John Keel is regarded by many as a pioneer in the field of Fortean studies. He popularized, and indeed may have created, the terms “Men In Black” and “Ultraterrestrials” but Keel is most well-known as the main researcher and investigator of the Mothman experiences. He wrote a number of books including The Mothman Prophecies, Disneyland of the Gods, Our Haunted Planet and Jadoo. He challenged the commonly held belief that flying Saucers, cryptozoology and hauntings were unique and separate experiences. In an interview Keel stated that,”The objects and apparitions do not necessarily originate on another planet and may not even exist as permanent constructions of matter. It is more likely that we see what we want to see and interpret such visions according to our contemporary beliefs.”
Without Keel the “paranormal community” would be lacking in much of its insight and humor.
Every now and again I get asked for book lists, so here is one! This summer why not take some time and check out some classics of the UFO field. These 10 books will give you a pretty well-rounded idea as to what the UFO community is thinking, where it’s been and where it’s going. Some are a little older but the information they contain will really help out with sparking some fun and interesting thoughts. So here they are in no particular order. Have fun!
The Expanding Case for the UFO – Morris Jessup They Knew too much about Flying Saucers – Gray Barker The Threat – David Jacobs The UFO Evidence – Richard Hall Passport to Magonia – Jacques & Janine Vallee Operation Trojan Horse – John Keel The Hynek UFO Report – J. Allen Hynek Flying Saucer Occupants – Jim and Carol Lorenzen Flying Saucers Top Secret – Donald Keyhoe The Abduction Enigma – Kevin Randle, Russ Estes and William Cone
In 1953 two U.S. Airforce pilots, Felix E. Moncla and Robert Wilson, vanished while investigating an “unknown” aircraft. The “unknown” had been spotted on ground radar and the two pilots were charged with the task of identifying it. Their plane left Kinross Airforce base in Michigan and subsequently was never seen again. Since that time authors and researchers have written many passages and accounts of what they believe might have happened. Many of these researchers were more than willing to speculate about the incident. Did Moncla and Wilson get beamed aboard a UFO? Did their plane get sucked into another dimension? Did they simply crash into Lake Superior? The list of questions goes on and on.
As a UFO researcher from Michigan I too was interested in the case. By the time I had really started doing research, about 1991, I figured that the Kinross Incident had been covered and discussed enough by other researchers, so for many years I allowed that research to stand unchallenged. It wasn’t the fact that a UFO might be involved that drew me back into the case, it was something far more important.
In 1997 while doing some reading about another UFO incident I noticed that Robert Wilson’s name was misspelled. The author of the book had written it as RR Willson. I let the mistake go believing it to be a typo and continued my reading. Within minutes I stumbled across another book that mention R.R. Wilson. Being who I am I jumped up and got more books and to my surprise dozens of book erroneously reported Robert L. Wilson as R.R. Wilson. This may not seem like the most exciting story or the most interesting discovery but I believe it is an important one.
Once someone writes something down and places it in the public arena others will copy it. It doesn’t matter if what is written is true or well researched. And over time what is written and copied will be believed by many to be fact. The least we can do, as researchers, is spell a name correctly. Also, a case where two U.S. servicemen vanish, never to be seen again, is enough reason to do some research. The added elements of UFOs, time travel, inter-dimensional kidnapping, etc. may excite the mind but that fact that men vanished while trying to protect their country is more than deserving of our time. All to often UFOlogical or paranormal researchers feel the need to make a case even more “exciting” by adding elements to a case that does not need it. Many times the addition of these new “facts” overwhelm what really happened and, in the race to propose startling claims, pushes the real, known, human element into the background. It’s not enough for two men to have vanished, they need to be yanked from the sky by a UFO. Meanwhile, researchers can’t even get the names of the men right.
Of course the researchers who rush to write a bevy of books or make appearances on TV shows, the ones who scream the loudest are the ones who get the most attention. The people who can get the most viewers or sell the most books are the ones who have the most impact. You would think they would take the most responsible approach. Unfortunately this is usually not true. publishers and TV producers are looking for people who can shock and startle people, and they don’t care if it’s true. I don’t fault publishers or producers for promoting people who do poor research, their job is to sell books and advertising space during TV shows. I fault the researchers who in their race to become known truly do not care about the unknown.
I cannot tell you how many times I have found the believed history behind an allegedly haunted location to be incorrect. How many times I have seen witnesses names misreported. How many times I have found researchers that “add” a little spice to their research for the sole fact of making what is already a fascinating case, “more interesting.” The additions and mistakes are rewritten by others and passed down like the “telephone game” until at last there is so much poorly written and researched “evidence” that untangling what is real and what is not becomes an almost impossible task. When we lose the ability to even accurately report a name we truly have lost ourselves.
Demand better research, demand more common sense, don’t give in to the over hyperbolic claims of people seeking fame and fortune. Make these demands not only for yourself but for those who no longer have a voice of their own, like Robert Wilson and his friend Gene.
There are, of course, thousands of incidents I could have chosen for these holiday ideas, but I’ve tried to pick events which are not state specific and span across much of, if not all of, the United States. Some of these proposed holidays are serious, some are not, any of them would be great!
