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.)
June 30, 2015
June 24, 2015
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.
June 16, 2015
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!
Author Whitley Strieber
Caught with his hand in the till, David Walley tries to eat the evidence.
George Hansen, Princeton parapsychologist.
Star UFO speaker, Antonio Huneeus.
Murky picture of a group of Forteans on outing to Easter Island.
June 8, 2015
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.
May 27, 2015
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.”
May 19, 2015
John made this sheet up sometime in the ’80s. It’s notable for his usual burlesque bio, and for another mention of his phantom title, How to Build an Atom Bomb in Your Basement. I hope it got him some work.
May 13, 2015
Mary Hyre’s next letter is from a few weeks later, November 25, 1967. As readers of The Mothman Prophecies know, we’re coming up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge, on December 15. In this letter, a man is concerned about his dog, Mary’s sister has premonitory visions, and we learn that John’s last visit ended badly, when Mary’s car stalled in the rain.
April 29, 2015
Mary Hyre’s next letter is from November 1, 1967. There are more sightings of UFOs, lights, and Mothman. And she gets a call from a UFO investigator in New Jersey; she’s a bit wary of him.
April 20, 2015
I apologize for the quality of this image; I have only an old photocopy, not the original. I thought Keel fans would like to see it anyway. Gene Duplantier, ufologist and artist, drew this picture of John surrounded by “the denizens of his Superspectrum” for Gray Barker’s Newsletter, Feb. 1976.
April 14, 2015
John kept a folder marked “ABSM” (that is, “Abominable Snowman,” an abbreviation favored by fortean and naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson). It mostly contains clippings and photocopies of clippings, in the fortean tradition. There are also these four small hand-written pages of American sightings, apparently copied from Sanderson’s files. I don’t know how many of them have been repeated in the voluminous Bigfoot/Sasquatch literature, but some may be unfamiliar.