Tag Archives | UFOlogy

From Beyond the Grave – The Final Edition of Saucer Smear

The Men in Black never beat him, and death can’t either. Jim Moseley’s recent passing hasn’t stopped him from getting out one last issue of Saucer Smear.  Since the early 1950′s Moseley has been front and center for the development of the UFO culture. Officially named in 1981, Saucer Smear was the final iteration of a popular insider newsletter that he had been producing since the early ’70′s.

The newsletter has been a staple of UFOlogy, and provided an open forum to discuss every aspect of the field from classic cases to the latest arguments in the ranks of the UFOlogical elite. Dr. Tim Brigham, a personal friend of Moseley’s and a Contributing Editor at Saucer Smear, sent out the following brief communique to announce the digital release of the final issue:

Don’t let the MIB stop it. Download your copy of the Last issue of the longest running flying saucer zine in the galaxy: Jim Moseley’s ‘Saucer Smear.’ In loving memory (and free!)

Watch The Skies

Tim Brigham, Phd

Contributing Editor, Saucer Smear (Ret)

In true form this issue covers critical exchanges with Nick Redfern over the reality of MIB’s, Stanton Friedman over his credentials as a physicist, and the sad state of contemporary UFOlogy.… Read the rest

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James W. Moseley, Founder and Lead Editor of Saucer Smear, Has Gone Off-World

A more tangible loss has come to the UFOlogical community than the recent announcement by some folks in the UK that the Age of Flying Saucers has come to a close. Jim Moseley, founder of the longest running UFO magazine around, Saucer Smear, has passed on at the ripe age of 81.

Jim brought an air of humor and sociological consciousness to what can otherwise be a contentious and cliquish field of inquiry. Saucer Smear’s running motto was, “Shockingly Close to the Truth,” which provides a good idea of where he was coming from. Greg Taylor, founder of The Daily Grail, puts it well in his memorial published on TDG:

“Jim Moseley entered the world of ufology at the very beginning, with his first two magazines devoted to the topic, Nexus and Saucer News, being published in the 1950s. He was an associate of many ‘legends’ in the Fortean field, from Gray Barker to James Randi – and like those two individuals was somewhat of a trickster figure, often straddling the line of truth that separates researcher from raconteur.

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Here Come The Men in Black

Picture: "RadioKirk" (CC)

LiveScience explores UFO buffs’ stories of the mysterious Men in Black.

Were any of these stories true? It is of course possible that at some point dark-suited men from government agencies made inquiries into UFO reports; there was, after all, an Air Force program that investigated flying saucer claims in the 1950s called Project Blue Book. Government officials (including those with the military, police, Secret Service, FBI, or IRS, for example) are sometimes known to throw their weight around and intimidate people, even unintentionally. Of course, hoaxing a Men in Black encounter would be very simple, and require nothing more than three somber, dark-suited pranksters to menace a UFO eyewitness. [The Real Men in Black: Secret Service Agents (Infographic)]

Mysterious, authoritative, and menacing figures dressed in black are hardly unique to UFO mythology. In fact, folklore from around the world often describe such figures as representing Satan or other dark forces.

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What is the Future of “UFOlogy”?

Picture: "Argentina" (PD)

“the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” – Donald Rumsfeld

An amusing article in national UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph suggests that UFO chasers are getting bored of the lack of proof regarding ongoing extra terrestrial contact. According to the article the lack of physical evidence to support their faith is killing off the enthusiasm of true believers.

Somone should perhaps explain the ongoing success of religion to the journalist in question…

FROM THE TELEGRAPH

For decades, they have been scanning the skies for signs of alien activity.

But having failed to establish any evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, Britain’s UFO watchers are reaching the conclusion that the truth might not be out there after all.

Enthusiasts admit that a continued failure to provide proof and a decline in the number of “flying saucer” sightings suggests that aliens do not exist after all and could mean the end of “Ufology” – the study of UFOs – within the next decade.

