All posts by Curtis Collins

Jim Moseley’s Saucer News & Saucer Smear: The Archives

James W. Moseley (1931-2012) got his start in ufology while working on a proposed flying saucer book. During 1953-54, he travelled throughout the USA tracking down UFO witnesses, also interviewing authors of early saucer literature and as well as prominent figures in clubs and research organizations. The book didn’t come together as planned, but with the connections and friendships Moseley had cultivated, he launched a magazine dedicated to flying saucers instead.

Jerome Clark wrote in his entry for Jim Moseley in The UFO Encyclopedia Vol II: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 1992:

With August Roberts and Dominic Lucchesi, Moseley founded Saucer News in July 1954, at first calling the magazine Nexus but changing it to the more self-explanatory title the next year. Saucer News was noted for its freewheeling, iconoclastic, personal style. In its pages Moseley praised friends, lashed out at enemies, exposed frauds and hoaxes (even perpetrating one himself, the notorious Straith letter” [sent to] contactee George Adamski) and reported gleefully on the doings of ufology’s sane and not-so-sane. Saucer News was never less than entertaining, sometimes infuriating, but more often very funny. In 1968 the magazine was sold to flying saucer publisher Gray Barker. The last issue appeared four years later.

Jim Moseley and Gray Barker

Issues of Saucer News are somewhat rare, but thanks to a former subscriber, there’s a large collection now available. The University of Wyoming hosts the papers of Frank Scully, which were recently shared online through their American Heritage Center. The collection includes scans of correspondence, “newsletters, magazine articles, comics, lecture ads, and more.” Lots of good stuff, including a near complete run of Saucer News from 1954 to 1964

Update: The AFU now hosts a complete collection of Saucer News from 1954 to 1970.

The individual issues:


Saucer News

Saucer News Non-Scheduled Newsletter

The (preliminary) directory below is largely based on Jim Moseley’s own listing of back issues. Besides the feature articles listed, each issue of Saucer News generally contained a summary of UFO sightings and related news, a gossip and rumor roundup, photos, cartoons, and listings of saucer clubs and conventions. Also, book reviews, as well as letters from readers, often prominent figures in the saucer community.  

The online digital collection hosted by the Archives For the Unexplained (AFU), curated by Isaac Koi. (Note: The links open PDFs, some files contain issues out of sequence.)

Saucer News Archive

Saucer News (Nexus) 1-10, 1954-1955

AFU links to individual issues: Saucer News: Nexus

#l (July 1954) – First issue contains articles by James Moseley and saucer pioneers August C. Roberts and Dominick Lucchesi.

#2 (Aug. 1954) – Contains interesting accounts of a little-known saucer film taken in Africa, and of the activities of the Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York.

#3 (Sept. 1954) – Contains one of the most important articles we have ever published, concerning a lady in Miami who claims to have seen official government photographs of a crashed flying saucer from outer space.

#4 (Oct. 1954) – Contains “The Flying Saucer Mystery – solved” by James W. Moseley and “On the Fringe of the Supernatural” by Dominick Lucchesi.

#5 (Nov. 1954) – “Analysis of the Lubbock [Lights] Incident” by James W. Moseley and “Flying Saucers Fact and Fiction” by John P. Bessor.

#6 (Dec. 1954) – Contains “The Green Fireballs of the Southwest” by “Dr. D.” (Leon Davidson), “Invasion from Space” by Richard Cohen, “The Phantom Caravan by John P. Bessor, and “Jersey City’s Mystery Lights by August C. Roberts.

#7 (Jan. 1955) – Contains editorial on William Dudley Pelley and fascism, a report on “Two Meetings held by Civilian Saucer Intelligence,” and a George Adamski exposé, “Some New Facts About ‘Flying Saucers Have Landed’” by James W. Moseley.

#8 (Feb. 1955) – Contains a fascinating account of the strange events which have occurred in recent years in the vicinity of Mount Shasta, California.

#9 (March 1955) – Contains an interesting article by Frank Scully, author of “Behind the Flying Saucers.” (The Aztec crash-retrieval hoax.)

#10 (April 1955) – Contains an important article by the late Dr. Morris K. Jessup, author of several saucer books, whose mysterious death is still a subject of controversy.

#11 (May 1955) – Contains an article by Desmond Leslie, co-author with George Adamski of “Flying Saucers Have Landed.” Also contains the results of experiments in extrasensory perception conducted by the Saucer News Staff. Also in this issue are articles by Dr. Morris K. Jessup and Frank Scully.

Saucer News 1955-1957

#13 (Aug.-Sept. 1955) – Contains outstanding “UFOs, Atlantis, & The Antiquity of Civilized man” by Dr. M.K. Jessup, “A Parable” by Desmond Leslie, “A Report on the UFO’s and Levitation” by John P. Bessor.

#14 (Oct.-Nov. 1955) – Contains “The Sky Cross” by Frank Reid, “Concerning ‘Space, Gravity, and the Flying Saucer’” by Desmond Leslie, “Are There Other Inhabited Planets?” by Justin Case, and “The Green Fireballs of the Southwest” by “Dr. D.” (Leon Davidson).

#15 (Dec.-Jan. 1955-1956) – Contains “What on Earth Were They?” by Harold T. Wilkins, “The ‘Little People’ Case for the UFO” by M.K. Jessup), and “Summary, Notes and comments on Project Blue Book Special Report #14” by Justin Case and James W. Moseley.

#16 (Feb.-March 1956) – Contains “The Al Bender Story” by James W. Moseley, “Conquest of Gravity is Aim of Top U.S. Scientists” (Condensed from the N.Y. Herald-Tribune) comments by Justin Case, “The Air Force and the Saucers – Part One” by “’Dr. D.” (Leon Davidson).

#17 [Missing] (April-May, 19.56) – Contains an interesting account of pre-World War II sightings by saucer researcher Frank Reid.

#18 (June-July, 19.56) – A most important issue, containing James Moseley’s “Earth Theory” solution to the flying saucer mystery.

#19 (Aug.-Sept. 1956) – Contains an interesting article entitled “UFO’ s and Unnatural Clouds,” by Frank Reid.

#20 (Oct.-Nov. 1956) – Contains another documented account of pre-World War II sightings, by Frank Reid, and an article by the noted French saucer author Aime Michel.

#21 (Dec.-Jan. 1956-57) – Contains an article entitled “How to Separate Facts from Fiction,” by Justin Case, a noted mechanical engineer and saucer researcher.

#22 (Feb.-March 1957) – Contains an important report on attempts to build flying saucers here on earth, and also a report on the early problems of NICAP, written by Dr. M.K. Jessup.

#23 (April-May 1957) – Contains an article entitled “Flying Saucer Research on Trial,” by saucer researcher Tom Comella.

#24 (June-July 1957) – Contains interesting articles by Justin Case and “The Air Force and the Saucers” (Part II) by Dr. Leon Davidson, an atomic physicist who is also a noted saucer researcher.

#25 [Missing] (Aug.-Sept. 1957) – Contains an exposé of Contactee George Hunt Williamson, written by Y. N. ibn Aharon, an expert on ancient history.

#26 (Oct.-Nov. 1957) – Contains interesting articles by Justin Case and Richard Hall, Major Donald Keyhoe’s assistant at NICAP.

#27 (Oct. 1957) – The Special Adamski Exposé Issue contains a collection of several articles showing the fallacies in George Adamski’s first two books, “Flying Saucers Have Landed” and “Inside the Spaceships.” This is one of the most important issues we have ever published.

#28 (Dec.- Jan. 1957-58) – Contains the first in a series of articles by Y. N. ibn Aharon entitled “Extraterrestrialism as an Historical Doctrine.” This series purports to prove that the God of the Old Testament, was in reality a being from another planet.

Saucer News 1958-1959

#29 (Feb.-March 1958) – Contains news coverage of the Levelland, Texas, UFO reports and other possibly related cases (including the Reinhold O. Schmidt hoax). “The Air Force and the Saucers” (Part III) by Leon Davidson.

#30 (April-May 1958) – Contains two of the most important articles we have ever published, The first, by Ulbricht Von Rittner, gives the inside story of research on saucer-shaped craft in Germany during World War II; the second, by James Moseley, gives a complete account of the mysterious disappearance in 1953 of saucer researchers Karl Hunrath and Jack Wilkinson.

#3l (June-July 1958) – Contains an outstanding article “Saucers and the International Geophysical Year,” by John Corman, an article called “Rationalism in Ufology” by Richard Hall, and another of Y. N. ibn Aharon’s series on Extraterrestrialism.

#32 (Aug.-Sept. 1958) – Contains “Study of a Pre-1947 Sighting” by Dr. Leon Davidson and part 3 of the series by Y. N. ibn Aharon. Also, “The Rise and Fall of NICAP” by Moseley and Richard Cohen.

#33 (Oct.-Nov. 1958) – Contains an outstanding article by Major Lawrence J. Tacker of the U.S. Air Force, plus “The Case of the Crashed UFO,” written by noted saucer researcher Bob Barry.

#34 (Dec.-Jan. 1958-59) – Contains an exposé “Otis T. Carr and the Free Energy Principle,” written by NICAP member Robert Durant, plus another of Y. N. ibn Aharon’s series on Extraterrestrialism., and a report on the first The Howard Menger Space Convention.

#35 (Feb.-March 1959) – Contains outstanding articles by Tom Comella, “ECM +CIA= UFO, or How to Cause a Radar Sighting by Dr. Leon Davidson, plus an exposé of George Hunt Williamson written by noted saucer researcher Michael Mann, together with James Moseley.

#36 [Missing] (June 1959) – This most important issue contains a detailed exposé of Gray Barker, written by the noted amateur astronomer Lonzo Dove.

#37 (Sept. 1959) – Contains an article by Bob Barry called “The Case of the Mysterious Airplane Crash,” “Who Is Fooling Donald Keyhoe?” by Justin Case, plus articles by Michael Mann and Y. N. ibn Aharon.

#38 (Dec. 1959) – Contains a scathing rebuttal to Saucer News from Major Donald Keyhoe of NICAP, and an article by Frank Reid entitled “The Aerial Phenomena of Earthquakes.”

Saucer News 1960-1962

#39 (March 1960) – Contains interesting articles by Michael Mann and Justin Case, plus an article by Y. N. ibn Aharon entitled “How to Build a Saucer.”

#40 (June 1960) – Contains an important article by noted saucer researcher Lee Munsick, plus a review of one of George Hunt Williamson’s books, by Y. N. ibn Aharon.

#41 (Sept. 1960) – This outstanding issue contains a long report on the 1960 Giant Rock saucer convention by James Moseley, with many photographs.

#42 (Dec. 1960) – Contains an important article by Y. N. ibn Aharon and an article by Justin Case entitled “Proof by Ignorance.”

#43 (March 1961) – Contains an important scientific UFO article by David Wightman, editor of the outstanding British saucer magazine “Uranus.” Also, “An Open Letter to Saucer Researchers” (Part One) by Dr. Leon Davidson.

#44 (June 1961) – Contains an interesting article on extrasensory perception by Justin Case, plus an article by our Associate Editor Melvyn Stiriss.

#45 (Sept. 1961) – Contains a very interesting account of an unexplained plane crash by saucer researcher Max Miller, editor of “Saucers.” There is also an article on Extraterrestrialism by Y. N. ibn Aharon.

#46 (Dec. 1961) – Contains the first half of an unusually interesting article by the famous naturalist and saucer researcher Ivan Sanderson.

#47 [Missing] (March 1962) – Contains the conclusion of the above-mentioned article by Ivan Sanderson, and a well-documented article by Lonzo Dove entitled “Humanoids and the Mars Saucer Cycle.”

#48 June 1962) – Contains “Why the Bender Book Has Been Delayed” by Gray Barker and “An Open Letter to Saucer Researchers” (Part Two) by Dr. Leon Davidson.

#49 (Sept. 1962) – Contains a long and very important article by James Moseley concerning his exclusive interview with the head of the Air Force UFO project at Wright-Patterson Field, in Dayton, Ohio.

#50 (Dec. 1962) – Contains the first half of an interesting article by Tom Comella, called “A New Inquiry Into the Flying Saucer Mystery.” Also included is a long exclusive report on the recent saucer “flap” in South America.

Saucer News 1963-1964

#51 (March 1963) – Contains the conclusion of the above-mentioned article by Tom Comella, plus a wealth of recent saucer sightings from around the world.

#52 (June 1963) – Contains “The Olden Moore Story” by C. W. Fitch, “The Mystery of the Disappearing Planes” by Sandy Moseley, and “The End or an Era” by Gray Barker, on the merging of “The Saucerian Bulletin” with Saucer News and his role as associate editor.

#53 (Sept. 1963) – Contains “Florida’s Coral Castle” by James W. Moseley, “George Hunt Williamson Re-Visited” by John J. Robinson.

#54 (Dec. 1963) Contains “The Electromagnetic Effects of Flying Saucers” (Part One) by John J. Robinson, “Spacemen in our Midst” by Gray Barker, “How Animals Tell Time Without Clocks” by Gene Steinberg, and “Further Information About Jonathan Swift and the Moons of Mars” by Robert J. Durant and James W. Moseley.

#55 (March 1964) – Contains “Space Ships Over Times Square” by Ed Sparks, Part 2 of John J. Robinson’s article on UFO Electromagnetic Effects, and “The X-4 Electro-Craft” by Howard Menger.

#56 (June 1964) – Contains “Flying Saucers and the Father’s Plan” by Laura Mundo and “The Flying Saucers” by Rolf Telano.

Saucer News 1965-1970

Saucer News issues from 1965-1970 are available individually in the collection hosted by the AFU.

SN Non-Scheduled Newsletter

There’s now a stand-alone collection of the Saucer News Non-Scheduled Newsletter from 1955 – 1968. Moseley hyped the newsletter as often containing “material that we consider ‘too hot to handle’ in the regularly-scheduled issues of our magazine.”

Saucer News Non-Scheduled Newsletter

. . .

Moseley continued Saucer News until 1968 when he sold the magazine to Gray Barker, then it faded away in a few years. In the 1970s, Moseley revived it as a non-scheduled newsletter, eventually named Saucer Smear, published up until his death in 2012. Isaac Koi recently announced that the complete Saucer Smear collection has been added by to the files hosted at the AFU site, available at the link below:

Saucer Smear Archives

Every Saucer News issue has several points of interest to even the casual student of UFO history. In the news section, it’s interesting to see the amount of attention given to cases and see what was said about them at the time. Some obscure and forgotten cases often were the subject of lingering examinations, while some stories that became classics were initially treated as routine. UFO history mavens will enjoy cross-referencing cases and prominent figures in ufology with the period coverage in Saucer News to see how it was discussed and regarded in its day.

The links again to the AFU collections for individual issues:


Saucer News

Saucer News Non-Scheduled Newsletter

Saucer Smear Archives

. . .

For more information on Jim Moseley and the Saucer News era, see the collection of articles here at

James W. Moseley: Flying Saucers and Me

Here’s a rare UFO article by Jim Moseley from 1970, during the gap between him leaving Saucer News and beginning Saucer Smear. It provides a fascinating look at how the ideas and attitudes about UFOs developed over the years, and leaves us wondering about just what has changed since.

Reprinted from Phenomena no. 1, July 1970. The original introduction:

James Moseley, the author of the following article, has been a leader in the more energetic areas of ‘flying saucer’ studies. We felt it would be of interest to our readers to get a glimpse into the mind and life of one of the men behind the news. And future articles Jim will dig his teeth into some of the inside stories, unknown to the public, and what makes up the headlines, and what the people, who have put the ‘sensational’ into saucers, we’re really like, and really thought.

flying saucers and me

by James W. Moseley

Like millions of other Americans, I first became aware of flying saucers on June 24th, 1947, when an Idaho business man named Kenneth Arnold made headlines by seeing a fleet of mysterious objects while flying his private plane in the state of Washington. On that date the flying saucer era was born!

I was still in high school the following year when and even stranger story hit the wire services: an Air Force pilot had been killed while attempting to fly up to a cigar-shaped UFO which was hovering high over a military base in Kentucky. Both pilot and playing it been disfigured beyond recognition in the encounter; and rumor had it that Mantell had been purposely blown up by the supposed occupants of the mystery craft.

I guess I always had an attraction to the Unknown — these events which are beyond the present ability of science to explain. I remember being highly impressed by these and several other unsolved UFO cases of the late 1940s. However, I doubt if I would ever have chosen UFO research as my lifetime hobby had it not been for a chance meeting in 1953 with a rather fabulous character named Ken Krippene.

Krippene was one of the that vanishing breed of soldiers of fortune who travel from country to country living by their wits. He was among other things, a writer of yarns about buried treasures. Learning of my latent interest and saucers, and realizing the topic was becoming “hot” on the non-fiction book market, he decided that we should collaborate on such a book I supplying the raw material and he applying the finished product.

By this time I had finished high school, dropped out of Krippene’s urging, I took it upon myself to make a 10,000 mile automobile trip alone across the United States, interviewing saucer sighters and whoever else could make any worthwhile contribution to a solution of the UFO mystery.

I prided myself, as I still do, on having an unusually objective approach to all matters involving the separation of fact from opinion. When I began my three-month trek around the country, I honestly believed I could quickly establish whether or not flying saucers really exist, and if so, where they come from. Now, nearly 16 years later, I wonder how I could have been so naive!

Moseley interviewed the witnesses to the Lubbock Lights.

In the course of my travels, I interviewed almost all the “great names” in the UFO scene of that era — author such as Frank Skully, Gerald Heard, Morris K Jessup, Edward Ruppelt, George Adamski, Donald Keyhoe, and many others. These are the people — many of them now dead — who wrote the early saucer books, most of which were best sellers in their day.

At the end of a long trip my conclusions were: Witnesses reporting UFOs in the sky are generally sincere and reputable. Although they sometimes make mistakes, a lot of them have seen genuinely unexplainable objects. On the other hand, “contactees” such as George Adamski who claimed To have spoken to space people on the ground or ridden in their ships, are solely profit-seekers and therefore not to be believed. As for the origin of the saucers, they were probably interplanetary, though their precise point of origin cannot yet be determined.

As I look back now, I can compare these conclusions to my neat solutions for nearly all the world’s political and social problems, which I arrived at by the end of my first year in college. Although my UFO views have not changed radically over the years, and I have never lost my objectivity for very long, I would now seriously question every one of the statements I took to be self-evident in that early period.

Perhaps my first and most severe disappointment was to find Ken Krippene really had no interest whatsoever and then honest book about flying saucers. As I was to learn many times later, there is very little market for truth or even honest reporting at lower levels of the non-fiction field. Although I had assembled hundreds of pages of notes and had painstakingly obtained the most comprehensive survey of the UFO subject available at that time, Krippene wanted such additions as a disembodied head from outer space floating across the front cover— or else no book!

Saucer News, when it was named Nexus

By that time I was already becoming well known in the UFO field as a rather mysterious newcomer, but I was totally unknown in the publishing world, and felt (perhaps erroneously) that I could get nowhere without collaborating with an established writer. So I rather sorrowfully abandoned the idea of the book. Instead, in the summer of 1954 I began publication of a monthly mimeographed magazine for flying saucer fans. At first called Nexus, then Saucer News, it underwent many changes over the years in frequency, size, quality, and format; but essentially, it was an attempt to give an honest presentation of my own views as they evolved, together with straight news stories about current UFO sightings and articles of his opinion about other “leaders” in the field of flying saucer research.

Because my views and those are my contributing writers seldom coincided with the opinions of most other UFO buffs, the magazine never grew to anything larger than a money-losing hobby. I didn’t mind, because I enjoyed setting the editorial policy to suit myself, and because I never expected to make money from the enterprize.

But I did find it interesting to gradually learn another “great truth”: Readers of flying saucer journals (and no doubt the same as equally true in other fields) do not want their preconceived notions to be seriously challenged. They do not even want to be made to think. Rather, they seek confirmation of opinions they already hold; and if they fail to find his confirmation in one UFO magazine, they will simply drop it and turn to another which properly mirrors their own ideas.

Specifically, I learned that the great majority of people who buy semi-professional UFO magazine such as mine, are ardent believers in the “contactees.” These readers are already convinced, through faith alone, that interplanetary saucers are a proven reality. They now seek a new religion based on the messages these space visitors have allegedly given to various “contactees” over the years.

In response to this persistent pressure from my readers, I eventually dropped my anti-“contactees” articles from Saucer News, and started giving the UFO buffs more nearly what they wanted. This helped circulation only a little, for by then I had established a reputation as a skeptical or negative thinker within the field.

Finally, in recent years, I took a hard second look at some of the “contactees” stories, myself and came to form my present opinion that these stories and their proponents are probably far more complex than I had thought back in the 1950s. It is apparently not just a simple case of deciding whether or not these men are lying. Quite possibly, they are telling the truth as they know it, yet have never taken the saucer flights they claim. Perhaps they and the people who believe them, are purposely being confused and misinformed by a mysterious group of extraterrestrials or others. Whatever the right answer may be regarding the “contactees,” the solution to the saucer mystery lies in a correct interpretation of their reports. I might add that this solution is eluded all UFO researchers, including myself, for over twenty years!

Here we are, entering the third decade of the UFO era, still lacking proof (as opposed to mere evidence) that flying saucers exist: that lacking proof as to their origin, purpose, etc. Without the benefit of the blind faith that most of the fans indulge in so lavishly, no solution of the mystery seems possible. Whatever the saucers are, they do not seem to abide by the laws of physics as we know them, nor are they susceptible to the kinds of proof and logic which we apply to normal fields of inquiry. This realization, resulting quite obviously in frustration, has done much to dampen my enthusiasm for the entire subject.

On the other hand, while these answers have continued to elude all of us, public interest and acceptance of UFOs has increased tremendously in recent years. The way this came about was quite unexpected, and tells us something about the strange ways in which public opinion is formed.

Going back as far as the early 1950s, there had been stories of crashed saucers with dead “little man” found inside them. There were also hundreds of sightings of live “little men” in isolated areas all over the world. There have been dozens of “contactee” type stories, plus many hundreds of accounts of landings and near-landings, and last, but not least, there are the close UFO observations made over the years by literally hundreds of thousands a reasonably sane citizens, including pilots, scientists, and college professors. Yet, the public in general was neither convinced by all this nor even very interested.

Then, in late March, 1966, a series of sightings occurred in the state of Michigan which was to transform the whole UFO picture as far as the public was concerned. The irony is that the signings were neither very detailed, nor very close, compared to the thousands of previous observations of UFOs. It is likely that most of the dozens of incidents involved nothing more extraterrestrial than bright stars or planets. Yet the wire services carried so many of the accounts within such a period of time that the country was stirred up to fever pitch.

Still, it would have died down in a few more days had not another event occurred: The Air Force sent their chief scientific consultant, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, to the scene, and gave him scarcely enough time to do a thorough investigation before scheduling a press conference for him. Pressed for an explanation of the Michigan sightings at the now-famous Detroit press conference, Hynek suggested marsh gas as a solution.

The first obvious purpose of Hynek’s visit, from the Air Force point of view, was to quiet the public clamor. In the past, similar tactics had often worked, and that sensational UFO cases had been squashed by prosaic explanations. But this time the tactic backfired. The press ignored the fact that Hynek had quite properly qualified his statement by saying that marsh gas was a possible answer. He had not made a categorical statement of any kind. But the public assumed that he had; and, since the ‘marsh gas’ had dived at a police car in at least one instance, and had been seen to have definite shape and structural details in other instances, the public howl grew louder than ever!

One direct result of the ‘marsh gas’ fiasco was a flood of mail by outraged citizens to their Congressmen, demanding to know what had really been seen in Michigan. This led to a few months later to the formation of the Condon Committee at the University of Colorado. There, a half million dollars of tax money and two years of scientific work were required to produce, finally, an official report that in essence merely reassured the public that there really isn’t anything to get excited about, after all, in regard UFO sightings in Michigan.

A second direct result was that saucers finally became ‘respectable.’ For many years, my Saucer News office had been listed in the New York City phone book with nary an inquiry from television or major newspapers. Suddenly, within a couple of days after the ‘marsh gas’ incidents began, I was called upon to do, radio and TV spot-news interviews for the major networks, since I was the nearest authority they could lay their hands on.

After so many years of quiet obscurity, an identified form in the Michigan sky had pushed me into the spotlight. Within a few weeks I was receiving thousands of letters from in-depth television interviews; I was suddenly invited to write books and even make phonograph records; I was signed by one of the country’s leading lecture bureaus to make UFO lectures at colleges and engineering societies all over the United States; and little Saucer News office, where I had always worked alone, became overflowing with secretarial help I had to hire to keep up with the routine work.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the attention. I fully realize that there was no connection whatsoever between solving the UFO enigma on one hand, and public interest in the UFOs on the other hand. Yet I was determined to take full advantage of my unexpected good fortune, and from that point onward I made the UFO research a full-time occupation.

It was not long afterwards the decided to culminate my newfound fame by sponsoring what would be the largest and most ambitious indoor flying saucer convention ever held— and the first ever to be held in cynical New York City. As a publicity angle, I chose the date June 24th, 1967, the exact twentieth anniversary of Kenneth Arnold sighting.

1967 NYC Convention

With the convention, I finally went to the full circle— from exposing the “contactees” as frauds in early issues of Saucer News to actually sponsoring them by paying their expenses to New York from various parts of the country. I did so quite frankly, not because of my renewed interest in their stories, But simply because I was quite correctly convinced that the only way to fill a huge convention hall was to give the public exactly what they wanted.

My philosophy paid off— not financially, as the expenses were so high that I barely broke even in spite of a full house. But the New York news media covered us fully, just as we had hoped; and a pre-convention press conference was attended by an impressive assortment of reporters including representatives of the largest magazines in the country.

What did it accomplish? Probably only add further confusion to an already confused subject. A good time was had by nearly all who attended, although I doubt that anyone really learned much, if anything. I myself self learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts of how to run a convention, but absolutely nothing new about flying saucers.

Since then, things have died down quite a bit. I continued to lecture around the country and sponsor saucer personalities (including “contactees”) as guest speakers at monthly lecture series in New York City. However, the nationwide rash of books, TV specials and magazine articles generated by the Michigan signings has finally run its course.

Gray Barker, center, purchased Saucer News

I sold Saucer News to another publisher near the height of its popularity, to give myself more time for lecturing and on-the-spot investigations of UFO cases. The lecture I give is always about the same — a summary of the history of UFO sightings throughout the ages. The questions that follow from the audience or almost the same everywhere, and the answers I give represent a calculated middle ground between skepticism on one hand and fanatical belief on the other.

As for the field investigations, I hardly expect to learn anything new from them, and we all know by now the physical, tangible proof of the existence of flying saucers is an endlessly elusive commodity. For whatever reason may be, flying saucers will, I believe, long continue to be just a bit too “real” to be dismissed is fiction, and too “unreal” to be provable.

So the research goes on. Some are in it mainly for the money, others because of the preconceived religious or philosophical notions they’re trying to expound. A few, like myself, maintain at least a semblance of objectivity and integrity.

Where will it all end? Unless the saucers treat us to a landing at Central Park in full view Of a assembled scientist and television cameras, we will have to wait till our own technology reaches the level of detailed exploration of the moon and nearby planets. Only then can we intelligently start to narrow down the list of possible points of origin. If it turns out that our entire solar system is devoid of alien space travelers, then we weirder explanations will have to be seriously considered. Perhaps the saucers come from another dimension, or from a source so complex as to be completely beyond our present level of understanding.

Whatever the answer  I still feel that this field is as intriguing as it is frustrating.

For me, as for the rest of the interested mankind, this is just the beginning of exploring and understanding the phenomena of the unknown.

. . .

Jim’s unfinished book was eventually used to form the early part of his flying saucer memoirs co-written by Karl Pflock, Shockingly Close to the Truth : Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist, published in 2002.

Jim Moseley, August 4, 1931 –  November 16, 2012

Saucer News!

First, a couple of existing resources, then the latest Saucer News.

The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) hosts a collection of “Early UFO Periodicals.” Of key interest to Jim Moseley mavens, the first ten issues of Saucer News are included, then known as NEXUS.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.43.29 AM

But wait, there’s more!

There’s also a collection of early issues of  Gray Barker’s Saucerian

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 10.00.03 AM

Jim Moseley and The Saucer News Years

Rick Hilberg became active in ufology in 1958. A short bio of Rick from MUFON of Ohio presenting their “Lifetime Achievement” Award to him at the 2015 Conference.

Isaac Koi recently shared the news that “I uploaded 10 books/booklets written by veteran ufologist Rick Hilberg (USA, active in ufology for the last 60 years). Another 12 of his books/booklets, which he kindly donated to the [Archives for the Unexplained] AFU in Sweden, have been scanned by the AFU… so they are now freely available online (with Rick’s permission) as searchable PDFs.

Rick Hilberg published UFO Magazine and Flying Saucer Digest, and many booklets collecting the work of others, including his friends Jim Moseley and Gray Barker.

Jim Moseley and The Saucer News Years was published in April 2007. Rick Hilberg’s introduction explains how he chose articles by Jim and various authors from Saucer News from 1954 to 1967:“The selection of articles and features…were chosen to give the reader some sense of just what the UFO field was like during those dynamic years of Jim’s editorship.”

Jim Moseley and The Saucer News Years

There was also a few paragraphs from Moseley himself explaining how his views on UFOs had changed over the years:

“I became convinced, as I am now, that the saucer mystery involves genuine unknown phenomena, but (for complicated reasons) no space ships from other planets. The saucers, which definitely have a paranormal aspect, are somehow a permanent part of the Earth’s environment. In some way or other, they are related to us! Hopefully, some day in the future, science will find the answer.”

Articles contained:

Exposing the Saucer Hoaxes – by Jim Moseley, Nexus, August 1954.

Flying Saucers: Fact and Fiction – by John P. Bessor, Nexus, November 1954

Mystery on the Peruvian Desert (Nazca Lines) – by Jim Moseley, Saucer News, April 1955

Recent News Reports (1955), Saucer News, Oct. – Nov. 1955

What on earth Were They? – by Harold T. Wilkins, Saucer News, Dec. – Jan. 1955 – 1956

The Al Bender Story – by Jim Moseley, Saucer News, Feb. – Mar. 1956

UFOs and Unnatural Clouds – by Frank Reid, Saucer News, Aug. – Sept. 1956

Recent News Stories (1957), Saucer News, Oct. – Nov. 1957

Recent News Stories (1957), Saucer News, Feb. – Mar. 1958

The Case of the Crashed UFO – by Bob Barry, Saucer News, Oct. – Nov. 1958.

Humanoids and the Mars Saucer Cycle – by Lonzo Dove, Saucer News, March 1962.

My Interview at Wright-Patterson – by Jim Moseley, Saucer News, September 1962.

Reconsidering the “Little Men” – by Keith Roberts, Saucer News, March 1965

Did I Contact a Space Man? – by Gray Barker, Saucer News, Winter 1966 – 67

The UFO Secret: Answers are on the Way – by John Keel, Saucer News, Fall 1967

Recent UFO Sightings (1966), Saucer News, Winter 1966 – 67

The collection is an excellent look at UFO history in the making, and the culture and personalities that built the house. Moseley was granted a visit to Project Blue Book headquarters and was given a tour of their operations by Col. Robert Friend in March 1962. It stands as one of the best inside looks at the scope of the Air Force’s UFO investigations, “My Interview at Wright-Patterson.”

A Gray Barker Reader

Rick Hilberg also published three collections of Jim’s friend Gray Barker, from his column, “Chasing the Flying Saucers” originally published in Ray Palmer’s Flying Saucers magazine.

A Gray Barker Reader I

A Gray Barker Reader II

A Gray Barker Reader III

Check the AFU’s collection of other book and periodicals by Rick Hilberg and others: AFU Downloads – Directory and file listing

Grave Robbing for Fun and Profit

 In the 1950s I spent a lot of time treasure hunting in Peru, and was quite successful. – James W. Moseley

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Jim Moseley planned another volume of memoirs to follow Shockingly Close to the Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist ( James W. Moseley and Karl T. Pflock Jul 1, 2002). The title for the second book was to have been Grave Robbing for Fun and Profit, but sadly, Karl Pflock’s death thwarted those plans.

As much as Jim enjoyed the wild world of UFOs, his fondest memories were of his 1950s treasure hunting exploits in Peru. This article can in no way substitute for Jim’s unwritten memoir, but it helps point to places where more details can be found.


In SCTTT, Jim wrote, “I first met with Ken Krippene on October 5. We talked about possible future projects Krippene had in mind and how I might participate. I ended up signing a contract with him, under which he would take me on a Peruvian jungle expedition beginning in Feb. 1954.”
Krippene was also responsible for launching Jim more seriously in UFO research: he’d planned an exploitation book, which Jim was supposed to research, and Krippene would lend his more famous name to assure better sales. It fell through, but while working on it, Moseley met some very interesting people, and found himself deeply drawn into the topic.

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Ken Krippene

For the next several years, Moseley divided his time between the US,  Saucer News and Peru treasure hunts. Jim’s absences were a mystery to the flying saucer fans and Saucer News readers, and the subject of much speculation, and helped fuel fanciful rumors that he was a Jim was a saucer spy! Also, while in Peru, Jim found time for both some real saucer work and also some mischief, see The Case of the Smoking Saucer, and the hoaxed saucer landing site below.

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You can’t make this stuff up. Oh, wait…

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Some sample loot from one dig.

Over the years, Jim did write a bit about his South American adventures, and discussed them on some radio programs.

FATE Magazine – May 1957 “Curse Of The Quishuarani Treasure”, by James W. Moseley

Argosy June 1964, “Inca Treasure- by the Ton!” by James W. Moseley

In Ray Palmer’s Flying Saucers magazine,  Gray Barker had a column, Chasing the Flying Saucers.  In the May 1959 issue (page 19),  Barker relates an epic trip to New Jersey to meet with the whole Saucer News gang and its mysterious publisher, Jim Moseley.  Barker jazzed it up a bit, as he had already been good friends with Moseley for years. But it does give a bit of insight on how Jim’s travels were perceived by the saucer fiends at the time.  See the article at Scribd: Flying Saucers magazine May 1959

Rare Jim Moseley Recorded Interviews
On the Long John Nebel Show WOR radio from 1958 or so, Jim took a break from saucer talk to share details of his other career:

There’s a fair amount about his travels and excavations at Peru, including some discussion of the Nazca Lines.

Jim Moseley also spoke about his treasure hunting adventures in Peru in this rare interview with Bob Zanotti’s Coffee Klatch:

Jim Moseley on Coffee Klatch with Bob Zanotti 1963 (link to audio)

Life brings down the hammer

All good things must come to an end, and in pages 150 -152 of SCTTT, Jim tells of how a story in LIFE magazine brought the curtain down on his fun.

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Life Magazine June 1, 1959

Life Magazine, June 1, 1959 US edition Vol. 46, No. 22 (Life Magazine: June 15, 1959 Spanish edition)

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Gold in the Americas edited by Hélène Dionne page 191

(A similar mask)

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SCTTT, page 152That put Jim out of the tomb robbing and smuggling business, but freed up that energy for him to put into the study of flying saucers and the people who love them.


About the 2015 CSU/NUFOC Reunion!

(Here’s the original announcement of the 2015 event, followed by a brief update on the gathering.)


From co-founder RICK HILBERG –  “I’m happy to finally provide you with the final details for the 


worBob Easley and I took our good old time to make sure that we got the best possible venue and time that will be attractive to our attendees. 

In no particular logical order here goes:
It will be held on Friday June 19th through Sunday June 21st, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Cleveland Airport 7230 Engle Road Middleburg Hts.,OH 44130.
Contact information: 440-243-4040 or (The website has a good overview of just how great this facility is.)
The room rates ( good through June 4th ) are only $107.00 per night for this four star hotel. 
That weekend was the same for the 1965 Congress here in Cleveland. Somewhere I have an invitation for the 1965 event that I will dig up and use with my Facebook page posting about the event.”
 – – –
The original title of the organization was the Congress of Scientific Ufologists, but was change to the National UFO Conference, or NUFOC.
Rick also said, “This will be an informal affair where each attendee will have the opportunity to discuss whatever he or she finds interesting on any and all aspects of the UFO spectrum. In other words a chance to share information and ideas without a strict agenda regarding time and format. True cooperation for mutual benefit. 
Anyone with an interest in historical UFO research is welcomed. It’s going to be an open and fun time for one and all to informally get together and talk shop and share information and insights.”
. . .
The event brought the old gang back together. The attendees pictured are Tom Wertman, Tim Beckley, Allen Greenfield, David Halperin, Bob Easley and Rick Hilberg, who said:
“Yes, it was great talking saucers for a whole weekend!”
For more photos from the event, visit the NUFOC site:

The Case of the Smoking Saucer

by Curt Collins, © 2014

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Peru: May 1954

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James W. Moseley, circa 1954

Jim Moseley’s early flying saucer days were interrupted by frequent visits to Peru for treasure hunting, or vice versa. During a trip there in May 1954, Jim met a man, Pedro Bardi Zeña, who had  a dramatic story and a unique photograph of a flying saucer. Bardi told him of a UFO that left a distinctive trail of vapor or smoke as it streaked across the jungle sky.

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Flying Saucer, Madre de Dios section of Peru

Jim’s original report:

Jim Moseley’s original file, from an unpublished manuscript.

The story and photo was first published in the US in the April 1955 issue of Saucer News  (then known as Nexus).

NEXUS, later retitled Saucer News.

NICAP takes a look

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NICAP’s UFO Investigator, Vol.1 #2, Aug/Sept.1957

NICAP (the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena), while reporting on a similar UFO report, checked with Jim on the Peru photo and the details behind it:

“Smoke Trailing Disc Reported Over New Zealand Similar to 1952 Peru Case”

NICAP believes members may be interested in the accompanying picture supposed to have been made of a smoke-trailing object over Peru in 1952. The photograph and extracts from the sighting report are reproduced with the kind permission of James Moseley, editor of SAUCER NEWS.

In a letter dated August 10, 1957, Mr. Moseley gave NICAP the following account of the incident:

“In Lima I met Señor Pedro Bardi, who is an agricultural engineer. On July 19, 1952, while on a farm in the Madre de Dios section of Peru, he and others saw a saucer. It was about 4:30 p.m. and they were talking to Lima by radio.

“Suddenly, according to Bardi, the radio went dead. They looked out the window and saw a round object going by at high speed. (The witnesses included Pedro Arellano, owner of the farm.) The object such had passed; it was at an estimated 100 meters altitude and was a little smaller than a DC-3, according to Bardi. It made a buzzing sound as it went by.”

The object’s speed, Moseley explains, was determined by a report that it was seen four minutes later near Porto Maldonado, 120 kilometers distant. This speed was computed at 1117 miles per hour.

The photograph was secured from a customs administrator named Domlngo Troncosco, who said he had taken it as the object flew near the port. Though the photo shows a cigar-shaped object instead of the round shape Bardi described, this could possibly have been due to an elongated effect caused by speed.

“It seems obvious to me,” Moseley told NICAP, “that the photo is genuine. Incidentally, I (strongly doubt) if this particular saucer was anything but earth-made.”

Though NICAP has no reason to doubt the picture’s authenticity, we are unable to make an accurate analysis without the negative. NICAP’s UFO Investigator, Vol.1 #2, Aug/Sept.1957

Project Blue Book

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What Jim and NICAP did not know, was that Project Blue Book already had a file on this case. Jim accurately repeated information given to him, but some details he had were inaccurate. There was a newspaper story on it, and even some degree of official investigation.

The photo was not from 1952, but taken in July 1951. The  report by Col. McHenry Hamilton Jr., states that the Peruvian Air Force mentions a total of three photographs, supposedly taken by different individuals, and that it was their opinion that it was hoaxed with “a fairly clever attempt at trick photography” for “commercial reasons.”

That’s very interesting for several reasons, but chiefly for the mention of additional photos, which have not been seen since.

Page 3
Report by Col. McHenry Hamilton, Jr. See link below for full file.

Project Blue Book case file on Peru UFO, July 19, 1951

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El Comercio (Lima), August 15, 1951. as reproduced in Project Blue Book

A Hoax?

Did Jim get conned? Bardi had heard of Jim’s interest in flying saucers, which is the reason he sought him out and brought the story and photograph to him. Jim was given no reason to doubt Bard, the picture, or the details of the story. He went on to present the material just as he’d received it, and few have ever given serious question to the authenticity of the photo itself.

The Legacy

The biggest exposure the photo received was in the Flying Saucers Look Magazine Special, 1967. The full page photo appeared with only a brief caption in tiny print, where it credits Saucer News for the picture. This magazine was a mainstream publication that reached millions of readers.

Flying Saucers Look Magazine Special, 1967

The picture has continued to receive exposure world-wide, frequently reprinted, often  without attribution, and in a cropped form. It’s been seen in countless UFO books, publications, websites and documentaries.

The story picked up some twists over the years. The smoky trail behind the UFO had evolved into something more exotic. In an Open Minds article by Antonio Huneeus, Jim was disturbed to find references to “angel hair,” the silky ephemeral substance that was once associated with flying saucers. Jim wrote me, “The photo with commentary, is in the December – January 2012 Open Minds. In all these years, I have not heard of any other source of info on this photo except me. Yet their commentary contains additional material that I am quite sure is false!”

It was this “angel hair” article that prompted Jim to ask me if I could track down additional information on the photo. The report I prepared for him ultimately became the foundation for this article.

A Sour Note

Jim was insulted in 2012, when Michael Swords, in  trying to sort out the photo’s history,  questioned its authenticity due to Jim’s reputation as a prankster over the years:


This picture seems to have reached the American public via James Moseley. That fact is almost enough to make you quit bothering right there. Moseley, however, nice a guy he may or may not be, has spent a life fouling the waters of UFOlogy with hoaxes, misrepresentations, rumors, misplaced “humor” … it has been an almost wholly unhelpful “career” to the field.

Apparently, Swords’ prejudice against Jim prevented him from making any attempt to contact Jim to find out more about the photo. Jim considered responding to Swords’ sore-headed misrepresentations and rumors, but decided to quit bothering right there.

The Smoking Saucer Flies On

“My picture,” is what Jim called the Peru saucer photograph, and he was proud to have introduced it to flying saucer study. He always thought the photo was genuine, but that it was likely just pictured an aircraft of earthly origin.

I think Jim would have been happy to know that there’s still interest in the photo, and that more information on it is coming to light.

– – –
Chronology of Publications and Examinations

Special thanks to Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos for the information on which this list is based.

Wendelle Stevens & August Roberts, UFO Photographs Around the World, Vol 2, 1985, p 135.

El Comercio (Lima), August 15, 1951.

Project Blue Book,, and

James W. Moseley, unpublished manuscript, page 124

Nexus, April 1955, cover. (Saucer News,) 1st US publication, includes Moseley’s desc.

The UFO Investigator, Vol I, No 2, August-September 1957, pp 12-13, quoting James Moseley letter to NICAP, August 10, 1957.

Jimmy Guieu, Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Fleuve Noir, 1956, plate 10.

Richard Hall, The UFO Evidence, NICAP, 1964, p 88.

Recap of NICAP article- brief listing.

Epoca (Milano), September 4, 1966, pp 32-33.

Flying Saucers Look Magazine Special, 1967. Photo only, no details, credits Saucer News.

Max B. Miller (ed), Flying Saucers Pictorial, Arizill, 1967, p 55.

L. Kettlecamp, Investigating UFOs, Ronald Stacy, 1972, p 49.

Guillermo Roncoroni & Gustavo Alvarez, Los OVNI y la evidencia fotográfica, Cielosur, 1978, p 207.

Wendelle Stevens & August Roberts, UFO Photographs Around the World, Vol 2, 1985, p 135.

Loren Gross, UFOs: A History. 1951, 1983, p 35; and UFOs: A History.

1952  June-July 20th. Supplemental Notes, 2001, pp 54-55.

Giuseppe Stilo, Ultimatum alla Terra, UPIAR, 2002, pp 487-488, quoting Gazetta di Parma, July 6, 1952.

Michael Hesemann, UFOs. Besucher aus dem Weltall, Könemann, 2001, p 45.

James Moseley & Karl T. Pflock, Shockingly Close to the Truth!, Prometheus, 2002, pp 140-142.

Larry Robinson (2002). Dismisses as hoax: “Montage: Toy balloon, cotton, scene.”

Temporal doorway site by Mark Cashman circa 2004 

Kentaro Mori, Ceticismo Aberto, “Puerto Maldonado,” 2009   Includes comparison to “roll cloud”

Angels’ Hair Reports Index Page July 19, 1951. Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Open Minds Magazine article by Antonio Huneeus Dec-Jan, 2012

James W. Moseley, Saucer Smear, 444, September 15, 2011, p 8. (Presents Moseley’s manuscript notes with additional comments. )

Michael Swords, Can we learn anything from UFO Photos?

The James W. Moseley (Dreaded) Internet Roast (Archive)

The original page is no longer online, so in honor of the Supreme Commander, we’ll preserve it here for posterity.


“I do have a serious interest in UFOs,
and I did have a serious interest even back
when I was doing hoaxes, but my *approach*
is not serious. I like to enjoy myself.”
— James W. Moseley

The months November 2003 through July 2004 ring in James W. Moseley’s 50th year of saucering, of telling it shockingly close to how it is in the wonderfully weird world of ufology–50 madcap years as Serious Ufologist (his Adamski expose), UFOhoaxer (the Straith letter), Semi-Serious Ufologist (his 4-D Theory), and Reigning Court Jester of The Field. This makes Jim one of if not the longest surviving continuously active saucerer on (this) planet!

“November 2003 through July 2004?” you wonder. Yes, like most everything else in ufology, the exact beginning of Jim’s checkered ufological career is a few degrees out of phase with 3-D “reality,” a tad hard to pin down. It was in mid-November 1953 that Jim set out on a cross-country trek to interview as many saucer spotters, experts, and interesting-for-various-reasons others as possible for a UFO book he planned to write. He managed to bag more than 100 interviews, all of them still interesting, some still of ufological importantance. However, the book didn’t get published till 2002, forming the basis of the 1950s section of Jim’s and my Shockingly Close to the Truth!–Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist (Prometheus Books). In July 1954, Jim published the first issue of his saucerzine Nexus, which a year later became Saucer News, which in the 1970s devolved into today’s Saucer Smear. So when was the momentous 50-year mark actually reached? Was it when Jim jumped into his shiny new ’53 Hudson and hit the saucer road? Or was it when he dedicated himself to “the highest principles of ufological journalism”?

As for Steve, Matt, and me, we’re going to celebrate the entire 9 months here on the Moseley Roast Page, and we hope “billions and billions” of you will join us. Okay, okay. We’re a little late getting started, but please don’t hold that against us. Join in the fun anyway. What fun, you say?…

“It is far easier to make things up
than to stick strictly to the Truth.
So it is that *close* is about as near to
Truth any of us ever gets. By some odd alchemy
this usually brings out what really matters.”
— James W. Moseley

We know that more than a few of you out there have Moseley tales to tell, memories of Jim, fond and otherwise, funny, illuminating, all worth sharing, yarns sure to inspire a laugh or two, certain to recall glorious and inglorious past Moseleyean ufological happenings and adventures to the minds of others to be shared, too. Many of you no doubt have photos and other memorabilia that capture interesting times in Jim’s saucering past. And who knows what else lurks in wait to catch the Supreme Commander all unaware and recall the Goode Olde Daze and Just Yesterdaze, too, and Jim’s part in them.

Now’s the time and here’s the place to let it all hang out, tell it like it is or was. Post your thoughts, memories, good wishes, whatevers here–now, tomorrow, and the next day. Come back and read and view them now and then, and add more as this churns and stirs your memories–but not, we hope, your stomachs. When July rolls around, or perhaps a bit later in the year, at a time and place and in a manner yet to be determined but guaranteed to be Gloriously Semi-Perfect, all will be presented to Jim. We’ll keep everyone posted here as plans develop.

Yours in Research, Karl Pflock, C.E., M.P.OC., S.S. 5th Col.

The James W. Moseley (Dreaded) Internet Roast
Tom Benson

Your accomplishment of chasing Flying Saucers/UFOs for over fifty years is a milestone that should be ever written in the stars, like an olde time byplane gushing out smoke advertisements in the sky over a beach.

I initially observed your activites at the National UFO Conference (NUFOC) located in a semi-rundown motel in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in 1974, long after you began your chasing Saucers career in 1953. At this Con, you were mainly introducing speakers including Jan Barbara Hudson, author of “Those Sexy Saucer People” (Greenleaf, 1967, Saucerian ?), and hawking back issues of Saucer News. I got to know you somewhat better in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, after making several literary, etc. contributions to your newsletter, including the one that cause the Postal Authorities to pay you a visit and attending some of your non-subscriber parties at your apartment complex, “Moseley Manor” in Guttenberg, New Jersey.

Looking back, I recall many memorable events, such as having dinner with you, 1980 NUFOC speakers and others, prior to the Con in New York City. We had a breathtaking nightscape view from the top floor of the “Windows of the World” restaurant, located in one of the World Trade Center tower buildings. Speakers included Gray Barker, Betty Hill, Rick Hilberg, Bob Sheaffer and Stan Friedman.

Over the years, we in the chasing the Saucers field, experienced many personal ups and downs, but you have been a guiding light for me at times, like an older brother. I also saw this apply to others, judging by their letters in your newsletter.

A close friend of yours, Gray Barker at a NUFOC in the Cleveland area in Ohio, a couple of years before he passed over, while lecturing, in response to a question asked by a member of the audience: “What are Flying Saucers?” Gray said, “The answer is within you.” As we continue our quest to understand the paranormal phenomenon, the mystery becomes more like the study of God. Full understanding of the phenomenon is always elusive, and never achieved, it is like waiting for Godot, who never comes. Occasionally, glimpses of knowledge may pop into our minds, or appear to our sight, like a lightbulb going on that floats above the head of a charcter in a cartoon strip. In an intellectual humorous way, the cartoon characters that appear in your newsletter, including yourself have guided us in our quest for knowledge and is always something to cherish. Thanks for your help and just being there.

A friend,

Tom Benson


(posted: Mon Sep 20 20:44:30 2004)
Roger Borroel
Jim: It was 1961(I was 11 then) and I checked out Scully’s book, BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCERS, and took it to my science teacher(who was very pretty as I remember her) and asked her opinion on it. And quess what? She knew that it was a hoax book….the point here, Since then I take the UFO field with a bag of salt, not a grain, but a bag! It’s fun as it should be, and when one, even if its a itty bitty saucer, lands for the WHOLE world o see, THEN, and only then, will I get serious about the UFO field-Live long…Viva la Vida!!!-Roger, a member of the ufoology crowd. 
(posted: Sat Sep 11 10:13:28 2004)
Heywood Jablome
Oh give a cheer for old Jim Moseley
He’d pull a hoax if not watched closely
He’d laugh, tease, and jeer
In each issue of Saucer Smear
With jokes that were mostly grossly.
(posted: Tue Aug 31 14:00:54 2004)
Kevin Danzey
John Keel may have called you a “boil on the ass” of UFOlogy, but I prefer to think of you as the twinkle in it’s eye. Keep on twinkling, and many thanks, Jim! 
(posted: Sun Aug 1 03:06:51 2004)
T Allen Greenfield, D.D., Ph.D.
There’s something utterly ludicrous and utterly Moseley about an internet salute page to a man who refuses to own a computer, but its soooo Jim. I began reading Saucer News in 1961 or 62, first corresponded with Jim about then, met him at the FIRST National UFO Conference in Cleveland in June of 1964; we chatted in my room after the big public session til Jim was too smashed to talk, and have considered him a friend ever since. We visited Ray Palmer together in ’65, chased the Brown Mountain Lights together, ghosts on the Georgia Coast etc in the late ’60s, and at his GIANT SAUCER SHOW at the Commodore Hotel in NYC I chaired his delegate sessions, went on The Amazing Randi’s show with Tim Beckley, and – uhm – we’ll skip the ’70s, but I lived for awhile in Key West after Jim “retired” there and we hung out a lot. I’ve known him since my teens, and I consider him one of the funniest, most intelligent, most complex and worthwhile people I have had the pleasure to know. I once owned something like a complete set of Saucer News, back to NEXUS “Book One Tome One” (whatever that means, and I do hope to see him at least once more in this present incarnation. I really wish someone would post the picture here of Moseley and the late GA governor Lester Maddox, as Maddox pretended to read what he called “Sausage News” telling JW how much he loved sausage. Take that however you want. Smear on Jim! 
(posted: Fri Jul 23 03:38:28 2004)
Cephas Heinigaras
I noticed that in one of your archives that you refer to Z. Sitchin as a “scholar.” I believe he is a pretty be hoaxer. It is easy to fool people when one is dealing with ancient languages such as Sumerian and Akkadian. Michael S. Heiser has pulled the carpet out from under Sitchin in my humble opinion and I encourage you “non-subscribers” to look him up. Mike is a bonafide scholar and I believe he is simply after the truth, he a very balanced approach to UFO’s and aliens – I know you’d like him. 
(posted: Mon May 24 18:13:24 2004)
Sherry Baker
I first learned of Saucer Smear and became a dedicated non-subscriber way back in the l980s. I was writing about UFOs, Bigfoots ( or is it Bigfeet? but I digress..) and such for the late, lamented OMNI magazine. I believe I actually got to interview the esteemed Mr. Moseley a couple of times over the phone and I developed a big crush on him. He lost no time in sending me literature hawking his paradise resort in Key West. Key West? He lived in Key West?? Well, I figured he must be gay.. sigh.. and my dreams of a mad fling with Jim were somewhat stifled. Eventually, I realized, after seeing many gratuitous pics of big breasted women in Smear, that, in fact, he is probably straight so I thought I’d take this opportunity to say — Jim, darling, I love you madly, you ol’ UFO nut, you! and if we ever DO meet in person, puhleaze autograph my copy of Shockingly Close To the Truth. It is FABO!!! like you and Saucer Smear…


(posted: Sun May 23 22:25:01 2004)
Lydia Mancini
I had dinner with Jim a couple weeks ago while in Key West. I only know him from “Smear” and his book, and I must confess that he was completely different than I expected! I knew from “Shockingly Close” that he tells it like it is, but William Cooper had accused him of being a CIA asset so I had developed some crazy expectations.

I found him to be utterly delightful. I mean really darling. (I’m no good at roasting– I wish I had more wit.) I gotta admit that I love this guy. 

(posted: Tue Mar 30 16:40:55 2004)
Rick Hilberg
Well Jim, here you are at the fifty year mark in your personal quest to chase those elusive disks. Hey, the year 2004 marks my 42nd year of editing publishing UFO and fortean zines, so unless you up and croak very soon I don’t think that I can top your record anytime soon. Say, are you sure that you are feeling well?

Anyway, while most people who join in here on the dreaded Internet ( that my dear friend Al Gore and I invented, I’ll have you know ) will no doubt share some of your most embarrasing moments in the UFO field, I’ll wait a bit longer and instead try to put all seriousness aside for a moment – not!

Without being too stuffy and serious, quite frankly ( Edwardsly ) you are one of the last of the original UFO pioneers and dare I say one of my early mentors in ufology. Hey, I first subscribed to SAUCER NEWS in the early 1960s and had the pleasure to meet you at the first “Congress of Scientific Ufologists” here in Cleveland way back in 1964. And I dare say that without your help and backing in SAUCER NEWS the bloody thing probably wouldn’t have been held at all. That’s what I have always said of you, even though you sometimes come on as someone who is only trying to have some fun and stur up trouble in the field I sincerely believe that you really care about the field, and it’s just your way to not take it or yourself too damn seriously. Maybe one hundred years from now when some sociologist publishes a paper ( probably on this damn electronic monster ) on those silly and misguided people who chased the flying saucers, your name and comments will be featured. Some of the past and present “leading lights” who have taken themselves waaay too seriously will probably be nothing but almost forgotten footnotes in those days to come.

But enough of this seriousness! Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane and recall some of those outstanding memories from those days now so long passed.

Do you recall the time back in 1965 when you and some of the other delegates at the convention here in Cleveland had a wee bit too much medicine and tried to climb the fence at the closed pool at the Park Brook Motel sometime around three in the morning? And do you remember how you fell trying to climb said fence and almost broke several of your ribs?

Do you remember me burning my NICAP membership card at the 1966 convention while Gray Barker was capturing this important protest on film? Hey, I assure you and those others reading these ravings that I never inhaled the fumes!

Speaking of fumes, do you remember that time at a convention back in the 1970s when you ran out of cigarette papers and had to roll your, well, herbs in the local newspaper?

Say, enough of this stuff from those times when we were, as John Kennedy often said, full of piss and jisim. Those days were indeed special, those days of wonder, dreaming and awe.

Take care old friend. I hope that you have another fifty, you old goat!

Rick Hilberg

(posted: Tue Mar 9 16:34:23 2004)
Bob Durant
Jim Moseley

Dear Jim,

I’ve been chasing saucers almost as long as you have, and I remember as a teenager driving from Ohio in the mid-fifties with my pal to visit you in your Fort Lee apartment. We also stopped to see Leon Davidson, and then went south to Washington for an audience with the The Man — Major Keyhoe.

Those were the days when we thought government disclosure was imminent. Yes, America, saucers are real! And we were convinced that some other guy had the answers, the inside scoop. Thus our round-robin to the gurus, the keepers of the saucer secrets. That short list included you, of course.

After all these years, the saucers remain mysterious. The gurus, insiders, contactees, and leakers have “strutted their hour upon the stage, and are heard no more.” What a cast of characters! Hundreds of names, but it would only cause pain to recall them.

One man is left standing – that’s you, Dear Jim. And that is because you never were a phony. Quite the reverse. You had the common sense to figure out long ago that the mystery was profound, but that the actors who promoted themselves as keepers of the secret were shallow.

You laughed, nudged, winked, for over 50 years. But always, you listened hard for the real signal. You still do, which is why I take this moment to applaud your career in saucerdom.

–Bob Durant

(posted: Fri Feb 27 19:36:27 2004)
Loren Coleman
I first met Jim when he, John Keel, and I were speaking at a Fortfest in the D.C. area, in the 1970s. The most vivid memory I have of that time is sitting with these two gentlemen in the dark and shabby lobby of a motel, listening to the foremost scholars of ufology decide what they would do that evening. I recall politely excusing myself to finetune my presentation, as they skipped off, across the highway, to visit a nearby striptease joint. And thus I was introduced to the braintrust of ufology, and knew what the end would look like – some sort of cosmic mix of humor and nudity galore!

Best wishes, Jim, on your next 50 years of shining your flashlight in all those hidden corners.
Loren Coleman 

(posted: Mon Feb 23 10:02:59 2004)
Ignacio Darnaude Rojas-Marcos 
The generous Manuel Fernandes has donated to this too much old fan of Moseleyan unforgettable Saucer News journal the delightful gift of several spine issues (very pricking ones) of your S.S. bulletin, the non-nazi Saucer Smear.

(By the way Saucer Smear, in the smart language of Cervantes, means by chance, sorry, “saucer to urinate”, a shallow (for prostatics) chamber pot, anyhow an useful apparatus and a truly ufological device, due to “UFO” signifies, too, something related to the morning ambrosia devoured by one India’s ex-President and the most abundant golden nectar (more than wine, olive oil or toilet water): “U.F.O.” = “Urine For Oaks” (its best fertilizer).

I think we are going to file an Urigellerian legal suit against Manuel Fernandes, our common friend and excellent cook of ufo food, because I am suffering a serious S.S. post-reading pain on my abdominal muscles, a damned stiffness provoked by my incontinent abuse of laughter.

Although the actual culprit is, as usual in life, the tricomonic but ever glamorous hymen (Hys Magestic Editor Narrator) and its spiritual environs (Terranova’s aromatherapic Chanel Number 69), that is, the unsinkable UFO Prophet His Highness James W. Mose(s)ley lines hunter, our famous Klassical skeptic about the current epidemic of other affluent UFO Cash Retrievers.

Please keep humour alive into the blood and lymph of Saucer Smear. I suspect humour is the most powerful and intelligent weapon at the hands of ufologists, a must in the whole omniverse, and also our hardest shield against Dark Forces, bad ufonauts and even unbearable ufonaughts.

Perhaps before the imminent End of the World the little green Etherians, more than flesh and blood can bear, maybe appoint H.H. J.W. Moseley their Intergalactic Emperor in our impossible, blue planetoid. No doubt a long awaited and well-deserved royal crown.

I am sure the Lieutenant General will be present at this solemn ceremony, in spite of all, Moseley Sr. frantically applauding, shaking his heroic four stars along with filial attitudes.

(posted: Sun Feb 22 09:08:40 2004)
Richard “Dick” Hall
>Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Jim Moseley, for better
>or worse, has been and remains a Presence in ufology.

Yes, like a steaming turd on the living room carpet. This sort of silly crap explains why you and your idol, who constantly treat the whole subject as a joke, might just as well be on the Government payroll for UFO debunkers.

>We’ll keep everyone posted on the page as plans develop.

Try the Comedy Channel.

(posted: Sun Feb 22 09:07:38 2004)
Matthew James Didier
I have been a fan of Mr. Moseley’s and of “Smear” since buying his book… FIRST! How could one resist such a title as “Shockingly Close to the Truth – Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist”

Yes, there I was, a happy little “ghost investigator/researcher” with his Ufologist girlfriend (now fiance) wandering through our local bookstore and there it was… calling to ME! My girlfriend at the time saying “Oh, you’d appreciate Jim Moseley!” so, a few bucks later, I’m knee-deep into the tome.

Well, to make a long story short, I then read every back issue of “Smear” online and have tried to steer some of the “ghostly folk” I correspond with over to it… to learn the one important truth… “Don’t take yourself TOO seriously and have fun.”

Heck, myself and my significant other were thrilled that our local video shoppe had a copy of “Whispers from Space” in stock and were thrilled to be able to rent/watch this documentary. (R.I.P. Gray Barker)

NOW, on to something far more important…

Reading “Smear” as I have, for some really odd reason, some people have fixated a little too much as to Mr. Moseley’s sexual preferences… I’m shocked at all of you… Aside from sexual preferences having about as much to do with a mans work in Moseley’s fields as the dust bunnies beneath my bed have to do with the ISS, those of you who have fixated missed an important clue…

How often does a man have to print the words “Sex and Saucers” before all you fixators get it?

That’s right, I’m “outing” Jim Moseley!


That’s right, there’s an obvious fixation with sex and saucers… In my eyes, there’s no question, he is a closet gray-hugger… a shadow reptilian-luster… someone who has a shine for the nordics.


Sorry, Mr. Moseley, your secret is now out… but at least some people will finally stop speculating and start concentrating on what’s most important… Jasmine!

Happy 50th, Sir! Your work and efforts are very-much appreciated… although sometimes, it’s difficult to tell…

(As a side note: It is impressive the sheer number of serious Ufologists that say that have issues with you and your work and yet, they all read “Smear”… Hmmmm…) 

(posted: Fri Feb 20 08:24:52 2004)
Brian Parks
I met Jim at Ann Druffel’s home in 1987 as he was preparing the glorious National UFO CON in Burbank Ca for that Summer. I was also at the Con helping out Bill Moore and Stanton Friedman as they broke the MJ-12 story to the world of Ufology. I am sure Jim remembers the night party we had for Stan and the suprize we had for him? And yes I have pictures which include you Jim so be nice! 
(posted: Thu Feb 19 21:53:57 2004)
Bill Jones

Do you remember the First (and as far as I know, your only) Annual Mothman Convention that you and Gray Barker organized in, as I recall, 1970? It was held in Point Pleasant, WV at a motel that had a round restaurant that looked like a landed flying saucer.

Not too many people showed up. Gray did, of course. And you brought along a rather cute girl friend, whose name I have long since forgotten.

My friend, Warren “Nic” Nicholson, and I suspected that you, Gray and your friend had smoked a bit too much funny weed. That was confirmed when we all tried to pile in our cars to go out the circular driveway of the motel so we could visit the infamous TNT factory.

Trying to get in a single line with our cars, you drove your car down the driveway and then turned around so you could follow Gray. Gray drove out the other way and then also turned around at the same time you did. You guys passed each other going in opposite directions several times until we more sober folks took charge and got everyone headed in the same direction.

We did make it out to the TNT plant after dark. I remember standing out there over looking the Ohio River when a small plane came down the river from the north. The reporter from the Athens, Ohio newspaper (Mary Hyre?) who worked with John Keel, you and others on the Mothman story, was there and got very excited. She thought the airplane was a UFO. None of the rest of us got too excited, but she sure did. She was a bit disappointed when she realized her mistake.

Before we met with you guys at the motel Nic and I tried to find the TNT plant. We were having no success until we saw three teenage boys walking along the road. We drove up to them in Nic’s MG and stopped. I leaned out and asked them where Mothman had been seen. Expecting to be laughed at, I was very surpirsed when one of the boys seriously replied by giving us accurate directions. Those boys certainly didn’t take the Mothman stories as a joke. To them it seemed just a matter of fact. That was impressive.

I also remember seeing the remains of the SIlver Bridge piled up in a field not too far off the road.

Thanks for putting on the First (and only) Gray barker and James Moseley Annusl Mothman Convention. It will always be a fond memory.

Bill Jones
MUFON State Director for Ohio 

(posted: Thu Feb 19 10:24:10 2004)
J.L. Wilder
I first discovered Saucer Smear on the Internet about 5 years ago and have enjoyed it ever since. Being a novice UFO enthusiast I found the information contained therein rather entertaining and at times even informative. I’ve never met Jim and I’m sure I never will since I do not intend to patronize any of the conventions, conferences or lectures. I see enough freaks, weirdo’s and charlatans here at home, no sense paying for the privilege, especially since many are going to treat me as a mark. Also, since I live in Michigan and don’t travel too often the possibilities of visiting Florida are very remote. However, I did enjoy Jim’s book immensely (and yes, I purchased it) and found the information quite interesting.

Congratulations Jim, for all the hard work you’ve done over these past 50 or so years and continued success in this and any future endeavors. Yours is the first UFO site I visit every day and the one I enjoy the most. Well done!

J.L. Wilder
UFO enthusiast
No credentials
No degrees
No experience
No lie

(posted: Wed Feb 18 10:36:07 2004)


Links to original archived pages:

Shockingly Close to the Truth: Reviewed by Barry Greenwood

Book Review by Barry Greenwood (reprinted with permission from the Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) Vol. 16, No. 3, 2002)
Published by the Society for Scientific Exploration,

Shockingly Close to the Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist by James W. Moseley & Karl T. Pflock. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. 371 pp., Hardcover, $25.00. ISBN 1-57392-991-3.

                              James W. Moseley



This volume is a chronicle of the career of one James W. Moseley, a man who is most commonly known as a ‘‘ufologist.’’ The term was coined to describe an individual who spends a great deal of time following UFOs, or flying saucers. Moseley certainly fits this description, as he has spent as much time following the UFO scene (since 1953) as this reviewer has lived on planet Earth. He has also written a great deal about UFOs, having published periodicals like Nexus, Saucer News, and more recently Saucer Smear, a newsletter devoted to UFO personalities. With the assistance of another experienced ufologist, Karl Pflock, we now have a reasonable accounting of what Moseley has learned about UFOs.

Oddly enough, what he has learned is not so much about the UFOs themselves as it is about other Ufologists; the researchers, witnesses, proponents, critics and authors. Jim Moseley has come to know a lot of people in his pursuit to chronicle the adventures of Ufologists. He has discovered things that the public doesn’t often see about how Ufology functions internally. Sometimes it is not a pretty picture, and Moseley and Pflock pull no punches in expressing themselves in this respect.

The essence of what Moseley believes about UFOs can be summed up in his ‘‘4-D Theory’’, i.e. that the UFO entities operating flying saucers are too much like ourselves to be alien. So we might suppose from such an observation that to find an answer to the mystery, we must look at the people involved, the observers and researchers, rather than the UFOs. Sensible, because eyewitnesses are the main source of detail in UFO sightings. If the witnesses are flawed, the UFO report isn’t much good. A broader message here is that a witness’s psychology may be affecting the details of the report. Moseley’s 4-D theory does allow for the possibility that some UFOs might be alien, but given the present state of affairs, he observes ‘‘I do not believe The Answer will be found in our lifetime, or at least not mine’’.

With this approach, Moseley has been able to persist in his interest of following the exploits of UFO personalities year after year without falling victim to what might be called the ‘‘UFO blues’’. This happens when an individual takes an interest in UFOs from any of a variety of sources: reading a book, seeing an anomalous object in the sky, watching a TV documentary. In a subsequent burst of zeal, this person devotes much personal time attempting to prove the exotic nature of the observations. It is a very time-consuming process, as there are now untold thousands of pages of obscure information
to absorb. After ten or twenty years there may be a realization that the evidence assembled and digested doesn’t reach the level of conclusive proof of anything exotic. Personally dissatisfied, this person leaves the subject, moving on to other pursuits.

Moseley toured the country to meet with UFO researchers during the early 1950s. His insights on this are fascinating. There has always been a public image of UFO personalities, and then there is reality! The true value of Shockingly Close to the Truth lies in these penetrating recollections of people, many of whom are long departed from the world.

One small anecdote that Moseley relates is his interview with Al Chop, former Air Force press spokesman, and Captain Edward Ruppelt, former head of the Air Force’s UFO investigation, Project Blue Book. Both were out of the military when the interview was conducted. He asked them about two films. One was allegedly taken by Mikel Conrad, star of a 1950 ‘‘B’’ movie called ‘‘The Flying  Saucer.” Conrad said he took a movie film of a genuine flying saucer landing and contact in 1947. He claimed that the Air Force took the footage and later returned less than a third of it. This segment was said to have been used in ‘‘The Flying Saucer’’. The other film was a sequence taken in Landrum, South Carolina, on November 16, 1952, by David Bunch, a tourist visiting friends in Landrum. The 8MM film was said to have shown between four and eleven UFOs. Upon making arrangements to have the Bunch film sent to the Air Force, a copy was promised to the witness. A copy was received later, but was said to have been too dark to discern images well.

Ruppelt told Moseley that the Air Force never confiscated film. The Bunch film was said to have been too dark for anything of value to be seen, contradicting the witness who said the original was fine but that the copy made for him by the Air Force was too dark. Ruppelt added that the Bunch film and copies were ‘‘thrown out’’ as being ‘‘valueless’’. Moseley concluded in hindsight ‘‘Not quite confiscation, but . . .’’, with the point being made that even if the Air Force felt that the film was of no worth, the act of throwing out original and copies of evidence looks bad. It would certainly contribute to the notion that the government covered up UFO information. The Air Force itself was perhaps one of the greatest contributors to this popular idea in its public statements.

To further stress Moseley’s point, the Bunch film does in fact exist in the Project Blue Book files and was included with the records sent to the National Archives (Ruppelt misstatement #1). The film is not too dark to see a slow panning shot of the sunset horizon and two pairs of elongated white light sources along with another single object (Ruppelt misstatement #2). The objects do not move and might be bits of cloud lit by the setting sun. Ruppelt may have been correct in saying that the film was ‘‘valueless’’, or ultimately explainable. However, his behavior in the Moseley interview suggested deception; for whatever reason, that doesn’t help the Air Force’s case for not having tampered with facts in their UFO investigations.

There are several ways to look at James Moseley’s career as a ufologist, from what we can see in Shockingly Close to the Truth. The UFO skeptics will find vindication in their views, even though some of them do not come off very well, in Moseley’s opinion. Episode after episode is recounted of questionable figures engaged in questionable activities in the quest for promoting flying saucer reality. Even Moseley himself falls into this category!
Once in an evening of drunken horseplay, he and friend Gray Barker concocted what has become known as the ‘‘Straith Letter’’. Using blank letterhead from the U.S. State Department, they created a false official, R. E. Straith, who more or less endorsed the activities of notorious flying saucer contactee George Adamski. The hoax letter made its way to Adamski, who wasted no time in using it to promote himself. The FBI and State Department took a dim view of this and lightly pursued Barker and Moseley as the perpetrators, only to drop the investigation.

The mildly UFO-interested, middle-of-the-road citizen will find the book a very entertaining collection of odd tales from UFO history, a virtual carnival romp through the subject’s weirder side.

The serious UFO researcher and believers in exotic answers to UFOs might find the book an irritant as it engages in exposing the darker side of flying saucer politics. As with any field of endeavor, the activists in UFO research would prefer not having any dirty laundry aired. Unfortunately, because of the problems endemic to pro–flying saucer/alien promotion, the small pile of dirty laundry has become a monumental landfill that threatens to push the relevancy of any UFO research aside altogether. It would be a mistake for ufologists to ignore Shockingly Close to the Truth, in that much like a game of chess, one learns more from the mistakes made than from the successes.

A small correction: In the photo section, Moseley describes a photo of a rocket-shaped alleged UFO seen by a Peruvian customs inspector in 1952. It should actually be 1951. This reviewer had found the photo in a Lima newspaper for August 15 of that year.

Stoneham, Massachusetts

The Lost Creek Saucer: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.44.58 PM_2
The Lost Creek saucer

In the mid-1960s, there was a film taken of a “bell-shaped” flying saucer that was widely shown on television, at conferences and college lectures, written about in UFO magazines and books. By 1980, the film had all but vanished, and is largely forgotten today. When it is cited, the details are often wrong with the incorrect year or location given. What are the facts, how was this widely-known saucer film “silenced,” and by whom?

The Road to Lost Creek

Jim Moseley got started in the flying saucer field in 1953 with the intent to co-author a book with Ken Krippine. Jim invested much time and effort, traveling across the USA interviewing prominent UFO figures, as well as some of the biggest fakes, frauds and phonies, such as Frank Scully, Silas Newton, Mikel Conrad and George Adamski. The book never happened as planned, but the trip provided contacts, material and experience that served as the foundation for Moseley’s flying saucer magazine, Saucer News.

Saucer News

In March 1966, there was a new wave of UFO publicity, kicked off by the incident in Michigan where Dr. J. Allen Hynek offered his infamous “marsh gas” explanation. Jim Moseley suddenly was in demand. “Back in New York City, all the major national news organizations were rushing around trying to find an instant saucer expert to interview and quote. Mine was the only listing in the Manhattan phone book under “Saucers” (for Saucer News), so everyone came to me.” 

Moseley received an urgent  call from the American Program Bureau in the spring of 1966. They were “in desperate need of a UFO Expert for an upcoming meeting of the Engineering Society of Detroit. The bureau’s expert, none other than Maj. Donald Keyhoe, had demanded too large a fee, and they had to come up with someone to replace him.” Moseley rose to the occasion, pleased the crowd, and the bureau put him to work. “Over the next eight years, I lectured on  more than one hundred college campuses and at a few other events.” Moseley’s entry-level UFO lecture was an easy sell, and the topic was a perfect draw for campus lectures.“If I do say so myself, it was a good summary presentation of saucer history and events , and given the high level of public interest at the time, all anyone really needed for success. Still, I wished for something a bit more exciting. In late summer 1966 my wish was granted: a new motion picture of a flying saucer.”1

A Flying Saucer is Captured on Film

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 7.23.03 AM
John Sheets, as seen in the Lost Creek saucer film.

Here’s how Moseley described the film and how it came into his hands, from Saucer News, Winter 1966/1967, Vol. 13, No. 4:

“For the first time in our nearly thirteen years of publication, we have been able to obtain an apparently genuine movie film of a flying saucer. The film, taken with taken with a Bolex camera in 16 mm. color, was made on the afternoon of July 23rd, in a rural area called Lost Creek, located near Clarksburg, West Virginia. The photographer has asked to remain anonymous. At the time of the sighting, he and an employee named John Sheets were driving through Lost Creek in a Chevrolet pick-up truck, on their way to photograph a little league baseball game, as a favor to a mutual friend.

As they were driving along a lonely stretch of road, a strange object began following the truck at very low altitude. The camera was not loaded, and by the time Sheets’ boss loaded it, the object was gone. They stopped the vehicle and waited or several minutes, apparently with some sort of premonition that the object would return. Eventually it did, and several feet of film were shot. During the filming, the object was again at very low altitude. Sheets says that it looked to be about ten feet in diameter, though to o us it appears to be smaller. Trees visible in the background can be used as reference points; and a photographic expert in Clarksburg has declared that the object is at least twelve feet in diameter in his opinion.

In the course of the filming, the photographer kept shifting his camera from the sky to the ground, apparently thinking that the object was going to land. According to Sheets, it did not land, but shot off again, at high speed, making a strange humming sound. Afterwards Sheets was ill for two days, either from the excitement or from some after-effect of the close sighting.

Mr. Sheets, a young man in his early twenties, had worked for saucer researcher Gray Barker part-time several years ago, and knowing Barker’s interest in UFOs, he brought the undeveloped film to him. Barker cooperated with SAUCER NEWS in developing the film and making an extra copy. The latter was sent to us several weeks ago by Barker. . . . “

On the Road

One of America’s foremost experts on flying saucers…

Moseley was quick to put the film to good use. “In addition to showing the film on New York–area television and at one of the Saucer News monthly lectures, I incorporated it and the story behind it into my American Program Bureau talk.” 1

The film was generally well received by the audience. An article for The Southeast Missourian – Mar 14, 1968, “1967 Flap Over Flying Saucers” by Pete Brown describes Moseley’s lecture at Southern Illinois University.

“He showed a motion picture film taken by amateurs who were on their way to a Little League baseball game when a saucer suddenly materialized, hovered and darted over their car near Lost Creek, Va. Despite the shaky, out-of-focus photography, that thing showed up in good detail, and it surely looks like a Flying Saucer, all right. But saying that, what have you said? Mr. Mosley let the film speak for itself, and it wasn’t a talkie.”

Moseley in 1968 on the Joe Pyne talks show.

Also in 1968, Jim was a guest on Joe Pyne’s nationally syndicated talk show where he was grilled by the caustic host. Jim showed a clip of the Lost Creek film and offered the amateurishness of the camerawork as evidence of its authenticity, “If it were a fake, it would not be done this poorly as far as the technical skill is concerned. That’s my opinion.” Pyne chuckles and mentions a previous guest with a better UFO film that turned out to be fake. Moseley stands his ground and defends his clip. “Let me say that there is some fakery, but not in film- very hard to do.”

YouTube: Low resolution clip of Moseley presenting the film on TV.

Moseley had his sights on the big time, a major network show with a national television audience. ”I once attempted to get on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show with the Lost Creek film. I managed to make it as far as a viewing for the show’s writers, who watched in bemused silence, thanked me for my time, and sent me on my way.” 1

Within a year, Moseley’s friend Gray Barker had bought Saucer News, and started selling prints of the film, described as featuring an “Adamski-type” saucer, and indeed, the Lost Creek Saucer did seem to be a twin for the Venusian saucer filmed by George Adamski!

Ad from Saucer News Fall 1968:

1001: The Lost Creek Saucer: Saucer follows car as two men return from Little League game. They get some excellent photographs of Adamski-type saucer. Freeze-frame action and slow motion included.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 1.01.30 PM_2
Sensational Saucer Films

“Neither Saucer News nor Modern Film Distributors vouch for the authenticity of any of the three films, but we are making these available to any interested party who wishes to subject them to the most stringent scrutiny and analysis.”

Moseley’s appearances at UFO conferences continued, as did his many college lectures where he maintained the use of the film until the mid 1970s. The Albany Student Press, Sept. 24, 1974, report on Moseley’s lecture on their campus:

“Moseley showed a film that two men in Lost Creek, West Virginia took en route to a little League game. These men caught sight of an object hovering about the trees. While they loaded their camera, the object disappeared from sight, but luckily returned when they were ready and waiting to film.

The most credible aspect of the film is the amateurishness of the photography. Moseley insisted. According to the UFO expert there is a great possibility that these objects were real UFOs because the makers did not try to cash in on the pictures.”

The Lost Creek saucer film was discussed in the newsstand magazine Official UFO in 1975. The next year, noted UFO author Gray Barker had an article in the December 1976 UFO Report magazine, “Invading West Virginia’s Saucer Lairs and Monster Hideouts,” confirming Moseley’s account and providing a few more technical details:

Gray Barker

On July 3, 1966, John Sheets, a house painter, accompanied his employer who had taken movies of a Little League game in Weston. They left Route 19 near Lost Creek for a short cut to Clarksburg on their way home. Sheets, looking out the car window for deer that abounded in the wild rural area, was puzzled and startled when he spotted a dish-shaped flying object surmounted by a dome with portholes, following them. He shouted for the driver to stop as the object disappeared behind a hill. His employer, remembering he had unexposed footage left in his 16mm Bolex movie camera, reached for it on the back seat. As he did so the object returned and swooped down toward them, then retreated and repeated the maneuver. Despite his excitement and fright, the amateur photographer managed to shoot several feet of film, with many sharp frames, some of which when enlarged display a recognizable antenna, and ball-like “landing gear,” similar to many still photographs taken by other witnesses.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 7.32.57 AM
December 1976 UFO Report

Here’s Gray Barker presenting a different edit of the film:

YouTube: Gray Barker, showing the Lost Creek saucer film at a UFO convention.

Barker’s article was quoted in Redcoats, Redskins and Red-eyed Monsters: West Virginia, Its History and People by E. Lee North in 1979, further spreading the story of the Lost Creek saucer.

Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist

The true origin of the film was not publicly revealed until 1995, when Ralph Coon’s documentary film on Gray Barker, Whispers From Space spilled the beans. From the bio: Gray Roscoe Barker by David Houchin, Special Collections Librarian, Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library

Moseley, demonstrating the magic of cinema.

The Lost Creek Saucer sighting was brainstormed by Barker and James Moseley in early 1966. The idea was to produce footage of a flying saucer. On July 26, 1966, they had John Sheets—one of Barker’s researchers—hold a ceramic “boogie” (bogus) saucer on a fishing pole in front of a car; while Moseley drove, and Barker filmed. Afterward, Moseley played the film during his UFO lectures, and Barker sold copies of the footage via his mail-order film business. Both men continued to claim that Sheets had innocently recorded the saucer landing.

The film had been long-retired by then, and the Earth didn’t exactly shake from the news. Rick Hilberg, on how the saucer’s origins first leaked out: “I recall that Gray brought some of his various films of UFO conventions that he attended and whatnot and showed them to some of the local insiders at one of our Northern Ohio UFO Group mini-conventions back in the late 1970s. While enjoying a jar or two watching the films, Jim and Gray both told about the Lost Creek film and how it was hoaxed, therefore it was common knowledge waaay before Coon’s film.”

The camera always adds ten pounds.

Just as P. T. Barnum had done by creating his own Cardiff Giant to exhibit, Moseley and Barker created a counterfeit film of a George Adamski flying saucer, a fake of a fake.  The choice was a good one, as it had already been imitated by others, including Cedric Allingham and Howard Menger, so it would blend right in as part of the pattern. There was nothing new or revolutionary about it, the film just illustrated a fairly typical close encounter of the first kind of a daylight disk. The fact that it was a model bouncing and swinging on a string didn’t seem to bother those who already believed, and some of them cited the peculiar movements as a “falling leaf motion” typical to saucers’ propulsion system and flight.

Timothy Green Beckley, former Saucer News reporter: “I know the film was used for ‘demonstration’ purposes. If I recall correctly Jim needed something to show during his college lectures. Being that Gray was not beyond doing something creative to help an old friend out… Jim and Gray both thought it was necessary to have a ‘prop’ for when they were invited to appear on television. No one likes just a talking head.”

Barker’s saucer model, and its reenactment stand-in.

There was another Gray Barker documentary in 2009, Shades of Gray by Bob Wilkinson that also briefly discusses the film, with Moseley describing how film was created with a toy-sized saucer suspended from a string. David Houchin shows the model and Rick Hilberg talks about how Barker and Moseley’s antics kept things interesting and provided new material.  “It was only natural, I suppose that they would get bored now and then- ‘what can we do to stir things up a little bit?’ And besides, some of the things you could write about.”

Moseley tells all!

In Shockingly Close to the Truth! Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist , Prometheus, 2002, Moseley (with the help of Karl Pflock) told the story in print for the first time, and in Saucer Smear Vol. 57, No. 5, May 15, 2011, revealed even more, including a “pre-production” still of Gray Barker and John Sheets with their model flying saucer. Discussing his gig as a speaker, he “needed a focal point for (my) lecture.” Moseley explained how he drove the car, Barker filmed from the passenger seat, and Sheets was on the roof dangling the saucer from a fishing pole.

Barker & Sheets with a bogus saucer, seemingly a larger, different model than the one filmed.

“At the colleges, it was interesting to see the audience’s reaction to the film. Those who really wanted to Believe did so, and among others there was sometimes muffled laughter. But over all, the film was found to be acceptable, and was even picked up (without permission) by a widely-circulated TV documentary in the subject.

What Moseley didn’t say was how or why the Lost Creek Saucer film was retired, but it all seems to relate to his campus lectures coming to an end.  In a 1994 interview with Greg Bishop for the Excluded Middle, Moseley explained his rise and fall as a lecturer.

Stanton Friedman, Nuclear Physicist-Lecturer

“(Donald Keyhoe) was charging too much, so I started getting his gigs. I would have gone for free just to knock Keyhoe off the lecture circuit. (Stanton) Friedman hadn’t come along yet, and he didn’t push me off the circuit ’till years later. I did over a hundred colleges and got well paid for it for the time. Saucer News circulation shot up to about 10,000 for awhile, and I got on all kinds of shows, etc. I finally had to hire a staff to keep up, including Tim Beckley, who worked there for a couple of years. This was all because of the marsh gas! Then in the early ’70s, Friedman came along and did to me what I had done to Keyhoe. Actually, he was vicious about it. He would find out which colleges I was lecturing at and call them up and try to get them to knock me off and book him. He had the degree and the beard and I didn’t. The colleges kept calling me to inform me what he had been doing–sometimes more than once to the same places.”

So, in effect, Stanton Friedman crashed the Lost Creek Saucer.

Examining the Author’s Intent

Moseley came clean about the hoaxed film, but saying he needed a lecture prop just didn’t quite satisfy as an answer for why he’d done it. When asked in Whispers From Space about the antics he and Barker stirred up, Moseley explained:

“The reason we liked to occasionally do a hoax was for our own amusement, but if there was a serious purpose, more to keep the UFO field alive during slack periods hoping the public’s interest, or at least the UFO fans’ interest would not slack off and since I at least felt that there is a serious mystery behind all this, didn’t want to see the field die out, and I thought it was a good idea to  keep it rolling.”

Moseley, explained how Barker came to regard the flying saucer topic as show business:

(Gray Barker) had wonderful sense of humor, and a sense of wonderment (which is a good word for him) about the UFO subject. He stopped being a “believer” very early on, but kept the sense of wonderment. What he got out of it was entertainment for himself, and the audience he wrote for. He thought of himself as an entertainer, not as a scientist or a person dealing in facts. There were “New Age” types long before there was a UFO field, and he knew this audience and what they wanted to hear, so he wrote books and published them as a book business. He also had a theater that he owned and operated, and he started out as a booking agent for films at theaters in the area. So, he was always in the entertainment field and thought of himself as an entertainer. He thought I was too serious, because I believed some of it, and still do, but he didn’t believe any of it. 2

While Moseley was on the lecture circuit,  he too was an entertainer.

Some further insight into Jim Moseley’s thinking can found in his article in Saucer Smear Vol. 32, No. 1, January 10, 1985, just after Barker’s death, confessing his and Barker’s role in the “Straith Letter” sent to George Adamski. Writing in the editorial “we:”

Not all issues are as simple as black and white.

Is your editor sorry for what he and Gray Barker did? Your editor never saw any great harm in it, but we can easily understand why Completely Serious Researchers were offended. Was Gray Barker sorry? Only sorry the Feds turned out to have no sense of humor!

So now with one less mystery than yesterday, let us all Press On now, to a reasonable and hopefully accurate solution to the flying saucer enigma.

The antics had long been over, but not the fun. Moseley was always  the more Serious of the two and his sense of humor was keen as ever, but he focused it in Saucer Smear as ufology’s court jester.  As he said in the first issue:

At times we will be serious, at times we will attempt to be facetious, and at times we will not be certain whether we are being serious or facetious, and you will have to make up your own minds.

References (not otherwise noted)

1 James W. Moseley & Karl Pflock, Shockingly Close to the Truth!, Prometheus, 2002, pp 199-201.

2 1994 interview with Greg Bishop for the Excluded Middle

A special thanks to Timothy Green Beckley and Rick Hilberg for their background details and comments.

Additional thanks to Isaac Koi and Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos!

Additional Trivia

Despite the timeframe, and stylistic similarity the Lost Creek saucer film was not inspired by the Patterson–Gimlin Bigfoot film. LCS preceded it by over a year, Bigfoot was filmed October 20, 1967.

The Benedum Airport saucer

Gray Barker produced another saucer film that Jim Moseley was not involved in, taken at Benedum Airport, West Virginia allegedly on May 30, 1967. The same model appears to have been used as in the Lost Creek film.

[sz-youtube url=”″ caption=”The Bendenum Airport saucer” /]

The Lost Creek saga sounds similar to a later, famous disclosure: an anonymous source provides a roll of undeveloped film with UFO evidence to a researcher serving as a middle man, who then shares it where it be taken public. Shades of MJ-12! Bill Moore often used Gray Barker as a source, perhaps a role model as well!

In 1988, UFO Cover-Up? Live! (a live UFO syndicated TV special) included the film in their discussion of hoaxes, showing clips of the Lost Creek saucer and Benedum together calling them the “Barker Incident.”

Jim Moseley and Gray Barker: Two Spooks? by Gene Steinberg

Two Spooks Doing Their Thing?
By Gene Steinberg 

(Reprinted with permission from the January 12, 2014 Paracast Newsletter)

Saucer Spooks?

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.45.53 PM
Barker discussing rumors of the mysterious Moseley

Lots of people have stories about the antics in which two outrageous UFO personalities, Gray Barker and Jim Moseley, engaged. While pretending to be at loggerheads to each other on a variety of issues in flying saucer research, they were actually close friends who enjoyed playing pranks and the expense of others.

“Professor” George Adamski

Perhaps the most notorious hoax was the Straith Letter, written on purloined U.S. government stationery, which was said to originate from a mythical Cultural Exchange Committee. Sent in 1957, one copy went to UFO contactee George Adamski, and claimed that the authorities actually believed his alleged experiences were genuine. Of course, Adamski took the hint and went with it, claiming it proved his claims were true. After all, why would the government send such a letter?

The Straith Letter was exposed as a fraud early on; the writing style was Barker’s through and through. And after Barker’s death in 1984, Moseley confessed to this and other pranks that the fun-loving pair played over the years.

But some have long wondered whether the antics of Barker and Moseley had a more nefarious purpose than just satisfying the guilty pleasures of two men on a drunken spree. From time to time, some even suggested that Moseley was actually a government agent of some sort.

Jim Moseley, Saucer Spook?

Now anyone who knew Jim well, as I did, would find him the polar opposite of anyone who’d possibly become involved in government work, particularly as a spy or military agent. He just didn’t strike you as someone who’d kowtow to authority, any authority. But maybe looks deceived, for he was also the son of a noted U.S. military figure, one Major General George Van Horn Moseley, Jr., who became Vice Chief of Staff for the Army during President Hoover’s administration.

I always considered Jim to be the family black sheep, and certainly some of the letters he received from his dad, which he showed to me, indicated that to be the case. I recall one missive, for example, in which Jim’s dad was suggesting to his mother that he be sent to boarding school to get him straightened out.

That would hardly be the profile of a would-be government spook.

Dr. D and the Earth Theory

But some of that belief in a possible military connection was encouraged by Jim himself, when he adopted the so-called “Earth Theory,” about UFOs, that they were actually secret aircraft undergoing test flights. To be sure, this may be a possibility in some cases, particularly the early sightings. There are some who believe the Roswell, NM crash involved just such a craft, and the same might be true for the nine UFOs seen by Kenneth Arnold in 1947, which were credited with triggering worldwide interest in the subject.

Dr. Leon Davidson

As to Jim, he ultimately abandoned the theory, and adopted a view that went beyond the ET explanation, one he called “three-and-a-half D.” So during an appearance on the Long John Nebel radio show back in the 1960s, Jim claimed that a colleague of his, one Dr. Leon Davidson, a chemical engineer and scientist, mislead him about some of the evidence pointing to an Earth-based explanation. Curious? You bet.

Now Dr. Davidson, who died in 2007, is mentioned as a member of the team that developed the original atomic bomb during World War II. He is best known in the UFO field, however, as the result of getting approval to publish and distribute the Air Force’s Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14. This volume contained a wealth of significant information about early sightings, although the Air Force continued to insist that there was nothing unconventional about UFOs.

But Dr. Davidson was also one of Jim’s close friends, so one supposes he may have indeed been quite influential. I wouldn’t presume to hazard a guess, though it’s also possible Jim promoted the Earth Theory merely to be controversial and to foster the impression of some sort of government connection.

The Silence Group Locks Down Project Blue Book

Even as I reflect on Jim, and my dealings with him over the years, I couldn’t for the life of me believe he was ever a government agent. As I said, he was the last person you’d expect to assume that role. At the same time, however, he’d be the first person a spook agency might consider if they wanted someone who wouldn’t be suspected of any such connection. After all, he did know some people in high places. He was also one of the few UFO researchers to be granted direct access to some of the actual case documents available at Project Blue Book’s headquarters, and maintained long-term friendships with a couple of the people who headed that agency.

Maj. Donald Keyhoe, Silencer?

During the early 1950s, for example, Jim visited Project Blue Book and was allowed to transcribe some cases using an office typewriter. These documents included some of the very same cases that Major Donald E. Keyhoe received verbally, usually via telephone. But when Keyhoe found out what Jim was doing, he reportedly blew a fuse and complained bitterly. Jim told me years later that the Air Force decided then and there to cut back on media and researcher access to these records.

In other words, as Jim said to me with a chuckle in his voice on a number of occasions, Keyhoe was responsible for causing some of the UFO secrecy he continued to fight against.

I suppose I’m making a good argument here in favor of the possibility that Jim’s government connections extended beyond what you might expect considering his father’s military background. But I can’t think of anyone who knew Jim well who’d believe for a moment that he was a spy who got involved in the UFO field to stir things up.

The Agent from Clarksville, WV 

Gray Barker

As to Gray Barker, I didn’t know him quite as well, but he could become fairly wacky after consuming a six-pack of his favorite beer. I remember on one occasion when he asked me to help him run off copies of a satirical—and extremely funny—book on his office offset printing machine. Even if I had the slightest suspicion that Jim was involved with the government, I couldn’t conceive of any instance where Gray was similarly involved.

Barker and Moseley, 1967

Of course, if I learned that either or both were agents all along, I’d find it quite humorous. “Imagine that!” I’d say out loud with a chuckle. But I still wouldn’t believe a word of it.

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