The next letter from Mary Hyre, just two days later, updates John on the continuing UFO flap.
November 18, 2013
November 11, 2013
For Veterans Day, here’s a photo of John in uniform, posing with his grandmother.
Although he must have entered the army with some some trepidation, he looked back on his service with nostalgia. He didn’t particularly enjoy boot camp (he joked it had turned him into “a trained killer”), but got valuable experience and publicity writing for the American Forces Network. Most of his scripts were dramatizations of military talking points, such as discipline, getting along with fellow soldiers, or interaction with civilians. He was also able to do some more personal projects, such as pieces on the Baker Street Irregulars and on UFOs, and broadcasts from Frankenstein’s Castle and the Great Pyramid. He saved his scripts; I’ve listed them in the bibliography on this site. You can also read a memoir of some of his radio exploits, by one of his army buddies, William Wolff, here.
November 6, 2013
In 1969, John Keel contemplated writing a history of stag movies. It wasn’t meant as a serious history, and he didn’t plan to put his name on it. Instead, he planned a sort of satire of the industry, and of the late ’60s growing permissiveness, using screenplays for imaginary films, However, he ran into trouble with the idea, and, as he said, “I had created a Frankenstein. Instead of writing a funny book about dirty movies I found myself writing a dirty book about funny movies.”
He sent an intriguing letter to his agent, Knox Burger, about the project, and a sample of one of the phony screenplays. I suppose I’ll post them on another page. There are no pictures, but he does talk about dirty movies, and somebody may be in a workplace that would find it NSFW.