I’m Bill Birnes, and that’s me in the sunglasses standing on a bridge during a break in the filming of UFO Hunters, where I was the consulting producer and lead host. I’ve been producing shows since the 1950s when I started my puppet show called Future Theater. I’ve written and produced shows in high school, college, as a counselor in summer camp, for Lifetime television, A&E, and for History Channel.
My first career was academic, earning a PhD and a law degree. I taught linguistics at Trenton State College for more years than I care to remember and then in 1983 Nancy and I started our book production company Shadow Lawn Press. We’ve produced, edited, and written over 30 books on topics ranging from computer languages to serial killers to cookbooks.
Just this year we’ve published Dr. Feelgood: The Shocking Story of the Doctor Who May Have Changed History by Treating and Drugging JFK, Marilyn, Elvis, and Other Prominent Figures about the meth-pushing doctor who treated JFK and Jackie, Marilyn Monroe, Nixon, Truman, and Winston Churchill; Wounded Minds: Understanding and Solving the Growing Menace of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013) about PTSD and brain injuries among our combat vets; The Downing of TWA Flight 800 (Kensington Publishing, 1996); UFO Hunters: Book One (Tor Books, 2013); The Haunting of Twenty-First-Century America, (Forge Books, 2013); and yes, that cookbook.
And just for the record, I’ve worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, the DEA, and the National Endowment for the Arts. We bring lots of writers and researchers from various disciplines to Future Theater, and some of them are guaranteed to get your dander up.
I’ve been a reporter since the 11th grade in high school, which was 1964. I’ve won awards for writing, including the Samuel Shellabarger Award for Creative Writing when I graduated from Princeton, summa cum laude, in 1979. A listener with a conspiratorial bent might find something wrong with those two sets of numbers, and he’d be right.
I am the Liberal Arts major on our show – the one who will ask for additional clarification when we have a scientist or engineer on the show. Especially when we have a physicist or a rocket scientist.
Bill is the legal and linguistic scholar, but our listeners know him as the guy who sings along with the songs as we tune up before the show … and of course as the guy behind the sunglasses on the old UFO Hunter shows.
Weren’t they great shows? Don’t you wonder about the back-story on why they were cancelled? Well, listen to our show and we do tell all, a little at a time. We also talk in a free-form way that is more common to a dinner table in Philly, PA than to radio as you are used to hearing it.
But, these are new times, and we are connecting in new and exciting ways. We create our mutual futures together when we share ideas during the live show, so tune in and call in. I hope you’ll join the conversation in ways that make sense to you. You can reach me at the best Art Bell fan forum on the web, BellGab, or by posting in the Disqus comments below each show page.
Or, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🚀
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