Moseley, James W.

James W. Moseley – (August 4, 1931 – November 16, 2012)


Over his career, he exposed UFO hoaxers and engineered hoaxes of his own. He was best known for the newsletter ”Saucer Smear”.   …

The son of U.S. Army Major General George Van Horn Moseley, Moseley attended Princeton University for two years before dropping out. He became interested in UFOs following the 1947 claims of pilot Kenneth Arnold, but his interest deepened following the 1948 death of U.S. Air Force pilot Thomas Mantell in pursuit of a UFO.

For Moseley his flying saucer career began as a lark in 1953 when he drove across country and interviewed almost 100 UFO experts and eyewitnesses, including former president Harry S. Truman. In July, 1954, Moseley co-founded ”Saucer News”, a periodical known for its unorthodox, “freewheeling” (Clark, 2002) style. Beyond the fake feuds and occasional hoaxes, “Saucer News” actually featured serious UFO research and reporting. Moseley was, in fact, among the first to publicize evidence against the claims of leading “contactee” George Adamski.

”Saucer News” was sold to his good friend Gray Barker in 1968. Moseley became a regular lecturer on UFOs for several years and organized an annual national convention. In 1970, he founded a newsletter that went by several titles until Moseley settled on ”Saucer Smear” in 1981. He produced the newsletter irregularly, but tried to keep a monthly schedule in later years. He also authorized others to sell pdf issues and subscriptions from a website. Moseley never went online; never owned a computer. In fact, he continued to produce the print version of “Saucer Smear” on a regular portable electric typewriter, usually a Smith Corona. The publication, sent via snail mail in a regular #10 envelope to “non-subscribers,” typically had a joking, gossipy tone.

Moseley reported (Story, 1980; Clark, 2002) that over the years he accepted, then rejected, a number of explanations for UFOs. In roughly chronological order, he considered the extraterrestrial hypothesis; a secret weapon/aircraft hypothesis, psychic/supernatural/interdimensional hypotheses in the vein of John Keel or Jacques Vallee; deep skepticism; and agnosticism. According to  Antonio Huneeus, “Moseley was critical and sarcastic regarding just about everything and everybody in ufology. Yet Jim did believe a core of the UFO phenomenon was real and truly unexplained after filtering out all the hoaxes, conspiracy theories, misidentifications and just plain nonsense that pervades much of the field.”


In 1984, Moseley established an antiques store in Key West, Florida. Moseley co-wrote a memoir with Karl T. Pflock, entitled ”Shockingly Close to the Truth!” (2002), in which he recounted “the fun he has had over the years pursuing tall tales and purported evidence of visitors from outer space.”

James Moseley died from cancer of the esophagus on November 16, 2012 at a hospital in Key West, Florida; he was 81 years old.

Biography | In Honor of Jim Moseley /



SMiles Lewis & James Moseley (& Friend) at NUFOC 37

Jim Moseley shares the latest Saucer News with famed talk-radio pioneer Long John Nebel, 1964. Jim was a regular on Nebel’s program in the 1950s and 1960s. (Sam Vandivert/Saucer News)

Farewell to Supreme Commander Jim Moseley (1931-2012)

During our previous live PsiOp-Radio show I was informed by a friend of Jim’s ailing health. Shortly thereafter I learned of his passing on November 16th. Jim was an amazing soul who educated and entertained many a post-modern Fortean and Anomalist, myself included. I first met him at the 1999 NUFOC event in San Antonio, Texas. We began communicating about the possibility of my hosting the 2001 NUFOC in Austin. We met again at the 2000 NUFOC held in Corpus Christi, Texas. We interviewed him on PsiOp-Radio back in May of 2010. You can listen to that interview here. I wish I’d spoken to him again before his death. He will be missed.

Above: Interview with Jim circa 2002.

