September 10, 2012

John Keel and Robert Kennedy

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:47 pm

1966 was a pivotal year for John.  He had been working in television, and growing increasingly dissatisfied with the world of one-liners and game shows.  He turned to UFOs; and, like many before and after him, became fascinated with the subject.  Beginning with this post, I’ll share some of his correspondence from that year, as he moved from a career in show business to focus on ufolology and forteana.

In January, he wrote to Senator Robert Kennedy, of all people, to complain about the way the Air Force was handling sightings.




Kennedy’s office replied with a short, polite, and dismissive note.


John followed this up with another letter.  The statement that he had “been assigned to do an in-depth probe into this subject for PLAYBOY magazine” was somewhat of an exaggeration.  He had pitched a UFO article to the editor, who agreed to look at it if John was willing to write on spec.  His interaction with Playboy did not go well; I’ll post some material on that next.  Meanwhile, the thought of John Keel and Robert Kennedy meeting to discuss UFOs is intriguing; however, the correspondence ended there.



  1. Doug:

    Greetings. I feel bad for not being a more-frequent commenter. This is going to change. Thank God (or, as Harlan Ellison once said), or whoever’s in charge, for you and your considerable efforts here.

    Your ‘site is number-one, every day, for me. I cannot believe the wealth of material. Incredible. I have for many years been a JAK-reader/fan, call me what you will. In my opinion, he hit the proverbial nail on the head regarding possible origins for so-called paranormal phenomena. It’s wonderful John had such a great friend in you. As you know, he did the very hard work of actually checking his facts, almost always at his own considerable expense. I can’t imagine how hard that must’ve been, and it’s a goddamned shame how he ended. The world, so full of it, needs more like him. I’m not ashamed to admit that often I read his various works simply to take in that practical, curious, informed voice. Those witnesses (for good or ill, as Hunter Thompson said) who encountered Keel were fortunate to have had the light of his caring inquiry shone on them.

    He never demeaned anyone, no matter their experience, to fluff his ego. Try and find that today…

    Anyway, I just want you to know that what you’re giving us is beyond price, and if you ever need assistance I’m offering mine. I’m a freelance writer/editor, working mostly in horror/dark fantasy/conspiracy. Not asking for anything except to help, if you should need so.

    I would be more than happy to help keep this ‘site alive.

    All Best,

    Bill Grabowski (

    Comment by William J. Grabowski — September 15, 2012 @ 5:01 am

  2. Thanks, Bill! I set this up for John’s friends and fans, and am glad to see they’re reading it. I can’t think of any help I need, but thanks for the offer. Keep checking back; there’s more to come…

    Comment by Doug — September 15, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  3. You’re welcome, Doug. All best to you!

    Bill Grabowski

    Comment by William J. Grabowski — September 16, 2012 @ 5:12 am

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