Many of these claims seemed incompatible with extraterrestrial theories, which started to fall out of favor in some circles of ufology. The principal figure in this revisionist ufology, at least initially, was writer John A. Keel, whose investigations in New York, West Virginia, and Ohio elicited scores of incredible tales that could not be shrugged off as the creations of lunatics and charlatans. On the other hand, these were extraordinary claims without extraordinary—or even ordinary—proof. Someone more cautious would have hesitated to use such material, which existed only in testimony (admittedly, for all its fantastic qualities, at times compelling testimony), to construct a phantasmagorical explanatory scheme. Brash and opinionated, Keel had no such reluctance.
Keel credited Layne with having “worked it all out in the early 1950s;” unfortunately, Keel added, “nobody would listen to him.” But ufologists, Forteans, and psychic enthusiasts were listening to Keel, whose writing and pronouncements excoriated traditional ufology as the domain of “buffs” who lacked the courage, the imagination, or even the mental health to face the truth. The truth according to Keel was that “ultraterrestrials” from the “superspectrum” (Keel’s term for the etheric realm) are entering our world and doing terrible things to us. “We are biochemical robots helplessly controlled by forces that can scramble our brains, destroy our memories and use us in any way they see fit,” he wrote. “They have been doing it to us forever.” Here he parted radically from Layne, who believed the ethereans to be largely benevolent.
To Keel the contact claims loved by saucerians were not the hoaxes suspected by ufologists; they were actual experiences, but not the sort contactees thought they were. According to Keel, “The quasi-angels of Biblical times have become magnificent spacemen. The demons, devils, and false angels were recognized as liars and plunderers by early man. These same impostors now appear as long-haired Venusians.”
He holds that Homo sapiens came into existence because of a war waged between ultraterrestrial factions. One faction took on human form so that it could more easily communicate with Neanderthals, whom this ultraterrestrial group wanted to enlist in its “physical army.” An unintended consequence of this assumption of physical form was erotic desire. Sexual intercourse between the ultraterrestrials and the protohuman Neanderthals created the modern human race. As Keel tells the tale in Our Haunted Planet (1971), “This produced strange responses in [the offspring’s] materialized nervous system. Emotions were born. Frequencies were changed. The direct control of the superintelligence was driven from their bodies. They were trapped on Earth, unable to ascend the electromagnetic scale and reenter their etheric world. With the loss of control they became animals, albeit highly intelligent animals.”
The other ultraterrestrials continue to torment us, their former adversaries, and effectively control the world, manipulating our social, political, scientific, and religious beliefs, creating all paranormal phenomena and destroying the lives of individual human beings who interact with them.