Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Searchable PDFs: 300+ issues of Saucer Smear (Jim Moseley's "social history of ufology ... a gold mine rich in saucer lore, fact and fantasy, feud and folly")

"Saucer Smear" was a long-running newsletter published by Jim Moseley. It has been described as "unmatched as a running, 'as it happens' social history of ufology ... a gold mine rich in saucer lore, fact and fantasy, feud and folly" (by Karl Pflock, in an introduction to a book that he co-authored with Jim Moseley, "Shockingly Close to the Truth").

A video of an interview uploaded by Lance Moody: "a gossip sheet devoted to sarcastic humour, innuendo and occasionally libel...". 

More history about Jim Moseley (including various obituaries and tributes) can be found on the jimmoseley.com website. 

Most of the uploaded issues of "Saucer Smear" were provided to me by the AFU in Sweden. I obtained the final issue from Tim Brigham. (I think a penultimate issue is currently missing, but I'm sure it will be provided soon by one of the people that worked with Moseley).  

Several of those involved in publishing "Saucer Smear" helped get this collection online and provided relevant information to me, including Curt Collins, Tim Brigham, Vince Ditchkus, and Lance Moody.   

I recently uploaded complete sets of two earlier newsletters by Jim Moseley : "Nexus" and "Saucer News". My brief blog post in relation to those uploads noted that Jim Moseley has been called "the Jim Moseley has been called "the Court Jester of UFOlogy". George P Hansen has commented that Moseley "perpetrated some amusing hoaxes, exposed others, mocked and antagonized UFOlogy’s 'establishment'...".

James Moseley's sense of humour renders it difficult to give a brief summary of some basic details such as the number of issues of "Saucer Smear" or the date it commenced publication.  Moseley's "Nexus" was published in 1954-1955 and the numbering of issues continued with his next publication, "Saucer News", which ended with Vol 17 No 1. Moseley then took a break for about 6 years and when he recommenced publication of a UFO newsletter in 1976 he began with Volume 23 "in a bow of sorts to consistency (and confusion), and assuming one volume per year", stating that "I'm not at liberty to reveal why the first issue in the volume was numbered 16".  He then went through a period of changing the title of the newsletter with almost every issue (from "Saucers News" to "Saucer Muse" to "Saucer Zoos" to "Saucer Grus" to "Saucer Clues", etc etc etc etc) before settling on "Saucer Smear" in 1980.   The second issue of in this new series implied that the name change was due to Gray Barker having insisted that he owned the rights to the name "Saucer News", but in an interview at the link below James Moseley suggests that this was a joke and the two of them having a bit of fun.

I've tried to clarify and resolve permission issues in relation to "Saucer Smear" several times between 2016 and 2024 - so I'm pleased (relieved???) that I can finally share these scans and cross doing so off my ufological "to do" list.  Kal Korff helpfully told me recently that Jim Moseley said repeatedly that he did not copyright issues of "Saucer Smear" (and, with the help of that recollection, I quickly found at least two statements to this effect by Moseley in "Saucer Smear", on page 3 of the 10 January 1996 issue of "Saucer Smear" and in volume 42 number 8 in 1995).  Tim Crawford of UFOtv has, however, said that "Saucer Smear" is in his "proprietary library" so I hesitated to upload copies.  Fortunately, after several emails and telephone calls from people involved in Saucer Smear during the last few weeks, Tim Crawford clarified that he was not opposed to my uploading scans (and asked for people to stop emailing him supporting my proposal to make scans freely available online).

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