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Your Paracast Newsletter -- January 21, 2012

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
January 21, 2012

The History and Culture of the UFO Field Explored on The Paracast

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Sunday, January 22, 2012: The Paracast covers a world beyond science, where UFOs, poltergeists and strange phenomena of all kinds have been reported by millions across the planet.

Set Up: The Paracast is a paranormal radio show that takes you on a journey to a world beyond science, where UFOs, poltergeists and strange phenomena of all kinds have been reported by millions. The Paracast seeks to shed light on the mysteries and complexities of our Universe and the secrets that surround us in our everyday lives.

Join long-time paranormal researcher Gene Steinberg, co-host Christopher O'Brien, and a panel of special guest experts and experiencers, as they explore the realms of the known and unknown. Listen each week to the great stories of the history of the paranormal field in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This Week's Episode: Gene and Chris welcome back the inimitable Jim Moseley, Editor/Publisher of "Saucer Smear," an irreverent look at the entire UFO scene. Jim will come onboard to present not only his solution to the Roswell UFO crash, but answers to many questions from our loyal listeners. This is one episode you won't want to miss!

Christopher O'Brien's Site: http://www.ourstrangeplanet.com/

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: The Paracast Community Forums. We recently completed a major update that makes our community easier to navigate, and social network friendly.

The UFO Field’s Enduring Treasure
By Gene Steinberg

In the 1960s, I was attending high school in Brooklyn, NY and following the UFO lore of the time. I recall a trip, by subway, to a book store in the borough of Manhattan that featured a fairly large section devoted to such material, where I spied a copy of a small magazine, “Saucer News.” The magazine seemed serious enough, but I could even then sense a trace of the editor’s irreverence, so I ordered a subscription.

Not long thereafter, I had occasion to write the editor, Jim Moseley, about something I read in the magazine. It wasn’t long before I got a phone call from Jim (the family’s phone number was listed in those days), and I remember that rumbling voice with just a suggestion of a lisp that seems to have survived with very little wear and tear over the years.

On the road to higher education, I needed a part-time job, and thus found myself working as Managing Editor for “Saucer News.” As I recall, the pay was extremely generous for the time, all of $5.00 per hour. I didn’t do near as well when I first accepted a position as a radio broadcaster.

In any case, Jim and I remained close friends over the years, as I observed his journey through life, including a brief marriage, a divorce, the birth of a daughter, and his ongoing presence as a chronicler of the culture of the UFO field.

You’ll find much of Jim’s history recounted in a book that served, in part, as his autobiography, “Shockingly Close to the Truth.” And, yes, I’m mentioned there too, since I worked with him and have remained a close friend of his for so many years.

Now as with many UFO-related publications, “Saucer News” had its ups and downs. After making a bid to convert the magazine into a mainstream commercial publication, Jim passed it on to his friend, Gray Barker.

Barker, who died in 1984, got a reputation as both UFO promoter and hoaxer. Jim and Gray teamed up for several infamous pranks, notably the “Straith Letter,” a series of fake letters sent on U.S. State Department stationary, and mailed to several well known personalities in the field. Indeed, one of the recipients, contactee George Adamski, went on to tout that bogus communication as evidence that the authorities believed his claims were true.

Well, Jim lived down such indiscretions. When Gray Barker’s version of “Saucer News” floundered, Jim took it back and converted it into a monthly newsletter, “Saucer Smear.” Actually, he used different words to follow “Saucer” for a few years before he settled on “Smear.”

Although Jim held back some of the more fascinating and funny aspects of his personality in his original magazine, “Saucer Smear” is 100% Jim. Even the selection of news items to summarize and reader letters simply reflects his status as the field’s Court Jester. But Jim isn’t just a commentator on the UFO field. His sharp mind, still agile although he’s in his 80s, somehow manages to focus on the subtle shortcomings of an otherwise logical argument, and the evidence that may point to a solution that doesn’t favor the conventional wisdom. He believes that he has reached a credible conclusion about the Roswell UFO crash, by the way.

Over the years, Jim has been one of my favorite guests on The Paracast. He tells great stories of his experiences in investigating UFO cases, and his encounters, conflicts and even friendship with a number of key figures in the field.

On this week’s episode, for example, Jim will explain how he actually got to see supposedly secret UFO sighting reports when he visited the headquarters of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book in the 1950s. Over a period of several days, Jim commandeered an office typewriter and copied the most compelling cases verbatim. During this period, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, one of the first popular authors of books on the subject, was receiving verbal descriptions of the very same sightings from his military contacts.

Now when Keyhoe got wind of what appeared to be the special treatment accorded that young “would-be” researcher, he went ballistic. As a result, the folks at Project Blue Book simply clamped down and stopped giving out that information.

Over the years, Keyhoe and Moseley had their public disputes. Indeed, I got caught in the crossfire once when I visited the headquarters of Keyhoe’s UFO club, NICAP, in Washington, D.C. I was still working for “Saucer News” at the time, and was accompanied by several of my friends in the field, including T. Allen Greenfield.

Well, when NICAP’s office manager, Richard Hall, saw me, he pointed his shaking finger at me and angrily announced that I wasn’t welcome there, and that I must leave.

Well, “Saucer News” played up the incident, as did Ray Palmer, the editor of “Flying Saucers” magazine. Eventually, Hall left NICAP, though I won’t say that it was necessarily the result of his questionable treatment of me and my friends. Years later, Hall and I shook hands and decided to leave that unfortunate episode in the past.

Keyhoe eventually left NICAP too, apparently because he wasn’t a very good director for the organization, despite his military experience.

As to Jim Moseley, he still publishes physical copies of “Saucer News,” although you can buy them online. Indeed, if you want to get a healthy dose of UFO news, views along with a whimsical look at the amazing subculture of UFO believers and investigators, you need to get yourself a free sample copy. Just write to Jim at: P.O. Box 1709, Key West, FL 33041. If you like what you read, and I bet you will, you can make a donation or “love offering” and become a real non-subscriber.

Meantime, I am grateful for Jim’s wisdom and his friendship, and I hope he will remain healthy and active in the field for many years to come.

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Gene, just thought I'd let you know. I was just going through my old correspondence with Jim Moseley and see that I mailed him a copy of the above Paracast Newsletter with your article on 1/25/2012. While I can't recall exactly what Jim said about it, he thought it was nice.
Jim Moseley was a skeptical believer who was friendly with people from both sides, even Philip Klass and Howard Menger. His personal belief was what we might call a 4.5D solution (multidimensional, etc.).
I've been transcribing my notes of calls with Jim. Here's the entry for Feb. 1, 2012:
"Jim called, had received letter with Paracast newsletter & listener comments (about a recent appearance).
Was pleased by Gene Steinberg's piece, and the fact he had knowledgeable fans."