Re-thinking “Mothman”: a FM radio controlled drone?

One of the things I do on interminable business trips is re-read John Keel. He is a mild sensationalist and much more of a journalist / entertainer than rigorous researcher or ‘scientific’ analyst, but he was no fool. It’s unfortunate he self-censored his writings, and edited them according to his prejudice de jour about the unexplained Forteana that interested him.


Despite that, he was by far the best recorder of the strange of his era.


In relation to Mothman, it seems to me that several different phenomena were noticed at the same broad span of time – an unknown flying cryptid, possibly even Batsquatch based on two of the witness testimony descriptions; some misidentifed rare but known birds; a paranormal / hallucinatory grue or other boogum type scary presence; and something that, despite some overtly organic features – a bird like or bat like form – in all other respects conforms to machine, not living, behavior.

The description of the woman screaming / baby crying / loud mouse squeak type noise is something I have heard in the Pacific, and which seems to be made in the case of the Pacific creature by some sort of thumping great bat or nocturnal bird, more likely a bat or something else with echo location. Rare, weird, somewhat unidentified – but a real living critter.


However in the case of Mothman there is also the set of accounts where televisions blow up, radios screech and hum and people feel a creepy presence at the same time. To me, that sounds like high energy radio or radar, ie electromagnetism sweeping in a ray or beam. I don’t mean a death ray, but I am wondering if it was radar or a FM control beam for some earlier version of a drone as they have come to be called.

People in the Ohio Valley saw, en masse, ‘lights in the sky’ etc. of the same type described in the Dulce case, which means, most likely, that the same MAN MADE secret lighter than air craft was involved. If that craft, which it is documented used Scooby Doo villain type disguises to hide what it was, was in the area, might it also be the case that a “bat winged” somewhat humanoid drone was also used? It’s easy to forget that fan-driven drones were being developed as early as 1952, were described in general terms in boy’s comics and magazines by 1961, and were used by the Navy as early as 1962 for public, or at least not hidden away, missile testing.

Given the existence of drones able to “take straight off flying straight up in the air” it is striking when some Mothman witnesses describe identical behavior of this ‘man-shaped’ but unmoving figure.

I kind of suspect that the Big Bird, the ‘real’ Mothman familiar to the locals around Point Pleasant, ended up being investigated on the QT by say Navy or DIA. To do so without attracting attention they hid themselves within the existing phenomena – as happend at Dulce – just like a Scooby Doo villain using an existing legend as cover. In other words, they set a (man-made) UFO to catch a (they knew for a fact wasn’t a man-made) UFO / cryptid.

It’s a way out idea and it’s pure speculation, but that is one of the things I love the most about John Keel’s work, it is inspiring for these sorts of flights of speculation. He is easier to read than Charles Fort, but very much in the same rich tradition.


The Special Ones

Patrick McGoohan’s “The Prisoner” was imprisoned in a quirky Welsh folly of a village, but “The Village” as a concept was quite real. As far back as the period between World Wars 1 and 2 there were several isolated locations in Great Britain where people were kept incommunicado or under the extreme impression that they had been irreversibly transported to Wonderland, Oz, a Lost World, a secret lost civilisation or somehow into a world of rooftops sealed off from the city below.

The drugs they were given helped immensely.

Flash forward to Gary Powers, held incommunicado after his strange shootdown that ended Eisenhower’s Crusade for Peace.

On Powers’ return to America he was spirited away to a special DIA / NSA / CIA facility called Naylor Place.

Almost all record of it has been expunged, not just from the internet but even from print – but tiny fragments survive.

At the same time as Naylor Place was set up, secret schools were also implemented. They were created during the latter half of World War 2 but only became officially active in 1947. As of 1950s America they were recruiting children – “very special children”.

These children were taken from their parents, hypnotised, and replaced in the interim by doppelgangers. These doppelgangers looked remarkably similar to the young ones whose places they took. All great fun for most of the children who underwent this process. Especially since the psychological profiling used to choose the Special Ones included detailed investigation of their ability to be hypnotised, their degree of being prone to fantasising – usually an immediate strike out for intel work but for this project – essential, and finally, their “patriotism” – the childish but fanatical adherence to a more or less fantastical and idealised concept of their country.

