For the ufologically-minded, Jim Moseley was without a doubt most associated with his highly entertaining newsletter, Saucer Smear. It was a semi-regular, self-published collection of Moseley’s comments, rants and observations on the UFO research scene. Moseley was someone who, in later years, focused just about all of his time and effort on poking fun at ufologists whenever and wherever he could. He did so in a very witty fashion, too. I should stress, though, that Moseley did have a real, deep interest in the UFO phenomenon itself. And a firm belief in it, too. Right up until the time of his death. Back in 1953 Moseley hit the road – in what really was a definitive Jack Kerouac/Neal Cassady-style – in search of the answers to what was going on in the heavens above. What Moseley found out, as he traveled from New York to California and back again, was a significantly varied and entertaining collection of eccentrics, liars, nut-jobs, and – to Moseley’s relief – genuinely interesting eyewitnesses to strange, aerial craft in the skies of 1950s America. Altogether, Moseley interviewed around one hundred people, on a clunky, big recorder, which was no mean feat. The list of interviewees included George Adamski himself and Frank Scully, of Behind the Flying Saucers infamy.
Moseley’s coast-to-coast trip was funded by a guy named Ken Krippine. He was a somewhat shady, dubious character who had suggested that if he, Moseley, would do all of the research, then Krippine would write a book on Moseley’s UFO findings. The two would then split the profits right down the middle. Sounds good, right? Well, for a while, yes, it sounded very good. The proposed book, however, did not materialize; at least, not as Moseley and Krippine had originally planned things. No, it wasn’t due to the infernal intervention of the mysterious Men in Black. Rather, it was all due to a distinct lack of interest on the part of just about every publisher that Moseley approached with his well-thumbed and increasingly-creased and crumpled manuscript. Moseley was not one to be daunted, however. Years later – decades, in fact – he put just about all of his old notes and audio-recordings to good use in his hilarious autobiography, Shockingly Close to the Truth, which was written with Karl Pflock.
It was in 1955 that Moseley, in his own words, “had fallen under the influence” of a man named Charles Samwick. The latter was someone who, before retiring from the U.S. Army, worked in the hall-and-mirrors-filled world of counter-intelligence, which included keeping a very close eye on what the Russians were said to be up to inside the United States. Not only that, Moseley was able to determine that Samwick had, in some hazy, unclear fashion, ties to the CIA’s Robertson Panel and had once helped to bust a Soviet spy-ring in Washington, D.C. Samwick and Moseley soon became good buddies, with Moseley somewhat dazzled and disturbed by one particular thing that Samwick had to say. He told Moseley: “The Communist Party has planted an agent in every civilian saucer club in the United States.” Whether this was true, or amounted to hard-to-prove words inspired by the likes of Joseph McCarthy, Moseley was in no position to disagree with his well-informed source. But, he did make Samwick’s revelations the subject of an editorial in his pre-Saucer Smear newsletter, Saucer News. In the June-July 1955 issue Moseley revealed the following to his eager readers, but specifically without revealing Samwick’s name.
Moseley said: “Although it is perhaps unwise to inject a political note into a flying saucer magazine, we feel obliged to point out to our readers certain dangers which, taken together, add up to a possible Communist menace to saucer enthusiasts. First, for several months we have had good reason to believe that Communist agents have been planted in all of America’s leading saucer groups, for information-gathering purposes. This in itself is not a startling fact, but it should serve as a note of caution to saucer researchers who in the course of their studies might unearth information of a technical military nature.
He continued: “Secondly, let us all give some very serious consideration to the many alleged space men being called to the public’s attention – all of whom invariably tell us of the dangers of war and the exploitation of atomic energy. No one desires peace any more than we do, but let us remember too that it is part of the Communist ‘peace line’ to frighten the American people into ceasing our atomic experiments. It is quite possible that some of these ‘space men’ are unwittingly playing into the hands of the Communists. Last but not least, let us not fall into the pitfall of condemning the Government of the United States just because the Air Force refuses to tell us all we would like to know about flying saucers – I have been told that some of the remarks made at the Saucer Convention last March came dangerously close to sedition!
In conclusion, Moseley said: “Even as ardently loyal saucer fans, we all can and should face the fact that there are more important and immediate problems in the world today. Whether the saucers are held to be from Space or Earth, it is quite obvious that they present no immediate threat to the safety of this Country; so there is nothing to worry about. Of course everyone would be happier if ‘officialdom’ would be more generous with its information on saucers, but for the present we can only assume that that there is a good sufficient reason for the continuing scarcity of information from official sources. In making the above remarks, we are not referring to any particular individual or organization in the field of saucer research. We are merely observing that the saucerian field is alarmingly ripe for use in furthering Communist ends. Let each individual among us be on his guard that he does not fall into such a trap.”