April 22, 2010

FORTFEST A-Wake: A Tribute to John Michell and John Keel

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The International Fortean Organization (INFO) will pay tribute to John Michell and John Keel this weekend, April 24 and 25, at the Peabody Court Hotel in Baltimore.  The speakers include Joscelyn Godwin, Stephen Baude, Daniel Pinchbeck, Gary Mangiacopra, Phyllis Benjamin, Orion Foxwood, and myself (Doug Skinner).  You can find more particulars at

“Town Tease”

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Town Tease was another quickie risqué novel, written under John’s preferred pseudonym, Harry Gibbs, and published by Midwood Enterprises in 1966.  And who was Greg Hamilton?


Rhoda and Ben Barrington aren’t getting along too well; in fact, he seems to be having an affair, and has lost all interest in her.  So when the invitation to her high school reunion arrives, she decides to go back to Bellville alone — and to seduce all of the men she turned down back then.  They’re happy enough to comply, but, somehow, something usually goes wrong.  At the end, Rhoda and Ben rekindle their marriage; and he buys her a new car.

What John remembered the most about this was a running joke about the sartorial habits of upstate New York — somebody is always passing by wearing a plaid hunting jacket.

April 6, 2010

“Secrets of the Shadow World”

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In 1999, George Kuchar (right) made a video mini-series about John Keel (left).  It will be shown at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC on Saturday, April 17 at 5:30 and Sunday, April 18 at 8:00.  (Click on the link for the address and other useful info.)

George’s description of “Secrets of the Shadow World” is perhaps the most appropriate:

“Centering on the paranormal ideas of UFO author John Keel, this sprawling mini-series spans the four corners of tolerance as it delves into mysteries whispered about on national television and tacky talkfests worldwide.  Not simply about little green or gray beings from other planets, this video’s endless delving into a rainbow display of people and places tries to put the whole kit and kaboodle into perspective.  Proving that it’s not all a crock of crap but a cornucopia of corned beef and cabbage plus a ton of other culinary concoctions, the secrets that you will crack in this caloric overdose will split your trousers and expand both buttocks and cosmic consciousness at the same time.  And that time clocks in at about two hours and twenty minutes.  So prepare yourself for a three-course feast of triple-scooped treats.”

Let me add that this is your only chance to see John and George visit Mount Shasta.  And that the photo above is not from the video, but one of the snapshots from the trip.  Here are a couple more:



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