Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel

Summary from the back of the book:
"West Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a tragedy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition that becomes known as the Mothman, trouble this ordinary American community. Mysterious lights are seen moving across the sky. Domestic animals are found slaughtered and mutilated. And journalist John Keel, arriving to investigate the freakish events, soon finds himself an integral part of an eerie and unfathomable mystery..."

"The Mothman Prophecies" is journalist and author John Keel's accounts of unidentified flying objects, "men in black", "ultraterrestrials", and a red eyed, gray winged creature called the "Mothman". Most in our book club chose not to read the book either out of lack of interest in a non-fiction book on the paranormal or the fear that the book would scare them, of the people who did read it, the general idea was that while it was difficult to believe, it was an interesting study, and interesting theories. It definitely gave us all something to think about. Below is my personal review:

As a life long fan of science fiction and fantasy, reading real people's accounts of strange beings and flying objects was fascinating. Keel does a great job of remaining objective and not inserting his opinion or interpretation into the accounts, he tells them as he heard them, as fact. Whether or not you as the reader believe everything in the book as fact is another story. Either way though, for anyone who likes this kind of stuff I'd highly recommend this book. Without it we wouldn't have "The X Files" or the "Men in Black" movies (a term Keel himself coined) or many other scifi books and movies. It's the foundation of many popular culture "norms" about UFOs and extraterrestrials. While at times the book can feel a bit disjointed and the names of the different "contactees" are difficult to keep straight, Keel really tells a compelling story and makes the reader want to know more. Plus, many of the accounts are so outlandish and absurd sounding that you can't stop reading. From stories of a red eyed, winged creature that may or may not eat dead dogs, to the "cosmic clap", to visitors knocking on the door in the middle of the night as asking for a bag of salt, the stories never get boring. I'll leave you all with one of my favorite quotes. When discussing how the mothman likes to visit couples while they're parked out on deserted roads, Keel writes:
"Young love has to run in to enough hazards without the fear of a hair weirdo hammering on the windshield."

Bottom Line: For anyone who has any interest in UFOs, MIBs, or EMFs this book is a must-read.

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