Leslie Kean is an independent investigative journalist and author of Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (2017, Crown Publishing Group), a personal story of research into astonishing and thought-provoking information suggestive of survival past death. In 2010, her book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Publishing Group, 2010) was a New York Times bestseller. She helped produce a 2011 documentary based on UFOs for the History Channel, made by Breakthru Films, an award-winning independent film company. Kean has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, The Colbert Report, and NPR and in USA Today, Vanity Fair, US News & World Report, and Columbia Journalism Review, among other media. Beginning in 2012, she contributed a series of articles to the Huffington Post and in 2017 she co-authored a groundbreaking front page story for the New York Times about a previously secret Pentagon program studying UFOs.
Before writing UFOs, Kean co-founded the Coalition for Freedom of Information, an independent alliance advocating for greater government openness on information about UFOs. In this capacity, she was the plaintiff in a successful, five-year Freedom of Information Act federal lawsuit against NASA, which had withheld information concerning a crash of an object in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in 1965. In 2007, Kean co-organized a landmark Washington DC international press conference on official UFO investigations, which received media coverage around the world. She was also a producer for the 2009 independent documentary I Know What I Saw directed by James Fox. She co-organized a 2013 international conference providing a platform for scientists, government officials and journalists studying UFOs to present data, and she lectured at American University in 2014.
Previously, Kean worked as a freelance writer and radio producer. In the 1990’s she was an on-air host for a daily investigative news program on KPFA radio, a Pacifica station in California. She contributed articles to dozens of publications here and abroad including the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Providence Journal, International Herald Tribune, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, The Nation, and Journal for Scientific Exploration.. Her stories were syndicated through Knight Ridder/Tribune, Scripps-Howard, New York Times wire service, Pacific News Service, and the National Publishers Association. While spending many years reporting on Burma, Kean coauthored Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (Aperture, 1994). She contributed essays for a number of anthologies published between 1998 and 2009.