The Billy Goodman Happening

To follow is an excerpt from a piece I wrote back in the early-90’s for Crash Collusion magazine called “UFO’s, LSD and Me”, this well before the current deluge of UFO, conspiracy and paranormal podcasts that have assaulted the cyber airwaves … Amazing how media has changed with the advent of the internet! – A.G.

I have a knack for tuning into strange things, whether they be arcane periodicals, off the wall TV shows, or bizarre radio broadcasts from The Planet Bonkers. Often, in the dead of night, I’ll run through the dial of my GE Super Radio and see what I can find to blow my mind. One interesting fanatic I came across was this Christian fundamentalist radio talk show host, Bob Larson, who’s written several books on Satanism in Rock Music, Demonic Possession, and other interesting subjects along these lines.

One day Larson was interviewing some French guy who claimed to be an alien as well as the second coming of Christ. What Rev. Larson does is get these fringe wackos on his show and then tries to expose them for what they are: messengers of Satan trying to corrupt the minds of the young – and not so young – to pave the way for Groovy Captain Lucifer and The End Times. Needless to say, this makes for some interesting listening.

Another radio program I came across was The Billy Goodman Happening, which was broadcast out of Las Vegas. Billy Goodman is one of those DJ’s who has been around the broadcasting block a few times, and had earlier in his career (using the moniker of Dickie Goodman) made a record about a Martian coming to Earth, where the announcer (played by Billy) asked this Martian questions, and the Martian answered with snippets taken from various rock n’ roll songs popular at the time. Anyway, Billy came on the air one night early on in the infancy of the show — at a time when he didn’t where it was going, or what direction it would take in the future — and got the whole ball rolling in a fringe topics direction by discussing the death, or supposed death, of Elvis. From there the show exploded with not only Elvis weirdos calling in and babbling on the air about their own personal visitations with the King; but as well with a whole slew of assorted paranoid listeners and subsequent guests ranting on such other such varied topics as UFO’s and alien abductions, Alternative 3, ghosts and haunted houses, weird sciences and perpetual motion machines, Tesla and his inventions, hidden cancer cures, weather modification wars, not to mention the usual CFR and Trilateralist conspiracy mongers (with too much spare time on their hands) calling in to expose the aims and motives of those behind “The New World Order’s One World Government Computerized Currency Take-Over!”

Billy Goodman

Billy Goodman

Around this time is when a lot of UFO sightings started to be reported near Las Vegas, in the Groom Lake area, which is part of Area 51, a top-secret military testing facility in Nevada. A lot of weird shit has been seen there the last couple of years and there has even been some pretty good videos taken of these strange luminous balls doing incredible maneuvers at unbelievable speeds in the skies over Area 51.

Billy In The Presence Of An Alien

Billy In The Presence Of An Alien

During this period, a fellow named Robert Lazar crawled out of the woodwork claiming to have worked at Area 51, and had seen an alien saucer. Mr. Lazar turned out to be a pretty incredible – and at the same time credible – witness. Although the government tried to discredit him, they weren’t completely successful in their efforts. The government claimed that Lazar had never worked at Area 51, or for the U.S. Government — at any level — ever. But Mr. Lazar was able to produce evidence that, in fact, he had worked as a scientist/physicist on secret government projects in the past.

A prize winning documentary aired at around this time, in’89. It was produced by a Vegas TV station centering on the UFO sightings in Area 51, in addition to Mr. Lazar’s highly controversial claims.

For awhile Lazar became a somewhat frequent guest on The Billy Goodman Happening, detailing what he had seen — and had participated in — at Area 51. But when Lazar started to get threatened by certain segments of our Government, he kind of clammed up and pulled himself out of the media spotlight. Also, Billy Goodman at this time started getting some regular guests who were on the fringes of wacko-ness, or who were just plan “cracked”, and I think Lazar probably didn’t want to associate himself with these individuals, who became regulars on The Happening, such as Bill Cooper and Virgil Armstrong, among others.

Bill Cooper claimed, among other things, that the U.S. Government since the late forties has had a secret pact with the aliens, and that these very same aliens participated in the assassination of JFK. Also, that there are alien space stations on the moon and Mars, and that these space stations are funded by the distribution of drugs to our country. Virgil Armstrong believes — or says he believes — that the Earth, the moon and all the other planets in our solar system are hollow. But that’s not all; they’re spaceships, too. Gravity is also a farce, he says. And oxygen is everywhere! Why, we’d have no more trouble breathing on the surface of Jupiter than we’d have on our own Mother Earth! (And yes, he has evidence to support these claims!) Apparently, Mr. Armstrong is involved in some sort of desert saucer cult in Arizona, and I believe has set himself up as its all-knowing guru.

