INTERVIEW WITH JOHN A. KEEL (OCTOBER 1973)
By Glenn McWane & David Graham—1974 Warner Paperback Library Edition (pages 26-34).
Shortly after the October UFO flap broke out, we were able to obtain an interview with John A. Keel, who is probably one of the most well-informed of all the UFO researchers:
Glenn McWane: John, how do you feet about UFOs getting some national publicity after a rather long hiatus on the part of the media?
John A Keel: It is very interesting. Tonight on the NBC news they reported some of these sightings. They mentioned that a woman somewhere in the South not only saw a UFO, but on the side of this object the letters UFO were painted. It was an amusing anecdote for the newscast, but I expect this was true. This was an ultimate joke.
We may get more reports like this. A few years ago I talked with two young men who had seen an object in a field that resembled exactly one of our space modules and had "US Air Force" printed on the sides. But, of course, one of our space modules isn't going to be hovering over a field in New Jersey. I never wrote it up because, even the UFO buffs wouldn't believe it.
As for the coverage this flap is getting, it is superb. UPI is doing excellent wrap-up stories on it. The NBC newscast has been covering it every night this week and every night last week. This may be because NBC is preparing a White Paper on UFOS.
Three or four weeks ago I was called in by the young man who is working on it, and we had dinner together. It is being produced by Fred Freed, who produced a number of the award-winning White Papers.
In the course of my conversation a month ago with these people, I laid out some predictions based on the patterns of previous flaps. I really put my neck out. All of my predictions are coming true. I was able to tell them that the sightings would be concentrated in the Mississippi Valley and move up to the Ohio Valley by the end of October. They are seen everywhere, but the heaviest concentration seems to be in the Mississippi Valley.
According to my statistics, around or on October 21 is the day when the biggest flaps are likely to occur. Of course the twenty-fourth produces some interesting manifestations. This year October 24 is on a Wednesday, and I wouldn't be surprised if the UFO flap will peak on that day, then gradually start to subside. We will have a brief low, and then next March, all hell is going to break loose.
McWane: Why do you think all this UFO activity is taking place now?
Keel: I keep trying to outguess the phenomenon; but it is hard, because it is always one step ahead of you. On a number of occasions, when I was most active in my research, I would go to an obscure farm on an obscure back road to research a story that had never been publicized. As soon as I would walk into the house, the phone would start to go crazy. But no one would be on the other end of the line, and the farmer would be amazed because this had never happened before.
This occurred several times in several different places. Someone was trying to get through to me that they knew every move I was making. They finally convinced me.
McWane: Speaking of personal investigations wherein it appears that a mysterious, unidentified "someone" is keeping an eye on things, a-few years ago I was involved in researching a case in which a particular UFO contactee claimed to have been given vast hordes of advanced scientific information. This man (I'll call him Salvatore) claims that he knows where terrestrial UFO bases are located.
Keel: You must be aware that this very thing has been repeated fifty or a hundred times around the country, or around the world. Do you remember the famous Mel Noel of the 1960s? He claimed that a group of earthly scientists based in Brazil were building UFOS. He had a good following, and people came to believe in him--then he just disappeared into thin air. Someone did write to me about a year ago and said Mel Noel had turned up again. They had talked to him and heard him lecture.
Noel apparently had a lot of money behind him. He came to New York City, went to Life magazine, went to Mort Young, who was then with the Journal American. Noel was signing people up to go on a space flight. He collected photos of all these different reporters for their space passports.
Mel Noel was very good-looking, extremely well dressed. He was accompanied by not one, but two or three or more very attractive girls who looked like movie stars, from the descriptions I have. He traveled all around the country stirring people up. He had a story very similar to your Salvatore's.
A lot of people with such claims get in touch with me because they think I am going to believe their story, become enthusiastic about it, and write a glowing article about it. It is very difficult for me to tell them that I feel sorry for them; that I have heard it all before, and that I see them going down the road to ruin just as several others have done in the past.
I believe that a lot of people who have written strange letters to me have really been mediumistic channels, and that the letters were produced by automatic writing.
There was a case a few years ago in which I interviewed some witnesses in Long Island. It was a family that had seen some rather remarkable things. I taped the interview in their living room with three or four people. A year or two later I went back and dropped in on them to see how they had been doing and if anything new was happening. They didn't know me. They were amazed. I started telling them about UFO experiences, and they thought I was crazy. They had no memory of all the things they had told me a year ago. They were not acting as if they were hiding anything or putting me on. They were nearly at a point of shock.
McWane: Does this lead us into the sinister men-in-black kind of phenomena?
Keel: Perhaps. Not too long ago, a photographer showed me a lot of pictures be had taken of an outdoor rock festival in England. There was something very extraordinary about the picture. There was a large crowd, and scattered in the crowd were three men who looked like brothers. Their hair was quite short in contrast to the other people in the picture. They were dressed identically, and they all had this man-in-black look. Not an Oriental look, but a gaunt, evil look. They were widely separated in the crowd, and yet if you brought these three men together, they would have looked like triplets. This doesn't prove anything, except that the picture fascinated me.
In January 1969, during Nixon's first inauguration, I was very interested to notice three men in black suits looking very much like our classical men-in-black sitting together a few rows from the front, right behind Nixon when be gave his inaugural address. Every time the television cameras shot Nixon from a particular angle, I could see these three men. They seemed out of place. Of course they could have been ambassadors from Vietnam or something.
I wondered afterward if my imagination had been running away from me. I got a hold of all the magazines I could find with pictures of the inauguration; and I went over them with a magnifying glass; but I could not find those three guys. Yet I had seen them very clearly on television.
McWane: Have you ever run into a man-in-black type that is as skinny as you could ever imagine a living human to be?
Keel: The thin man is well known to me. I call him the Cadaver. Over the years I have had twenty-five different people describe the Cadaver to me. He is usually extremely pale, as if he were bloodless. He is so thin that he looks like be is going to fall apart at any moment. He is usually rather poorly dressed, but it isn't easy to look good in clothes when one is so thin.
A man in Minnesota wrote to me recently about his problem with men-in-black. He called them morticians. He thought that their manner and looks were like those of a mortician in an English comedy. He was seeing them all over his home town.
There are several areas to this whole weird business. On one hand we have real UFO phenomena -- strange lights passing over the earth, probably since time began. The UFO intelligences are aware that we are going to see these lights occasionally when conditions are just right so they have to give us an explanation. Different generations have been given different explanations.
These intelligences have staged whole events over a long period of time to support those explanations. We have the fairy faith in Middle Europe; we have the vampire and various other kinds of legends. We have the mysterious airships in 1897. Now we have spaceships. But all of these things are nothing but a cover for the real phenomenon -- whatever it is.
On the ground, as well as in the air, there are real things happening that they don't want us to know about, so they give us lots of cover stories. The men-in-black support the cover stories in many of these instances.
What they are trying to hide may be frightening, even incomprehensible to us, but it does seem that they are using us in some fashion.
It may be more than a rumor that young people are being collected from college campuses after the memories of their families and friends have been altered so that they will not remember the existence of these children. As farfetched as this sounds, there may be more truth to it than to some of the other theories we are kicking around.
We are being used in some fashion, and UFO intelligences don't want us to discover how they are using us. So all this other stuff is camouflage. And I keep trying to peel away the layers of this camouflage. I keep trying to come up with something real and substantial.
Perhaps if we could find out what they are doing to us, we could stop them. But once we found out what it was, they might stop of their own volition. And do something else for a change. It may be the end of the game once we figure out what they are doing to us.
Now when we have a new UFO flap, such as the one going on at the moment, I ask myself what is really going on! What are they covering up this time? What kind of manipulation is taking place that we don't know about?
This is a very big flap, because there is a lot of heavy news right now from the Middle East and it should have smothered the UFO reports, but it didn't. There must be a lot more UFO activity than the media have mentioned.
Two nights ago, the TV cameraman in a town near here (Mt. Marion, N.Y.) spotted an object in the sky. He had a camera and he took pictures of it. He is a specialized cameraman, but when he developed the film nothing came out on it.
I have heard all this before. Were the objects really there, or were the witnesses just thinking they saw them? Or was the film manipulated in some way? Both possibilities are possible.
McWane: You seem to feel that the UFO phenomenon is some kind of delusion that is being perpetrated upon mankind by some unknown source.
Keel: In an earlier time when someone would undergo such experiences, people would say that he was enchanted. Today, people are still being enchanted, even though we don't use that terminology anymore. More and more people are accepting these incidents as real experiences -- when they probably aren't.
What we have had in the last twenty-five years or so is a large propaganda movement designed to create a whole frame of reference for these manifestations. A frame of reference that could be used to conceal and to cover up what is really going on. If it hadn't been for a relatively small handful of extraterrestrial enthusisasts, the concept of UFOs from outer space wouldn't have caught on; and the UFO intelligences would have had to find something else. But the outer space propaganda did catch on, and we have millions of people who accept extraterrestrial visitors as the explanation for the lights they are seeing in the sky.
