JOHN KEEL: NOT AN AUTHORITY ON ANYTHING

August 25, 2015

The Great International Sex Conspiracy

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The Great International Sex Conspiracy, to be written under John’s preferred pseudonym, Randolph Halsey-Quince, was to be a humor book about sex, in the form of a mock conspiracy treatise. It had another working title:

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He got as far as an incomplete table of contents and the first chapter.

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The first chapter follows, on another page. The conspiracy is revealed at last!

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August 18, 2015

The Invitation to the First Meeting of the NYFS

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I thought I’d posted everything about the New York Fortean Society, which John directed from 1987 to 1994, but I just came across this sheet. It’s the invitation to the first meeting, on September 19, 1987. A historic occasion!

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August 4, 2015

John Keel and “The Realist”

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Just a little anecdote for synchronicity fans: A number of years ago (I forget exactly when), I went to a library sale in Manhattan. Near the check-out was a stack of old copies of The Realist, which I happily scooped up. As it turned out, I knew the volunteer at the cash box, comedy historian Ron Smith, and so chatted with him as I paid, rather than look at the magazines.

It was only when I got back home that I saw that they were John’s subscription copies. When I told him, he laughed, saying, “I threw those out years ago. You bought my garbage!”

John was a friend and fan of editor Paul Krassner, and, as Satyr-man buffs know, put him into his superhero spoof, The Fickle Finger of Fate.

July 27, 2015

A Letter from Mary Hyre, March 24, 1968

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This is the last letter in John’s folder of Mary Hyre’s letters. She wrote it on March 24, 1968, and mailed it the next day, John’s birthday. She died on February 15, 1970. I assume they kept in touch by phone; they may have written other letters that John didn’t keep in this folder.

John wrote “MIB” on the envelope: the letter does describe a visit from a “strange visitor” with an intense interest in UFOs. There’s also a report on strange phone calls, and an update on Mothman witnesses Roger and Linda Scarberry.

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July 4, 2015

Six Years

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JAKPIC

John Keel died six years ago, on July 3, 2009. We’re still reading you, John!

June 30, 2015

A Letter from Mary Hyre, January 14, 1968

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The next letter from Mary Hyre was written on January 14, 1968,  a month after the collapse of the Silver Bridge (December 15, 1967). She tells John about some of the aftermath of the disaster, as well as a few UFO sightings, including one of her own. Jack Brown makes a reappearance, although, of course, he could be a different one. The Messenger is the paper that Mary wrote for; they did print a large article about the disaster, which John saved. (Also, in case anyone is wondering, I’m scanning each page in two sections because Mary Hyre wrote on oversize paper that won’t fit on my scanner.)

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June 24, 2015

More Photos from the New York Fortean Society

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John intended these photos for the Newsletter, but didn’t put them in the tenth issue, and that was the last one he printed. He typed out captions for them, which I attach to the proper photo. It’s a good thing I recognize these people. I don’t recognize the man with Dr. Grosso, though; maybe somebody out there can identify him.

BECKLEYPIC

BECKLEYPICA

RATSOPIC

RATSOPICA

GROSSOPIC

GROSSOPICA

ROSENPIC

ROSENPICA

LINDNERPIC

LINDNERPICA

June 16, 2015

Photos from the New York Fortean Society

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John published a number of photos in the last issue of the New York Fortean Society, in 1989. Here they are in color, with John’s captions. Everyone looks so young!

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Author Whitley Strieber

WALLEYPIC

Caught with his hand in the till, David Walley tries to eat the evidence.

HANSENPIC

George Hansen, Princeton parapsychologist.

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Star UFO speaker, Antonio Huneeus.

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Murky picture of a group of Forteans on outing to Easter Island.

June 8, 2015

A Letter from Mary Hyre, December 10, 1967

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This is Mary Hyre’s last letter to John before the collapse of the Silver Bridge, on December 15. John marked the envelope “tape drop”; gaffer’s tape had fallen in the area, and Mary enclosed a sample. She also reports on a few UFO sightings. The tape sample was attached to the top of the page; I posted it after the letter.

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May 27, 2015

A Letter from Mary Hyre, November 26, 1967

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Mary Hyre’s next letter to John was only a day later. A lot was happening. John marked the envelope “Checkered shirt,” and there is indeed a sighting of a prowler in a checkered shirt. (A footnote for newbies: Men in checkered shirts appear elsewhere in UFO lore; Chapter 14 of Strange Creatures from Time and Space gives a few examples.) There are also numerous UFO sightings, and the news that Roger Scarberry has gone missing. As Mary says, “Well I told you things would break when you left.”

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