I recently acquired a tape of the conspiracy researcher John Judge, giving his view on UFO’s and such characters as Bill Cooper and Virgil Armstrong. According to Judge, Cooper and Armstrong fall in to the same camp; they are both ex-military intelligence people — which means that they are still affiliated with the intelligence community — and are involved in duplicity with our government in perpetuating the myth that UFOs are piloted by beings not of this earth. What they accomplish by perpetuating this myth is to take attention away from the real operators of these strange vessels, who are earth people; and in most cases U.S. Government employees. There are records that show that near the end of WW2, the Nazi’s were at that time developing flying saucers, and it is these very same saucers that the US Army confiscated from the Nazi’s and have ever since been using to buzz around the skies and terrorize the general populace. Now, what these ex-military-intelligence-guys-turned-phony-saucer-cult-gurus do, according to Judge, is predict a date when the saucer people will land — this, of course, after he’s had a vision detailing their imminent arrival. (All of this being pre-arranged in advance with his saucer contacts inside the Government.) Then he gets his disciples together, has them lick some Sonoran desert toads and tada, the vessel appears and blows their little minds, and the guru is the next best thing to God. Or maybe he is God.

Originally, The Bill Goodman Happening was on from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM, Monday thru Friday, but the more controversial the show became, the later the hours got. It was a low budget affair, so Billy had to — in a lot of cases — answer the phones and do everything himself, production-wise. As he continued on in his plight to reveal the secrets surrounding the UFOs in Area 51 and other such controversial matters, Billy began receiving harassing type phone calls, which seemed to be more than your simple I-don’t-have-a-life-type phone call pranks. These phone calls were threatening in nature and seemed designed to drive Billy off the air. Evidently — though the show seemed to be gaining in popularity — the powers that be at the station, KVEG, must’ve started getting a little nervous, and decided to move Billy’s time spot to 12:00 AM – 3:00 AM, then eventually 3:00 AM – 5:00 AM. Due to my work schedule, I was unable to listen to Billy for a few months after this third time change. When I did try to tune in again, he was gone, driven off the air, I’m sure, by government agent provocateurs.

Here’s a couple more Billy Goodman links…

~ by gorightly on January 19, 2009.

55 Responses to “The Billy Goodman Happening”

  1. Very interesting read…Adam. I began listening to Cooper’s HOTT on shortwave in ’94. Your story is all new to me…a look into Cooper’s past that I never heard before.

    GE Super radio. Wow…I had a couple of those. Picked up Bogota, Columbia and Havana, Cuba on AM from Michigan on them!

  2. Yeah, even though I sort of slammed Cooper when I wrote this piece way back when (and the link I provide for Coop is less than complimentary) I still have great respect for the man, although he certainly had his flaws…like all of us.

  3. […] a detail-loaded post at his site, Adam Gorightly recalls the craziness that was the Billy Goodman Happening radio show. […]

  4. Ah, radio memories! Somewhere I still have a tape of Gordon Novel calling Dave Emory from the desert and some ungdly hour and the ordinarily bombastic Emory becoming quite sheepish, “well, I wasn’t gunning for you Mr. Novel…” And another of Bill Cooper getting progressively more drunk as he leaves messages on an answering machine of someone he thinks stole his copy of the “driver did it” version of the Zapruder film.

  5. I would really like to get in touch with Billy Goodman about an interview he did years ago with a Monte Nicholson about Elvis being alive. Great interview! If you have contact with Mr. Goodman please give him my name & email address.

  6. A couple of years ago, Billy was in Hawaii, and I tried to get a hold of him at that time, albeit unsuccessfully…Then about 6 months ago I heard a C2C episode with Art Bell in which Art mentioned Billy and how he had cancer and that Art was going to try to get him on his show, as they were old friends from back in the Vegas days…that’s all I know…you might want to try to drop Art Bell a line and see if still plans to interview Billy at some point.

    • Lets get this straight as far as I know Billy and Art Bell were never friends. And I do know that Art never allowed me to air Billys name over the air I was cut off many times by Mr. Bell for trying to do so.

