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am 6. April 2000
As one of the most fascinating and influential Fortean books published since 1947--generally agreed upon as the beginning of the modern UFO-era---The Mothman Prophecies is, with the earlier Operation: Trojan Horse, John Keel's major contribution to the fields of speculation and Ufology. What spellbinds the reader is his very original, radical, and complete reconfiguation of what is, in the West, generally presumed to be the nature of reality; this reconfiguation is effectively woven into the macabre tale of the year-long haunting of several localities in West Virginia during the Sixties. The elements of the haunting consist not only of nebulous purple lights in the night sky, strange and invasive men who are presented as other-than-human and other-dimensional, and flying headless creatures whose glowing red eyes are set into their chests, but kidnappers, 'men in fright wigs,' time travel, hallucinations, animal disappearances, violent deaths and 'alien' space craft that drop vertically from the sky right into the laps and lives of everyday people. The first-person narration is astoundingly effective,and Keel's disarming sense of humor, implicit from the first page, permeates the story and manipuilates the reader almost unconsciously into a sense of trust, which subtly strengthens the sense of growing discomfort as the story mounts, as 'reality' as it is generally understood constricts around the narrator and reader alike, and dislocations of reason pile up.
However, since most of Keel's other books (Strange Creatures From Time & Space, Our Haunted Planet, and especially Disneyland of the Gods) achieve only rambling hackwork status, the reader must approach Mothman carefully if searching for more than a terrifying entertainment. The largest discrepancy in the story concerns Keel's relationship with and to the mysterious "Men In Black." Keel claims to have come to know, over a period of many months, his own personal Man In Black (Mr. Apol) via telephone, as well as several others (also via telephone) through some of the contactees who walk in and out of the book's pages. Since Keel plainly believes these sinister figures to be inhuman agents who are literally 'lost in time' and created and controlled by their unknown and near-omnipotent otherworldly manipulators, it is significant that he never tracks Mr. Apol down in the flesh to attempt to prove his theory to himself or the reader. The Men In Black disappear like clouds of smoke around the corner time and time again, and Keel's efforts to confront them directly are presented as minimal. Clearly, if he honestly believes what he claims, he would be making a discovery of inestimable value, and any amount of effort on his part to validate the claim would be permissible. Instead of diligence, even in cases of contactees who are presented as having almost daily physical contact with these entities, Keel reports back what is related to him, rather than accompanying the contactee or shadowing them to their mysterious rendevous. Since the physical distance is the matter of miles between New York City (where Keel lived at the time and spends much of the book) and Long Island, the reader can only draw a negative conclusion.
The book ends with Keel stating, among other 'revelations,' that he believes 'the man in the fright wig' to be behind much of what occurred in West Virginia; since this figure is mentioned briefly in one incident on one page, the reader is left at a loss,and cynically suspects this oversight may have been intended mystification, rather than the result of bad editing. In this book, as in Operation: Trojan Horse, Keel shows a wary relationship to speculative physics, and present-day work in this field seems to lightly support some of his more basic and contained premises. A fascinating read for the open-minded, the imaginative, the experienced, and all lovers of the weird, The Mothman Prophecies (the wonderfully evocative title actually suggested by the publisher, who cut a good portion of the original manuscript away) enjoys international cult adulation, and deserves a wider audience among the general public that might respectfully desire to shed some light in its hazier corners.
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am 2. Februar 2000
I. HISTORY A lot of "the unexplained" books today got their inspiration from pioneer books like this one. I read this book several times in middle school & now many (though not all) of its theories have been confirmed with the knowledge I possess today. NOT recommended for immature readers.
II. PLOT Keel's bold "documentary" not only grips the reader because the physical events ACTUALLY occurred, but also because the book was written during a time when MIBs, aliens, & "mystery monsters" were politically INcorrect. Now everyone is jumping on the "UFO" bandwagon.
III. CHARACTERS The characters *are* or *were* real. Although Keel was a UFO journalist & therefore has a biased view, the events, interviews & conversations actually occurred AND he was there when much of it happened.
IV. THE UNEXPLAINED Keel offers a refreshing hypothesis behind the nature of the "unexplained" & "unscientific" events which STILL occur. Although *many* components of his theory are off-key, his theories including the observations that UFOs are "primarily psychic in nature" & come from "inner space vs. outer space" are not far off base. And Keel is a nonChristian!
V. REALITY WAKE UP AMERICA & skeptics! Even the Bible & world religions (which DON'T support the Bible) testify to this. If modern-day mediums can conjur up spirits, if psychics have "spirit guides" that tell you your personal 411 when many of you dial the psychic hotline, if Tibetan monks can create "tulpas" or manifested thought-forms, if cameras suddenly jam when "mystery creatures" are about to be photographed & UFOs can alter human consciousness, then maybe their nature IS more non-physical than physical. And maybe DUH!, they ARE similar in origin.
Final thought: A person that only reads books on what they already know is *wasting their time.*
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am 6. Oktober 1998
The author puts together good information on topics that are strange and out of the ordinary. A recap of events that took place in West Virginia during a thirteen month time period in 1966 and 1967. Some of the topics covered are strange creatures, UFO's, men-in-black, and prophetic events.
