Friday, November 30, 2012

Remembering Jim Moseley (1931-2012), the Voltaire of American Ufology | VIDEO

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Jim Moseley in front of the White House at Lafayette Park - July 1993

Antonio Huneeus On Openminds' Spacing Out

By Antonio Huneeus

     Just as I returned from a two-week trip to Chile I found the sad news that my old friend the “Supreme Commander” James W. Moseley, better known as Jim Moseley, had passed away from cancer on Friday November 16 in Key West, Florida, where he lived for the last few decades. Fortunately, I spoke on the phone with Jim right before my trip; he was still alert and interested in all sorts of ufological gossip, even as he was getting ready to go to the hospital for a complicated cancer surgery. I’ll write a more formal biographical profile of Jim in the next issue of Open Minds magazine, of which he was a fan, keeping this piece more personal and informal, which is the way Jim liked to do things, including his relentless but at the same time hilarious critique of American ufology and ufologists.

Jim Moseley was born in 1931, the third son of Major General George Van Horn Moseley, who was a prominent U.S. Army officer but also a notorious right wing and anti-Semitic figure during the FDR era. Jim didn’t get along with his father and so became a rebel, quitting Princeton University after a couple of years and pursuing a number of independent activities which included real estate deals, antiquarian pursuits in South America and of course ufology. Until the last few years when his age and health slowed him down, Jim was a permanent fixture at all major American UFO conferences. You could always find him at the bar drinking martinis and collecting gossip, which would then appear in his longstanding newsletter Saucer Smear. This was the only American UFO publication devoted not to UFO cases per se but to the discussion of the personalities of ufologists. It was technically “non-scheduled” and free, although Jim was glad to receive donations which he called “love offerings.” In the last few years it became his main intellectual activity since he always had a lot of fun editing it and making fun of people.

Many in the UFO community considered Moseley a skeptic because he was always reluctant to accept the validity of some of the more famous incidents like the Roswell crash, the abduction cases researched by Budd Hopkins and others, and the ET theory in general. But Jim was also equally skeptic and sarcastic of the debunkers, making fun of many of the explanations proposed by the late Philip Klass and maintaining a longstanding feud with the magician James the Amazing Randi. He could also keep a good friendship with some witnesses and researchers, even though he didn’t believe in their cases . . ..

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