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James W. Moseley

Updated on September 4, 2013

The Astounding UFO Secrets of James W. Moseley

I have to say, that was an awesome book. Perhaps it's because he was fellow a journalist (he died on November 16, 2012) and a very controversial one at that. Not because of the topic, UFOlogy, because he liked to stir the pot with witty comments, hoaxes, and he loved to pit people against each other within the UFO community (he was a consummate journalist). That's what I want to focus on...the controversies he stirred up.

1. If the Webster dictionary had a name for the term "rebel," it would be James W. Moseley. He had an autocratic father named Major General George Van Horn Moseley, and he rebelled against him, his entire life. That's why he got involved in UFOlogy as well as other pursuits such as real-estate deals and antiquarian activities. That's also why he dropped out of Princeton after only 2 years.

2. Gossiping-he went to bars to have nice, relaxing conversations with fellow UFOlogists. He included their conversations in his Newsletter Saucer Smears in which he basically poked fun of them.

3. He blatantly gave his sarcastic, bold opinions about everyone and everything. And he received a middle finger from abductee Budd Hopkins because of it (he was proud of that middle finger and took a picture of it).

4. He was openly skeptical and critical of abductees and contactees (people who claim to be abducted are abductees and people who claim to have contact with extraterrestrials are contactees) as well as skeptics.

5. He robbed graves in Peru in the middle of the night and stole ancient artifacts. He was proud of being what the Peruvians call a "huaquero"-a robber who steals pottery. He goes in depth about these adventures in his book "Shockingly Close to the Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing UFOlogist."

6. To drum up business, he and his pal, Grey Barker (who owned another publication), pretended to have a feud.

7. Well, number 6 isn't so controversial, but when they decided to create a hoax together called the Straith Letter, now that's controversial! They basically forged a government letter with government stationary that they borrowed from a friend who worked in the government and confirmed George Adamski's extraterrestrial experiences with Venusians. The sad thing is that George Adamski used the letter as proof that he was having contact with Venusians for years. Yes, "years" because the document was created in 1957 and Moseley only admitted that he hoaxed the letter when Grey Barker died-in 1984.

8. Like I said, he liked to pit people against each other. One such case involved magicians Uri Geller and James the Amazing Randi.


All in all, though, not that I knew him, but from what I read he was a very nice guy. He was very accessibly and very down to earth (which is frankly surprising considering the fact that he inherited a million dollars from his mother Florence Barber).

NUFOC in Cincinnati

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