8. June 24, 1947 – Flying Saucer Day
In celebration of Kenneth Arnold’s report of seeing 9 strange flying objects, erroneously reported as “saucers” near Mount Rainer in Washington state and sparking a massive flap of UFO sightings.
7. July 8, 1947 – UFO day
Although the Roswell incident may have occurred on June 14, 1947, on this day in July The Roswell Daily Record reported that the RAAF had captured a “Flying Saucer”. Added to the sighting by Kenneth Arnold earlier in June of 1947 this has become a defining moment in UFOlore.
6. October 20, 1967 - Bigfoot Day
It was sometime in the afternoon on this day when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin shot the most famous and controversial footage of a large unknown crypid. The footage to this day stirs debate about the existence of a large, as of yet, undiscovered upright-walking primate. Although reports of “Bigfoot” type creatures go back centuries this was an earth-shaking moment in cryptozoological research.
5. March 31, 1848 – Splitfoot Day
Although there are many and varying accounts of what actually happened with the spirit “rappings” that took place in the home of the Fox sisters, it cannot be denied that their story influenced the wave of spiritualism which had been growing in the United States. The spirit “Mr. Splitfoot” (the Devil) was allegedly the creator of the sounds the girls heard, and although in later years the girls admitted to some hoaxing, there can be no doubt that they left a firm impression on Americans’ social awareness of a psychical world.
4. October 5, 1967 – Cattle Day
On this day the Associated Press ran a story about the cattle mutilations happening in and around Colorado. Although strange happenings have been reported for decades, this story sparked the nation’s collective imagination and so began the wave of cattle/livestock mutilations that are reported to continue to this day. Everything from UFO’s and secret government projects to simple animal attacks have been proposed as explanations. Many people even believe it to be one of the strangest phenomena to continually occur in the United States. Plus we should honor all those poor cows.
3. September 19–20, 1961 – Abductee Day
The reported contact and or abduction of people by so-called extraterrestrials has been reported for decades, but on the night of September 19, 1967 the experiences of Betty & Barney Hill awoke the nation’s interest in the abduction phenomena. Though the events of that night remain controversial and are ascribed by many as being due to lack of sleep, stress, and false memories ‘recovered’ under hypnosis, the influence of the Hills on our nation’s psyche remains to this day.
2. July 1856 – Mad Scientist Month
Although the world has experienced thousands of “Mad Scientists” over the centuries, none have influenced the paranormal community as much as Nikola Tesla. To this day Tesla is associated with everything from Death Rays to The 1908 Tunguska event in Russia, conspiracy theorists associate his work with the H.A.A.R.P. program as well as free energy theories, and some even believe that Mr. Tesla was not from Earth!
1. September 22, 1692 – Remembrance Day
Although the dates of those murdered during the Witch Trials are many, it was on September 22 that the so-called “8 firebrands of Hell” were hanged for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Unarguably, this is one of the most outrageous events in American history, when the lives of innocents where carelessly lost due to the ineptitude and close-mindedness of people in power. The day, like many unfortunate others, is a remembrance of what can happen when religious fervor overtakes rational thinking.
Who knows if this “brainwave disrupter” really works but one this is for sure, it’s fun wearing it out on the town. People might have thought you were weird before, well now they can witness your craziness all the time as you wander the streets, mumbling to yourself about the advanced alien takeover of the universe.
Download the PDF here (1.1mb) and get protected from all those mind control rays.
On August 23rd, 1974 John Lennon was relaxing on the balcony of his apartment in New York city when he witnessed, and later described, a “Flying Saucer” hovering near his building, not a helicopter, and not a balloon.
In the clip provided below you can listen to John explain, in his own words, what he saw.
Hear eyewitness and scientific testimony about flying saucers. Betty Hill, J. Allen Hynek, Gordon Cooper and more! Someone is going to sample this record one day, maybe it will be you! UFO Encounters – 1978
Produced by: Investigative Research Associates, INC., Chicago Illinois.
Scientific Consultants: Center for UFO Studies, Evanston Illinois, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Sherman J. Larsen.
Investigation, Research, Writing: Peter Bordwell, Steve Tom.
Narration: Walt Peters. 1. UFO Encounters 2. UFO Encounters 3. UFO Encounters 4. UFO Encounters
Back in 1999 I got an email from a man in Traverse City, Michigan who wanted to know if I had heard about the police chasing a UFO. I hadn’t heard anything so I told him I’d try and find out. To make a long story short, I’ll tell you over dinner sometime, I gained possession of the dispatch recording from that night and sure enough someone was seeing something. Listen to the police officer’s amazement at the object, listen to the other police officers and dispatchers make jokes like “We come in Peace” and “Someone call Art Bell”. The entire recording spans about 45 minutes in length so I’ve clipped out all of the dead air and the recording is now about 12 minutes long. You’ll sigh with relief at the end of the recording when the Captain shows up at the scene of the sighting and tells everybody “It was just Venus”…even though earlier the officer who saw the object says “It’s no planet”. Whew. Traverse City Police & The UFO
Since everyone is jumping on The Beatles bandwagon lately, so will I. On August 23rd, 1974 John Lennon was on the balcony of his apartment in New York. He witnessed and later described a “Flying Saucer” hovering near his building, not a helicopter, and not a balloon.
In the clip provided below you can listen to John explain, in his own words, what he saw.