From The Archives: James Moseley – Saucer Smear and Other Controversies

Moseley is the editor/ publisher of the 50 year-old ‘zine Saucer Smear. Smear has always been my favorite UFO publication because it concentrates on the people in the field, rather than the UFOs themselves. Moseley will occasionally publish new information on old cases or behind-the-story features on new ones, though. His book Shockingly Close To The Truth is a must-read.

On September 7th, 2003, Jim was in Los Angeles for the National UFO Conference. For some reason, he did not want to make the 5 mile drive to the studio for an interview, so we called him in his hotel room at the Beverly Garland hotel in North Hollywood. Ralph Coon, director/ writer/ producer/ editor of the Gray Barker documentary Whispers From Space was on hand to ask non-sequitur questions.

We delved into the history of Saucer Smear, Jim’s experiences with the classic flying saucer contactees of the 1950s-’70s, Al Bender and his Men-In-Black experiences, his history with a certain arch-fundamentalist skeptic and a longish discussion about Moseley’s best friend, the late Gray Barker, among many other subjects.

This was a very enjoyable interview with one of the legendary figures of UFO study, who also happens to be quite sensible and agnostic about the mystery, which makes him one of my favorite personalities.

Primitive recording and microphone techniques were in evidence throughout.

Photo: Moseley wonders who has stolen the film out of his camera at the 2004 National UFO Conference. Conference director Lisa Davis is baffled.

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19 Responses to From The Archives: James Moseley – Saucer Smear and Other Controversies

  1. Ward says:

    Fun show Greg, lots of great stories. The doppelganger thing is finally explained, darn that Jim is a bit of a trickster isn’t he? Also the Randi sex tape thing is very interesting. I can’t find the audio tapes anywhere online I would love it if you posted them. Randi being behind the false memory syndrome foundation AND supposedly preying on young kids is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing phenomenon, the whole thing is just icky. So i hope you post those mp3’s of Randi so we can all make up our own minds what kind of man he is.

    • Greg says:

      I have been scouring my old show tapes for those. In the late 1990s, Rob Sterling brought the Randi recordings on my pirate radio show, and we played excerpts and made snarky comments.

  2. gheron says:

    Great fun. The doppelgänger phenomenon is fascinating – Anthony Peake has some interesting ideas on the subject.

    I once saw my doppelgänger (or at least someone who looked a lot like me) at some distance. The interesting thing though was that my mind said “hey I am down there better getting moving”. I then felt my “conciousness” leave my body and start to travel towards my doppelgänger, but before I got there my more rational mind said hang on a minute, this is a bit weird and I was retracted back into my body. It felt like I was attached by the classic silver thread that is mentioned in astral travel reports and was then brought back by this thread.

    • Greg says:

      Do you know of anyone who is doing research into astral travel who hasn’t succumbed to a new age attitude? It would be interesting to to talk to them on the show.

      My favorite book on the subject is still The Projection of the Astral Body by Sylvan Muldoon.

  3. Son of Bob Bobson says:

    A fun interview. Nice to hear a sane perspective from somebody who got involved for pure motives. The UFO field is the site of convoluted hysteria today. Quite a contrast.

    • Peter Bernard says:

      Moseley and Barker hoaxes a really fake UFO film, you can see him present it on a TV show while the audience laughs if you search YouTube. Tim Beckley brought that film and Moseley out to meet Muhammad Ali, who supposedly believed the film was real according to Tim. Moseley’s intentions were to make a living.

  4. James says:

    I was going to leave a simple comment saying this was a very enjoyable interview, but I see you already beat me to it in the post description, so instead I’ll just comment on that as a means to say it anyway. Good stuff

  5. sorcha da'at says:

    I heard the interview in bits and pieces, incompletley and not all the way through. Two other “paranormal” shows have done UFO community retrospectives since you posted this.

    Randi, the Amazing Randi? He had a show on WOR, just before Jean Shepherd, or after Shep and before Nebel? Anyway, somewhere in the transition. Long John Nebel had an interesting girlfriend, I think someone even wrote a book about her. Seems like her name was Candy. I wonder if Randi ever knew her.

    • Greg says:

      I didn’t know that Randi was on WOR. You may know that Shepherd and Nebel are two of my biggest radio heroes and influences.

      The book was The Control of Candy Jones by Donald Bain. Not very provable, but intriguing nonetheless.

  6. gheron says:

    Anthony Peake has written a book on the OBE and he is generally of a fairly scientific mind. He is also in contact with the wider scientific community, so may have some alternative contacts.
    How’s this for an odd little story

  7. Thanks for posting this great interview with one of the grand old men of u-fool-ogy;
    it’s exactly the sort of perspective that allows the longer view on the subject it so richly deserves and desperately needs. His book, which is indeed Shockingly Close to the Truth, is one of the best book on the sociocultural genesis of the phenomena as has manifested in the past two thirds of a century. And Saucer Smear, to which I have avidly failed to subscribe to over many years while reading it when it was still online, is still a bargain for the price of a mere love donation!

    This is the sort of offering that keeps bringing me back to RadioMisterioso more than any other podcast of its nature. It does not require one to sacrifice credulity for incredible content, while its cost also assures me that you’re not just in it for the money. Not because it is worthless, but rather because it is priceless!

    In all sincerity, RadioMisterioso probably does more good for Fortean research than just about any other show out there, and I pray you continue to find the inner fortitude to keep it up for many more years to come.

    And bring Jim Moseley along with you as often as you can!

  8. Maybe we should consider renaming the trolls that frequent Fortean sites as the Moseleys.

    But only the smart ones 😉

    • Greg says:

      It sounds more like some sort of awards show!

      • LOL I’ve always said we should consider giving awards to the best Ufologists. Instead of the Oscars, they would be the Tonnies 😉

        And we might also give ‘awards’ to the WORST members of the UFO community. Instead of the Razzies, they would be the Moseleys 😛

  9. Jay says:

    Yet another great show. After my mother-in-law passed away a couple of years ago I found a ton of great books in her house, among them, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, and Flying Saucers and the Three Men, both are hokey as can be, and very fun reads…

  10. Curt Collins says:

    Glad to hear the show, even with the rough edges. Jim Moseley is a legend!

  11. Sorcha Da'at says:

    I just grabbed They Knew Too Much from a certain internet library which then promptly disappeared. Very fun book! Still reading it. My intro to UFOs and such was schlock magazines in the mid-70s, I forget the names, but I remember the Blue Woman who landed in Tulsa. Can’t forget her.

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