All posts by Curtis Collins

Saucer News presents: the George Adamski Exposé

George Adamski presents Orthon’s vehicle from Venus

Moseley is best known as the editor of Saucer News and its successor Saucer Smear, the former a magazine, the latter a newsletter, specializing in controversy, gossip, and even— once in a while— serious investigation. Together the two periodicals comprise an invaluable record of an evolving social movement based on beliefs about UFOs and flying saucers.

Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia Vol. 2, 254-255

Jim Moseley got started in the UFO business with the intent to co-author a book with Ken Krippine. Jim had invested much time and effort and had travelled cross country meeting prominent UFO figures. The plan was for Jim to do all the work and put Krippine’s name on it, but things fell through.  Jim’s interest in the flying saucer field deepened during his research and he met many new friends, but he also came to a realization.

Serious is boring.

“In short, I had discovered I wasn’t cut out to be a Serious Ufologist, unless of course one was to count the work I did exposing Adamski and, as time went on, certain other fakers and frauds.”

Shockingly Close to the Truth! page 119


George Adamski, on top of the world!

George Adamski became a major flying saucer celebrity after the release of his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, where he told the story of encountering and communicating with Orthon, the pilot of a landed extraterrestrial spaceship. Better still, he had an abundance of evidence: multiple witnesses, physical traces and photographs! He later took movies of the saucer and continued to have contact and adventures with the visitors from space and share their message of peace and love with the people of Earth. 

Not everyone swallowed the stories. Upstart flying saucer magazine publisher James W. Moseley had interviewed Adamski in 1953, and while he found the “Professor” interesting and charismatic, had not been convinced.   He published critical articles in  Saucer News, and in  Oct. 1957 published a “Special Adamski Expose Issue” that collected articles by Moseley, Irma Baker and Lonzo Dove. It included correspondence with some of Adamski’s supporting witnesses, who admitted that Adamski’s story and photographs were untrue.

Link to the historic October 1957 Special Adamski Exposé” Issue of Saucer News

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Saucer News Oct. 1957, the  George Adamski exposé issue.

Jerome Clark again on Moseley’s work on the Adamski case:

“But the first serious investigation by a critic of Adamski’s claims was conducted by James W. Moseley in the mid- 1950s and published as a special issue of his magazine Saucer News (Moseley, 1957). Moseley found that the “witnesses” to the first contact were close associates and that, moreover, at least one, Alfred Bailey, had retracted his testimony, saying he had seen neither spaceship nor spaceman and doubted any of the others had either. Jerrold Baker, a young man who had lived at Palomar Gardens between November 1952 and January 1953, told Moseley he had heard a tape recording of “what was to transpire in the desert, who was to go, etc., several days before the party left Palomar Gardens” for the celebrated contact.”

“Moseley’s debunking of Adamski’s claims remains the definitive one, but in subsequent years further negative evidence would come to light.”

Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia Vol. 2, page 6


Still, Adamski had his followers and many of them chose to ignore the data that disproved their beliefs. A letter of support arrived just in time from an unlikely source. See: The Straith Letter Saga: George Adamski, R.E. Straith and the Seven Letters of Mischief

NOTE: A special thanks goes to Lance Moody for providing the copy of the original Saucer News issue.

Strangers From Space!

In preparation for the big June 1967 NYC convention, James Moseley arranged to have some merchandise there. One was Jim Moseley’s Book of Saucer News, a collection of  fine articles from his magazine, and the other was a LP record album, Strangers From Space, featuring UFO discussions between Jim and radio talk show host Long John Nebel.

Somehow, Nebel wound up receiving sole billing on the record, and also was the key focus on the article in Flying Saucers and UFOs 1968, which was essentialy a big ad for the record and convention.









Click to enlarge


Strangers From Space! The Incredible Flying Saucer Mystery


The record is hard to find, but pirate copies can be found on   amazon and at the UFO store.


Thanks to Randel Smith for the magazine scans!

The Night the UFOs Didn’t Land in North Hudson Park

On pages 236-240 of Shockingly Close to the Truth, Jim Moseley tells about  he tells about a New Jersey UFO case  that led him to cross paths with Budd Hopkins. Here’s a different, contemporary account of the events from Genevea Hagen.

The Night the UFOs Didn’t Land in North Hudson Park

by Geneva Hagen

from Crossroads Quarterly, Summer 1976 (Vol. 1, No. 1)

Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger

At least twice during the past two years, UFOs did land in North Hudson Park—a site in North Bergen, N.J., just across the river from Manhattan. The first sighting took place around 3:00 a.m. during the middle of January 1975, by a 72-year-old man named George O’Barski. The second sighting took place at the same spot almost exactly a year later, on January 15, 1976, also at 3:00 a.m. The clock time is of passing interest, since statistics show that, especially considering the small number of people outdoors at that time, a large percentage of UFO sightings do take place at 3:00 a.m.

Details about the second sighting are being kept quiet, but the first has become fairly well publicized. George O’Barski was driving home from work one night, and his usual shortcut took him through North Hudson Park. He noticed a lot of static coming over his car radio, and the station began to fade out. He slowed the car while he tried to adjust the radio, and then he heard a droning sound, similar to a refrigerator’s hum. He saw a large bright object fly past, behind a row of trees, going in the same direction he was. The object stopped and hovered about 10 feet off the ground. O’Barski’s friend Budd Hopkins later wrote up the story for THE VILLAGE VOICE and gave this description:

“The UFO was about 30 feet in diameter, flat on the bottom, with vertical sides and a domed top. Its maximum height was about eight feet. It was surrounded with regularly spaced vertical windows, about a foot and a half wide and an equal distance apart. The object itself was dark, but intense light shone from the windows, illuminating the ground nearby.”

George O’Barski saw a vertical door open on one side of the UFO, and about 10 figures came down some kind of ladder or stairs. They were tiny, about 3½ feet tall, wearing some kind of helmet and light-colored coveralls. Each carried a bag and a little spoon or shovel. They quickly dug in the soil, filling their bags with dirt. The whole thing happened very fast, as though they had planned exactly what to do and wasted no time about it. In less than four minutes they were back inside their craft, which then flew off to the north. O’Barski had continued driving slowly in his car while he watched all this, and was 60 feet away at the closest point.

