Posted on: March 24, 2017

  • In: Uncategorized

The Art Bell Coast To Coast show is a Californian-based late night radio talk show, devoted to weird and wonderful subjects such as UFOs and other paranormal phenomena.  It has been running since 1984.  Being a Brit I’ve heard very little of it, apart from a recording of one interview, where a traumatised caller claimed to have escaped from Area 51, which was being run by evil inter-dimensional beings.  A week later the caller  returned, sounding much calmer, and claiming the whole thing had been a practical joke.   On 4 October 2002 Art Bell interviewed the kind of kooky character which the show seems to specialise in.

Dallas Thompson was a 31-year-old personal trainer.  He had spent much of his younger life in Hawaii, and now lived in Bakersfield, California, where he was registered “legally blind”.  His disability had been incurred after a terrifying car accident 5 years previously, in which he had barely escaped alive.  He said his blindness had been caused by seeing “a light so bright that it burnt my eyes”.

Also during the accident Dallas said he had had an NDE, a Near-Death Experience.  During it he had a vision of the future in which a forthcoming pole shift would result in the deaths of at least 2 billion people [I’m not sure how].  He believed that a safe haven existed inside the Hollow Earth, and he wanted to lead people there.  He said the Hollow Earth was a huge cavern, populated by many different tribes, both ancient and modern, both human and reptilian.  Some are natives for the lost civilisations of Atlantis and Lemuria.  Fantastic stuff.

He was obsessed with the Hollow Earth theory, and said he believed monks regularly travelled through holes to visit a Tibetan village called Sham-bala, which was the inspiration for the village of Shangri-La, an idyllic place in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton.  In Shangri-La no one ages.    Dallas said that time is different inside Hollow Earth, that people can live there for thousands of years.  (I can’t help being reminded of C S Lewis’s Narnia stories, where years can pass in Narnia, which only take a few minutes on Earth).

Dallas said that on his following birthday , on 24 May 2003, a film crew would accompany him to the North Pole, where he would locate a portal, which had first been reported by Admiral Richard E Byrd when he flew over the area at the beginning of 1947.

Inevitably Dallas was dismissed as a “loon” by many listeners, but others were more concerned for his safety.  One caller warned him about the so-called Well To Hell, a crater in Siberia from which people claim to have heard the anguished voices of tortured souls in Purgatory.  Dallas said he knew there were “negative spaces”, but that he would avoid them.

Dallas’s plans soon accumulated a lot of media interest, and donations begin to pour in to finance his extraordinary expedition.  This was an immensely difficult time.  It was the months immediately running up to the Iraq War, and I wonder if people wanted distracting from the awful state of the world.

On 29 December 2002 – although I’ve also seen it listed as January 2003 –  Dallas posted a final message on his Yahoo site, saying he had received over 5,600 emails every few days.   He also said that although his book Cosmic Manuscript had been a great success, and had topped the bestseller lists in Canada, he was pulling it from sale.   The reviews had also largely been positive, with one reviewer on saying that “the author is on a mission to spread love and light throughout the world”.   But there was also a troubling one-star review in which the critic charmingly called the other readers “babbling Moon bats”, and said that Dallas had in fact plagiarised whole segments from his own book, word-for-word, and that he (Dallas) had gone into hiding as a result.  I found that someone had closed the Comments section on their own blog piece about Dallas because of this, because it had resulted in the kind of tedious slanging match the Internet all-too-often specialises in.   No one needs that sort of rubbish in their lives.

Well certainly that was the last that was heard of Dallas.  The much-anticipated expedition to the North Pole didn’t take place, and Cosmic Manuscript certainly appears to still be long out-of-print.  BUT I also found a science-fiction novel called Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma by a certain Dallas W Thompson.   Using the Look Inside feature I found some biographical details of the author, in which he said he had been born in Bakersfield in 1944, and attended the University of Hawaii.   He went on to join the United States Air Force, and is clearly well-travelled.  He writes about the need to publish the book in fiction format because of classified information.  The book was published in Kindle format in November 2011, so it would seem Dallas was still very much around … except the ages don’t add up.  The Dallas interviewed by Art Bell is said to have been 31 in 2002, meaning he was born in 1971, not 1944.  Quite some difference in age there.  The author of Eyes Wide Shut would now be in his early seventies, not his mid-forties.

So, the same Dallas Thompson, or a different one, who also just happens to have links with Bakersfield and Hawaii?   (They could well be two entirely different people).  Why did he disappear after 2002?  Some argue he was nothing more than a scam artist, who had raised enough money out of people, and probably thought it was wise to beat a tactical retreat at that time.   If he had plagiarised someone else’s work then he might have thought it sensible to simply to pull the book, and leave the scene.   Some believe he did take off on his mission and disappeared.   Could it be that all the attention he was getting simply got too much for him, and he decided to retreat from public view?   He writes of the thousands of emails he was getting.  It’s very easy to think that all alleged fantasists are complete narcissists, revelling in all the attention, but some might be genuinely taken aback by the interest they generate, and don’t welcome it. Thousands of emails in only a few days would be pretty tiresome for most of us.

Anyway, it would seem that, even in this day and age, the whole concept of Hollow Earth – which would be ludicrous to many – still has plenty of interest in it yet.



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