I am sad to say that Mr. John Keel passed on July 3, 2009.
I met John Keel at a FortFest way back when. He had long been a major influence on me through his wonderful books, books that caused controversy in Forteana due to the fact that Keel was a thinker, a true visionary, a man who had a strong grasp on the world and used that common sense in concert with his remarkable intellect to posit solutions that only other thinkers could wrap their minds around.
I was a bit starstruck during dinner, but still managed a good time. He told me he’d not be doing our kind of stuff anymore in favor of going back to making money (writing comedy), which devastated me at the time but I now fully grasp it. We didn’t speak to any Fortean concerns.
If you’ve not read this man’s works, and are into Forteana to any extent, you really should become familiar with Mr. Keel’s thoughts. The world will benefit from the produce of his mind for many years to come, and I do believe that you should avail yourself of that bountiful yield. It will sharpen your senses and protect you by providing a foil against some of the rather tinny thoughts that slither through Forteana’s nooks and crannies, trying to infest young minds and old with their varied ludicrosities. Yes, do join with many of today’s great thinkers and read up. Seriously.
I am sad that my friends and I shall not share good times with him again, but I rest easier knowing that perhaps now he knows the truth.
Here are some videos by Dave Singer that will give you a glimpse as to what John Alva Keel was all about.
John Keel discussing “Mothman” from the 1994 and 1999 FortFests. Keel has been a frequent speaker at the International Fortean Organization (INFO) conferences.
From the 1992 FortFest, Keel discusses important years with respect to world events and UFO sightings.
From the 2002 FortFest, Skinner discusses the background of John Keel and his involvement in the “Mothman” incident.
In 2003, Andy Colvin, Mothman expert and Washington Bureau Chief for L.O.W.F.I, the League of Western Fortean Intermediatists, interviewed John Keel on all things Mothy, from conspiracies to interdimensional theories. Do watch the interview… here, and then this one.
UPDATE: There are so many wonderful tributes appearing on the web. It’s very heartening. There is a very beautiful one at Tangible Materiality entitled A Winter’s Tale. Please read it. Long-time friend Loren Coleman also has much to relate on John at Cryptomundo. My best friend is devastated, as Keel was like a grandfather to her… and I feel awful. It’ll be all right.