Well, needless to say, George was a little shaken up over the whole thing. He did what you or I probably would have done under the same circumstances. He went home, took two aspirins, and pulled the bedcovers over his head.

The next morning he returned to the park. There, in the spot where he had seen the UFO land, he found about 15 little holes in the ground, several inches deep. Even then he could hardly believe his own experience. He put his hand into one of the holes, just to make sure it was really there. Then he went home and took two more aspirins.

In spite of all this, George O’Barski didn’t assume he had seen little green men from Mars. He thought maybe the government was experimenting with a new type of aircraft.

Almost a year later, O’Barski and three other men—Budd Hopkins, who later wrote about the sighting for the VOICE, and Ted Bloecher and Jerry Stoehrer of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)—went to North Hudson Park and attempted to re-enact the encounter.

The UFO had landed in a large, flat field used as a ballpark. It is about 1,000 feet away from the huge, round Stonehenge apartment building. When the researchers checked the site, it was covered with thick grass—except for 15 or so small bare circles. These areas were not holes, but they showed no sign even of grass roots. It was later discovered that the holes had been filled in during the summer by the park custodian.

On questioning the doorman at the Stonehenge apartments, Hopkins discovered that sometime in January, in the early morning hours, a plate-glass window in the lobby had been mysteriously shattered. Bill Pawlowski, the doorman who had been on duty that night, was no longer employed there. On tracing him down, Hopkins learned that something very odd had happened on the night the window broke.

Pawlowski had looked toward the park and seen some very bright lights shining toward him. There was a regularly spaced horizontal row of about 10 to 15 of them, apparently about 10 feet off the ground. He could see a dark form around the row of lights, and knew that this was something out of the ordinary.

He was in the process of telephoning a tenant in the building, when he heard a high-pitched noise and a sudden crack, as the window glass shattered near his feet. When he looked up again, the lights were gone.

He called the police, who discovered an indentation on the outside part of the glass, from which radiated cracks. No projectile was ever found in the nearby area, and apparently whatever had struck the glass had not passed all the way through. Pawlowski didn’t mention the UFO to the policemen at that time, but a few hours later he did describe it to another policeman with whom he was friendly.

The response? “He must’ve been drinking or something.”

Pawlowski’s story backed up O’Barski’s in every detail, although there had been no communication between the two men. The March 1, 1976, issue of THE VILLAGE VOICE carried the story by Budd Hopkins: “Sane Citizen Sees UFO.” It caused quite a stir, because it is very unusual to have such a major UFO sighting so near a metropolitan area.

Although Hopkins published no details of the UFO sighted on January 15, 1976, some investigations by James W. Moseley, a researcher from Fort Lee, N.J., disclosed that it had also been witnessed by employees of the Stonehenge apartment building. In fact, Moseley found that almost all the staff of Stonehenge had had unusual sightings recently, as had a few of the tenants. Some were unwilling to talk about it, because of fear of ridicule. But some new information did come to light. I quote now from Jim’s own small-circulation UFO newsletter, which changes its name from issue to issue:

“On at least three different nights in February, a mysterious figure was seen very late at night, wandering in the part of North Hudson Park which is nearest to Stonehenge. We interviewed three witnesses among the night staff, one of whom described the figure as about five feet tall, wearing a helmet with a light coming out of it, like a miner’s helmet. The figure avoided the streetlights, walked in a robot-like manner, and was constantly bending down in an awkward way, apparently to pick up something from the ground. His face was invisible because of the darkness, and he seemed to look up at the sky a lot. The police were not called, apparently because of the New York adage to mind your own business unless being attacked; and since the being was not on Stonehenge property, the night staff just stayed in their foyer and watched.

“Whether or not the above has any connection with UFOs, we do not know. But the local papers in recent weeks have been full of saucer sightings from the same area.”

From this point on, the Earthlings got in on the act. It happened that in early March, one Warren Freiberg, a well-known Chicago radio personality who also claims to be a psychic, and his wife Libby, a trance medium, spent some time in the New York City area on their honeymoon. They had come to “deghost” some haunted houses.

The Freibergs held the theory that UFOs are not actual material objects, but are instead telepathic images. That isn’t as far-out as it might sound. Many prominent researchers are now leaning toward the idea that UFOs are manifestations of some force that we can’t perceive directly in its true form—so instead, we represent it to ourselves in symbolic form, with some people seeing spaceships, some seeing angels and some seeing pink elephants, according to their psychological inclination. Such manifestations often appear repeatedly near the same locations, which are theorized to be places where the universal energy fields intersect in such a way that other dimensions, or “alternate realities,” can interact with our own. These locations are sometimes called “window areas”; the Bermuda Triangle is perhaps the best-known example.

Two New York publicists, Timothy Green Beckley and Harold Salkin, were hired to coordinate a UFO séance while the Freibergs were in town. The séance was scheduled for midnight on Saturday, March 6, at which time a small group would convene in North Hudson Park and attempt to make contact with the space people. Since he lives very near the park, Jim Moseley agreed to host a press conference that night at his own apartment.

Unfortunately, the press releases given out several days earlier had been a little too specific. They not only mentioned that a séance was in the offing, but gave the exact time and place. One local paper set the scene by running an article headed: “Saucer Hunters to be Ejected.” Seems there is an 11:00 p.m. curfew in North Hudson Park. Moseley hastily phoned the local police headquarters and was assured there would be no legal problems.

Things started off as scheduled with the press conference in Jim’s apartment. I arrived late, along with denton/Thor, to find the Freibergs talking with a group of reporters. Warren Freiberg was describing some of his discoveries as a psychic.

Yes, he said, there does appear to be life after death, but not necessarily in the conventional religious sense of “heaven or hell.” He had encountered a surprising number of miserable, “earthbound” spirits during his ghost-hunting. He started out as a skeptic, but became a believer in psychic phenomena after a medium was a guest on his radio talk show and enabled him to communicate with his dead grandfather.

