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Good-bye, John Keel

July 6th, 2009 · 11 Comments


John A. Keel died a few days ago, on Friday, July 3, 2009.

As some of you may know, I knew him for many years.  Larry Sloman and I were his medical proxies for the past couple of years, and did our best to help him with his legal and medical problems.

He was in and out of the hospital in recent years.  Fortunately, his last stay wasn’t long, and he was mostly cogent and ambulatory until a couple of days before he died.  He was in a coma Friday, but I told him we’d done all we could for him, that we’d miss him, and that we’d keep reading his crazy books, and bid him good-bye.  I’m sure many of you will join me.

(Posted by Doug Skinner)

Tags: Forteana · Literature · The Ineffable

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 elena // Jul 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    There will never be another.
    May he rest in peace.

  • 2 mamie // Jul 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Good-bye, John Keel.

  • 3 Greg // Jul 7, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Goodbye John. Thank you.

  • 4 Lisa // Jul 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Doug, that was a very sweet and moving goodbye. No one could say it any better. I’m sorry I never got to know John, but I do know what a good friend you were to him, and what a big heart you have.

  • 5 theo paijmans // Jul 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    John Keel’s ‘Our Haunted Planet’ was formative in my teens – I read it when I was 12; Pauwels and Bergier’s ‘Matin des Magiciens’, the orther, having read it when I was 15.

    John Keel kindly wrote the preface to my book ‘Free Energy Pioneer: John Worrell Keely’ that was published in 1998.

    I talked a few times with him over the phone. He will be very much missed. Forteana found its poet, and that mantle firmly rests on Keel’s shoulders.


    Theo Paijmans

  • 6 Jerry Hamm // Jul 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Mr. Skinner,

    I have been a fan of John Keel since 1988 and am saddened by his passing. I wish I could have met him in person.

    I wanted to ask you about a comment you made in the videotaped lecture “Doug Skinner on John Keel and the Mothman, currently at YouTube:

    You said “The TV show THE INVADERS, which was about a reporter [actually an architect] trying to warn the world about hostile aliens, was reportedly based on Keel.”

    I’ve also been a fan a of THE INVADERS (since 1977) after watching rerun episodes. I never knew John Keel may have been the inspiration of the role of David Vincent, who “must convince a disbelieving world, that the nightmare has already begun.”
    Care to elaborate?
    Thank You,
    Jerry Hamm

  • 7 Doug // Jul 10, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Jerry — Some of John’s friends and fans suspected the character of David Vincent was based, at least partially, on John. Not because they were similar personalities — but because the show’s writers drew on contemporary UFO reports, and John was one of the country’s most visible and active UFO investigators back then.

    And you’re right — David Vincent was an architect, not a reporter. I stand corrected, but I blame the MIB. Cheers!

  • 8 Jerry Hamm // Jul 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for clarifying Doug.

    I to seem to remember thinking “this sounds like something from THE INVADERS” when I first started reading Keel’s books.

    I’ve re-read John’s books a few times and will continue to do so in the future.

    Incidentally, a few years ago I found an old textbook from 1956 titled RADIO AND TELEVISION PLAYS by Lawrence H. Feigenbaum, which contains a teleplay written by Rod Serling called U.F.O. I thought it interesting that the main character is a writer named “Mike Keel.”

    The teleplay was originally telecast by the Westinghouse Summer Theatre. It is described as “a delicious satire on the science fiction craze as well as the ‘flying saucer’ reports reports heard in recent years.”


  • 9 Colin // Jul 12, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I too am so sorry to hear of johns passing. I first read “Our haunted planet” way back in “71 then I meet him at the New York fortean society, and at the fort fests he was a guest at, I will miss him. I am so sad that for whatever reason, he thought he was alone and was cutting off contact with people.
    I guess right now he is laughing at us!

  • 10 Gail // Jul 21, 2009 at 7:25 am

    I’m sorry to hear that. I know how much time and energy you gave to him Doug. I especially enjoyed meeting him at a 3 D slide show at the museum of natural history and having a cranky and enjoyable snack with John, George Kuchar (one of my heros) and you after, at a diner. I was “smitten” with my company.

  • 11 Linda // Aug 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I had gotten halfway through his book The Mothman Prophecies, when I decided to look him up online today, & found out he had died only this past July. So sad. I have been researching these subjects for many years & have to wonder if any of us will ever find the answers.

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