Andrew Colvin has assembled a choice selection of rare magazine articles by John Keel in Flying Saucer to the Center of Your Mind, now available through Amazon. It includes articles from Saga, Saucer News, Men, Male, John’s own magazine Anomaly, and many others, as well as transcriptions of lectures. The introductions are by Colvin, Gray Barker and Tessa B. Dick.
Colvin grew up in West Virginia, and has experienced its anomalies first-hand. Those interested in Mothman know him from his books The Mothman’s Photographer I-III, The Mothman Speaks, and The Mothman Shrieks. You can read an interview with him here.
The next letter from Mary Hyre is a few days later, March 14, 1967. She catches John up on some of the recent UFO sightings: I believe the “thing” here is a craft, not the celebrated Mothman. The clippings are not in the envelope; John must have filed them elsewhere. Ron Hite was covering the flap in the Herald Dispatch, in Huntington, West Virginia (John simply marked the clippings “Huntington paper”). And I apologize for the condition of Mary Hyre’s typewriter ribbon.
Mary Hyre, the columnist for the Athens Messenger, kept up a regular correspondence with John during the events described in The Mothman Prophecies. I’ve posted a couple of her letters before, but I’d like to take a closer look at the file. The first one I can find is from March 5 and 11, 1967; it describes some UFO sightings, and the attack on Connie Carpenter mentioned in Chapter 8 of The Mothman Prophecies. The column that she mentions is one I already posted here.
First, here’s John’s final footnote to the preceding transcript.
With that in mind, we can move cautiously on to the last page, headed “Aftermath.” As John said, things got complicated. I don’t know what was going on here; but I do hope that it wasn’t what it seemed. And I don’t know what happened to the tape.
This concludes the transcript of John’s baffling phone conversation with “Helen,” who claimed that there were Men In Black in the room with her. When we last left them, one of the MIB was drinking ammonia — at least, according to Helen.
This isn’t the end, however; as John says, “Things got very complicated.”
We continue with John’s dossier “The Strange Case of the Pregnant Woman,” and the transcript of his increasingly strange phone call with “Helen,” one of his silent contactees. I’ve also added John’s notes pertinent to this part. Those notes mention that he wrote about this incident in the April 1968 issue of Fate. The article in question, “UFO Report: The Sinister Men in Black” covers a number of MIB reports in Long Island, but not this one in particular.
The next part of the dossier is a transcript of a long phone call between John and “Helen.” She claimed that several Men In Black were in the room with her, and that they wanted to communicate with John through her. John didn’t speak with them directly, but heard other noises in the room. And, before you ask, I don’t know what happened to the tape itself. Here are the first four pages of the transcript (there are twelve), and John’s notes about this part of it.
The second part of the general report. After this: a transcript of a peculiar phone call with Helen and some of those troublesome Men in Black.
“The Strange Case of the Pregnant Woman” is a particularly disturbing dossier from October 1967. John apparently wrote it to share with other researcher; it doesn’t seem to be intended for publication. He notes that he mentioned it in an article in Fate in April 1968; I’ll have to dig my copies out of storage and see if I have that issue.
John discusses his methods here, particularly his technique of looking for corroborating details in unrelated reports. The “something unusual” that Helen’s visitor requested might have been salt, since John mentioned that in a number of similar encounters. I don’t know the real identity of Helen or Patricia; it may be buried somewhere in the files.
The full dossier is 22 pages; I’ll separate it into more manageable bits. Here are the first five pages; more to come…
In his long and varied career as a commercial writer, John took on a number of odd jobs. In 1964, he was working on such varied projects as a children’s record about the history of flight, a TV show about the Keystone Kops, a proposed remake of the movie White Zombie, a kids’ cartoon called Snooper Scope, gags for Candid Camera, and much more. Tucked away in the files is this brief outline for a low-budget “nudie” UFO movie, The Nudists from Outer Space. I doubt that it went much further than these few pages. What a pity!