Although Warren had developed psychic abilities of his own, Libby Freiberg was also said to be an excellent trance medium, and it was through her that they hoped to establish telepathic contact with the UFO entities. Jim confided to me privately that he had been forewarned that we could expect some sort of environmental message!

Toward midnight, our group headed for North Hudson Park. We had expected to find it almost deserted at that late hour. To our amazement, it was mobbed with people. There was even a problem finding places to park the cars. A milling crowd filled the ball park; many looked like teenagers.

“I don’t believe it,” muttered one reporter. “I even see somebody selling hotdogs.”

At first I wondered if we’d been unlucky enough to schedule the séance at the same time as some sports event. It was hard to imagine that many people had spontaneously turned out on such a cold and windy Saturday midnight to witness a UFO séance that hadn’t even invited public attendance. I remembered how, a year and a half earlier, I had been co-sponsor of a real UFO researchers’ convention that drew far fewer participants in spite of all the publicity we could give it. I estimated well over 500 people were in the park that night. And true to their word, the police were not represented.

“Some people will do anything for publicity,” Jim muttered under his breath. “I thought we were going to have about ten people. And now it’s going to look like I was behind all this. Now I’ll never be respected by serious researchers!”

“Where are the saucers?” the crowd hollered as we made our way toward the “landing field.” I could hardly believe the Freibergs still intended to go through with the séance. Were they masochists, publicity freaks, or just plain stupid?

Warren Freiberg explained the plans as best he could, addressing the crowd in his resonant, authoritative radio announcer’s voice. We members of the “inner circle” held hands and formed a circle in an effort to hold back the masses. The masses didn’t seem too amenable to being held back, however.

The Freibergs spread a blanket on the ground, kneeled on it facing each other, and joined hands. The crowd had been asked to chant “Alpha! Omega!” to aid in their meditation. Some of us dutifully followed the instructions. There were also chants of “Frisbee! Frisbee!” as well as other, more obscene mantras.

As Warren’s voice dropped lower and lower, the crowd pushed in closer and closer. Some of them seemed quite rowdy, and I began to fear for the Freibergs’ safety. I fervently hoped that a UFO would drop out of the sky and scare the shit out of that mob. But no such luck.

At last the pressure from the crowd forced several people to release their handclasps. The circle was broken, and immediately the mob was right down upon the Freibergs. I shudder to think what might have been their fate, had there at that moment not appeared a small figure in a tinfoil suit, carrying a flare. “There’s one!” someone shouted, and off the crowd sprinted in hot pursuit.

The “spaceman” managed to escape, and so did the Freibergs, who quickly ran off in the opposite direction. They took refuge in the car they had come in; the crowd followed close behind, rocking the car and pounding on the windshields, determined to get their full entertainment value. One woman stationed herself defiantly in front of the car, but she jumped aside at the last moment when she Saw that the frightened driver meant business.

All in all, it was as sad a spectacle of human behavior as I ever hope to see.

About an hour later, our party reconvened in the lobby of the Stonehenge building, and from there we proceeded up onto the roof, where it was utterly cold and windy and awful, even worse than the park. Not wanting to let the reporters go back without a message, the Freibergs resumed their séance at that new location. By this time I was thoroughly fed up with the whole scene and did not stay to watch it, but later that night I did listen to a tape recording made then. I’m sorry to say, it was not at all a convincing performance; I’ve heard better on the Late Show.

Libby Freiberg started talking in a deep, groaning, mechanical voice, identifying herself as an entity called Calderin, whose people are called the Grapalins. To the question, “Where are you?” the reply was predictable: “We are here, and yet we are not here…” (In other words, from that other dimension we postulated earlier.)  As we had also suspected, the Grapalins had been taking soil samples in the park and they were concerned about our environment, which they somehow share. And they would soon provide unmistakable evidence of their existence, by appearing over Times Square on July 4th. Dig it, a Bicentennial UFO!

Libby ended her trance on an appropriate note—an earsplitting shriek.

Now, who am I to say the Freibergs are not genuine psychics? Let’s just say that I didn’t see any evidence of it that night. Of course, no real psychic could have tuned in under those conditions—but when you are a public performer, the show must go on, even if you have to fake it.

It will be after July 4th by the time this sees print. Don’t feel too bad if you weren’t around to watch the display over Times Square. I think a better bet might be North Hudson Park, around 3:00 a.m. next January 15th. See you then?

The National UFO Conference


(Written for the 38th annual NUFOC, canceled due to the events of 9/11/2001)

by James Moseley


Taken at the what would become the National UFO Conference in 1965 in Cleveland, Ohio at a Holiday Inn.  L to R: David Halperin, Dale Rettig, Jim Moseley and Michael Mann. Courtesy Rick Hilberg.

The National UFO Conference was organized in Cleveland, Ohio in the year 1964. The co-founders were Rick Hilberg of Cleveland, who remains very active in Cleveland ufology; Al Greenfield of Atlanta, Ga., who now writes on more esoteric subjects; and Al Manak of Cleveland, who died recently. 

The 1965 Congress in Cleveland of L-R: Gray Barker, Mike Mann and Jim.

The original title of the organization was the Congress of Scientific Ufologists, but within a few years we realized that this was a pretentious title, and we therefore changed it to the present one. From the beginning, the main purpose of the NUFOC was to hold an annual meeting or convention.  Outside speakers were booked for these conventions, but there were also smaller side meetings at which actual ufological research was done.

From 1964 through 1970, Al Manak was the Permanent Chairman of the organization. There was also a small governing body which is still called the Permanent Organizing Committee (POC), the membership of which has changed from time to time over the years, to reflect whether or not its members maintained an active interest in the UFO subject.

At present, the members of the Permanent Organizing Committee are: Jim Moseley; Rick Hilberg; Karl Pflock; William Moore; Al Greenfield; Antonio Huneeus, Curt Sutherly; Timothy Green Beckley; Tom Benson; Matt Graeber; and Tim Brigham. All of these people are well known in ufological circles for various important contributions they have made to the subject.