  7. There was a time when Art Bell, as a solo act at KDWN in the eighties, was a bit fussy about the kind of calls he would allow on his show. I remember one evening some whackjob called and Art told him in a very demeaning way that he didn’t take ‘flying saucer’ calls and that he should call Billy Goodman.

    You didn’t mention that the KVEG antenna tower was blown up (for real folks, like dynamite) during Billy’s tenure. This was the beginning of the end for Billy. The station took it very seriously.

    I don’t recall there being a connection between Dickie and Billy Goodman or that they’re one and the same (citation needed).

    Anybody remember ‘Happening regulars Yellow Fruit or Kenny Mulinex or Elvis Presley Jr.? And whatever happened to lawyer/conspiritorial activist Barbara Thompson? She disappeared like a Clinton whitehouse lackey. Bill Cooper was murdered in a hail of gunfire by police as he predicted.

    I miss Billy. It was good radio. Real showbiz. A little rough around the edges due to budget but glitzy none-the-less. And he kicked Art Bell in the ass with his ratings and a continuous flow of callers from Mexico to Michigan only to end up spinning oldies at a peanut station in Rhode Island. It’s almost like the ‘Powers’ said “And let him be punished for stirring the embers”.

    There’s actually a bit of story behind this and it involves Herb Jepko, Anthony J. Hilder and Art’s rise to glory. Heck, maybe I should write a book. I’m a little worried about Billy though. His website stopped working and there are no ‘new’ references on Google.

  8. I don’t remember Art Bell from that Vegas period (of course I picked up the show on my GE Super radio in Central Cal), though I seem to recall a short nationally syndicated thing Art and some other guy tried called America Overnight in the early to the mid 80’s that didn’t last very long. This was during the period when Larry King’s radio show was the big thing, and I think Art and this other guy were pulled in to attempt a similar format but were unsuccessful. Anyone else remember this show? At least I think it was Art Bell…

    As I said in the piece, I didn’t listen to Billy in the final days because they started airing him so damn late/early, so I never heard about their tower getting blown up. Good knowledge…

    As for the Dickie Goodman thing, my source is Billy himself, from one of his shows were he played that Dickie Goodman thing and said hey that was me back in the day when I was starting in radio biz…so the citation is myself quoting myself quoting Billy.

    As I noted earlier, Art Bell mentioned Billy several months ago when he was guest hosting C2C…said Billy had cancer and was going to try to get him on the show. Maybe I’ll email Art for an update and see if I get a response…

    So what’s this bit about Anthony Hilder as the unseen hand behind the rise of Art Bell.

  9. As the duo Buchanan & Goodman, several ‘break-in’ records were produced over a period of 20 years starting in 1957. Extremely well done and funny, they got loads of airplay and even today they are iconic as a national treasure. I’m absolutely knocked over that it was Billy but it makes sense, y’know. Funny he didn’t mention it when I met him in 1989.

    Anthony Hilder was more of a victim than an unseen hand. He was one of several talk jocks that were seduced into a fledgling pie-in-the-sky organization that was supposed to be a safe haven distribution network for nightime radio announcers. Like any pyramid scheme, those at the bottom found themselves the losers. I don’t want to leave alot of this on a public forum, but I remember Anthony being very unhappy about it. Herb Jepko Jr. was also adamant that the deal absolutely crushed his father’s spirit, to see everything slip away the way it did. You should talk to Herb. He’ll give you the whole story. Since this is your forum, it’s okay if you contact my private eMail. See if you can hunt up Billy and see what’s up. Somewhere (?) I have his number in RI and maybe his son’s too. Keep in touch, Icy Jay

  10. Billy passed away 2/10/09

  11. Thanks for letting us know, Tim….Happy trails, Billy.

  12. I took that picture

  13. PS I was that wack job the writer mentioned and was trying to get the Billy Goodman Happening name out over his air waves (Art Bell)at the time I was also Billy’s producer and took calls from a very intoxicated Bill Cooper, among others.

  14. About My Friend Billy Goodman

    A Letter from Cosmo to you all.

    I am often asked why do I mention a Billy Goodman at the end of every Cosmic Connection show. This great man opened the door to a then 25 year old long haired freak. When I didn’t know a thing about radio or broadcasting and took me under his arm and taught me this wonderful craft of having people hear about ones opinions and paint the pictures on the air waves. After all he is the person who by broadcast and interviews told the world and made AREA 51 the household name that it is today.So here is a page that rightly so is deserving to my mentor Mr. Billy Goodman.

