The Coast to Coast AM Area 51 Caller
Coast to Coast AM is the much beloved U.S. radio station airing in the late night hours (even more so for those of us on the east coast) that covers topics from past lives to ancient astronaut theory to aliens to new world orders and more. With such an eclectic range of fringe guests and astounding theories presented and corroborated by fans who call up on the show and the hosts such as Art Bell, George Noory, Ian Punnett and George Knapp, the topics can often become lively and interesting. Namely regarding the callers who dial up their favorite radio show in order to talk to the hosts and guests who are on for the night.
In 1997, during a show discussing Area 51, a frantic individual who seemed quite troubled talked about his experiences working at Area 51 and leaving for medical reasons just a week prior.
I’m sure the producers of Coast to Coast AM love these types of frantic and theatrical callers as much as they’re mildly annoying to deal with on what is supposed to be a civilized, topical discourse. However, I’m not sure anyone knew what to think when they heard what is now known as “The Area 51 Caller”.
More frightening than what the caller spoke of when he was on the air was what he said when off the air. Confused? During the transmission of the show during this call (about 15-20 seconds into it), the station’s satellite uplink (which delivers the show from the studio to the airwaves) went down, right in the middle of this frantic individual’s frightened confession of what he knew of the facility and what he said were the ultimate plans of the aliens.
Many were afraid that an individual was in the process of being silenced by either the government or a shadow organization to keep the secret from getting out, some even going so far as to suggest the station dying could have been implemented by setting off an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), capable of destroying electronics within a geographically specific area.
Below is a video detailing the incident along with on-screen queues showing when the station went down and when the network started playing the backup track and then when the show returned on a backup link.
Even if this caller was simply an actor pranking the station or an actual deranged person in need of professional help, one can easily agree that the delivery was impeccably gripping.
On April 28th, 1998, another call is aired in which a man claims to be the original Area 51 caller. Explaining that he was equally as scared as the audience was when the station went dark during his supposed prank call and subsequent satellite uplink downtime, he then proceeded either to emulate the Area 51 Caller’s frantically scared voice or perform it himself if he was actually telling the truth.
To this day, there is no clear and definitive answer to whether or not the Area 51 caller was part of a hoax that just happened to occur during the wildly uncharacteristic satellite malfunction or if we actually heard the last moments of a man being silenced with another man claiming to be him performing so as to pacify critical thought of the incident.
There have been similar instances in other conspiracies where an informant-type of individual is thought to have been replaced with a government agent pretending to be the original. Let us remember that in what we know of the Philadelphia Experiment, Morris K. Jessup was contacted by a man who went by the name Carlos Allende who claimed to have first hand knowledge of what actually happened. In continued correspondence however, another individual who called himself Carl Allen (and communicated and suggested ideas that were very unlike the initial would-be whistle blower) displayed what some consider to be a government agent either intercepting Allende’s mail or impersonating Allende entirely.
Sadly, we may never know if the Area 51 caller was a bastion of truth that managed to at least get 20 seconds of knowledge out on the airwaves and permeated ever since then in digital media, or just a hoax that has been blown out of proportion.