In 1971, Jim Moseley became Permanent Chairman of the NUFOC, and remains so  till the present time. He had been a speaker at all the previous conventions, but was not a founder of the organization. He has continued to be a speaker at every convention but one, over the intervening years up until the present. Moseley has also been on countless radio and television shows over the years, and was a speaker on the U.S. college lecture circuit from 1966 to 1974.

L to R: Cliff Stenberg, Dale Rettig, Rick Hilberg, Edward Biebel and Jim at the 1976 National UFO Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

Since the 1960s, the NUFOC has stopped doing actual UFO research on an  organizational level, and is simply devoted to staging a convention somewhere in the United States each year. There is always a Local Chairman, who undertakes the financial risk and takes care of the many details involved with planning a convention. The Local Chairman does this with whatever degree of help and advice he chooses to accept from others, including but by no means limited to Moseley and the other members of the  POC. This year’s Local Chairman is Miles Lewis, who will hold our 38th annual convention in Austin, Texas, on the weekend of September 14th-l6th -as explained elsewhere in more detail.

Green Bay 1979
1979 National UFO Conference in Green Bay, WI. L to R:
Tim Beckley, Rick Hilberg and Jim Moseley.

Over the years, the NUFOC has held its conventions in cities in all sections of the United States, including: Cleveland, Ohio; New York, N.Y.; Charleston, West Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, Ca.; Burbank, Ca.; Tucson, Arizona; Phoenix, Arizona; Miami Beach, Florida; Tallahassee, Florida; Minneapolis, Mn.; Bordontown (near Trenton), N.J.; San Antonio, Texas; and Corpus Christi, Texas. Many smaller cities, especially in Ohio, are also included in the long list. Some cities have hosted our conventions more than once.


Most of these conventions have drawn about 150 to 400 paid attendees, but the one in New York City in 1967 was much larger. A total of about 8,000 people attended the four public sessions. This was probably the largest indoor UFO convention ever held. The enormous attendance was made possible by the fact that UFO sightings in the state of Michigan in 1966, usually called the (alleged) “marsh gas” sightings, caused a huge amount of interest nation-wide in the subject of UFOs. This peak of interest has not been seen since, with the exception of the focus on the 1997 50th anniversary celebration of the “Roswell Incident”, in Roswell, New Mexico.

John Keel packing the house, 1967 NYC NUFOC.

Most, but not all years since 1964, the NUFOC has given an award to some leading ufologist whom we consider to be outstanding. This has variously been called the Robert Loftin Meorial Award, the Ufologist of the Year Award, or the Lifetime Achievement Award. Recipients include: John Keel; Gray Barker; Rick Hilberg; Stanton Friedman; Dr. J. Allen Hynek; Timothy Green Beckley; Jenny Randles; Antonio Huneeus; Tom Benson; Dr. Frank Stranges; Jerome Clark; Karl Pflock; Whitley Strieber; and Walt Andrus, who is the recently retired International Director of MUFON.

Jim lecturing at the 2002 NUFOC.


The National UFO Conference welcomes all reasonable ufological views, though the members of the Permanent Organizing Committee tend to be relatively conservative in their outlok on the subject. “Saucer Smear,” published since 1954 by Jim Moseley, is not an official publication of the NUFOC, and represents only his own relatively conservative views, laced with a strong dose of sarcastic humor.

Some corrections and clarifications from Rick Hilberg

Jim omitted the name of one of the founders, namely Dale Rettig. Dale was a very active ufologist back in the early 1960s and ran an Illinois based UFO organization that had a very fine for the time, almost professional looking newsletter. Most ufozines of the time were either run on Ditto machines ( remember those purple pages? ) or maybe a mimeograph. Offset printed publications were quite scarce, although I did start doing my “original” UFO Magazine by offset as early as 1964. Anyway, Dale, Allen Greenfield and I were the principals in a group called the American UFO Committee back in 1963 ( It was group that combined three organizations that we each were the heads of into one fairly large national group.), and it was at this time that Greenfield came up with the seminal idea of holding a serious, non contactee gathering in 1964 and seeing if it would take hold. As an aside, the idea of a serious gathering may have been the result of a conference call that I sponsored in late 1962 where I got some of the more active serious ufolk together to talk about more cooperation to streamline the gathering of data regarding the phenomenon. Greenfield has said on several occasions that this may indeed have been the case.
Allan Manak was the chairman of a very active local Cleveland UFO group at the time and he came right on board with our idea and made his organization the the local host, and also made sure that we got lots of local publicity. Without his tireless work there probably would have been no annual gatherings of the CSU/NUFOC after 1964. And Al did serve as chair until late 1971, and not 1970 as Jim stated.
 Jim and Al Manak  at the 1994 NUFOC gathering in Cleveland.
NUFOC had a pretty good run, but from the beginning we really stressed the cooperation angle and although several joint projects were done over the years ,most of the participants still clung to their pet projects and individual organizations. It really took a monolithic group such as MUFON to come along several years later and hold annual meetings for its members to attain a consistent following and thereby prosper.


Here is a portion of a recent entry from


A faithful, long-time collaborator of FOTOCAT is Tom Benson, a veteran ufologist in North America. Tom has posted me huge volumes of photocopies of old US UFO journals with articles on UFO photographs, and one of those is Saucer News, a mimeographed publication edited by James Moseley in the nineteen sixties. In the December 1961 issue (pages 13-14), he wrote a story about a saucer photographed in West Virginia. While visiting Gray Barker, the acclaimed creator of UFO mythology, in Clarksburg, W. Va., Moseley “came across a very interesting sighting right in his home-town which the intrepid saucer investigator had overlooked.” A local teenager named Joe Gonzales claimed that, sometime in the spring of 1960, an object flew over his house and he was in time to snap a photo. That morning, the boy was alone, watching TV, when he heard a shrill noise, causing his dog to start barking. As the tale goes, he went outside and saw “a strange craft moving slowly over a nearby hill. Returning quickly into the house, Gonzales grabbed his camera and took several pictures, the best of which is the one he gave to us. Gonzales describes the object as saucer-shaped, about 40 feet in diameter. It had a giant rudder-like protrusion underneath, with portholes in it, and some sort of gas was escaping from this area.”