    In 1989 I came to the conclusion that we are not alone. I became enthralled in the study of UFOs. Then by complete happenstance I heard a radio talk show host by the name of Billy Goodman speak on his show “THE BILLY GOODMAN HAPPENING” Las Vegas KVEG AM 840 on the UFO subject and sightings of his listening audience. Mr. Goodman I found out later had been broadcasting for all of two weeks on this station little did I know he was a rock jock on Los Angeles radio during the British Invasion when I started calling into his program with my two cents worth on the subject. After one of these calls I was asked if I would like to produce “THE BILLY GOODMAN HAPPENING” along with his lovely co-host Gloria Euphoria. Having a daytime job to support an already hectic lifestyle I found myself working for Mr. Goodman and learning the broadcasting trade. After two years with Billy and his wild guests of Bill Cooper, Bob Lazar, Bill Hamilton etc. etc. Then the powers that be came up with a wonderful format change, lets take what is a successful talk show and trash it for all news all the time. And so ” THE BILLY GOODMAN HAPPENING” as I knew it faded into UFO lore.


  15. Cosmo,

    Thanks for sharing the background info of your time with Billy. As noted, I was a huge fan of “The Happening” back in the day, long before Art Bell was a twinkle in Whitley Strieber’s eye…

    Do any recordings of of the old shows still exist? It would be great if there was an archive posted somewhere to give people idea of what they missed out on.

    Thanks for posting and for being Billy’s friend, as he was yours.


  16. […] His early broadcast was called The Billy Goodman Happening. […]


  18. My Great friend will be remembered (Billy Goodman Passed away Feb 10th 3:00 Am) For the Record : Billy Goodman Host of the Historically Famous “Billy Goodman Happening 840 Am Radio “KVEG Las Vegas Radio, was the Very first Media talk show Host to exposed The “Area 51” Legacy in Late 1989….No one in the Media Knew or talked publicly of such a place so secret before Billy Goodman except William Cooper. It was my Cameraman Gordon Davis that had called Bill Cooper (Behold a Pale Horse) and told him to call billy and set him straight about the MJ 12 Docs and tell him about a very Super Secret place in the Nevada desert called “Area 51″The Ranch, or DreamLand and the Existence of Aliens that were visiting this planet and the secret programs of Extraterrestrials and Saucer Technology. The first call went very well and Bill Cooper was invited back the next night to tell more about these amazing revelations, and the switch boards were lighting up non stop. The next night my Cameraman “Gordon Davis also called in to talk about Nikola Tesla and i called in and talked about Ufo’s that i had seen in and over Catalina Island some 32 years ago and the switch Board continued to go crazy, and thus William Cooper,Gordon Davis,Coln Keith Ranch ,John Lear, Bob lazar, Yellow Fruit ,Cosmo, Gene Huff and George Napp were all part of the early people who were instrumental in bringing The Billy Goodman happening/ Area 51 to a International Spot light. Billy i wanted to thank you so much for your kindness, your humor, and your everlasting abitity to entertain so many people from all over the world with (The Billy Goodman Happening).Your show was truly a breakthur in covering subjects Like Breakthurs in Science, Health, Political, and the paranormal, These topics were so important to the humanity of people from all over the world and has spawned a new genreation of researchers,scientists to continue to expose the truth of life’s questions .Who were are ?, how did we get here ?, and where are we going ?.

    Billy, Thank you so much for taking huge personal risks and being the first one to expose to the world the “Area 51 legacy” that still continues to this day 20 years later and has spawned a new generation of blockbuster Hollywood films, Books, Conventions, Magazines, Newpapers, International News, stories and headlines along with Hit radio shows like “Coast to Coast’ with Art Bell / George Noory.

    Billy when i think about what you have done in setting the standard for the new generation of reasearchers from all over the world, It just blows my mind. I am so glad that i was there with you and a part of something that none of us had any idea of what the legacy of the “Billy Goodman Happening” would grow into history.
    We love you Brother,and will greatly miss you forever……….”with Gods Speed” Rest in Peace. “Coln Keith Ranch and the Orange County researchers. PS, Billy Goodman was Never a host of Coast to Coast, Art Bell was a Listener of the Billy Goodman Happening and gave Billy Goodman his Credit about 3 months ago on the air of coast to Coast. “Just For the Record” Thank you all, The Coln !

