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Jim Keith's Legacy

Author Jim Keith Dies under Mysterious Circumstances

James Keith, conspiracy author and researcher, died Tuesday September 7th while undergoing surgery at Washoe County Medical Center in Reno, Nevada. According to the Coroners report, Keith suffered a fatal blood clot while surgeons attempted to repair a broken leg. The explanation doesn't sit well with friends and colleagues, as mystery and intrigue surround the demise of the conspiracy icon.

Jim Keith authored a volume of articles, fiction and non-fiction works, but is best known for his conspiracy books Black Helicopters Over America, OK BOMB!, Casebook on The Men in Black, and Mind Control World Control. Keith was a featured guest on the Art Bell radio talk show, and also appeared on a number of television programs including HBO's Making of Conspiracy Theory and MSNBC. Recently, Keith had made the transition to the Internet, writing a weekly column for NitroNews. The British based news service has been offline since Keith's death, and rumors are abounding among friends and fans.

According to the newsletter Conspiracy Journal, there is speculation that a recent column published with NitroNews may have lead to his unexpected death. The column, entitled "Princess Diana Was Pregnant - Fayed's Physician Examined Her Commentary by Jim Keith" was reprinted in the newsletter. Might Jim Keith have been the man who knew too much?

Colleague Kenn Thomas, who co-authored The Octopus with Keith, remembers the writer:"He lived on the edge, where I usually tried to catch up with him." Thomas plans to travel to Nevada to investigate Keith's untimely death "while the trails are still fresh. . . "

In Reno, Thomas is sure to find plenty of red flags.

George Piccard, a close friend of Keith, recalls: "I went to visit Jim in the hospital that Tuesday night. I had spoken with Jim the night before and I remembered which room he was in, but when I checked in at the nurses desk on that floor, the third floor, I was told that Jim was in room 106, on the first floor. When I checked that room, 106, I found an elderly lady with a completely different name."

Piccard then says that he asked another nurse where he could visit his friend. "After checking the computer, the nurse made a number of phone calls to different people within the hospital. After what seemed like an eternity, she handed me a piece of paper with a phone number on it, and said that she 'couldn't disclose any information regarding the patient' and that I would have to contact the 'family spokesperson."

"At that point I was overcome with dread." Piccard says, "I asked the nurse 'He's not dead is he?' and there was no response. I said to her, 'Tell me he's not dead.'"

Piccards fears were soon validated. After frantic phone calls to friends, Piccard received confirmation from a Keith family member.

"I didn't believe it. My best friend was gone. He broke his leg and now he's dead. It didn't make any sense." said Piccard.

Keith obtained his injury at the Burning Man, an eccentric art festival held annually in the northern Nevada Black Rock Desert. His leg was broken when he fell from a stage, just three feet above ground. The hospital reports that related kidney problems developed soon after, and prevented immediate surgery. Three days later, when that surgery finally came, Keith died.

"He [Jim] told me, in one of our last discussions, that he didn't want to be put under, that he couldn't handle the anesthesia. He said that if he went under, he didn't think he would wake back up. He was going to leave the hospital and go home with his broken leg if they were going to put him under." Piccard says "The last time I spoke with him, he told me that they had arranged to use a local, an epidermal."

Keith's nephew, Chris Davis, concurs that his uncle insisted on not being administered anesthesia. It remains unexplained why Keith was given anesthesia.

Jerry Smith, a lifelong friend of Jim Keith and fellow conspiracy author, tells that Jim had a rule-- Keith's Law --which states "all conspiracy authors must die in mysterious circumstances."

Jim Keith was 49 years old. He is survived by two daughters.

From: "Thomas, Kenneth F."

Thank you for the kind words about Jim. He was a dear friend of mine and an important person to the world. The loss is immeasurable. He was not just the co-author of "The Octopus," but a dharma combatant who demonstrated time and again that the world is far more multi-dimensional, far more interesting, than the pablum that usually passes for news, information and normal discourse. Unfortunately, it is also far more dangerous.

Rumor has it that Jim may have been killed because he mentioned the name of the physician who declared Diana was pregnant at the time of her death. I have long noted the connections between Diana's death and the Octopus. Diana was the subject of Jim's last column for Nitro News, which has been linked at Steamshovel's "Link Tank" for the past couple of weeks. As you know, Nitro News has not been accessible since Jim's death, although I reached it just before receiving word of his passing.

