To our consciousness. To our awareness. To reality, via new crime reports.
John A. Keel loved tongue-in-cheek names, monikers collecting concepts, and subtle humor in his writings. He felt he was merely following in the literary tradition of American intellectual writer Charles Fort.
Keel saw himself as a Fortean, first and foremost, during his early days of writing about the unexplained. His 1970 book, Strange Creatures from Time and Space, is a tome full of such names. Take, for example, his chapter "Creatures from the Black Lagoon." Keel tackles swamp creatures then filtering through the newsclippings he saw coming across his desk.
"We shall call him the Abominable Swamp Slob, or A.S.S. for short," wrote Keel.
The name hits one like a ton of bricks, in its subtleness. To Keel, he was trying to be funny, even if perhaps going a bit overboard with the coined invention.
"A.S.S." was classic Keel, and, of course, never caught on among Forteans, let along cryptozoologists. Keel tried out other names in SCFTAS: Winged Weirdos, Man-Birds, Bedroom Invaders, and the Incomprehensibles.
A name that is often wrongly credited to Keel, "Men in Black" was not actually first used by him. As Jerome Clark personally told me, regarding the question of origins: "It is my view that 'men in black' were what Gray Barker wrote about, and that's what he called them. Keel coined the acronym 'MIB' -- different from Barker's enforcers in being otherworldly in appearance and behavior."
(Tall, blond aliens, btw, are not merely a thing of the past. Just read this new overview of a recent case from the Red Dirt Report.)
One Keel-invented appellation that may be in for a renewal of interest and examination is the Grinning Man.
"The man was over six feet tall, they agreed, and
was dressed in a sparkling green coverall costume that shimmered and
seemed to reflect the street lights. There was a wide black belt
around his waist." The boys also said "He had a very dark complexion,
and little round eyes...real beady...set far apart." The most
frightening and bizarre aspect of the encounter is the fact that "They
could not remember seeing any hair, ears, or nose on this figure." ~ John A. Keel, from Strange Creatures from Time and Space
Let us take what happened a few months ago in Loveland as merely a reflection of what kinds of stories Keel would gather if he were alive. Oh, no, I do not mean Loveland, Ohio, known for its Frogman reports. The Loveland of which I talk is in Colorado, infamous in its recent past for teen suicide clusters and school shootings.
On Monday, June 10, 2013, Loveland, Colorado, police were on the search for "a grinning man who grabbed a 12-year-old girl in a Safeway parking lot."
Police issued a composite sketch of the suspect (shown at the top) in the failed kidnapping incident, which happened at Wilson Avenue and Eisenhower Boulevard at about 10:28 p.m. on that day. (The event mirrored the "Phantom Clown" incidents of near-abductions.)
The victim told police she left the store to get some change from her parents' vehicle in the parking lot. She said the suspect was riding by on a bicycle and grabbed her wrist. The man let go of her when she screamed. Police said the girl locked herself in the vehicle and the man rode away. The suspect is described as a white man in his early 20s, with shaggy brown shoulder-length hair. He was wearing a white baseball cap backwards and a white T-shirt. The man was riding a white, small-framed mountain-type bicycle with a bell on it. The girl helped police develop a composite sketch of the suspect. Source.