August 19, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (8): A Letter to the McDaniels (January 7, 1968)

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Next in the file is a letter to Park and Mabel McDaniel, the parents of Linda Scarberry, one of the original Mothman witnesses. John warns them that he’s been receiving reports of a Keel double. He also mentions a visit to Lester Holly, a UFO buff in Ravenswood.

John also includes a clipping from the N.Y. Daily News, about the abduction of a young girl, which he marks as a “Probable MIB Case.” I apologize for the vintage photocopy, which has faded badly.

August 12, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (7): A Letter to Mary Hyre (January 1, 1968)

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It’s a new year, and John writes Mary Hyre a letter about his reactions to the Silver Bridge collapse. He’s puzzled by phone disruptions in Point Pleasant, and curious about reports of a man in a plaid coat. Gray Barker, not surprisingly, denies any knowledge of “Jack Brown.” John hasn’t had much work, and is considering, reluctantly, writing something for the National Enquirer.


August 6, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (6): Jack Brown

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After the bridge collapse, a few days after Christmas, John reports on another Man In Black in West Virginia, “Jack Brown,” who may be familiar to readers of The Mothman Prophecies. One detail that didn’t make into the book: the unusual Mr. Brown seems more interested in John Keel and Mary Hyre than in UFOs. (John, by the way, did not have a romantic relationship with Mary Hyre). I don’t know why he had to cover for his activities over the holidays. He had a complicated life!

July 29, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (5): The Bridge Collapses, the Tale Continues

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John had not been keeping a detailed record, so he had a lot to catch up on.

There was, first of all, the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which he notes briefly here (there’s more later), along with some of the other events in Point Pleasant, including babies born to Connie Carpenter and Linda Scarberry. Lia was one of the aliens Jaye Paro claimed contact with. The fact that John identifies Dan Drasin raises another question: who did he expect to read these notes?

Then “The Tale Continues” with more reports, taking us into early January. He gives a talk in Atlanta, stops in Point Pleasant, and meets Lynn Catoe in Washington. Ms. Catoe was then compiling a UFO bibliography for the Library of Congress; they started dating shortly after this, which I mention only because she returns in these files. He kept a picture of her, dated June 1968:

Helen Oglemyer made up with her husband, after Appell and Agar appeared to him; Louise doesn’t know how she got to Bermuda; and Jaye Paro has more stories, including the return of Lt. Davis and Col. Dalton. Despite earlier reports that Appell was retiring, he’s still apparently on duty.

July 22, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (4): A Letter to Mary Hyre (November 11, 1967)

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John writes Mary Hyre a week after his last letter. He rounds up the latest rumors for her: that he’s a CIA agent, that he was abducted by a UFO. Dan is Dan Drasin, a filmmaker who went to Point Pleasant with John several times; Gray is Gray Barker, fellow ufologist. The trip to Georgia mentioned at the end was to give a talk in Atlanta.

July 15, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (3): A Letter to Mary Hyre (November 3, 1967)

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John’s file continues with a letter to Mary Hyre, the reporter for the Athens (Ohio) Messenger, who kept him informed on the strange doings in Point Pleasant, WV. The letter is a response to one of hers, dated November 1.

I find it disturbing, mostly because he’s accepted so many of his contactees’ stories (particularly Jaye Paro’s). So please remember: this is early in his career, and he reconsidered later. He also had a premonition that a disaster was coming to Point Pleasant; the Silver Bridge would collapse a few weeks later. I assume he marked that passage afterwards.

ADDENDUM: I should have added a key to some of these people. Here it is! Mabel is Mabel McDaniel, mother of Linda Scarberry, one of the original Mothman witnesses. Mrs. Thomas is Virginia Thomas, who had a Mothman sighting the day before John’s letter (11/2/67). Mrs. Bowen is mentioned in one of Mary Hyre’s letters, as a possible contactee; I don’t know her first name. Mrs. Lilly is probably either Jackie Lilly or Doris Lilly, both of whom reported odd experiences. Gray B. is Gray Barker (see the last installment for his odd “Grunt” letter), and Dan D. is Dan Drasin, a filmmaker who made a few trips to Point Pleasant with John. Mary Hyre mentioned Ralph Manchin in her letter; neither she nor John knew who he was.


July 9, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (2): A Busy Day on the Phone

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Before we continue with John’s notes, here are a few pointers for readers:

1. These are John’s raw notes of his investigations, recorded as they happened in 1967. He used much of the material for The Mothman Prophecies, but not all of it. They don’t represent his final thoughts on anything; he had just started researching UFOs, after leaving a career as a TV writer, and was trying to figure things out.

2. Just as John was not an authority on anything, I’m not an authority on John. And my posting of his notes doesn’t mean that I agree with his conclusions, or can defend them. I try to clarify obscure and topical references if I can. Other than that, you’re on your own!

3. However, I do suggest you not read this for evidence of aliens. It’s probably most interesting as a record of one man grappling with a strange subject, and of a strange time and place.

And so, we move on to October 23, 1967. It was, as John says, “a busy day on the phone.” Jaye Paro reports an encounter with the Men In Black; Helen Oglemyer lets John speak with one of them, an entity named Argo; Jaye calls back and John talks with Agar; and Jaye calls at 1 am to report that Apol/Appell has taken LSD and is “acting strangely.” (He has, of course, acted strangely before.) It’s not clear from John’s notes if he talked directly with Argo and Agar, or if Helen and Jaye acted as interpreters.

At the end, John mentions an odd letter from Gray Barker; I posted it earlier here, since John had kept it in another file.

The Barbara mentioned here is Barbara Hudson, who was dating James Moseley.


July 4, 2018

Nine Years Ago

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John died nine years ago, on July 3, 2009. I like to mark the occasion by posting an unfamiliar photo of him. Here he is on September 3, 1961, in NYC. I guess he hurt his eye. Rest in peace, John. People are still reading your books!

June 26, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (1): All Hell Broke Loose

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John’s record continues, starting with October 10, 1967. The supposed “denouement” was nothing of the kind; he continues to get strange stories from Jaye Paro and Helen Oglemyer, including reports of a dazed Keel doppelgänger. John also notes that he gave a lecture, visited Ivan Sanderson, and appeared on Long John Nebel’s late-night radio show. Princess Moon Owl shows up again, and Jaye Paro finds Joseph Henslik, who is apparently also known as Joseph Baisle. The file begins with Jaye’s sketch of Agar, which I posted a while ago.

I just learned that John Keel’s brother Raymond died earlier this month. Patrick Huyghe sent me a link to the obituary, and Loren Coleman also posted an obituary of his own. Rest in peace, Raymond.

June 18, 2018

Special Cases – The Long Island File (91): Missing Time and MIB

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John ends his “Long Island File” with stories from several witnesses. Helen Oglemyer (he puts her name in quotes because she had said her real name was Patricia Anne Mackey) and Jaye Paro both report missing time, with memories of an alien city. I can only assume they coordinated their stories; the continuing story of the red top is anyone’s guess. A man in Belpre, Ohio, Warren Henderson, sees UFOs and meets some men in black suits, and John’s girlfriend Gerda meets a man with a scar on his cheek (I don’t know why this is significant). And finally, Jaye’s phone is removed.

This concludes John’s “Long Island File,” but his record continues, with a file called “Special Reports #3,” which takes him into 1968.

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