Meeting Keel in New York 10/28/02
Kenn Thomas recently sent along a recording of an interview he conducted with the late John Keel from 1992. I played the recording on the July 19th show. Due to many requests for a downloadable version, I have obtained permission from Kenn to post the file for free and perpetual public access.
The interview features Keel at his cranky best, skewering UFO fans in particular and paranormal dilettantes in general. He also mentions a few things that I found surprising, such as his contention that Kenneth Arnold originally witnessed only bright lights from at least 50 miles away when Arnold officially opened the modern age of flying saucers with his sighting on June 24th, 1947. Keel says that publisher Ray Palmer had Arnold add details that were not originally reported, and that UFO fans have been extrapolating the facts ever since. I believe that there are interviews with Arnold that include more details than just “bright lights” (or reflections) before he wrote about the experience for the first issue of Fate magazine ion 1948 and four years later in The Coming Of The Saucers, which were both published by Palmer.
Keel also argues for his fugo balloon theory of the Roswell crash, which should still piss off a lot of people, which is just how old John would have wanted it. Keel was in an adversarial position with the ufological rank-and-file from the beginning, which made him a bit impatient with those he thought were stuck in a hopelessly bankrupt belief system, but his theories are still valid with respect to things that have not been explained to everyone’s satisfaction. If you can find a copy of his landmark book Operation Trojan Horse, I would highly recommend that you read it.
The interview was conducted on July 12, 1992.