Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomorrow Is Sonic Saturday!

Hello Everyone! This is a reminder to tune in tomorrow night, Saturday, August 1, 2015, at 9:00 P.M. for the premiere of Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK. If you're not busy, and want to escape your world for a few moments, then I invite you to catch my latest short film about professional guitarist-composer, Jeremy Hicks-Kachik.

I will be attending. It will be fun thinking that I'm watching the film the same time with people around the world. I know. Tall order, indeed. But, even if not true, and I'm watching by myself, I still look forward to spending a few moments listening to the sounds of a musician who will spark a wonderful vibrational frequency for me to carry into the night; and will no doubt do so for many years to come.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post. Until then - and I'm sure Jimi Hendrix would endorse - keep kissing the sky, my friends. PEACE

Monday, July 27, 2015

Coming This Saturday: Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK


Hello My Friends,

This coming Saturday night, August 1, 2015, I will be premiering my new short film, Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK. For those of you who have not seen my prior blog posts, this film centers around professional guitarist/composer, Jeremy Hicks-Kachik.

With this film, I'm doing something different. Instead of trying to launch it at the Frederick Film Festival in Frederick, Maryland, an event that has special meaning to me (of course, only if accepted), I have decided to launch it here on my Blog, via YouTube. I actually missed entering this year. The festival took place in June and I was still editing.

As I've previously mentioned in earlier Blog postings, this film represents a spontaneous collection of musical moments that Jeremy and I shared over the course of weeks while traveling around together. There were no plans. No story boards. No expectations. In fact, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. There were a few basic hurdles to first overcome. Would Jeremy and I hit it off? Would Jeremy shy from the camera? Would he have anything he wanted to verbally convey in any sort of articulate manner? I really didn't know. But I sensed there was something there upon our first meeting and felt he'd have no problem providing a few of his insights.

For me, the best part of these kinds of films is finding the unexpected magic that manifests itself in the moment. My challenge is to capture those moments, while playing the role of Director, sound, and cameraman. This has been my modus operandi with all my previous films. First I find locations that feel right and then begin by asking a few questions I put together the night before. With each new shoot, I sometimes ask the same questions from the last session, or sometimes ask spontaneous questions, depending on how the location affects my mood. Interestingly, the location has invariably produced similar, but somewhat different responses. From there, it's my job to simply explore together.

There comes a point when I feel the time is right to call off the sessions. I look at the footage each time I upload it to the computer, determining if I have captured ok sound and picture. It's is then stored away and I focus on the next session. Once all is assembled, I then begin finding the life of the film as I edit. Sometimes it takes a while and I have to walk away for a few weeks to reboot my thoughts. But then, as with this film it becomes Alive! I love these moments and certainly hope you enjoy these moments too.

I plan to launch the film at 9:00 P.M. For me, I will play the film and watch like I'm at the theater. It will be fun thinking that I'll be watching it simultaneously with some of you. So, if you are around for a few moments (it's just under 30 minutes), it might be a great way to begin your evening. I hope we can get lost together in Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK, to catch a brief glimpse into the world of guitarist-composer, Jeremy Hicks-Kachik.

Best, Keith

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Coming Soon: Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK

Greetings. I've been steadily editing my latest film, Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK. In my last posting, I announced that I had finally screened the film for the star of the film, Jeremy Hicks-Kachik, a professional musician living nearby in Harford County, Maryland.

As I edit my last cut of the film, I'm excited to push forward with some added confidence from knowing Jeremy is happy with the direction and outcome. While I understand it was a little difficult - as most anyone - to watch himself on screen, he was able to pull back and remain neutral, as if watching someone he didn't know. Taking a backseat to simply listen with a newness of mind is necessary for any musician; any artist pursuing their craft for that matter.

In Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK, Jeremy conveys universal ideas in his own words and then applies the limited explanation to sound with his spontaneous effort that speaks to the heart. Music is of the heart, and I think he's done a fine job of conveying his ideas. I found them powerful. Inspiring. And I think Jeremy's thoughts and music will also resonate with many of you.

