On John Keel's 'The Mothman Prophecies'

Episode 78 · July 22nd, 2020 · 1 hr 13 mins

About this Episode

At the time The Mothman Prophecies' was released in 1975, and again when he penned an afterword for the 2001 edition, John Keel appeared to have made up his mind about the "ultraterrestrials" that he had tracked and hunted for most of his adult life. They were unconcerned about the welfare of the people whose lives they threw into disarray, he said. They were liars, cheats, and frauds who refused to play fair. They saw good and evil as synonymous and they were dangerous. Like many other explorers of reality's uncharted waters, John Keel returned to port knowing less than he did (or thought he did) when he set out. And this led him to ponder the possibility that only thing to know about such matters is that there is nothing to know -- that the universal mind, as Charles Fort had suggested before him, was insane. In this episode of Weird Studies, JF and Phil share their thoughts on The Mothman Prophecies, focusing less on the creatures and events that haunted Point Pleasant in 1966-67 than on how these things affected the brilliant writer who was chosen to be their baffled chronicler.


John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch
Stephanie Quick's blog
Weird Studies talks to Jeffrey J. Kripal: episode 39 and episode 45
H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"
Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Jeffrey J. Kripal, Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal
David Lynch's Twin Peaks
David Lynch, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Bob Lazar, American engineer (?)
William James, American philosopher