The Author

Leslie Kean
photo credit: Tatiana Daubek

Leslie Kean is an independent investigative journalist focused on bringing credible information about hidden, paranormal and “impossible” realities into the mainstream. She is the author of the award-winning Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (Crown Archetype, 2017) and UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Publishing Group, 2010).

Surviving Death is the basis for a six-part documentary series on Netflix (of the same name). The 2021 series was produced and directed by Break Thru Films as a Netflix original, with assistance from Kean. UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Archetype/Random House) was a 2010 New York Times bestseller and has been published in eleven additional languages. Kean helped produce the 2011 History Channel documentary “Secret Access: UFOs on the Record” based on her book and has appeared in numerous other documentaries.

Kean was a consulting producer and on-camera expert for the acclaimed 2023 Break Thru Films docuseries "UFOs: Investigating the Unknown", originally made for CNN. It is now with Nat Geo/VICE and streaming on Hulu and Disney+.

Kean’s two decades of freelance reporting on UFOs culminated in a series of groundbreaking stories for The New York Times from 2017 - 2020 (see UFOs Media for details) followed by a game-changing 2023 story about a UAP whistleblower and crash retrievals in The Debrief. (These stories were co-authored with Ralph Blumenthal and the first two Times stories also with Helene Cooper.) From 2012 to 2017 Kean published articles in the Huffington Post. In 2015, she was the subject of the short book Unknown Skies: Leslie Kean and the Case for Rational UFO Investigation by Steven Donoso.

Kean contributed a foreword to UAPs and the Nuclear Puzzle by Robert Salas (New Page Books; New Edition, 2023) and a chapter to the anthology Is There Life After Death? compiled by Jeffrey Mishlove (White Crow Books, 2023). She wrote the epilogue for An Extraordinary Journey: The Memoirs of a Physical Medium by Stewart Alexander and the foreword to Towards the Unknown: Memoirs of a Psychical Researcher by Erlendur Haraldsson, both published by White Crow Books in 2020. She was one of six judges for the 2021 Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) essay contest on evidence for the survival of consciousness after permanent physical death, initiated and funded by Robert Bigelow.

Kean has lectured at American University, Rice University, the Franklin Institute, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, and Omega Institute. She has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, NBC, CBS, The Ezra Klein Show, The Hill, and NPR; her work has been covered by USA Today, Vanity Fair, US News & World Report, Columbia Journalism Review, Scientific American and The Guardian among many other broadcast and print media.  Her decades of reporting on UFOs was profiled in The New Yorker in May, 2021.

In the early 2000's, following her breakout story in the Boston Globe about a French military report on UFOs, Kean was the plaintiff in a landmark five-year Freedom of Information Act federal lawsuit against NASA concerning the 1965 crash of an unexplained object in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. It was settled in her favor.  In 2007, Kean and filmmaker James Fox organized a large Washington DC international press conference on official UFO investigations, covered by media around the world.

In the 1990’s, Kean was a producer and on-air host for public radio and contributed freelance articles to mainstream newspapers here and abroad. While spending many years reporting on Burma, Kean coauthored Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (Aperture, 1994; White Orchid Press, 1995, Thai and Burmese Editions).