I'd like to point out that my experience at the various locations during the entire shoot with Jeremy, I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneous results of both his words and music. I was taken aback by the mood and atmospherics he was able to create on the spot, transforming the moment into a wonderful experience. It was most enjoyable to watch him at work, scanning his surroundings, crafting and creating as he played. He was in the flow, tapping into the energy of the location. This is what musicians do. I was there to see it unfold and feel privileged to have experienced those moments.

For now, I will continue editing while enjoying the great sonics of JHK. I can't wait to share them with you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK.

Hello All.. On July 15, I announced that my newest film in the works was about musician Jeremy Hicks-Kachik, a professional Harford County, Maryland based musician. At that time of my posting, Jeremy had not seen any footage, nor did he have much of an idea about what my plans were with the film's direction. My posting didn't include the film's title either, as I wanted him to see the film first.

Today changes those circumstances. I have just showed Jeremy a cut of the film. It's called Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK. Though I felt Jeremy would like the film, one is never quite sure. That said, I'm pleased to announce Jeremy and I watched the film together and he has given me a thumbs up. I think he is happy and probably somewhat relieved.

During our many filming sessions, I would show up at Jeremy's house, take him to a new location, pull out a list of questions, and we'd proceed filming in a spontaneous fashion. I remember the first time we got together. He was surprised by my questions - not really knowing what I had planned - but he didn't miss a beat and launched right into the groove without any prodding, despite it being the first time he had to face the lens of my camera. He seemed quite comfortable and willing to embrace the moments. Intuitively, it felt right. At that moment, I knew I was on the right track.

I am now working on my third and final cut. I have a good deal of corrections to make, but unless some unforeseen technical problems occurs, the film's premiere should happen in the next several weeks. What will be different about this premiere is that it will be my first film since 2010 - The Skeptics In A World of Their Own (not on-line), The Flow of Forsythe, Nadine, and My Friend Hugo - that I didn't premiere at the Frederick Film Festival, in my home town, Frederick, Maryland. Growing up in Frederick was my creative backyard and I've tried to make it a point each year, if lucky enough to make it in the festival, to premiere it there first.

Since I didn't complete Acoustic Alchemy - The Sonic Meditation of JHK in time to enter this year's Frederick Film Festival, I've decided to try something new and launch the film on Youtube. I will be making announcements as things progress. Stay tuned and thanks for having an interest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Film Starring Musician Jeremy Hicks-Kachik

Hello All,

 It's been some time since I was able to discuss a new film in the works. Of course, my latest release was My Friend Hugo, of which I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. If interested, you'll find it in one of my last posts. Hope you dig it:

My Friend Hugo

Now, regarding the film I've recently finished shooting, I'm currently engulfed in editing. I have a working title, but I will wait until next post to reveal my final decision. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to give a little back story about its genesis and transformation over the last three summers. It began in May of 2013. Originally, the film was slated to revolve around a girl, Savannah, who discovers a diary during her travels. I found someone to play the part, but after a few sessions, I couldn't find the story I was seeking. It was not working for me. 

A year had passed. In June of 2014 the film was back on again. This time, it had morphed into a story surrounding  two people, the actress who discovers the diary and a mysterious character who she meets along her journey. By August, the film had seemingly come to an end. I had lost the actress. Savannah's character was no longer in story. For a host a reasons, the story would not gel. What I didn't realize as of yet, was the seed for a new direction had been planted.

Some of the scenes I had also shot involved other characters, like the mysterious person Savannah would meet on her travels. Another scene involved an encounter with two traveling musicians. I discovered them unexpectedly and quickly penned a couple new scenes to include them. Though playing fictional characters in the story, in actuality, they are professional musicians, Jeremy Hicks Kachik and Kali Hinkel, founding members of an L.A. born rock band

