Category Archives: Bibliography

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

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