Chhhaaapstick no more: 'Mothman' author dies

Unless you're a hardcore UFO fan, the fact that John Keel died on July 3 doesn't mean much. But it should matter for fans of paranormal pop culture.

Before the paranormal became a mainstream part of popular culture and every cable channel had its own parapop show - and even before Leonard Nimoy was In Search Of... - there was John Keel.

Keel was a journalist and one of the original ufologist (although he preferred to be called a demonologist). He coined the term Men In Black to describe menacing creatures in human form, and he's probably best known for writing
The Mothman Prophecies about the winged creature in West Virginia. From a paranormal standpoint, Keel didn't buy into aliens. He instead hypothesized that everything etc.) was connected and actually a ruse for something bigger.
under the paranormal umbrella (poltergeists, UFOs, monsters, vampires,
As a result, many outside the paranormal community regarded him as a crackpot.

Still, Keel impacted pop culture. Other than the Will Smith movie, his book was the basis for the mediocre 2002 Mothman Prophecies movie - which inspired my headline based on a scene where a demon-voiced Mothy whispers to Richard Gere about lip balm (Weirdest. Product Placement. Ever). And did I mention the Mothman museum in Point Pleasant, WV?

Also, one of my favorite
The X-Files episodes, "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'," is a great nod to Keel's life and work, and features none other than Alex Trebek and pre-gov Jesse Ventura as men in black.

Keel's death didn't get much ink stateside, so thanks to the Telegraph for the coverage.
-aaron sagers