  19. BILLY GOODMAN HAPPENING :Update: There will be a Web site set up soon for some free MP3’s of many of the Billy Goodman Happening shows. Two former Friends and fans of the show are going to be doing the transfers starting this week. The transfers are coming from Old dirty cassett tapes that were taped by “Roger the Doger” when the show was in full swing. The transfers are going to take some time and lots of care and efforts. Lots of classic Historic Goodman Shows. There will also be a full accurate Wikipedia and myspace page in Billy’s Honor and History of the AREA 51 legacy.
    All of this is going to happen with respect and express Permission from the GOODMAN FAMILY. I will be over seeing the project to make shure that the best accuracy of all events,people, time and places are to the best of a cohesive effort to document Historical information and accuracy of the legend of AREA 51 and Billy Goodmans Legacy Lives on forever in the cyber world. I will post some info in the coming weeks on google with the web addresses and myspace as we get closer to releasing the archives. Thanks everyone : “Coln Keith Ranch”

  20. Thanks,Coln Keith Ranch…Please keep us posted on details of the BILLY GOODMAN HAPPENING archives and myspace pages. I am truly looking forward to this!

  21. there will never be another man like my dad

  22. To Billy and his family:
    I was deeply saddened to learn of your father’s passing. My deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. May he rest in peace, and may you find comfort from your grief in your memories and love for him. Peace Be with you.

  23. thank you missy

  24. I had just moved from Long Island, NY to White Springs, Florida, in the 90’s and first heard his show. I forget whether it was FM or SW, anyway he had a call in contest for a “Space Pen” and the question was to name a famous person whose initials were “MM”. I was the first to call in and “Marilyn Monroe” won me the pen.
    I liked his show. Best to you and yours Billy

  25. Billy Goodman was NOT Dickie Goodman.

  26. […] The Billy Goodman Happening « Adam Gorightly’s Untamed …Jan 19, 2009 … Another radio program I came across was The Billy Goodman Happening, which was broadcast out of Las Vegas. Billy Goodman is one of … […]

  27. This explains much about those two song by the pixies (two different versiones of one same song, actually), The Thing and The Happening. Thanks for the info.

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  31. […] a detail-loaded post at his site, Adam Gorightly recalls the craziness that was the Billy Goodman Happening radio show. […]

  32. No.

  33. I do, still in White Springs,Fl.

  34. As the only living legitimate son of Emperor Norton I, and The Widow Jose, I’m interested in having The Land of Utopioid canonized by the Church of Discordia. Could someone please point me to the right desk?

  35. Let me check with hindquarters and I’ll get back to you.

  36. Still in White Springs, Fl. where I first heard BG in the early 90’s. I called in and won the question of “Who’s Famous Initials of MM”. “Marilyn Monroe”, won me the Space Pen-that writes even upside down.
    Now Art Bell is off the air, Coast-to-coast AM is only good on weekends when George Noory is off. Midnight In the Desert with Heather Wade is Lame, Huckster Richard Hoagland is off, only playing re-runs, and Ark Midnight with John B. Wells is OK sometimes when he’s not Hawking something or thumping his Bible. For over 25 yrs WUFT Gainesville, Fl had a great show on Sunday nights from 8-10 PM “Theater of the Mind”, which played 4 OTR shows, and had a contest quiz, to win a T Shirt for random selected correct answer-ers. For over 18months I had correct answers and won 2 random shirt picks. This live show made otherwise dull Sunday evenings, fun. Sadly the host retired and shortly his successors wound it down and the station went into a different direction.
    While there are lots of pod-casts available, there’s nothing as much fun as a live show, with call-ins.

    Billy Goodman and others like him are fondly remembered and missed.
    I am grateful to have lived and enjoyed their Broadcast Era.

  37. I completely agree.

  38. What part of the country are you in ? What do you listen to ?

  39. The Time posted is 5 hrs later than mine. Are you in England ?

  40. No, I’m in a bunker in an undisclosed location in Central California. I have no idea why time was recorded at 1:12 am. Listening to more politically oriented stuff of late. For high weirdness, though, Greg Bishop does an occasional live show on Radio Misterioso that is one of my faves. He has a lot of archives there, as well, though I think he had his website crash awhile back, so some of the archives might have dropped off. Also like the Project Archivist guys….but any decent live shows are hard to find these days.

  41. […] Adam Gorightly’s article on Billy Goodman […]

  42. […] more Billy Goodman/Bob Lazar goodness go here and […]

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