John A. Keel’s UFO Dictionary

Fortean Doug Skinner’s (my interview here) one-man effort to preserve the archives of the late paranormal researcher John A. Keel has been nothing short of heroic. Skinner, a personal friend of Keel’s, inherited the writer’s notes and news clippings, and has been quietly scanning and posting them all at for three years now. His latest update includes an excerpt from Keel’s UFO Dictionary, an eclectic mix of neologisms, slang, paranormal language and repurposed words from fields like psychiatry and medicine.

My favorite from the excerpts thus far provided by Skinner:

“Skeptic: One who has not seen a UFO.”

Keel’s contributions to Forteana loom even now. Like Jacques Vallee, Keel eventually came to the conclusion that sightings of cryptids, UFOs and various folkloric characters like elves and demons were actually caused by “ultraterrestrials”: a hidden species that shares some aspect of the world with humanity. Call it a Universal Field Theory of the Weird, if you like.

Check out the rest of the list at

If you’re interested in Keel’s “ultraterrestrials” theory, you might enjoy Our Haunted Planet or (if you can find it) Disneyland of the Gods. You can also try to find Vallee’s Passport to Magonia, but be prepared to spend a lot of money.


2 Comments on "John A. Keel’s UFO Dictionary"

  1. Princess Moon Owl | Nov 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |

    I don’t think Vallee and Keel’s conclusion was exactly “ultraterrestrials live among us”. I think their conclusion was more that these sightings were an effect of another consciousness outside our perception of time and space that somehow is attached to our own consciousness, that influences us and is influenced by us thru informational events and symbolic communications. More of a looking-glass sort of reality.

    • Princess Moon Owl, you have accurately characterized Vallee’s viewpoint, but not Keel’s. Keel coined the term “ultraterrestrial,” and he saw them as sharing this planet with us.

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