Clarksburg, West Virginia, spring of 1960. © Joe Gonzales. Credit: Tom Benson (James W. Moseley archives).

Moseley went on to say that the flying saucer had two large antennae on top. But as consultant Andrés Duarte has ascertained, this is nothing but the two extremes of a thread on which a model of flying saucer hangs (see following illustration). The young photographer explained the lack of confirming witnesses because he lived in a thinly-populated section of Clarksburg, and that one of his neighbors was asleep and the other was away. On 2012 James Moseley died and Tom Benson inherited his archives. Moseley used to file any picture reported in his newsletter with the corresponding journal issue. I requested Tom to mail to me the original print, which he immediately did. A cursory look at the picture gives the impression of a lousy trick. The object is more unfocused than the background tree tops, suggesting that it is a small size object located very near to the camera. But you do not need to be very wise to reach a conclusion like this. Moseley, who has been labelled as the “ultimate bull shitter”, wrote:one is tempted to wonder if the picture may not be of some more common object such a garbage lid with protrusions added. We cannot agree more. After examining the photograph, photographic expert Andrés Duarte pronounced: Indeed, the difference in focus reveals the proximity to the camera, but the absence of camera and lens data prevents quantitative evaluation of the defocusing. The rope or cable used is almost perfectly straight but it seems distorted near the edges of the object, this type of apparent deformation is due to the defocusing and is related to the “black drop effect”(1).

 Not two antennae but the visible part of the thread supporting a small model. © Andrés Duarte.

George Adamski, R.E. Straith and the Seven Letters of Mischief

George Adamski, R.E. Straith and the Seven Letters of Mischief


Click documents for larger, readable versions.

George Adamski became a major flying saucer celebrity after the release of his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, where he told the story of encountering and communicating with Orthon, the pilot of a landed extraterrestrial spaceship. He later produced movies and still photographs and continued to have contact and adventures with the visitors from space.  His success seemed to inspire a group of similar claimants, who became known as the Contactees.

Saucer News Oct. 1957, the  George Adamski exposé issue.

Not everyone swallowed the stories. Upstart flying saucer magazine publisher James W. Moseley had interviewed Adamski in 1953, and had not been convinced.  In his Saucer News magazine, he published articles critically examining Adamski’s stories and photographs, and in October 1957 published a special “Adamski exposé” issue of Saucer News

George Adamski continued his celebrity status and following. Just as word of his fakery was spreading, a letter of support from an unlikely source entered the picture.

My Dear Professor…

In December1957, Adamski received a letter from R.E. Straith of the” Cultural Exchange Committee,” that stated that the US Government could not officially endorse him, but privately offered their support. Straith and his agency could not be located for verification, but Adamski and his followers proudly displayed the letter was evidence of his credibility.

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The letter was controversial, and its origin was a mystery, but the puzzle was compounded even further by the fact that there were other mysterious letters sent to UFO researchers…

Jim and Coral Lorenzen of APRO

 THE A. P. R. O. BULLETIN July, 1958  ()

THE STRAITH LETTER- And Then There Were Three

   For about six months now, there has been a minor controversy in UAO circles centering around two letters mailed in Washington, D. C. during December, 1957.
   We think it might help clear the muddy waters at this time to  is close that there is a third letter involved. The first is the so-called “Straith” letter post-marked December 6th. It is addressed to one
G. Adamski and purports to be an unofficial endorsement of his particular “space-visitors” dogma from official circles.
   The second, post-marked December 16, was directed to C. S. I. New York and was a clear attempt to cause dissension among its major officers through inference of collusion and conspiracy on the
part of one of them.
   The third, post-marked December 16, was addressed to C. E. Lorenzen, of APRO. It pleaded with our director to suspend operations for about three months because “the department is going to crack down on major UFO publications and yours is on the list.” Although not specifically stated, the inference was that the postal department was “the department” concerned.
   From C. S. I., we learned that their letter and G. A.’s were typed on the same typewriter. We borrowed a photostat of C. S. I.’s letter and through microscopic comparison learned that again the same
typewriter was involved. Consulting our handwriting expert, we find that the signatures on the G. A. and C. S. I. letters were drawn rather than written (APRO’s was not signed).
   The idea that this is part of some official plan to cripple or discredit UAO investigators and saucer cultists can be dismissed quite readily since it is obviously the work of an amateur. At first glance, however, the motivations of this amateur seem rather nebulous. He might
be an Adamski disciple intent on crippling opposition to his new-found faith while bolstering it with quasi-official endorsement. It seems more likely, however, that the writer intended for G. A.’s
letter to eventually be publicly discredited.
There are several devices included which make discrediting easy-for
instance, the full name and identification of its purported author are included.
   So it appears that the writer was out to get George indirectly, taking advantage of his extreme gullibility where support of any phase of his archetypal “wise old man” possession is concerned.
His claims that (1) there is a cultural exchange committee (it’s now called cultural exchange program) and (2) that government seals are carefully guarded are pure naivette. Ask anyone who’s worked in a civil service office about the latter claim. Also-a cultural exchange committee would have its own letterhead.
Or the other hand, it seems to us that C. S. I. and APRO are prototypes of the few groups who have approached the UAO problem with non-sensational objectivity- and he seems to be “out to get us” as well.
   What sort of individual could benefit from publicly embarrassing G. A. and sabotaging the activities of serious investigators simultaneously? We can think of only one answer-a competitor!
Any further attention given this tempest in a teapot only serves to detract from our real work.
At this point we can only draw two conclusions: (1) Whatever the anonymous writer may have been attempting, he failed. (2) That boy is sick!
 – – –
It turned out that there were even more letters than the three APRO knew about:

To Lex Mebane/Ted Bloecher of CSI

Laura Mundo, with George Adamski

To Laura Mundo, director of the Planetary Center (an Adamski supporter)

The Cat Leaves the Bag

Older and wiser: the perps in 1967
For over a quarter of a century, the controversy caused much speculation on who created these letters and why. On Dec. 6, 1984, Gray Barker, one of the chief suspects died.  The next month, his friend, Jim Moseley revealed the truth in Saucer Smear January 10, 1985:

“Just a few months before Gray Barker’s untimely death, your editor told him (again) that we intended to confess to the ‘R.E. Straith’ hoax if he were to die ahead of us.” Jim went on to say, that he used to visit Gray Barker at his home in “…Clarksburg West Virginia for a weekend every few months – i.e., whenever it fitted in with our mutual schedules. On one particular occasion in I957, a young friend of Barker’s… provided a packet of genuine official stationary from various Government agencies. …Barker and I wrote not one but seven (count them!) naughty letters that evening emboldened by the the evil of alcohol and fully enjoying the hilarity of this chance to throw long-term confusion into the UFO field.”

(For the full text of this article, see Robert Sheaffer’s correspondence with Gray Barker (1925-1984)  )

Did it work? According to UFO historian Jerome Clark:

All over the world Adamski’s followers were claiming vindication. South African UFO enthusiast Edgar Sievers declared the letter to be a “decisive document on imminent developments on this planet.” Wilbert B. Smith, a Canadian radio engineer who earlier had been involved in an official UFO project, told [Donald E.] Keyhoe, after the latter expressed skepticism about the document, that he “knew” the Straith letter to be authentic, because someone of his acquaintance knew the man personally. Straith was working in a “supersecret agency partly under State Department control.” C. A. Honey stated flatly that through his and Adamski’s efforts, “Straith was located.” More than two decades later, looking back on the controversy, [Lou] Zinsstag and [Timothy] Good concluded that while “much of the evidence is circumstantial … on balance there is more in favor of the letter[‘s] being genuine.”  

(UFO UpDates: Adamski And The Straith Letter – Clark)

In Jim Moseley’s memoirs, Shockingly Close to the Truth, he explained more about the seven letters and their seven targets: 

“One of these, on U.S. Information Agency stationery, went to Laura Mundo, a longtime fan and booster of George Adamski. Another, on a different organization’s letterhead, went to APRO’s Coral Lorenzen. Still another, signed by ‘A. G. Matthews, Chief, Liaison, Internal Affiairs’ (of what agency I don’t recall and the surviving carbon doesn’t reveal), went to Manon Darlaine, the Hollywood saucer enthusiast whom I had met in 1953. It thanked Darlaine for her ‘generous cooperation and employment of  . . . [her] valuable time when Mr. Mosley [sic] visited you during his recent assignment to your region.’ The fourth went to someone in the inner circle of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York —probably Isabel Davis, Ted Bloecher, or Lex Mebane. One more was addressed to a semi-leading light in The Field whom I no longer recall. The sixth on National War College letterhead, was addressed to my father, a retired U.S. Army general. It objected to his having indulged in extreme right-wing political activities while on a military pension, strongly implying he might lose the latter if he did not refrain from the former. The seventh was the Straith letter… ”

Prank of Hoax?

The FBI even got involved trying to track down the origin of the bogus letters, nevertheless, Adamski kept claiming the letter was genuine. When asked about how the impact and how story changed over the years, Moseley replied:

“It didn’t really evolve. It was just etched in stone. It was hilarious. People would write or telephone the State Department and ask for R. E. Straith. And the State Dept. fed into the legend, stupidly, without realizing it. They always gave a different answer. ‘R.E. Straith was not available’ or ‘he was on a different assignment’ or ‘he didn’t exist.’ If they sent something by mail, it was sent back ‘refused – person not known’ or not sent back at all. There was no consistency in how they handled it and that fed the fire and kept it going.” (Shavertron, 2009)

The letters were a drunken prank by Moseley and Barker, and they don’t appear to have fooled anyone for long, even George Adamski. But, in Adamski’s hands, he was able to use the letter as a prop to bolster his tales of being an ambassador to Venus. It was this use that elevates the “Straith Letter” to the status of a hoax!

“…fully enjoying the hilarity…”

The Last Letter Surfaces

There was one letter though, that was never published, the un-mailed one to General Moseley. It was thrown away…but there was a carbon copy…  So as epilogue:
From out of the treasures of THE GRAY BARKER UFO COLLECTION, the world premiere of the 7th “Straith Letter:”
To General George Van Horn Moseley

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A special thanks to David Houchin of  The Gray Barker UFO Collection  located at the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library in  Clarksburg, West Virginia for locating the Gen. Moseley letter.
More on George Adamski

Jim Moseley: The Devil’s Advocate Interview, 1995 by Tim Brigham

Back when he was a lad, Tim Brigham became friends with Jim Moseley, going on to publish a zine, the Devil’s Advocate where he interviewed the Supreme Commander in 1995.

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Jim and Tim


Defying all odds, Tim went on to become, valuable member of society,  Timothy Brigham, Ph.D. , Cognitive- Experimental Psychologist, and Assistant Professor of Psychology!

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Interview: James Moseley, 1994 by Greg Bishop

Interview: James Moseley  Saucer Smear “Commander” and Publisher

(Excerpts from Wake Up Down There! The Excluded Middle Collection )

copyright Gregory Bishop 1994


Jim Moseley don’t take no guff. That is, he won’t take it if it’s not interesting or at the very least, entertaining. The publisher of Saucer Smear has been in the UFO field (by his own admission) since 1948. Although he would be embarassd to admit it, this makes him one of the few “grand gentlemen” of Ufology (or You-fool-ogy as he might call it.)