Before continuing, I'd like to share my discovery of Jeremy and Kali. That came about while working with Jeremy's brother, Josh. Both Josh and I were employed at same place. One evening, Josh began telling me stories about his brother's guitar playing and the band he was in out in L.A. Josh played a song on his telephone and I was immediately drawn to the music; even though it was played over a shitty telephone speaker. What's the name of their band?, I asked. It's The Hushdown, he exclaimed. No shit!, I responded. That's your brother playing? "Yep", Josh responded. I loved what I was hearing. That night, I rushed home and immediately found their songs on the music site, Reverb Nation. I listened to everything. What I discovered was that not only did I like the music, but especially liked Jeremy's guitar work. I recognized his skill, but more importantly it was his eclectic tastes and sense of melody that captivated me. It was apparent he was drawing from a pool of creative energy that had real depth and I sensed there was much more this musician had to say during the course of his future work. I found myself wanting to hear and know more about this musician who was living nearby in Bel Air, Maryland.

Synchronicity was at play. It just so happened that they were, at that time, driving across country from California to stay at Jeremy's family's home, where they would relax and put together a band in support of their album. As they neared Maryland, I communicated with them and introduced myself. I ran my ideas past them. They didn't know who I was, or anything about me, however, timing was right. They agreed to give it a shot and play the characters. Once they arrived in Maryland, we met each other and immediately discussed my ideas and began shooting a couple scenes.

Throughout June, July, and August, the film was moving along. It was in full swing. But then the film hit a brick wall. It was in trouble again. I was shooting a scene with Savannah when we both realized it just wasn't working. We discussed the issue and came to the conclusion we should part ways. There were no hard feelings. I totally understood her decision to pull out. It seemed best to scrap the film altogether. While we stood on location saying our goodbyes, Savannah asked me what I planned to do next. At that moment, I didn't hesitate with an answer. I said I'd like to make a film surrounding the guitar work of Jeremy. She thought it was a great idea. We parted ways. While she drove away, I stood there thinking how my response came so quickly. It didn't matter. I was pretty excited about the new possibilities. The film, though completely different in nature, still seemed to have momentum.

Only a few hours after Savannah and I parted ways, I was on the telephone with Jeremy explaining my new direction for the film. I told him it would not be the same story and would focus solely on him. I asked if he was interested. He was very game to the idea. We immediately set about getting together and filming. This time, though, it felt right. It was different. A different kind of energy infused the project. I was completely excited about the film's new evolution. For the next couple months, we got together quite often and by the end of September 2014 my film was complete. It had unfolded quite naturally. We were in the Flow. Much fun, it was indeed.

It's now the summer of 2015 and I'm currently editing the film to life. I'm on the second edit and I'm happy with the outcome. My original story has been put on the back burner for a another day. For now, I will continue tweaking the film and hopefully in the near future will be announcing its World premiere on Youtube. Please stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, if any of you are seeking some great ear candy, I highly recommend checking out the music of  The Hushdown.

To a great summer and happy listening!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Strange Company" Now In Hardback Edition

Hello All,

Below is the announcement by Anomalist Books, citing the release of new hardback versions of their best-selling books, including my book Strange Company. For those interested, these are limited runs.


From Anomalist Books:

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hardbacks Here!

July 6, 2015

We have just released a raft of our best-selling books in reasonably priced, laminate hardcover editions. They are now available from both Amazon US and Amazon UK and other resellers such as Barnes and Noble online.
Operation Trojan Horse by John A. Keel
Amazon US
Amazon UK 
Worlds Before Our Own by Brad Steiger
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Strange Company by Keith Chester
Amazon US
Amazon UK
The Yowie by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper
Amazon US
Amazon UK
The Field Guide to Bigfoot by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe
Amazon US
Amazon UK
True Giants by Mark Hall and Loren Coleman
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Lizard Man by Lyle Blackburn
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Mirabilis by Karl Shuker
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Consulting Spirit by Ian Rubenstein
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Confrontations by Jacques Vallee
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Revelations by Jacques Vallee
Amazon US
Amazon UK
The Invisible College by Jacques Vallee
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Outbreak! by Hilary Evans and Paul Bartholomew
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Seeing Fairies by Marjorie Johnson
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Why Science is Wrong by Alex Tsakiris
Amazon US
Amazon UK 
Category: Alien Contact Trilogy, Consulting Spirit, Field Guide to Bigfoot, General News, Mirabilis, Outbreak!, Seeing Fairies, Strange Company, The Invisible College, The Yowie, True Giants, Why Science is Wrong, Worlds Before Our Own

