit to being hooked. Art started the show on one station in
Las Vegas, Nev. Because it filled a big void in radio at just the
right time, the show steadily grew to well over 500 stations! Now,
it is known as Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.
A few years later, wondering what had happened to the TV show
Sightings, I tried a search using Yahoo! and found out that it had
been canceled. Another search result was for Sightings on the
Radio. I went to the Web site (www.sightings.com), listened to it,
really liked it, and became a regular listener. Today, it is the
Jeff Rense Program (www.renseradio.com).
Much has changed since 1994. Before the Internet took off, the
world of radio was limited to broadcasting stations, AM (Amplitude
Modulation), FM (Frequency Modulation, 88 to 108 MegaHertz) and
International Shortwave. What you could hear on the radio depended
on where you lived, along with the level of radios and antennas
Once the data transmission speed of the Internet got high enough,
digital radio over the Net spawned tens of thousands of new radio
shows, most with only a few listeners. Instead of being broadcast
over a station using a powerful transmitter and big antenna,
Internet radio is carried using Streams of bits. Each listener has
a Stream directed at his or her computer, so if a thousand people
are listening, a thousand Streams are going out from a server in a
thousand different directions. To hear the Stream, Media Player
software in your computer puts the bits back together, then
converts digital to analog, which comes out of your speakers.
This column is something new for The Star Beacon. In the
future, we will explore what is out there on the radio waves ó
both real and digital ó focusing on UFO, Paranormal and
Metaphysical topics. In addition to George Noory and Jeff Rense,
there are many other radio hosts/programs to explore. For example,
Whitley Strieber hosts Dreamland, William Henry has Revelations
Radio and Angela Joiner does a show on the UFO Paranormal Radio
I hope you will tune in to this channel of TSB every month,
where we will explore the popular and some not-so-popular radio
programs, their guests, how to find them, and lots more.
Ray Larsen, a ham radio operator and vice president
on the board of directors of Southwest Light and Learning Center,
resides in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
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