Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Mothman Prophecies: Conspiracies, Aliens, Abductions–Oh My!

A Review By: Amelia
The universe is infinite. Even if life on Earth was created by chance, the universe is so big that somewhere in the vast expanse of space, the circumstances that led to life on Earth, could also have occurred elsewhere. Is it possible that other life that has formed in other parts of the galaxy have visited Earth? Since the sixties, a whole form of study has formed around not only alien life, but the possibility that it’s come to Earth–that maybe it’s here right now. The Mothman Prophecies is a book dedicated to this theory.

John Keel was an American journalist and a very influential UFOlogist. He wrote scripts for Get Smart, The Monkees, Mack & Myer for Hire, and Lost in Space. His true love however, was for UFOs and in 1967 he popularized the term ‘Men in Black’ and created theories linking supernatural concepts like monsters, ghosts, and, demons to extraterrestrial visitations. He was prolific and imaginative and is considered a significant driving influence within the UFO field of study.

The plot of The Mothman Prophecies relates Keel’s account of his paranormal investigation into the Mothman: a large, winged creature that was haunting and harassing the people of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966-67. This book combines his investigations and his own theories with various supernatural phenomena to explain who or what the Mothman is.

Keel was a man who knew what he was talking about. Whether you believe in aliens and their visitation of Earth or not, Keel wrote a book full of reasonable explanations and well presented theories and their ‘evidence’. As a narrative, or a case study, though, The Mothman Prophecies falls short. Keel had the facts, but how he presented them was a little muddled. He jumped around between what he had experienced, what he had researched, and what he thought just a little too often and a little too haphazardly.

My final thoughts on The Mothman Prophecies are that it’s okay. It’s not quite a memoir, not quite a case study, not quite a supernatural/horror/science-fiction thriller and that makes it just okay. I felt like the writer was using to jovial a tone and it took away from the tension that he was trying to create with his retelling of all the should-be-creepy stuff that happened to him. He’s done his research and I have no doubt that he believes all this happened because of aliens, but as a writer, he didn’t convince me of it. Still a book worth checking out if you’re interested in the topic, but not so much if you’re expecting a memoir, a case study, or a supernatural/horror/science-fiction thriller.

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