This rumor may be nonsense. Casolaro may have committed suicide. It is the way of the Octopus. It exists but it doesn't exist. These are blood clots or suicides or non-suspicious homicides or real accidents. They just happen to cluster coincidentally around a certain set of facts or a certain perception of an organized conspiracy.

And if Jim Keith did not die as a result of a conspiracy, then I'm sure he would want us to make it look that way!

I hope you will remember Jim for his good humor and for his fearlessness. He wrote what he knew and he let the chips fall where they might. He lived on the edge, where I usually tried to catch up with him. I hope he taught me enough about the place to keep up the work to which we were both committed.

If word comes of public services for him, I will pass it on. I have tentative plans to go to Reno and investigate what happened while the trails are still fresh. This will take money, though, and as with Jim and Danny Casolaro both, that's always in short supply, despite the romanticized view many people have of well-paid, world traveling writers and researchers. I urge anyone with information to contact me directly at: kennthomas@umsl.edu.We'll do whatever research work we can from our desks and get as much field work done as possible. I have sent inquiries to Burning Man and know one source who took a great deal of video there.

Also, several of Jim's friends have expressed an interest in putting together a memorial volume of essays with proceeds going to his daughters. As these things develop, I will keep the list up to speed.

Thank you again. Remember Jim!


Jim Keith

1949 - 1999

Jim Keith 1949-1999 (Breaking News, Conspiracy Journal):

Jim Keith 1949-1999

As some of you know James Keith broke his leg at Burning Man stepping off of a three foot stage. Thinking it was just a severe sprain he went home and tried to sleep it off.

Realizing the next morning it was more he went to Washoe Medical and was to be treated for a broken knee. This was to involve surgery but was delayed to a problem with kidney function. I spoke with him during the afternoon on Tuesday and he was in good spirits but worried about the thought of being put under. His quote being "I have this feeling that if they put me under I'm not coming back"


This one is surreal. Perhaps the highest accomplishment of any conspiracy researcher is to die under "mysterious circumstances." --GC

The co-author of the book The Octopus, about a writer who died mysterioulsy investigating an international conspiracy, has died under mysterious circumstances. Jim Keith, who co-wrote The Octopus with Kenn Thomas based on the notes of writer Danny Casolaro, died at Washoe Medical hospital after going in for knee surgery. Rumors suggest that he was killed after revealing the name of the physician who claimed Princess Diana was pregnant at the time of here death. "I have long noted the connections between the Octopus story and the death of Diana, "says Keith's co-author, Kenn Thomas.

The web news service where Keith named the source has become inaccessible since his death.

Danny Casolaro died in August 1991 in Martinsberg, West Virginia, of what appeared to be a suicide. He was investigating the theft of a super-surveillance software called PROMIS involving Justice Department officials and a shadowy international group he called the Octopus. Two congressional investigations of the PROMIS case (also known as the Inslaw case, after the name of the company that created PROMIS) recommened that Casolaro's death be investigated as a homicide. Keith and Thomas obtained the notes that Casolaro let behind and made them the basis of their book, The Octopus, published by Feral House in 1997.

"This rumor may be nonsense," Thomas said. "Casolaro may have committed suicide. It is the way of the Octopus. It exists but it doesn't exist. These are suicides or non-suspicious homicides or real accidents. They just happen to cluster coincidentally around a certain set of facts or a certain perception of an organized conspiracy. Keith himself would certainly have been suspicious of the circumstances of his own death, however"

Jim Keith fell from a stage at the Burning Man arts event held in Black Rock, Nevada, north of Reno, his hometown, and broke his knee. He went to the Washoe Medical hospital there and died during surgery on September 7 at 8:10 PM, when a blood clot released and entered his lung. In addition to co-authoring The Octopus with Kenn Thomas, Keith wrote many other popular books on conspiracy topics, including Mind Control/World Control, Black Helicopters I and II, OKC Bomb, Saucers of the Illuminati, Casebook on Alternative 3, Casebook on the Men In Black and many others. He was well-known and well-loved among the readers of conspiracy literature, and Thomas is receiving a great outpouring of grief and condolences from Keith's many fans around the world.

A tribute page to Jim Keith now appears at http://www.umsl.edu/~skthoma/urls.htm. It is still linked to the news column wrote about Diana, although that site is inaccessible. A memorial volume of essays about Keith is planned.

