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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 (, listened to it, really liked it, and became a regular listener. Today, it is the Jeff Rense Program (
       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 you owned.
       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 Network.
       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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