Strange Company
Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II
by Keith Chester
Trade Paperback, 315 Pages, 15 Illustrations
$17.95, ISBN: 1933665203
Mankind had reached a threshold in the forth decade of the twentieth century. There were unprecedented scientific and technological achievements, but despite such progress, humanity was entering one of its darkest chapters. World War II would grip the world with terror for six years.
During that time military personnel reported seeing numerous highly unconventional aircraft in all theaters of operation. These objects had extraordinary flight performance capabilities, came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and were able to travel at extraordinary speeds and avoid radar detection.
Strange Company is the first in-depth account of unconventional aircraft observed and reported by the military during World War II. It includes the reactions by military commands, their viewpoints, and theories as they struggled to make sense of the observations. Strange Company presents one of the greatest wartime mysteries, one that has been shrouded in ignorance for more than sixty years. And it suggests that while an immense twentieth century war was raging on Earth, there appeared to be someone, or something, from somewhere else, watching us.
About the Author:
Ketith Chester is an artist and filmmaker living in Bel Air, Maryland.  After witnessing a daytime UFO in the mid-1960s, he became fascinated with the phenomenon. By the late 1980s, he was devoting considerable time to reserach on UFOs.

Hardback edition available for a limited time only:
Amazon USAmazon UK
Listen to an in-depth interview with Keith Chester at Binnall of America.

EXCERPT from Chapter 16:
New Guinea was an early prize for the Japanese army during the early war years, but by July 1944, after brutal to-the-last-man fighting, U.S. Marines recaptured it. By mid-March 1945, New Guinea was under Allied control and considered fairly safe. Close by, after suffering from its intense battle at Iwo Jima, the USS New York was returning to combat duty. Escorted by two destroyers, it set sail to join up with the Seventh Fleet.
The weather that day was sunny and clear. Around 1300 hours general quarters sounded, electrifying the calming nature of the warm sea air. Alert, Corporal Donald Pratt and his crewmembers prepared for an attack by Japanese forces, possibly suicide aircraft. Pratt was a 40mm gunner. He was ready, waiting for the order to fire. Nerves tense, he watched, but the sky was clear. No Japanese planes appeared.
On the New York’s radar, things were different. The radar screen was picking up a single blip. It had appeared out of thin air. Just seconds later, the blip was in view. Cpl. Pratt watched as the object hovered motionless, almost directly over the battleship. Captain K.C. Christian was watching through his binoculars, as were approximately 2,000 other navy crewmen, some with their own binoculars.
The object was “silver in color,” “very shiny” and “did not change colors,” Pratt said. “It was much larger than the brightest star would be, but smaller than a full moon.” Quietly, it continued hovering above them, just matching the New York’s speed and course.
For thirty minutes, the New York and her two escorts anxiously braced themselves for something to happen. The strange object did nothing, but its presence was too much for the naval vessels to stand by and do nothing. Was this a Japanese secret weapon waiting for the right time to strike? Or was it waiting for more of them to show up and attack in number? Captain Christian did not wait to find out. There was no need to receive damage first and then respond, so he ordered a first strike.
Two of the New York’s three-inch antiaircraft guns cut loose on the object, sending a hail of lead arching high into the air. But the object did not move or appear affected by the gunfire. Since it was useless and a waste of ammo, Captain Christian ordered his guns silent. Within seconds of their cease-fire, the object “climbed up at a fantastic rate of speed until it was out of sight, and off the radar scope.” Corporal Pratt said “everyone aboard the ship was stunned by this; they had never seen anything like it.”
The general quarters sounded, and the ships were again alone at sea. The men discussed the incident for days, trying to make sense of what they saw. “Anyhow, we knew, after watching it for a few minutes that it was not any type of plane because our ship was only traveling at around twelve knots,” Pratt explained. “A plane could not travel that slowly without stalling the engine and dropping into the ocean. It was too sunny and bright that day to be a star, and it was not a balloon...not in the middle of the Pacific. We didn’t know what it was...."