Rumors abound in death of conspiracy theorist
By Anjeanette Damon


Three weeks after conspiracy theorist Jim Keith died at Washoe Medical Center during surgery to repair a broken leg rumors surrounding his death abound aong his fellow watchdogs.

Keith, who lived in Sun Valley, spent decades examining paranormal topics and purported government cover-ups, writing several books on such topics as black helicopters and cow mutilations. Now, firends and co-authors are examining whether his final column for an online newspaper led to his demise.

"Rumor has it that Jim may have been killed because he mentioned the name of a physician who declared (Princess) Diana was pregnant at the time of her death," Kenn Thomas wrote in his online tribute to Keith.

Thomas co-authored with Keith "The Octopus," a book about the mysterious death of a writer who had been investigating an international conspiracy.

"His death could be constured as mysterious since he was a conspiracy writer, and I think he would have liked it that way," said George Pickard, a close friend of Keith's, who thinks his death may have been linked to a black helicopter story he helped MSNBC cable TV channel run less than a year ago.

Keith, 49, died Sept. 7 when a blood clot traveled from his leg to his lung, said Steve Finnell, Washoe County deputy coroner. Keith suffered a severe fracture Sept. 4 when he fell from a stage at the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert, 110 miles northeast of Reno.

He went home but called paramedics the next day in excruciating pain from the injury, Finnel said. He went to the hospital, where he originally protested surgery. On Sept 7th, he underwent the surgery to repairthe fracture and died from the blood clot. "There's no conspiracy here," Finnell siad. "This could happen to anyone. We see it all the tie. This is considered an accidental death." Keith's interest in the unusual dated back to his childhood in the mid-1950's. He started writing in the early '70's, submitting work for several small magazines, books and online publications. "I try to point readers in the direction of positive social change," Keith said last year during an interview. "I think Jim set a rule for other writers who would take this seriously," Pickard said. "He brought it to a level where it could be respectful. His contribution to the genre was quite significant in establishing a certain credibility that may not have existed."

Keith also led a talk group at Planet 9, a small bar on East Fourth Street, about UFO's and other conspiracy topics.

He was an interesting speaker, definitely passionate and highly intellectual," said Georgia Ross, who leads the Art Bell Chatters, a group Keith often spoke before. "He was big and dynamic. His energy kind of took over. He always made his mark."

However, Keith had a feeling his work might have caught the eyes of the conspirators he sought to undercover.

"I have heard from informed sources that I have been put on a couple of 'watch' lists for being such a subversive character," he said then.

[news note: article appears as it was printed in paper. I have heard that there were corrections issued, and I am currently attempting to track them down.]



by George Piccard

Romantic notions of Jim Keith having in fact been Commander X are roaming the internet these days. Reading them has been amusing, but I thought it was time to do my part to put the rumor to rest once and for all. Jim Keith was not Commander X.

I knew Jim well for a number of years, we were close friends. He had his secrets, but Commander X was not one of them.

The rumor started a couple years back, when Jerry Smith, a lifelong friend of Jim's and the author of HAARP: Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy announced to a discussion group in Reno that Jim was Commander X. As was often the case, Jerry and Jim had been quarelling. The arguements would often go for weeks, and they were always entertaining.

Jim got Jerry back. Two weeks before Jim died, Jerry lent him a hundred bucks.

It's intriguing to read Jim's secrets, which a wide array of people suddenly claim to know, after his untimely departure. In his article Jim Keith's Big Secret, Robert Sterling claims that Jim secretly admired Bill Cooper. Jim did get quite a kick out of Cooper, and at parties he would play an audio tape he had of Bill Cooper leaving messages on an answering machine. The tape was a riot. Admiration may be the wrong word.

Sterling mentions also Jim's review of David Icke's book The Biggest Secret. The review was rather harsh. The last time I saw Jim Keith, we spoke about reviews and how we both hated reading them. Jim had his regrets about the Icke's review. He just never got a chance to apologize. He felt as if he might have abused his place in the conspiracy genre, by writing that review.

It's been over a month since Jim left us, and to me it still doesn't seem real. I keep hoping that he will call the house one day out of the blue, and it will all have been a joke. Jim was a fun guy, and he liked to joke around. But the jokes went so far, he very much took his work seriously- and he put his life on the line for it.

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