December 26, 2012

“Operation Trojan Horse”: The First Outline

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:02 pm

The outline below is for John’s first UFO article.  He had written a radio show (“Things in the Sky”) for the American Forces Network while he was stationed in Frankfurt, but hadn’t pursued the subject after that, despite a sighting in Egypt in 1954.

He had been working in television, writing game shows (“Play Your Hunch”) and kids’ shows (“Mack and Myer,” “The Chuck McCann Show”), and had become unhappy with the business.  Playboy had published a letter of his, about the poet and Bohemian wastrel Maxwell Bodenheim, so he followed up in March, 1966, with a few pitches.  The editor, Jack Kessie, turned down pieces on Hugo Gernsback (the founder of Amazing Stories) and on the colorful Hobo News that had printed some of John’s first poems.  But he was interested in an article on UFOs, which were then very much in the news.  John agreed to write 8,000 words on spec, and went to work.

Unfortunately, he became more and more obsessed with the subject; the article grew longer and longer; and his correspondence with Playboy grew acrimonious.  Eventually, Kessie rejected the article as far too long and credulous, and ran a piece by J. Allen Hynek instead.  Much, of course, to John’s dismay.

It’s perhaps just as well.  The surviving draft is, essentially, a digest of the current literature, taking the reader from simple lights in the sky up to the Villas-Boaz incident (a famous case in which a Brazilian farmer claimed a sexual experience with an alien).  John started doing his own research shortly after, leading to the book with the same title.

But here’s that first outline.  It shows John’s approach to the subject back then, and contains a number of piquant details.  I hadn’t known, for example, that he dated Carl Sagan’s former secretary.






  1. Doug:
    Hope you are doing well. I have two words for this: WOW and THANKS.

    Bill G.

    Comment by William ("Bill") J. Grabowski — December 27, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  2. You’re quite welcome!

    Comment by Doug — December 27, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

  3. Doug thanks for keeping this web site going 3 years and 4 months. This is a very intimate look at an interesting man, John Keel. I would like to think he would be happy seeing his work live on in some form.

    Comment by Mike Nemeth — January 1, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  4. Well, thanks, Mike. And I’m sure that John wanted to be remembered!

    Comment by Doug — January 3, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  5. […] cette page, les notes rédigées par Keel en prévision de […]

    Pingback by Bibliographie des travaux de John Keel | Pulp Sciences – Pluralité des mondes — April 11, 2015 @ 3:32 am

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