It was as though Bucky wasn’t just Captain America’s sidekick but in fact was the trainee for the job of Captain America.

Notable alumni of the Special Ones program include Lee and Harvey Oswald, Whitley Streiber and whoever his doppelganger was, and a surprisingly large number of Hollyweird types. Winona Ryder disappeared for years during her childhood. But then, so did JFK, Jack Nicholson and Ted Bundy for that matter.

Twinning and duplication is so damned useful in intelligence work because it monstrously enhances the normal practice of creating false identities or “legends” – if someone an enemy service is trying to verify or identify is literally in two or more places at the same time not only is the due diligence stymied but a shell game is added to the proceedings to make the task functionally impossible over short time frames. This is why sometimes everyone fitting a certain description is murdered (um I mean suffers accidents or suicide) over a short time frame. As when Charles Fort said “someone was collecting Ambroses”).

Lee Harvey Oswald achieved the impossible by being arrested twice, at the same time, in two adjacent locations at the same Texas Theater – the same theater interestingly where Officer Tippit worked part time as an usher.

Go figure.

Further research:


To the above you can of course read between the lines in the very first issues of the original X-Men comicbook from 1964.


John Keel 1975 – the two types of scientist #Forteana

“In all fairness, we must admit that there are two types of scientists. Type A works for a large corporation or an important government agency. He is a proven producer. He has helped develop new soaps and toothpastes and atomic engines. He is  rarely quoted in the press. In his spare time he writes scholarly papers that make a contribution to his chosen field. While he can have a large ego and other human failings, he does not seek publicity and his rare public statements are carefully worded and often make good sense.

Type B is not a producer. He is usually a teacher at some university or small college. He is caught up in the vicious ‘publish or perish’ atmosphere of our educational system and so he grinds out reams of books and papers, generally based on the systematic plagiarism of the works of Type A. He seeks publicity and is frequently seen placing his foot in his mouth. It is a common practice for newspapermen to call upon the nearest available ‘authority’ when an unusual event occurs. If, for example, a meteor flashes across the local skies, the reporter will phone the professor of astronomy at the nearest school. This professor will either talk off the top of his head or he will scurry to his bookshelf and quote from the works of a Type A scientist.

Much of the scientific rubbish you read in your daily newspapers comes from the mouths of Type B. Type A is usually too busy, too inaccessible or too smart to pontificate for the press.”

All that has happened in the forty years since Keel penned this pungent piece is that the Type Bs have inherited the Earth.



Missing 411 and John Keel’s JADOO encounter with a Yeti

Paulides and the 411 crew have been coy to the point of secrecy in refusing to offer their own theories on what is causing the disappearances in national parks.

They seem quite sure of some causation, going so far as to broadly hint at the involvement of a furry hominid race, a giant bird and other cryptids in some cases, whilst steadfastly refusing to put money down on a particular culprit in a particular case.

There is however a list of common elements by type of unexplained disappearance. and one of these elements is the disappearance of experienced wilderness explorers in areas near a lake where there are large boulders – and the presence of a “bigfoot” type (TYPE – but in other ways NOT typical of the gentle wood ape) entity.

Here is something from 1956, from the long lost JADOO work by John Keel:

“Following the hot and cold Yeti trail, I arrived at last in the northern village of Lachen, 8,800 feet above sea level, where the natives grabbed me excitedly and led me through the tortuous passes to the marsh. …

Cautiously I moved forward, staggering up an inclined path strewn with giant boulders. Finally, I emerged onto the edge of a sweeping cavity filled with water, where broken trees and decayed bushes poked up like skeletons.

That was there I saw it!”

The Keel encounter with Yeti matches many of the details of the Missing 411 “sasquatch” cases.

Keel also notes in his usual scattershot way the connection between sightings of glowing balls of light and Yeti, “crazy bears” in North American Indian folk stories, and so on.

Personally I still think some of the furry strangers are surviving “Neanderthals” who are neither primitive – nor benevolent. They don’t “come out of” UFOs dropped off by aliens – they’re the pilots. But anyway.