Foreword by Jerome Clark 
1. Among The War Clouds
2. From War of the Worlds, To A World At War
3. Over Coasts and Valleys  
4. Which Phenomenon?
5. “Neither a Dream, Nor a Buck Rogers Invention”  
6. Silver Discs, Pie-Plates, and the Light  
7. Rockets, Airships, and Balloons  
8. ATI and CIOS
9. Calling Dr. Griggs  
10, Leet, Nolan, and Intruder Schlueter  
11. Smokey’s Foo Fighter  
12. Bob Wilson Gets His Scoop
13. Foo or Phoo?  
14. “Scientists Say Pooh...”
15. Air Ministry at a Loss  
16. Paci?c Balls of Fire  
17. “Circles of Light”  
18. The Secrets Flood In
19. Multiple Choice  
20. The Skies Stay Busy
21. Dr. Griggs In Japan
22. And So...  
Epilogue: Postwar Thoughts  
Appendix: Dr. Samuel Goudsmit and ALSOS
Sightings Index 
Order the print book from:
In the US:
Outside the US:

In the US, get the eBook instantly from:
This ebook is also available for Kobo eReaders, for the Nook in the UK, and for the Kindle, iPad, and iPhone in many countries around the world.
What they're saying:
“In this eye-opening, thoroughly researched book, bristling with surprising revelations, Keith Chester challenges decades of conventional wisdom about the UFO phenomenon.”  —  Jerome Clark
"It's a huge contribution to the field." — Tim Binnall, Binnall of America
"I was reading a new book the other day, Strange Company by Keith Chester, and realized a couple of things. First, we’re going to have to change the history of the UFO phenomenon. Until this book came out, we all dated the 'modern' era from the Kenneth Arnold sighting of June 24, 1947. It is now clear that the modern era began during the Second World War." — Kevin Randle, A Different Perspective
"Strange Company makes clear for the first time,just how frequent the wartime sightings were and the concern they created within Allied military, who seriously feared they could be advanced secret weapons developed by the Axis forces. This gave rise to the persistent myth that foo-fighters were highly advanced flying saucers created by Nazi scientists, whose designs were later captured and developed in secrecy by the Americans. The proponents of this bizarre theory will find little to support their claims in this sensible, sober book which largely sticks to primary source material… Possibly the most intriguing revelation in this book are the results of Keith Chester’s inquiries at the US National Archives, which threw up references to a joint US and British foo-fighter investigation later in the war, and a direct link with post-war UFO studies by the intelligence services. Most important of all was the involvement in wartime investigations of Bob Robertson, the US physicist who presided over a scientific panel which reviewed the UFO evidence for the CIA in 1953...A must-read for ufologists of all persuasions.” — Dr. David Clarke, Fortean Times
" extensive, exceptionally documented, and in-depth account of UFOs observed and reported by the military during World War II...Chester has indeed produced a ufological gem.” — John Zupansic, Fate
“Packed with never-before-seen documentation, witness testimony, and reams of new data, Strange Company is likely to be one of the most talked about UFO books of this year…" — UFO Magazine
"As I began reading Strange Company, I wondered whether we would be treated with a series of stories of indistinct lights, which, I confess, was my concept of the foo fighters of World War II...But we read of solid objects with sharply defined edges moving the foo fighters from the realm of ionized air and other natural phenomena into something that is solid and probably extraterrestrial....Chester gives us the documents created at the time by intelligence officers trained in interrogation techniques and whose job it was to understand all that the flight crews were telling them because lives hung in the balance...this book is a unique history of the Second World War...What Strange Company does quite well is move the modern era of the UFO from June 1947 when Kenneth Arnold's report hit the newspaper to World War II. It is clear that these sightings, considered at the time to be classified information and therefore weren't widely discussed, are the beginning of the modern [UFO] era." —  Kevin Randle, Journal of Scientific Exploration