Saucer Smear is mailed out gratis on an irregular basis to a couple hundred of the ufological hard-core, and comprises the only record of the evolving personality of the saucer-smitten. Within its eight typewritten pages, researchers lash out at each other in vitriolic rants full of personal insults and very often, four letter expletives, some directed at the editor. Presiding over this fray with a bemused eye, Moseley praises friends, points a good-natured but sharp and sarcastic pen at attackers, and referees intense insider squabbles with alacrity and an eye for raking the muck when needed.

Q: What first interested you in the UFO field?

A: It was in the early ’50s. The first thing I paid any attention to was the Mantell case in 1948-a military fellow who allegedly got blown out of the sky by a UFO. It was a popular subject suddenly, and became an emerging field of research. I had this intellectual curiosity about something which seemed to be real and interesting. I met a writer who wrote for True and Argosy and he said that if I would take the time and travel across the country and interview these people who had had UFO experiences, then I would get a co-author credit. And I was young and eager, so in late 1953, I took my car and drove from New York out to the southwest and California and interviewed maybe a hundred people. And I talked to everybody; the contactees, the scientists etc., but the book was never made. The notes I had for that book were later fictionalized by Gray Barker and eventually turned into the horrible book Crash Secrets At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I had found out by then that there was actually a UFO field, and I met Gray Barker and others who were in it at the time.

So the next thing I did was to start my own zine, which was called Nexus, which was a stupid name, it means “a connecting link,” but nobody knows that. Two other guys started that with me who were also living in New York at the time; Dominic Luchesi and August Roberts. August died last month, and Luchesi died several years ago. We started this and kept it going for a year, and then they dropped out and I changed the name to Saucer News and it stayed on a very small scale until 1954 when the “marsh gas” thing happened.

That marsh gas thing did more for me than anything else–(J. Allen)Hynek’s marsh gas–he went to Michigan where there had been a few sightings of things. The most prominent ones were by some college co-eds. One thing was seen diving at a police car, and another was seen floating over some woods near a college dormitory. There were no marshes in that whole area. There was a premature press conference and Hynek was forced to do it. He didn’t have an answer and didn’t claim to have and answer. The Air Force put him on the spot rather unfairly. I ended up being very friendly with Hynek, and I liked him. So he was pushed to the wall and said that it might or could have been marsh gas. And then there were the T-shirts and cartoons, etc. just ridiculing him.

The whole country was excited about it then, and then Michagan Representative Gerald Ford got on it and promised a congresional investigation, which of course never happened, but it was a hot time for the topic. It was the biggest “flap” of its sort as far as public interest was concerned, and because of that, my circulation shot up literally overnight. I had this little one-room office in downtown New York where I worked all by myself hacking out this magazine, and was listed in the Manhattan phone book under “Saucer News.” So when they wanted to talk to a local “authority”, they called me, and I didn’t know any more about the subject than the day before. But I was hot. I was on every news program in New York, since there were not a lot of other rivals around like there is now.

Q: What year was all this?

A: 1964. At this time there was a man in Boston with a radio and T.V. show named Bob Kennedy (not THE Bob Kennedy of course.) I appeared on his show a few times, and they were also working with speaker’s bureau who booked Donald Keyhoe to speak about the saucer stuff. They also booked the college lecture circuit and Keyhoe was starting to charge too much. This is where I really stepped in some shit. Bob Kennedy gave my name to this bureau and since I hated Keyhoe anyway, this was the best luck of all. He 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.

Q: What are some differences between the UFO scene now and how it was in the “early days?”

A: Well, in the ’50s you had your classic contactees who met creatures who looked almost like us, if not better, and who were giving messages of sweetness and light, and save the environment and ban the bomb, and all this good stuff. But nobody sees anyone like that anymore in the last 20 years or so. Another thing was that they used to see little men getting out of the saucers, smaller than us, but sort of normal-looking. They were not described in the same way that these “greys” are–the height is the same, but the face is different. So, how come nobody sees these classic “little men” anymore?

Q: You perpetrated one of the most famous hoaxes in UFO history at the expense of George Adamski. How did that come about?

A: Gray Barker had a friend who’s still alive now and begged me never to reveal his name, but at the time was a kid of 18 or 20, who’s father was rather high in the State Department. He wandered into his father’s office and stole some official State Department stationery, about six or seven different kinds. So, one night Barker and I got together at his place in Clarksburg, West Virginia and wrote six or seven different letters to people in the field. And the Straith letter was so-called because it was signed by R.E. Straith of the “Cultural Affairs Committee” of the State Department, and we deliberately made that part up because it didn’t exist. There was a committee with a similar name, but Straith did not exist. We opened the letter “Dear Professor Adamski,” which was flattering him because he wasn’t a professor at all, he just made that up. And it said was in essence that “there are some of us here that know of your contacts and we are behind you all the way, but we cannot come out publicly to support you at this time. But rest assured that we are behind you in spirit” etc. That was the gist of the letter, and whether Adamski thought it was a hoax or not didn’t really matter, since it was just what he wanted to hear. So he publicized it and after a few months the FBI came to him and told him to stop it. They told him it was a hoax and to stop saying that it was genuine. This was just what he needed, and he started crowing that the FBI had harassed him, and so that meant it had to be genuine. There were then two investigations by the FBI and the State Department. They went down and talked to Barker, since someone noticed that the typing on this letter was just like the ones he sent to all kinds of people. Barker got very paranoid after this and took the typewriter and broke it into many little pieces. Then he found where they were building a wall somewhere in Clarksburg, and dumped the pieces in. So, to this day that typewriter is buried in a wall somewhere in that town. Then Barker died in 1984, and I had warned him that if I outlasted him, I was going to confess, so I wouldn’t embarass him anymore. So, after he died I put it in the next issue of Saucer Smear.

Q: Could you talk about your friendship with Gray Barker?

A: I think he was probably my best friend and used me as a sort of psychiatrist really. What’s not generally known was that he was gay and died of AIDS. But in 1984 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, they didn’t know that much about it, and they didn’t cover it up, they just didn’t recognize the symptoms. I’ve lived in Key West for ten years and I know a number of people who have died of AIDS and so I suspected at the time that’s what he had died of.

He 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.

He wrote a poem that I have here with me, which is entitled “UFO Is A Bucket Of Shit,” and I think that really summed up his feeling about the whole thing. He also wrote serious poetry. I would go down there a few times a year from New York, and we’d drink and bullshit and do hoaxes or whatever. He drank quite a lot, and didn’t like to travel, because he would get very disoriented. I went to the Giant Rock convention in 1970 with him and a girlfriend of mine. There were a lot of psychedelic drugs floating around the Rock that year…

Here’s “UFO Is A Bucket Of Shit”:

UFO is a bucket of shit

Its followers: perverts, monomaniacs, dipsomaniacs
Artists of the fast buck
True believers, objective believers, new age believers
Keyhoe believers

Shushed by the three men
Or masturbated by space men

UFO is a bucket of shit

The A.F. investigated UFOs
And issued a report
Couched in polite language
Which translated, means:

“UFO is a bucket of shit”

Meade Layne is a bucket of shit
Lex Mebane is a bucket of shit
James W. Moseley is a bucket of shit
Richard Ogden is a bucket of shit
Ray Palmer is a bucket of shit

And I sit here writing
While the shit drips down my face
In great rivulets

Yes, they don’t write poems like that anymore, do they? Thank God! So there you have it, a little sample of Gray Barker’s poetry.

Q: You’re obviously more interested in the people surrounding the UFO phenomenon, than in the UFOs themselves. Can you explain why?

A: There’s no hope of solving the question. There’s endless confusion and contradictory theories, so certainly the UFO field is real, whether the saucers are or not, and the people are real, and some of them are very interesting. I have more fun with the people, so I talk about personalities in my magazine. I don’t print sightings, because everybody else does, or could, and you can find that anywhere. I just try to do something more interesting and more to my own personal taste.

Q: How much does the government pay you to keep all the UFO nuts fighting with each other?

A: They pay me exactly as much as they pay Phil Klass.

Q: Have you ever actually seen anything that you would qualify as unidentified?

A: In the course of 40 years I have seen a few things that I could not identify. The last one was in Gulf Breeze, in 1992. It was a light in the sky that was there for about four minutes. It might have been a flare, but I’m still not sure. Yeah, I’ve seen stuff that I couldn’t identify, but so what? (laughs)

Q: How have your views of the UFO phenomenon changed over the years?

A: I went off on different tangents: first the secret weapon theory, then little men, then I got hung up on Mars for awhile–it seemed reasonable–what got me was the lines on the surface of the planet. But the camera can see what the eye can see, and it doesn’t make it any more real. When you get enough resolution of course, that stuff disappears. Then Vallee and Keel came along, as well as J. Allen Hynek, and put forward the 4-D idea, and that’s where I’m generally at now. The interplanetary idea is the least likely. If there is something going on along those lines, it’s beyond our present understanding. I’m not totally agnostic, I do think there’s something going on, but it defies scientific examination. You have to be able to repeat results experimentally, and how the hell do we investigate something that changes continuously? When we can summon a demon or poltergeist or spaceman at will, then we’ll be much further along. We can’t expect to solve everything overnight. People need answers right away, and if we don’t have answers, they’re invented. MUFON has invented the interplanetary theory, and that satisfies them.

Q: Will you keep Saucer Smear going for as long as you can?

A: As long as I’m alive and reasonably healthy, sure. My business takes hardly any of my time, and I really enjoy it.

 – – – – – – –

The complete interview can be found in:

Wake Up Down There! The Excluded Middle Collection edited by Greg Bishop

Thanks, Greg for allowing the interview to be reprinted here, it’s one of the very best.

Check out more of Greg Bishop’s work at:

Greg Bishop at Radio Misterioso

The Excluded Middle website

Saucer News NYC Convention Memories

Saucer News NYC Convention Memories

by Karl Machtanz

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I’m sorry to hear about Jim Moseley’s passing. I’d only met the gentleman for a few times. It was Mr Beckley who I first met and he saw my models and introduced me to Mr Moseley, who gave me permission to have my little set of aliens on display in the entrance hall to the convention room. He was extremely interested to hear how I came to build the miniature figures and telling him I just drew what the witnesses said they saw, and after hours of drawing and re-drawing what I thought would be the most realistic looking likenesses, then I began sculpting the figures from balsa wood.

Overall alien diorama display: dresser drawer as showcase, with fluorescent light inside case.


My dad at the convention model display with some visitors.

The only camera I had at the time was a Polaroid land camera and my dad was taking photos while I was staying with my diorama giving the people attending the convention the how’s and why’s I created the figures, There were many people taking photos of my exhibit as well as the other items on display along the entrance area but most did not have anyone to explain what they had on display.


I was extremely fortunate to have Roy Thinnes visit my display and had a very interesting conversation with him on Flying Saucers as well as my rendition of the aliens and of course his Invaders show which I was a big fan of and still am.

Group closeup shot of the Zamora aliens and other alien species seen by witnesses.


Kelly- Hopkinsville Kentucky 1955 silver colored alien caused panic in rural farmhouse when several of this type described alien seemed to attack the family at night, description of similar aliens described from separate sighting in different case, photo of typical UFO.

Two of the type aliens seen by police officer Lonnie Zamora Socorro, New Mexico April 24, 1964. One alien was digging in the ground and putting some dirt into a bucket type object, while the other alien was standing by with some kind of device in his hand. The other creature is the Mothman, a creature that has been seen by numerous residents of Point Pleasant area of West Virginia from Nov 15, 66 to Dec 1967, glowing red eyes and large wings was most the most noticed features. 

Closeup of alien, with different outfit.


Unfortunately the only photos I have of the convention are the ones of my figures, as the other photos got lost between all the moves we made from Brooklyn to Long Island and finally to Oregon. One would think photos are readily available of such a first time event in New York City, I’m surprised there are so few.

Thank you for contacting me about Mr Moseley as he was a fine gentleman whom I wish I would have known better, I lost track of Mr Beckley as well, another fine gentleman.

Yours truly

Karl Machtanz