John Keel Ate My Audiobook Review of The Perspicacious Percipient

Library ascending into the heavens

Deep Thoughts About The Perspicacious Percipient

The Perspicacious Percipient: How to Investigate UFOs and Other Insane Urges – Selected Writings of John A. Keel is a great book. It’s a collection of magazine articles from John Keel gathered together by Andy Colvin and published by New Saucerian. This book is the grand finale in a series of books which include Flying Saucer to the Center of Your MindThe Outer Limits of the Twilight ZoneSearching for the StringThe Great Phonograph in the Sky, and The Passionate Percipient: Illusions I Have Known And Loved. The collection brings together a massive amount of published articles in one place. If you’ve ever read The Mothman Prophecies, The Eighth Tower, or Operation Trojan Horse and wanted more, this would be the book series I would recommend. I really enjoyed both Flying Saucer to the Center of Your Mind and The Outer Limits of the Twilight Zone. I’ve still got three more to read in the series.

John Keel is one of my favorite authors and Andy Colvin is partially to blame for that. Andy’s documentary The Mothman’s Photographer really resonated with me. Strange things have been happening to me my whole life and what Keel and Colvin were saying clicked on a light bulb for me. It never made sense to me why, after I started seeing lights in the sky, that all manner of insanity would begin turning up. Giant wolves, shadowy cloaked specters, little dark creatures with red eyes, weird and terrifying phone calls, home invasion, and what appeared to be surveillance. The whole thing was too crazy to be aliens from space in a nuts and bolts flying saucer. Thankfully, there were other people around me who were seeing these things too. I probably would have wound up in a padded room somewhere if it weren’t for them.

The intersection of the strange is where John Keel really shines. He’s the voice of reason in a research field filled with adult role-playing and drive-by cash grabs. Most people sitting at home watching the Roswell fiasco re-examined on the History Channel for the thousandth time will have no idea that the phenomenon is far stranger than the fantasy being sold on their televisions. And ufology organizations who are supposed to be studying the phenomenon scientifically are busy giving awards to someone who does regressive hypnosis over the telephone and some other really disturbing stuff that you should read for yourself. Keel is not afraid to call ufology a mental disorder or go after it with a pointy stick which he does on numerous occasions in this book.

If you haven’t read John Keel before it might help to have a little perspective. He’s seen the lights in the sky too and is not trying to say that everyone who sees them is crazy. It’s the structures we’ve built around them that are crazy and it appears the lights in the sky are encouraging this. Throw in some good old-fashioned dishonest door to door ufology salesmanship and you have a recipe for total confusion. Keel’s takeaway is very similar to that of Charles Fort. Humans aren’t the ones running the show, the gods just might be crazy, and good luck in getting to the bottom of that. The Perspicacious Percipient and the other books in the series are full of evidence that something very strange is going on but constant misinterpretation and misdirection keep sending humanity further down the rabbit hole.

The Carrier Theory

I’ve been struggling with writing this review for weeks now. Not only is there a huge amount of information in this book but also one of the theories Keel puts forward stopped me in my tracks. So rather than trying to wade through all the different topics in this book, and there are a lot of them, we are going to focus in on a particular section of the book. The Carrier Theory really got my interest because part of what I’m trying to do here is tracking all the people who seem to have encountered something truly extraordinary and the effect it has had on our world. Many of them have seen pink lights or lights balls and seem to be in communication with some otherworldly energy. Many of them are authors with large literary outputs. Let’s start with Keel’s description at the beginning.

Earlier in this series, I discussed the possibility of the existence of a higher intelligence that might consist of a bodiless form of pure energy. And we suggested that such energy forms might coexist with us without our being aware of it. They could be “in charge” of our development and exercise subtle control over us from time to time, whenever necessary, acting under the direction of some distant unknown “colony” or group that might literally own the earth and everything on it.

Keel, John. The Perspicacious Percipient: How to Investigate UFOs and Other Insane Urges – Selected Writings of John A. Keel (Kindle Locations 532-536). New Saucerian. Kindle Edition.

And before anyone starts screaming that the whole thing is nuts be aware that Keel himself call it an “outlandish thesis”. What I would encourage you to do is get the book and make up your own mind. Don’t take my word for it. It is a wonderful new lens to look at things like Philip K Dick’s Zebra and the AI operator, Robert Anton Wilson’s Sirius communication, the light balls in Whitley Strieber’s living room, Jano and Alan Watt’s “The Net”, John C. Lilly’s Cosmic Coincidence Control Center, and Terrence McKenna’s fake flying saucer. Let’s take a look a few things that I found strange. You may want to dust off your copy of Cosmic Trigger for use later.

Even so, we find that Revelations 7:4 clearly states that “the servants of our God” were “sealed in the foreheads” of 144,000 “children of Israel.” How can this interesting statement be explained? Could this mean, literally, that some unknown foreign energy was introduced into the minds of 144,000 people? Could those people have been the first “carriers,” and could they have passed that energy on to their children and their children’s children?

Keel, John. The Perspicacious Percipient: How to Investigate UFOs and Other Insane Urges – Selected Writings of John A. Keel (Kindle Locations 566-570). New Saucerian. Kindle Edition.

Here we have a quote from the Exegesis of Philip K Dick which is a massive volume of information centered around explaining the strange events in his life. Much of his later life was spent trying to understand what it was that happened to him. I’ll include a video after the quote so you can hear it in his own words.

[29:9] Burroughs in The Ticket That Exploded says of the Nova Mob parasites that as they move from one human host to another they give themselves away (to the Nova police) by the continuity of their habits, such as tastes in food (in Hamburger Mary’s case a taste for peanut butter). This was exactly true about Thomas. And I’ve subjectively felt myself as a female, a womb into which something like an egg (Firebright) was deposited—like a cuckoo egg. Was Thomas a saprophyte turned parasite, and deposited his “egg” in me? Does this mean that Burroughs is either intentionally or unintentionally describing something which is true?

Exegesis of Philip K Dick 235-236

Here we have a quote from the section labeled “Carrier Characteristics”

We have all known people who seemed to possess unusual extrasensory powers. Such people are very apt to be “carrier” types.Often they receive warnings. They decide not to board a plane that later crashes, or they keep their kids off of a schoolbus that gets hit by a train. These warnings might emanate from the “servant” that is “sealed in their forehead.” That servant has a vested interest in keeping his host alive. Since the energy entities are timeless and possess total perception, they may, somehow, blend the future with the present, allowing us to “see ahead.” At times, the evolving entity may even play around with its host’s mind, producing dreams, visions, precognitions, and “creative” ideas.

Keel, John. The Perspicacious Percipient: How to Investigate UFOs and Other Insane Urges – Selected Writings of John A. Keel (Kindle Locations 590-595). New Saucerian. Kindle Edition.


Here is something that happened to Philip K Dick. The pink light gave him information about a potentially deadly health problem involving his son which was later confirmed by doctors. You can read the whole thing in comic book form in The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by R. Crumb from Weirdo #17 which is uploaded here.

Sometime in the late summer of 1974, Phil reported drifting between sleep and waking while listening to the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” sung by John Lennon. At the point in the song where it says “Living is easy with eyes closed,” Phil opened his eyes. He cried out to Tessa to “Call the doctor and tell him that Christopher has an inguinal hernia and he could die if it strangulated”. Tessa says Phil looked as if he were in a trance and she confirms what he said, and that he stated the medical terms correctly. She took their 14 month old son Christopher to a doctor, and the doctor confirmed Phil’s diagnosis, and the doctor scheduled and eventually did the potentially life-saving surgery as soon as Christopher was old enough, which was a couple of months later. In the meantime they were instructed to be careful not to let him cry for any prolonged period.

Pulling the Cosmic Trigger: The Contact Experiences of Philip K Dick & Robert Anton Wilson by Paranoia Magazine

So if we entertain these parasitic energies as real for a moment then one must ask where do they go when the human host dies and are they hereditary. For me, this is where things get really interesting.

When a “carrier” meets a sudden and unexpected death by accident or violence, the attached entity may find itself homeless, and have to go searching for a new and unoccupied “carrier.” This means that we have an immature, partially evolved mass of energy roaming around free, looking for a host. Should an occupied (and therefore sensitive) “carrier” encounter this wandering entity, he or she might see a weird blob of blue or purple light (“orbs” and “fairy lights” are sometimes seen above the graves of the recently deceased), or they may experience some other ghostly manifestation. And yet another “ghost story” is born, to be investigated and pondered by parapsychologists and monster hunters. An immature entity might even find itself stranded for years in the place where its host died, and thus become a “haunt” in an old house – until an unoccupied “carrier” blunders along.

Keel, John. The Perspicacious Percipient: How to Investigate UFOs and Other Insane Urges – Selected Writings of John A. Keel (Kindle Locations 598-605). New Saucerian. Kindle Edition.

Sound familiar? It seems like plasma balls are all the rage these days and they are turning up everywhere. The statements of Project Condign from the British Ministry of Defense and Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies who were involved with the Pentagon UFO program will no doubt continue this trend.

Project Condign Archive 2 Page 1
The close proximity of plasma related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person. For this to occur the UAM must be encountered at very close ranges. A probable modulated magnetic, electric, or electromagnetic (or even unknown field), appears to emanate from some the bouyant charged masses. Local fields of this type (probably either an electromagnetic near-field, or a direct magnetic field) have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining (and later describing and retaining) his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced. Some observers are likely to be more susceptible to these fields than are others, and may suffer extended memory retention and repeat experiences. This is suggested to be a key factor in influencing the more extreme reports found in the media and are clearly believed by the ‘victims’ (Volume 2 Papers 1, 2 and (with experimental results) Paper 25)

Statement from a Senior Manager of BAASS given to LasVegasNow:

The investigations by BAASS provided new lines of evidence showing that the UFO phenomenon was a lot more than nuts and bolts machines that interacted with military aircraft. The phenomenon also involved a whole panoply of diverse activity that included bizarre creatures, poltergeist activity, invisible entities, orbs of light, animal and human injuries and much more. The exclusive focus on nuts and bolts machines could be considered myopic and unproductive in solving the larger mystery of UFOs.

One of the major successes of BAASS was in adopting the novel approach of utilizing the human body as a readout system for dissecting interactions with the UFO phenomenon. This novel approach aimed to circumvent the increasing evidence of deception and subterfuge by the UFO phenomenon in that multiple eyewitnesses co-located in the same vicinity frequently reported seeing widely different events. The evidence was multiplying that the UFO phenomenon was capable of manipulating and distorting human perception and therefore eyewitness testimony of UFO activity was becoming increasingly untrustworthy.

It is interesting to me that another part of this equation could be residing in Philip K Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth. Which sounds a lot like the Sky Critters of Trevor James Constable.

You’re a science fiction writer; could life forms exist unsuspected in Earth’s atmosphere, highly Evolved, highly intelligent life forms, which take an active interest in our welfare and can help us when they choose? You’d think there would have been reports over the ages. It doesn’t make sense; someone would have discovered them long ago. Maybe—this is one of my theories—maybe they recently entered our atmosphere, possibly from another planet or plane. Another possibility I’ve considered is that they’re from the future, come back here in time to assist us. They’re very anxious to assist us. They seem to know everything. Christ, I guess they can go anywhere; they don’t have material bodies, just the energetic plasmatic forms, like electromagnetic fields. They probably merge, pool their information, and then separate. Of course, I’m just theorizing. I don’t know. That’s the impression of them I get.” – Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K Dick

Final Thoughts

Are the beings that John Keel speculates about in The Perspicacious Percipient real and possibly still running around our skies? There is no way to be sure of that but here I am again wondering about what the hell is really going on. When I saw the multitude of orbs described at the end of my review of The Super Natural I was left with the impression of what a great infection mechanism it would have been with all those lights flying towards the exact spot where everyone parks on the side of the road to see UFO phenomenon. But then again, what did I really see, and is there any way to know for sure? To me, that is the real power of John Keel, he smacks us awake in our tiny boxes and makes us think.

There is so much to chew on in The Perspicacious Percipient. Dissections of NICAP’s activities and finances, fun exercises in hypnotism, the Roswell Fugo balloon fiasco, and a whole raft of truly bizarre Fortean madness. Something strange is happening but curiously none of us still have an answer to what that is precisely. If you are interested in these sorts of topics this entire series of books is well worth your time and will no doubt cause you to have your own deep thoughts about all of this. I listened on Audible, this audiobook was extremely well done, and it was a lot of fun riding around with John Keel in the car and thinking about all of this. I will leave you with a quote from Colonel Milford in The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost.

I’m convinced now that whatever I’ve glimpsed or encountered and spent my life tracking has been with us since humankind came down out of the trees. It is not something “out there”–in the president’s words. They may well have once been our “neighbors” from some distant star, but I believe they were here before us. I believe that were we able to look deeply at the whole human history we would see that they have always been here. I believe they have observed, helped, haunted, tormented, and teased us since the beginning of time for reasons entirely their own. I believe that they are multitude, and that their true nature is singular and energetic, not physical, evolved in some way light-years beyond our ability to understand, and as a consequence, our limited, linear sense of time means nothing to them. A few of us were chosen, for some strange purpose, to learn more about them. Or perhaps for other reasons.

I believe their presence fills more than the skies or these woods; they lie at the root cause of every extranormal or paranormal experience our species has recorded: religious, spiritual, scientific, ghostly, inspirational, angelic and demonic.

Here is the last interview with John Keel from The Mothman’s Photographer. Thank you Andy Colvin for all this great material! Available in audiobook format via Amazon here. This link supports this website at no additional cost to you.

Parts 2, 3, and 4 available here: https://www.youtube.com/user/mothphotog/videos

Article may contain affiliate links which help support this website at no additional cost to you. Thank you to the wonderful artists at Pixabay and Unsplash for helping make this website possible.

2 thoughts on “John Keel Ate My Audiobook Review of The Perspicacious Percipient

  1. Tim Swain says:

    I read the first of these books and was disappointed. A collection of Keel’s articles and speeches presented in chronological order, with the magazines, venues, and original dates cited would’ve been wonderful. Brief introductions for context would’ve been okay. Instead, Colvin turns the pieces into one narrative, obscuring their history and inserting himself far too deeply into Keel’s writing. Imagine someone’s having the gall to do this with, say, George Orwell or Stephen Gould. It took a lot of effort on Colvin’s part to screw up this badly. I’m hoping someone with the modesty and good sense to stay in the background eventually gathers Keel’s short pieces into book form.

    • thundernoggin says:

      There is certainly an argument to made for this in certain places. I didn’t mind so much but then again I am a fan of them both. Personally, I love the series and because it’s on Audible I can take it with me in the car. I’m always up for more John Keel books though so hopefully someone out there will take your advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *