There can be no doubt that John Keel was one of the most important people in the field of Forteana. His work ensures that he still is, even after death. And, no, I'm not just talking about his acclaimed book, The Mothman Prophecies, which is probably what most people associate him with. But, let's not forget his other fine titles, including Operation Trojan Horse, and Disneyland of the Gods. Plus, Keel was someone who recognized the deep and undeniable cross-overs between - for example - the worlds of Ufology, cryptozoology, and demonology. There's something else, too: Keel was very much a man ahead of his time. And I'll explain what I mean by that.
In today's world of Ufology it's not even remotely strange to hear accounts of "hybrid babies," "hybrid children," "black-eyed children," and alleged alien-driven genetic experimentation. While there were several, early accounts that were at the very least suggestive of alien interest in human reproduction - such as the Antonio Villas Boas affair of 1957 and the Betty and Barney Hill case of 1961 - for the most part it wasn't the 1980s that things really took off big-time.
The research of the late Budd Hopkins made that very clear. As did - and still does - the work of Dr. David Jacobs, whose book, The Threat, offers a grim and disturbing perspective on what might be afoot in the world of the hybrids. "Sinister" barely begins to describe what Jacobs suspects is going on. But, what a lot of people don't realize is that John Keel was talking about all this - and much more - way back in the 1960s. Unfortunately, so many are unaware of that fact. Let's take a look at a couple of key examples that demonstrate how Keel really was ahead of his time. As in way ahead.
Back in 1967 Keel wrote an article titled "The Strange Case of the Pregnant Woman." It remained unpublished, in original form, for years. The story is focused on a woman named Helen who lived on Long Island, New York, and who had a series of bizarre encounters with alleged extraterrestrial entities, and with pale-faced, skinny Men in Black. The story is also focused on the matter of the birth of Helen's baby, on October 28, 1967. This was no normal pregnancy, however.
Keel's article pushes things in a notable and intriguing direction. He learned that Helen's baby was "dark skinned and had Oriental features." Keel also noted that three other women gave birth to practically identical babies on the same night. What makes the story even stranger is that Keel learned all four women did not give birth in hospitals but in what Keel called an "isolated house."
The births were traumatic in the extreme: two of the babies later died and one of the women suffered from severe hemorrhaging at the time of giving birth. Although the women were allowed to take the babies home, attempts were later made by a sinister group of women to access the homes of the mothers and kidnap their babies - which, as Keel notes, were clearly of a definitive hybrid nature.
Of course, the skeptic might say that Keel was simply the victim of a bizarre and elaborate hoax. On the other hand, what Keel was talking about was something that, for the most part, would not surface in Ufology until the 1980s, two decades later - when tales of hybrid babies, stolen children, curious miscarriages, and alien/human offspring became practically commonplace.
On a similar path, in 1977 Keel wrote an article for the now-defunct publication, Saga UFO Report. It was titled "Problems of Identity: The Aliens Among Us." Keel noted in his article that he had on file reports of women who fell pregnant after curious UFO encounters. He added: "I have kept in close contact with several of these women and followed the developments with great interest. The children they produced seem exceptionally bright, and are frequently surrounded by poltergeist manifestations."
Keel also noted in his "Problems of Identity" article: "In Oahspe, the amazing book written by a New York dentist while in a trance back in the 1880s, there are pages depicting special children with sober faces and deep black eyes [Note from Nick: emphasis mine] who were supposedly hybrids planted here by some unknown force."
Regardless of what one might think about the Oahspe controversy, it sounds very much like Keel had been keeping note of what, today, have become infamously known as the Black-Eyed Children. I could go on and on with Keel's early reports and claims of alien-human hybrids, odd-looking kids, and weird pregnancies. Collectively, they demonstrate that Keel really was someone far ahead of his time. It wasn't until the 1980s and the 1990s (and the 2000s, in terms of the Black-Eyed Children) that most of the rest of Ufology finally caught up.
For those who may be interested, both of the articles cited above can be found in a collection of Keel's writings titled Searching for the String, which was published in 2014.