Aliens, ghosts and Bigfoots – oh my! As host of the syndicated radio show Coast to Coast (carried in Toronto on Talk Radio AM640), George Noory deals with mystery and conspiracy. We spoke to him from St. Louis, Mo., in advance of his live show with guests this evening at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Listening to your program, I heard the words "conspiracy, confusion and contradiction" as a sort of tag line. Is that the world view of you and your listeners?
The world is in chaos. So, it's not particularly our views – it's what's happening. What I do on this program, and what our listeners do, is merely react to events. We don't create them. When you hear me talking about how things are topsy-turvy or that people are uptight, these aren't predictions. It's real life.
But the stuff about UFOs and such, aren't those creations?
Those kind of topics are about 40 per cent of what we talk about. But you're making the assumption that those topics are not real. We take the position that they are all real. Obviously not every UFO or conspiracy theory is fact. But within that, there are incredible stories of the possibilities.
Okay, possibilities. But doesn't there need to be some evidence to suggest reality?
But what's real? When we got into the Vietnam War, people would have said that was real. But we got into it with a phony situation called the Gulf of Tonkin. Within the guise of what might be reality, there are always a lot of falsehoods, too.
The distrust in the government, is it healthy?
It is unfortunate that citizens don't trust governments. It would be ideal if politicians would just lay it out there and tell us the truth and give us the facts. Why do we need to hear things from Edward Snowden, for example? So, if the governments would be a little more forthright with their citizens, there wouldn't be a need for conspiracy theories. Instead, a cloak of cover-up permeates through everything.
When it comes to booking guests, how do you know you're getting someone who believes in Bigfoot's existence, for example, as opposed to someone just out to sell something?
We had one guy who said he was going around the United States in a van claiming he had a dead Bigfoot in there. We don't put those people on the air. We really try to scrutinize those who are true believers or investigators trying to do the honest thing, between those who are hucksters.
There are listeners who call in to your show with far-fetched stories, and you hear them out. When other listeners hear stories they can relate to, they feel validated. And when people listen to your show at night, with the lights out, perhaps they feel less alone. Is that the magic of radio, the community and the companionship?
One of the reasons I broadcast live on holidays that fall on work days is because I don't want people to be alone. Radio is extremely intimate. It's one on one. It's between me and that person who might be at home with the lights out or someone in a car or a security guard who's working that night. It's directed at them – not to millions, but to one person. They're not alone.
George Noory Live, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. $35 to $100. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes' Blvd., 416-916-1696.