If you are interested in these topics then be prepared to enjoy a few evenings reading some detailed accounts of what happened to some small-town folks who were lucky (or unlucky) enough to have been in the right place at the right time. In most instances the author gives a good description of what happened, where it happened, and to whom. These are details that are often omitted in stories of the same type. There are also some good accounts of men-in-black that go beyond the characters in the movie of the same name. You'll want to read the accounts of this aspect of UFO lore.
If you are a UFO buff, Ufologist, or self-styled field investigator, then be prepared to be insulted. The author makes no bones about giving little credence or respect to these types of people. Presumably he and a handful of others of the same ilk are the only credible authors. A dichotomy since these are the most likely kind of people to read his book.
My only disappointment in the book is that there is not enough cohesiveness to the information. The events written about seem to come together only because they occurred at the same time in the same place.
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am 3. September 1998
John Keel is the prototype for the serious investigator of the paranormal. He combines just the right combination of skepticism and open- mindedness, along with a genuine sense of the absurdity yet reality of the situation he's dealing with. This book deals with one of the most famous series of incidents in the annals of Forteana or the paranormal, the "Mothman" incident or incidents which took place in a rural area of West Virginia in late 1966. Keel describes the seemingly unbelievable sequence of events with wry detachment. At the same time he conveys a sense of dread and fear in the face of incidents for which there is no rational explanation. Keel is probably the closest we have to the most famous and probably best chronicler of the strange and bizarre, Charles Fort. More than anything else, this book reminds us of what Shakespeare said, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
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am 30. Mai 2000
Keel is a true investigator. He leaves no path untread upon in his search for the truth behind the UFO phenomenon. His countless accounts of the Men in Black and their games will inform you as to their place in all of this, frighten you and even make you laugh out loud. His work helps defend the theory that aliens are inter-dimensional rather than extra-terrestrial. Even if you are not a UFO buff, this is a smooth, yet thorough induction into this strange and all too close world. Even for you non-believers, the connections made in this book will at the very least gnaw at you and most definately entertain you. It is by far the most engrossing book you may ever encounter, on many levels. It will literally change the way you look at the world and leave you with many thoughts that you may never shake. One being, "I don't ever want to be visited. It's no one-shot deal!"
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am 16. Mai 2000
Keel is a true investigator. He leaves no path untread upon in his search for the truth. His exceptional accounts of the Men in Black are strange, frightening and even humorous at times and help the reader to better understand their place in this whole game. His work defends his theory that aliens and UFOs are inter-dimensional rather than extra-terrestrial. Even if you are not a UFO buff, his book is an easy yet extremely thorough initiation into this world. And even for you non-believers, it is recommended reading. It is by far the most entertaining book you may possibly ever encounter, on many levels. It will change the way you look at the world and leave you with many thoughts that you may never shake. One of them being, "I don't ever want to be visited. It's no one-shot deal.!"
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am 13. Januar 1999
John Keel's THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES can stand simply as a "stranger than science" potboiler, but it's much more than that. Keel is recognized as one of the few "serious" researchers into the paranormal, and the power of his insights into this vexing subject shows in the fact that his ideas are quoted and seconded by no less a UFO authority than Dr. Jacques Vallee. The "high strangeness" nature of what is described in the book morphs easily into what is generally perceived as "pure kookiness" -- but the strength of the book lies in the way that line between belief and disbelief and truth and fiction is pushed further and further, with a good deal of shivers and goosebumps building up along the way. Bottom line: The book's utterly unique, and worthwhile reading.
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am 8. Juli 1999
Frightening and endlessly facinating. I couldn't put it down. I read this book ten years ago in its original paperback printing. And have never forgotten it. This book ignited a lifelong search for answers in a pandora's box of riddles. John Keel is a pioneer and visionary. This book was originally published in the 1970's and remains a seminal work in ufology. And nothing published since comes close to the intricacy, mystery, horror or the engaging, and sometimes humorous writing style of the great Mr. Keel. I look forward to reading it again and again. This is a must read. 10 Star rating. A major Hollywood movie is in pre-production. They will probably screw it up. They've already fabricated a Mrs. Keel, who doesn't exist. THANKS A ALOT HOLLYWOOD.
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am 14. November 1999
Investigators like John Keel don't seem to exist anymore, so get this book while it's still in print for an honest approach toward unexplained phenemenon. It will probably never be able to compete with the books that assure us we are being visited by ET's, angels/demons and/or ancient deities. People want something to believe in. "Belief is the enemy",warns Keel. How many paranormal researchers do you know would say that? We are goldfish in a fishbowl being watched over and toyed with, but by What? This is the question Keel will leave you with and that will keep you staring wide eyed up at the ceiling late at night in bed...
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am 8. März 1999
This book is a rarity in UFO literature, primarily b/c most UFO books present their information in dates and names and places and events ... in a sense, completely without any feeling or substance beyond the 'happening.' The shocker of the ending of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES you already know if you read the 1st chapter, but, as you've been drawn further and further into the lives of the main participants, the ending hits you like a sledgehammer b/c you've spent the last 250 pages forgetting all about it. More UFO books should be written with this humanistic approach; perhaps then the subject wouldn't be so taboo.
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