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Who is who in ufology:

Credit: This biography is essentially from US ufologist Richard Hall, who worked on ufology together with Major Keyhoe. Richard Hall's website is at: www.hallrichard.com

Donald E. Keyhoe (1897 - 1988)

Major Donald E. Keyhoe

Donald E. Keyhoe was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, on June 20, 1897, at the dawn of human flight. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in the Class of 1920, with a B.S. degree and the commission of a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. During his senior year at the Academy, Robert Goddard published a theoretical paper, "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes" (i.e., rockets), and two years later Hermann Oberth, the famous German space pioneer, wrote "The Rocket Into Interplanetary Space."

The Wright Brothers had flown at Kitty Hawk, N.C., when Keyhoe was a teenager. Balloon flights were also much in the news. The young Lieutenant became a Naval aviator, piloting both balloons and airplanes in the period between the World Wars. In the years leading to World War II, Lieutenant Keyhoe commanded a flight of Naval seaplanes being ferried from the U.S. to Guam, and served on that island. After a night crash at Guam, he retired from active duty and began freelance writing.

Joining Government service, he became editor of the Coast and Geodetic Survey publications, then he was appointed Chief of Information for the Aeronautics Branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. (This agency later evolved into the Federal Aviation Administration.) After Floyd Bennett flew over the North Pole on May 9, 1926, in a historic flight, Keyhoe was assigned to manage his nationwide tour in the "Josephine Ford" North Pole plane. Then when Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh about a year later successfully hopped the Atlantic in the "Spirit of St. Louis" and became a national and international hero, Keyhoe was assigned as his aide, accompanying the flier on his triumphant 48-State tour. Later he wrote the charming and popular book Flying With Lindbergh (New York: Putnams, 1928).

During the 1930s and the early 1940s Keyhoe wrote fictional aviation adventure stories for then popular pulp magazines, inventing the heroic flyers "Phil Strange" and "Dick Knight," among other heroes and villains. He also contributed numerous factual articles to major magazines of the day on a wide range of topics, many popularizing aviation. The magazines included Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, American, Redbook, and True. Other articles and features appeared in the Sunday newspaper supplements This Week and American Weekly.

As war loomed in Europe, Keyhoe published M-Day: If War Comes, What Your Government Plans for You (New York: Dutton, 1940) dealing with U.S. mobilization for warfare. During World War II he was recalled to active duty with the rank of Major and served in the Pentagon in the Naval Aviation Training Division. After the war he again retired to private life and resumed his writing career.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Keyhoe personally test-flew a wide variety of aircraft and evaluated their performance and features for True Magazine. When the first "flying saucer" sightings were reported in June of 1947, Keyhoe, as an experienced aviator, was skeptical. But when True asked him to investigate in 1949 and he interviewed numerous fliers as well as military officers in the Pentagon, he discovered that expert observers had seen the unexplained discs, many at close range. The more he investigated, the more he became convinced that the UFOs were nothing from this planet, apparently coming from outer space. He concluded that the Air Force had to know this and were covering up the truth.

His article Flying Saucers Are Real in the January 1950 issue of True became one of the most widely read and discussed articles in publishing history, and caused a sensation. The article was expanded into a paperback book The Flying Saucers Are Real (New York: Fawcett, 1950) and reached an even wider audience. This was followed by the major hardcover books Flying Saucers From Outer Space (1953), Flying Saucer Conspiracy (1955), and Flying Saucers: Top Secret (1960), and many articles such as What radar tells about flying saucers, I know the secrets of the flying saucers. In January 1957 Keyhoe had become Director of the newly formed National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) in Washington, D.C., which under his leadership gave serious publicity to the UFO mystery through the 1960s and encouraged Congressional hearings. In 1966, he was already convinced that the control of gravity was the explanation for the "impossible" maneuvers of UFOs, and he demanded the end of UFO secrecy so that all scientists would dare to work on the subject without the fear of ridicule.

His last book Aliens From Space was published in 1973. By this time Keyhoe had become convinced that the Central Intelligence Agency was the principal agency behind the cover-up. He spent his later retirement years at "Bluemont" in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley outside of Luray, Virginia, with his wife Helen Gardner Keyhoe, a native of Page County, Virginia. Mrs. Keyhoe was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a prize-winning rose grower.


Click! Down, down, down with censorship, by Donald E. Keyhoe.
Click! Someone's watching over us, by Donald E. Keyhoe.
Click! I know the secret of the flying saucers, by Donald E. Keyhoe.
Click! What radar tells us about the flying saucers, by Donald E. Keyhoe.


Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1950, USA
See here.
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1951, USA, Corrêa
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1953, USA, Henry Hold & Co
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1954, USA, Hachette
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1955, USA, Henry Holt & co
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1960, USA G.P. Putnam's Sons
Cover KEYHOE, Donald E.:


1975, USA, France Empire

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This page was last updated on October 15, 2007.