July 16, 2019

A Letter from Curtis Fuller, April 26, 1966

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The “Official Correspondence” file continues with a letter from Curtis Fuller, the editor of Fate. Fuller declines a proposed article on swamp gas, and remarks that John’s “theory about methane” is “pretty far out.” John didn’t file his own letter, so I don’t know what that theory was. This appears to be his first contact with Fate; he wrote often for it in later years.

July 9, 2019

A Letter to Coral Lorenzen, April 24, 1966

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The next item in John’s “Official Correspondence, ’66” file is a letter to Coral Lorenzen, of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization. John introduces himself, and asks for her help with his proposed article on UFOs for Playboy. His description includes some wishful thinking: Playboy did not assign him to do a long “definitive article,” but agreed to look at a short piece on spec. The final piece was rejected as too long and too credulous. I posted his visit to Project Bluebook here.

July 3, 2019

Ten Years

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John Keel died ten years ago, on July 3, 2009. His friends still miss him, and those who didn’t know him will, I hope, keep reading his books. Anthony Matt and I started this blog a few months later; I’ll keep posting here as well. Rest in Peace, John!

June 30, 2019

A Letter to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, April 15, 1966

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I’ll now start posting material from John’s file “Official Correspondence, ’66.” Included are business letters to and from editors, discussions of UFO news with fellow researchers, and requests for interviews. He had a particularly active correspondence with Jim and Coral Lorenzen (of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) and with tireless clip collector June Larson.

The file opens with a letter to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, requesting an interview for John’s proposed UFO article for Playboy. Bishop Sheen was then 71, a noted theologian, writer, and television personality. At the time he was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York; later that year he was to become Archbishop of Rochester. There’s no reply in the file. Maybe it would have helped if John had spelled his name correctly!

June 23, 2019

General Chart (3)

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Here are the last four pages of John’s meticulous list of UFO sightings for January 15-21, 1967. For some reason, he filed it in his Reeves Code folder. As I said before, he may have meant it as a model for organizing data about sightings, and may have circulated it among other researchers.

June 16, 2019

General Chart (2)

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Here are the next four pages of John’s “General Chart: Sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects reported January 15-21, 1967.” (There are eleven pages, counting the cover sheet.) It seems to be an attempt to establish criteria for listing and organizing sightings. In 1967, John was still new to ufology, and probably trying to figure out how to proceed.

June 11, 2019

General Chart (1)

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Tucked into John’s Reeves file is a “General Chart: Sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects reported January 15-21, 1967.” He meticulously listed the UFO sightings for one week in January, 1967, with dates, times, locations, witnesses, descriptions, and Air Force explanations. I assume he drew it up as a model of how to organize reports. The title page suggests he may have meant it for other researchers, although I don’t know if he sent it out. At any rate, here are the first pages.


June 2, 2019

The Reeves Papers (11)

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These last few pages from John’s Reeves file are another early draft of the article, mostly concerning his work on the second sheet. He details his attempts at decipherment, step by step, before abandoning this draft. Apparently, he then turned to the Bliss symbols as a more likely explanation. In passing, he also suggests that the first sheet was a hoax by the Air Force, and that they suppressed the real first sheet. At any rate, here’s where the Reeves file ends.

May 28, 2019

The Reeves Papers (10)

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These next pages from John’s file on the “Reeves Papers” include a report on John Reeves’s alleged sighting and his sheets of alien writing, with a diagram of the UFO (the caption is cut off on the original). The report is uncredited, but appears to be from the Air Force; it concludes that the sighting was a hoax. Also below are more of John Keel’s attempts to find a cipher in the second sheet, corresponding to the one in the first. He couldn’t find one, which leaves that sheet still undeciphered.


May 19, 2019

The Reeves Papers (9)

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Also in the Reeves file is this rough draft of part of the article, concerning John’s speculations on the second sheet, and his interview with one of his silent contactees. There’s also a curious note about a peculiar phone call directing John to the Bliss symbols, which John cut from his later draft.

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