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Accident or Conspiracy? A Strange Tale

Jim Keith was a researcher-author who focused on conspiracy-theories – of both a ufological and political kind. One of the things that particularly intrigued Keith was the very weird phenomenon of the black helicopters; they are craft which just happen to play an integral role in monitoring alien abductees. Keith wrote two books on this particular subject, such was the wealth of material he had carefully and scrupulously accumulated on the controversy. They were Black Helicopters Over America: Strikeforce for the New World Order, which was published in 1994, and 1997’s Black Helicopters II: The Endgame Strategy.

From August 31 to September 3, 1999, author/researcher Greg Bishop and Keith corresponded via email on a disturbing issue which, at the time, was affecting both of them: computer problems. Very suspicious problems. On the 31st, Keith wrote to Bishop: “Interesting things happening with my computer. Last week I was hit with a virus, and all my personal files were wiped out. Don’t know whether to chalk this up to a conspiracy, but I know a couple of other writers in this field who had the same thing happen to them at about the same time.” On the following day, Bishop replied, informing Keith that all of his articles had been trashed, and deliberately deleted from the trash folder too. Keith responded by saying he was now working on a new article on “the number of investigative reporters and editors being hacked.”

Then, on September 3, Bishop said to Keith: “There are a few possibilities: I was hacked through the modem, I was given a virus that only affects my article folder and no other Word files, or someone broke in the house and deleted them. I guess I’ll believe the story that makes me feel best.” Keith’s final email to Bishop, of September 3, read: “Thanks for the statement, Greg. So far I’ve turned up nine political conspiracy sites that were hacked in the same time period.” And, why was it Keith’s final email to Bishop? Because on September 7, Keith was no more, that’s why. He was stone cold dead.

Jim Keith had headed out to the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock, just north of Reno, Nevada, a day before the event began. While on stage, Keith lost his balance and fell to the ground. At first, Keith thought he had just badly bruised his leg. By the morning, though, Keith was in such agony that he had to call for paramedics – who were quickly on the scene and took him to the Washoe Medical Center, in Reno. Keith was told he had fractured his tibia and that he was to be prepped for surgery – which would require him to be anesthetized. This was when things got really weird.

Keith put a call through to a friend in the conspiracy field – George Pickard – and told him that one of the attendants at the hospital had the same name as someone he had debated on the matter of the black helicopters, and just a few months earlier. Coincidence? Who knows? As the time for surgery got closer, Keith got more and more anxious. He said to his nephew, Chris Davis: “I have a feeling that if they put me under I’m not coming back. I know if I get put under, I am going to die.” That’s exactly what happened: a blood-clot took Keith’s life. The field of conspiracy-theorizing was both stunned and suspicious by this very untimely and tragic state of affairs. An unfortunate event or a well-orchestrated murder by culprits unknown? That was the question which was specifically asked most frequently in the immediate wake of Keith’s death. It’s a question that still gets asked today. The final word on this specific issue goes to Greg Bishop: “I would prefer to think that there was no connection to the weird computer problems.”

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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