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BOOK REVIEW: "Operation Trojan Horse" by John A. Keel

Anomalist Books
John A. Keel's "Operation Trojan Horse" was originally published in 1970.
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BOOK REVIEW: Operation Trojan Horse by John A. Keel (Anomalist Books) 2013

Our skies have been filled with ‘Trojan horses’ throughout history, and like the original Trojan horse, they seem to conceal hostile intent” – John A. Keel, 1969.

Over the many years that I have read about, researched and personally experienced the UFO mystery, my intuition has always ended up on the side of things pointing to these mysterious craft as not being of the “nuts-and-bolts” variety, but of a more elusive and, possibly, multi-dimensional source.

That position, while not shared by the majority of folks out there, was one held, more or less, by the late John A. Keel (1930-2009), the same guy who coined the terms “Men in Black” and “ultraterrestrials” and whose book The Mothman Prophecies would lead to a feature film in 2002 starring Richard Gere.

A writer, journalist and adventurer, Keel was drawn to the idea of “magic” at an early age, seeking it out in the mysterious “Far East” in the 1950’s, following a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

And that interest in magic led the ramblin’ writer to bounce around the wide-ranging region between Singapore and Egypt, where he befriended snake charmers, was “buried alive,” learned the secrets of the “Indian rope trick” and was “cursed by a mummy,” experiences captured in his first book, Jadoo, which was first published in 1957.

And between 1957 and 1970, Keel began to seriously immerse himself in the controversy surrounding flying saucers, also known as UFOs.

Like any good and objective journalist, Keel spent these years researching the subject, talking to UFO eyewitnesses and delving deep into the history of the confounding and puzzling topic and ultimately publishing Operation Trojan Horse, a 300-plus page book that focuses on the bizarre nature of the alleged “craft” and how we really don’t know who or what is behind their unexpected appearances around the world.

Keel’s findings seemed to parallel that of Dr. Meade Layne, an investigator of the “inter-dimensional/folklore school of thought” on the UFO phenomena (to quote a relative of Layne’s). That “paraphysical” and “parapsychological” position was not widely embraced by those who followed the more commonly trod path of extraterrestrials and spacecraft from distant stars.

In fact, Keel writes in his groundbreaking book, now 47-years old, that Kenneth Arnold, the private airplane pilot whose June 1947 sighting of strange craft flying near Mount Rainier in Washington state, kicked off the “modern flying saucer scare” and would later express his belief that “the objects were actually some form of living energy, and were not necessarily marvelous spaceships.”

Other researchers, Keel notes, would conclude that UFOs are closely linked with “mysticism and the metaphysical.” Clearly, the research was pointing to a more “occult” quality to the UFO phenomenon than the mainstream government, military and – in most cases – civilian researchers wanted to admit.

But Keel had already seen a lot of strange things by this time and was a seasoned journalist having traveled the world. It only made sense that he would report on the subject, wherever it took him.

And it took Keel to some pretty wild places!

No, there is a more “trickster”-ish quality to the experiences, things that don’t make sense, at least in a logical way. And then there is the issue of “visible light.” It would seem that UFOs may exist at “frequencies beyond visible light but that they can adjust their frequency and descend the electromagnetic spectrum – just as you can turn the dial of your radio and move a variable condenser up and down the scale of radio frequencies.”

Keel notes plenty of “patterns” in the phenomenon, how UFOs seem to stay within geographical boundaries, or appear in great “circle” patterns over large stretches of landscape. Many UFO sightings happen of Wednesdays, we learn.

We are taken back to the 19th century, when people like Joseph Smith are visited by “angelic beings” who point out the location of buried plates that will lead to the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the Mormons.

Throughout history, Keel notes, these “beings” which are thought to be from “heaven,” may actually be “ultraterrestrials,” entities that are non-human and may be of natural or even supernatural origin and are indigenous to our planet. They are thought to be linked to the folkloric entities of days gone by – fairies, brownies and so forth.

Flying ships were reported with increasing frequency throughout the 19th century, leading up the 1896-97 airship “flap” (or major, continued series of sightings) that had thousands of people seeing strange things in the sky.

But what were they seeing? What about the people of the mid-20th century, when Keel was gathering his information? It’s never entirely clear.

For instance, in March 1966, Eddie Laxton, of Temple, Okla., was driving on U.S. Highway 70 in Cotton County, on his way to work at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas, when he had a dramatic UFO experience near the Red River, one that got the attention of his Air Force bosses.

Laxton said a human-like alien, who looked more like a mechanic in coveralls, was examining the underside of his “fish-like” spacecraft, with a “flashlight,” as if he were making repairs. But the alien got spooked pretty quickly, jumping in his UFO and taking off at a rapid rate.

Keel says this ruse of “pretending” to repair an ailing saucer has been used time and again by the “ultraterrestrials” of Operation Trojan Horse, or whatever it is they are doing. And yet no one really knows what their objective is.

And then there is the distortion of time, when it comes to many sightings. In one utterly shocking case, an Argentinian doctor and his wife got into their Peugeot 403 in a town near Buenos Aires, planning to travel 150 km south.

But the travelers did not make it to their destination. Keel tells us their family received a call from the Argentine consulate in Mexico City saying the couple “appeared” in Mexico’s capital city 48 hours later and nearly 5,000 miles from home. Except for a weird “fog” that enveloped their car that morning in May 1968, the doctor and his wife have no idea how they got to Mexico City.

Again, the occult angle cannot be emphasized enough. Keel says that “black magic” is often linked to the phenomenon, and some people have such frightening experiences dabbling in the topic, that they abandon it for good. In fact, Keel tells his adult readers who are parents to warn their children away from Ufology altogether.

I have in my files hundreds of cases, some of which have now been investigated by qualified psychiatrists, in which young men and women obsessed with the UFO phenomenon have suffered frightening visits from these apparitions, been followed by mysterious black Cadillacs which appeared and disappeared suddenly, and have been terrified into giving up their pursuit of UFOs. Many contactees report similar experiences.”

The phenomenon is reflective,” adds Keel. “the more frightened the victim becomes, the more the manifestations are escalated.”

While Keel does not solve the mystery, he was courageous enough to diligently investigate the topic with seriousness and open-mindedness.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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