These UFO lights are appearing simultaneously in thousands of places all over the country. If it were really an invasion from outer space, it would be enormous!
McWane: Have you observed any new variations to the UFO sightings?
Keel: This summer we bad a great increase in "phantom helicopters,' which appeared in some twenty states. These are unmarked helicopters of a very large size, and are usually compared to military helicopters. They are seen hovering over farm fields, so when farmers see them they think they are cattle rustlers. So far we do not have a single case in which the cattle were rustled when the helicopter was seen.
Recently, new cases have started to erupt in New York State. Before that they were mostly from California to Illinois. If you come across any news stories about helicopters, I would like to see copies.
There is one other thing to keep on the alert for. I have come across six different cases in six different parts of the country in which exceptionally bright children from fairly poor families were given tests in school which determined that these children were the brightest in their schools. These were children who also claim their family bad a great deal of psychic ability. These children were approached by someone claiming to represent the U.S. government. These representatives made an offer that the government would finance their kids' college education -- if the chhdren would sign an agreement that when they got out of college they would automatically go into government service. Not military service, but govennnent service. This seems to me to be a rather extraordinary program. The government does have programs to finance exceptional chddren with the agreement that the students will pay somehow after they get out of college -- but I am aware of no deal wherein the students would have to go into the government when they get out of college.
When I was in Washington I decided to get to the bottom of this thing. I was with the department of Health, Education, and Welfare. I nosed around, and no one has ever heard of such a thing. I've tried to keep in touch with these six contacted families, but now I have lost communications with all of them. I would like to find out what has happened to them -- or what will happen to them when their kids are out of school. This doesn't sound like something the CIA would go in for. They are interested in a certain psychological aspect of people, not intelligence. All these kids have psychic ability. There are a lot of kids with high IQs who have not been approached, so psychic ability must be a credential. Why do they single them out? Again I ask, as with so many aspects of this phenomenon, just what is really going on?
The October wave is actually part of the enormous 1972-73 flap and is following to the letter the patterns of the previous waves. I expect the greatest peak to occur in March-April 1974. When that subsides we will hear very little about UFOs until 1978-79. However, the next really significant wave will not take place until about 1984. By that time a complete and rational explanation of the phenomenon will be common knowledge, and the whole delightful extraterrestrial concept will be a thing of the past.
Thousands of people around the world now know all there is to know about the UFO phenomenon. Unfortunately, very few Americans are in this group because they have been misled for years by fanciful speculations, deliberately misleading manisfestations and chimeras, dark suspicions of mythical conspiracies and, most of all, fanatical emotionalism.
Essentially the phenomenon can be divided into two parts. The meandering nocturnal lights are the real mystery and still remain unexplained by astronomy. The objects and apparitions seen on the ground, or close to it, comprise the second part. These range from complex hallucinations to elaborate transmogrifications, often accompanied by incredible distortions of reality and manipulations of time and space. Such manifestations have been known, and recorded, thoroughout history, and their true nature was recognized and defined thousands of years ago.
Collectively, American ufologists are ill informed and poorly educated in history, philosophy, and the behavioral sciences. So they have failed to recognize what is actually happening (in contrast to what they think is happening).
Ufology is essentially a new system of belief, not a new system of scientific fact. As such, it is no more substantive than the study of angels and the medieval cataloging of chimeras. Indeed, the deeper one penetrates into the ufological problems, the more he finds himself rediscovering Heraclitus.
END OF INTERVIEW
This article is courtesy of researcher
Jerry Hamm of Napoleon, OH
Editor’s Note: Over the years, I’ve spoken with John Keel on the phone a number of times and have attempted almost every time to persuade him into doing an interview with me. But each time he brushes me off, explaining that he had done enough interviews over the years. He simply had nothing new to say, he would explain, and so if I wanted to just pick out one of the interviews already made public then he said feel free to do so.
Well, since I’m in need of an interview at this moment (one is pending review and a couple of others I’m waiting to hear back from my subjects) I decided to go ahead and select an interview posted online that contains a number of my favorite John Keel quotes. I remember when this interview was first released years ago.
Although this interview feature has been around since the ‘70s, it’s always surprising to me how many people in the modern UFO field seem unfamiliar with John Keel’s work and contributions.
I hope that you will approve of my selection.