Smear’s James W. Moseley Dies
Fortean friend, ufology humorist, and writer James W. Moseley, 81, died Friday night, November 16, 2012. He passed away at a Key West, Florida, hospital, several months after being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.

Upon hearing of the death of Moseley, Anomalist Books publisher and editor Patrick Huyghe said: “He was one of the last remaining old timers from the golden age of flying saucers. Goodbye, Jim.”

MORE HERE: … -obit.html


Shockingly Close to the Truth! : Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist



PsiOp Radio 116 – 100523 with guest James Moseley

PsiOp Radio podcast 116 – 100523 with guest Jim Moseley



The-Astounding-UFO-Secrets-of-James-W.-MoseleyThe Astounding UFO Secrets of James W. Moseley
A Special Tribute To The Editor Of ‘Saucer Smear’ And The Court Jester Of UFOlogy … 606111442/

Got my copy of the book and LOVE-IT!!! Tributes to Supreme Commander Moseley from several UFOlks including Greg Bishop, Tim Beckley, Antonio Huneeus, George Hansen, Tim Brigham, Gene Steinberg, Allen Greenfield, Rick Hilberg, Ed Biebel, T. N. Hackney, Steamshovel Press’s Kenn Thomas, Ed Komarek, FATE magazine’s Phyllis Galde, and Adam Gorightly. PLUS, besides reprinting Jim Moseley’s rare “UFO Crash Secrets at Wright Patterson Air Force Base” it also includes the full transcript of the 2010 interview Mack White and I did with Jim on our PsiOp-Radio show.

Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here! – Remembering The Trickster of UFOlogy, Jim Moseley
By Sean Casteel

The “old guard” of UFOlogy is quickly passing away before our very eyes. First there was John Keel, then Richard Hall, Ingo Swann, George Fawcett and most recently a man who remained for many years one of the most controversial and influential figures in all of UFO-dom, a personality who many loved and others equally despised.

When James W. Moseley passed away on November 16, 2012, at a hospital in Key West, Florida, he left behind a great many friends to mourn him. Though his name may be unfamiliar to the younger members of the UFO community today, he was for many years a most provocative voice in the field of UFOlogy, known for being a comic trickster as well as a serious researcher of flying saucer and paranormal phenomena who broke new ground in coverage of the subjects with his publications “Saucer News” and “Saucer Smear.”

In memory of his departed friend, Timothy Green Beckley of Global Communications has recently published “The Astounding UFO Secrets of James W. Moseley, A Special Tribute To The Editor Of ‘Saucer Smear’ And The Court Jester Of UFOlogy.” The book includes the full text of “UFO Crash Secrets At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” a first-person account by Moseley of his investigations into numerous UFO-related incidents that also highlights his feisty attitude toward his fellow researchers and their continual disagreements over what to believe in a field where concrete evidence is almost impossible to find.

But Beckley, who is listed as the editor on the cover of the tribute book, begins things with a series of memories from those who knew and admired Moseley, all of whom have their own unique stories to tell about the jokester and his long history in UFOlogy. Beckley’s lifelong relationship with Moseley began in the early to mid-1960s when Beckley was still in his teens and an avid listener to the all night radio talk show hosted by Long John Nebel. Nebel often covered UFOs and other strange subjects, and Moseley was a frequent guest on the program. Moseley used the show to promote his monthly UFO meetings in the rather seamy Times Square area of Manhattan, and Beckley was a regular attendee. Beckley was so young at the time that he needed his brother-in-law to accompany him in the journey from New Jersey to the Port Authority in New York and on to the meetings.




File Contents / Inventory:

  • NUFOC 38, 2001 – SMiles Lewis, personal correspondence and conference preparation materials, Saucer Smear final issue mystery delivery envelope, single page Saucer News No. 33 “Confidential Newsletter” with “Beware of the Notorious Mr. Zacharias!” and “Bomb Scare” about Moseley financed lecture by Paris Flammonde thwarted by scaring off attendees.



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