George Noory has traveled so far 'out there,' that sometimes, it’s hard to believe he ever makes it back to St. Louis.
A bona fide radio superstar, Noory has attained almost cult-figure status among the ranks of those who seek galactic insights into all things unexplainable. His overnight Coast to Coast show is syndicated and broadcast to millions of listeners on stations in the U.S. and Canada. Some nights, the show is so far out there that you expect him to be abducted by aliens or attacked by Big Foot right in mid-sentence! The occult, paranormal, UFOs, and conspiracies and mysteries of the universe...that’s what makes the show tick.
In the past 12 plus years on Coast to Coast, Noory says he’s heard some incredible stories. “I doesn’t matter what I believe, what matters is what you believe," he says. "If someone calls in and tells me his dead grandmother visited him last night, who am I to say it didn’t happen?”
On most nights, he does his show from his studio in Los Angeles; but several nights a month, he’s back in St. Louis to visit his kids and grandchildren, and broadcasts from his 'secret cave,' mysteriously hidden somewhere under 'The Lou."
Even more of a mystery is exactly how he got to be so big in the business. The really weird thing is., he was supposed to be a dentist--in Detroit. “My family, cousins and everybody else were dentists," Noory says. "My father, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, was a Middle-Eastern Christian-Catholic. He wanted me to become a dentist, too.” He says his dad was furious when he dropped out of dental pre-med, and got a job as a copy boy at the ABC television station in Detroit and decided he wanted to go into broadcasting. I actually first met him in 1979 when he moved to St. Louis to become the news director at KSDK-TV, where I was working as a sports intern. Noory spent four years at Channel 5, but then moved to Fleishman-Hillard.
After a few years in PR, Noory started a TV production company, got into the restaurant business, and even bought a horse farm. But by the time he was 46, he had sold it all to start over, back to broadcasting. We crossed paths again at KMOX Radio, where Noory did some part-time fill-in work, including night shifts for the late Jim White. It was in those wee hours when he started talking about the strange and unusual, which didn’t go over too well with the program director. “He said, I’ve been listening to you and you do a good job, except cut out that UFO and paranormal stuff, there’s no market for that.”
A year later, Noory moved to a fulltime gig as 'T'he Nighthawk' on KTRS Radio, where his show was on right before Art Bell, the nationally established, but aging and ailing guru of supernatural radio talk. Noory became Bell’s full-time fill-in, and took the reins of Coast to Coast when Bell retired.
Today, the show is broadcast locally on 97.1 KFTK and 599 other stations. “I pinch myself every night; I thank my lucky stars for what I do,.” Noory says, but adds he doesn’t think that landing at this lofty spot in the broadcast cosmos was a random happenstance. “There are no coincidences. Fate determines everything: who you meet, why you meet, why events occur--I think they are all predetermined," he says. "We do have free will and we can alter things, but I think that this was going to happen.”
Noory has written five books about all the strangeness that he’s encountered. His latest, co-authored with Richard Belzer and David Wayne, is called Someone is Hiding Something. It’s a collection of theories on what may have happened to Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014. Some of the hypotheses in the book deal with aliens and black holes, everyday stuff for Noory.
But believe it or not, of all the ghost stories, mysteries and bizarre subjects that he has talked about, the thing that personally concerns Noory the most is the perilous condition of the electrical grid. He’s making it his mission to convince people it needs to be protected; a precaution that he believes will ultimately save life on earth as we know it. “I’m trying to get our power grid insulated from a solar flare or an x-flare from the sun, or an electronic magnetic pulse attack from a rogue country that detonates a nuke in the atmosphere, ” he explains. “It would completely shut down the power grid in this country; and with that gone, we are back into the Stone Ages.”
For someone who stands frighteningly close to broadcasting’s mystical abyss, the concept of that threat really isn’t too far out there--or is it?