Lisa Hirshfield, Larry "Ratso" Sloman, Anthony Matt, Doug Skinner and the infamous worm painting
On Sunday July 11, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. at the Jalopy Theater, 315 Columbia Street in Brooklyn, Doug Skinner and the Ullage Group organized an afternoon commemorating the life of John A. Keel. The afternoon included readings from some of Keel’s lesser known works read by Mr. Skinner, Lisa Hirshfield, Larry “Ratso” Sloman and Anthony Matt.
I had read with rapt interest Keel’s most famous work, The Mothman Prophesies, some years ago and I’d also seen the movie of the same name loosely based upon the book. When I read the book I remember thinking how some of the more random paranormal events (not related directly to the Mothman story itself and not depicted in the film) mirrored some odd events in my life. I knew that Keel lived in New York City and I was peripherally acquainted with a large number of people who knew or had met Keel. I’d expressed interest to some of them in meeting him, but alas, that was not to be.
The presentation began with Doug Skinner toasting the memory of John A. Keel by drinking a can of Glucerna (a nutritional drink for diabetics). I learned that Keel’s given name was Alva John Kiehle. Lisa Hirshfield then read his first published work from 1945 when he was 15 years old. His wry sense of humor was evident even then.
During his stint in the military in the early 1950s Keel worked for the armed forces network out of Cairo, Egypt. The audience was treated to an audio clip of his presentation from inside the Giza pyramid, followed shortly by a kitschy song named “Jadoo” promoting his book (of the same title) of adventures in the Middle East and Africa. I am a proud owner of the book Jadoo! We saw a remarkable movie he made in New York City in the 1960s called “On Exhibition”. In it Keel played a drunk at the Museum of Modern Art.
Keel wrote sleaze novels under the pseudonym Harry Gibbs. Some excerpts from these were read by Larry “Ratso” Sloman, Keel’s friend, sometimes employer, and editor of High Times Magazine. Soon after we saw the worm painting pictured above painted by 35 earthworms in October 1960 for Merv Griffin’s TV show “Play Your Hunch”, for which Keel was a writer.
Later in the 1960s Keel pitched a film treatment called ” Nudists From Outer Space” read by Anthony Matt. Finally a video clip from John Keel’s appearance on the David Letterman Show in the 1980s was played. He discussed a variety of paranormal phenomena.
I really enjoyed this look into John A. Keel’s life, although I had expected more time to be devoted to the paranormal. I was pleased to meet some other anomalists after the performance including Geoff who is working on a fascinating movie about UFOs filmed over New York City called “Believing Is Seeing“.
johnkeel.com = a blog about John A. Keel
Are you a woman? Are you the parent of a daughter? Are you married to a woman? Do you have a mother? In any of these cases you should read the autobiography I Am Nujood, aged 10, Divorced
This is a difficult book to read, not due to the complexity of the verbiage, but because of the poverty and abuse this child had to endure at the hands of her family. It brings up the abhorrent practice of child marriage. Many little girls as young as eight years old are married without their consent to men often decades older than themselves. They are often imprisoned inside the men’s homes as little more than slaves both sexual and domestic. The reasons for this practice are complex and rooted in the culture in which they occur. Poverty can cause a father to give his child away, but that same father may have multiple wives and his children may number in double digits. He often cannot support them all but gives no thought to birth control. This puts into place a cycle of oppression against women and girls because they are not considered equal to men and in Islamic countries the females must uphold the concept of family honor. A rumor against the honor of a girl or woman may be the motive for an honor killing, even in the United States.
In this book the eponymous young writer exhibits a bravery which is remarkable and praiseworthy. Credit must also be given to the people who helped her because Yemen’s culture can punish the defenseless and those who seek to defend them. I sincerely hope that Nujood chooses to continue her education and become a lawyer like her champion, Shada Nasr, who represented her in her divorce hearing. But Nujood is not alone. Lots of other children are forced into marriage. One quarter of Yemeni brides are aged 15 or less. It seems to me that supporting the education of women and female children in places where they are abused because they are female, is one of the most important things that can be done to bring about world peace and and end over-population.
How do you feel about your intelligence? Do you think you are smart? Or do you believe that though you’ll never master the Calculus you are the possessor of lots of common sense, which in the end may be much more valuable? Or perhaps you believe that had some failed subject been properly taught to you, you would now be the master of it. It is my observation that most people believe that they are clever in some ways that matter most. I guess in general that is a good thing especially for self esteem and thus, well-being.
Howard Gardener, a American developmental psychologist, identified eight distinct kinds of intelligence in the 1980s. A friend of mine is always remarking about some other person’s lack of emotional intelligence, believing himself to be the master of emotional intelligence (he is not). I suspect that there is something valuable to be learned from this theory of multiple intelligences. One can certainly take pride in one’s specific brand of intelligence.
But have you ever met someone who was so much smarter than you that it was staggering?
That may be what would happen if you ever encountered an extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional being. By extraterrestrial I mean a being that has traveled from somewhere in the cosmos to visit Earth, not a slime mold (or the like) that is discovered by the Mars Rover to exist in a cave on Mars (though perhaps the said slime mold is all super brain and is controlling us remotely [just kidding, I think]). These beings might have other types of intelligence or skills that are either unimaginable or uncommon in humans. Telepathy may be the rule with some of these beings rather than the exception, shape shifting might be an everyday occurence rather than the stuff of fables. They may extract our spirits from our bodies, causing an out of body experience (OOBE), by using our natural physiological state of sleep paralysis.
(Please note in this piece the careful use of “may” rather than “is”. I am hypothesizing here, exploring the possibilities.)
The question here is what effect would the vastly superior intelligence have on human culture? We are speaking here of a greater, more multifaceted intelligence, not simply of a technological superiority.
Look what can happen when a less technological advanced human society meets a more technologically advanced human society: cargo cults (One would be well advised to read this article about cargo cults in the South Pacific to see what astonishingly untrue conclusions the human mind can come to due to exposure to simply more technologically advanced humans). Thusly I conclude that everything humans theorize about ETs and interdimensionals may be stunningly offbase including everything I’ve written in this blog piece.
Researchers looking for evidence that ETs visited the Earth in the historical past point to stories of Gods, Goddesses, Angels and the Elohim as possible visitations by ETs or interdimensionals. That may be, but as of now I can think of no conclusive way to prove these ideas with any certainty, so they remain the stuff of conjecture. Speaking of which, my small mind cannot think of any reason that Angels, for instance, could not be defined as interdimensional beings in or outside of religion.
Do we create, that is manifest these beings with our collective consciousness (or subconscious group mind) or do these beings manifest us with their super minds? Or is there any difference between the two, if in fact we are all One?
Update: 07/08/10 Synchronisticly on the same day I published this post, another article Communicating With The Universe
was published about blasting the contents of the internet into space. NASA apparently is not taking seriously Stephen Hawking’s admonition about the inadvisability of advertising Earth culture to aliens (lest we become slaves or luncheon meat).
Whitley Strieber has an interesting take on the subject of alien intelligence: