Host: George Knapp
Guests: Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick, Kendall Carver
In the first half, George Knapp was joined by film director, Oliver Stone and Professor of History, Peter Kuznick, for a discussion on how the notion of American exceptionalism still warps Americans' understanding of their nation's history and role in the world. Stone was critical of the country "only seeing history through American eyes" and, as a result, "it's unable to have a global empathy." Beyond merely this skewed perspective on the past, Kuznick noted that research shows "only 12% of high school seniors are proficient in U.S. history." Over the course of his appearance in the first hour, Stone shared his thoughts on a number of historic topics which have served as subjects for his critically acclaimed films, such as the 1980's economy, the JFK assassination, and Vietnam.
The idea that the United States had to drop the atomic bomb on Japan in order to avoid an invasion was one belief which Kuznick called "one of the great myths" of American history. He explained that Japan knew by July of 1944 that they could not win the war and their strategy became "how to get the best surrender terms" via working with the Russians diplomatically and inflicting American casualties in the event of a ground war. However, Kuznick said, this plan dissolved when the United States convinced the Soviets to invade Japan following the end of the European conflict. As such, Kuznick declared, "the thing that finally ends the war was not the atomic bombings, which most Americans believe, it's the Russian invasion." Since Japan had been trying to surrender, he said, the Soviets actually saw the atomic bombing as unnecessary and more of an indirect attack of the Russians.
In the latter half, chairman of International Cruise Victims, Kendall Carver, talked about odd and mysterious disappearances on-board cruise ships and how the industry stonewalls investigations of crimes on the high seas. He recalled how his daughter, Merrian, disappeared from a cruise in August of 2004, which led him on a quest to find out what happened to her. Carver detailed how the cruise ship company forbid its employees from discussing the case with his investigators and repeatedly lied about video tape evidence which would have shed light on Merrian's fate. Based on his research, Carver revealed that Merrian's story is not unique and that once every two weeks someone disappears from a cruise ship.
Carver also shared a number of other troubling details about the cruise ship industry, such as that they "take the legal position that they are under no obligation to investigate a crime," whether it be a disappearance, sexual assault, or robbery. Additionally, the companies and their ships are registered in foreign countries, which makes criminal investigations the responsibility of those host nations and allows for the companies to avoid paying any U.S. taxes despite utilizing up to 21 different American government agencies. Furthermore, Carver lamented that many former high ranking FBI and Coast Guard officials later find employment with cruise ship companies and, thus, those agencies frequently work against efforts to hold the industry accountable for these crimes.
Coast to Coast AM is a North American (U.S. and Canada) late-night radio talk
show that deals with a variety of topics, but most frequently ones that relate to either the paranormal or conspiracy theories. The program currently airs seven nights a week 1:05 a.m. -- 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time (10:05 p.m. -- 2:00 a.m. Pacific Time).
Originally created and hosted by Art Bell, as of 2012 the program is hosted on most nights by George Noory. According to estimates by Talkers Magazine, Coast to Coast AM draws approximately 3 million listeners, making it the most listened-to program in its time slot
Format and subject matter
The Coast to Coast AM format consists of a combination of live callers and long format interviews. The subject matter covers unusual topics and is full of personal stories related to callers. While program content is often focused on paranormal and fringe subjects, sometimes world class scientists such as Michio Kaku and Brian Greene are featured in long format interviews. Topics discussed include the Near-death experience, climate change, cosmology, quantum physics, remote viewing, hauntings, contact with extraterrestrials, psychic reading, metaphysics, conspiracy theories, Area 51, crop circles, cryptozoology, Bigfoot, the Hollow Earth hypothesis, and science fiction literature, among others. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the events of that day (as well as alternate theories surrounding them) and current U.S. counter-terrorism strategy have also become frequent themes. George Noory, the main host since Art Bell retired, also takes interest in the 2012 phenomenon and believes something will happen.
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