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The Death & Rebirth of UFOlogy – Telegraph’s Report on UFOlogy’s Demise Could Be Its New Beginning

Neil deGrasse Tyson is talking panspermia from Mars, Richard Dawkins mentions ancient aliens as a possible candidate for development of complex biological processes, Jacques Vallee presents at a business forum on physics breakthroughs possible through studying UFO phenomena, Michio Kaku develops a theory of social evolution based on space…and the Forteans give up on UFOs? What is happening here?

According to an article on The Telegraph:

“Enthusiasts admit that a continued failure to provide proof and a decline in the number of “flying saucer” sightings suggests that aliens do not exist after all and could mean the end of “Ufology” – the study of UFOs – within the next decade.

Dozens of groups interested in the flying saucers and other unidentified craft have already closed because of lack of interest and next week one of the country’s foremost organisations involved in UFO research is holding a conference to discuss whether the subject has any future.

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The Fine Art of Hoaxing – An American Tradition

Ben Franklin (DbM 2010)

Allen Greenfield, recently announced that he had found in his archives a series of unreleased tapes of interviews that were made by Gray Barker, the UFOlogist and folklorist best known for his coverage of fortean events in West Virginia, including the Mothman, Flatwoods Monster, and for his, some say, invention of the contemporary mythos of the Men in Black. Credulous curmudgeons, and stuffy skeptics often lament Barker’s involvement in the field of Forteana, saying that he was nothing more than an ill intentioned prankster that muddied the waters of serious investigation, or worse, a profiteering culture pirate who took advantage of the gullible with articles for Fate Magazine, books like They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, The Silver Bridge, MIB: The Secret Terror Among Us, and the many publications he put out from others via his imprint Saucerian Press.

A proper hoax, however, has a cathartic value that can be missed if we’re too stuck on the dull task of debunking.… Read the rest

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What Is A UFO?

There are many competing theories about the origins and nature of UFOs. For example, researchers Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger have a list of seventeen theories at their website. In UFO: The Complete Sightings (1995) by Peter Brookesmith, there is a list of nine theories. Further, these theories are often categorized. In The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters (2001) edited by Ronald D. Story, the subject is divided into “conventional (unintelligent)” and “unconventional (intelligent)” encounters.

Others use terms like “natural” versus “unnatural,” “material” versus “immaterial,” or “physical” versus “non-physical” to categorize, or break down, the UFO situation. Choose whatever terms feel best to you. Below is a simplified breakdown that gives three categories of UFO manifestation:

• External UFO theories suggest that UFOs are phenomena that originate outside of the human mind, whether physical, ethereal, or inter-dimensional.

• Internal UFO theories suggest that UFO phenomena originate within the human mind—that they are psychological, spiritual, and/or inter-dimensional.… Read the rest

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UFO Skeptics: Are Geeks Divided?

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

Henry Hanks reports on an apparent disconnect between sci-fi geeks and belief in UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, at CNN’s GeekOut blog:

I was surprised, leading up to this weekend’s top grossing movie, “Men in Black 3,” that paranormal phenomena such as UFOs, the Roswell Incident and, yes, the mysterious Men in Black themselves were conspicuously missing from the zeitgeist.

When the popular sci-fi franchise launched 15 years ago, it was all anyone could talk about. The first “MIB,” along with “Independence Day,” “The X Files” and “Roswell,” brought aliens and government cover-ups their biggest pop culture moment in a generation…

The divide between some science fiction fans and paranormal believers is very real and hard to bridge, according to Timothy Green Beckley, author of “Mystery of the Men in Black: The UFO Silencers.”

“Science fiction and UFO people as a rule do not mix,” he said.

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New Crowdfunded Graphic Novel Depicts the 1967 Herbert Schirmer Abduction

December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter I got an early Christmas present last year: a package from Los Angeles cartoonist Mike Jasorka. Inside was the fruit of his efforts and my $20 Kickstarter pledge: December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter, a graphic novelisation of the strange case of Herbert Schirmer, a Nebraska state patrolman who claims to have been taken aboard an alien spacecraft. I commend it to all wrong-thinking disinfonauts everywhere, for several reasons, but mostly aesthetic. The black and white panels occasionally splashed with dramatic colour ensures that the 50+ page book is a visually compelling artefact. It also arrives with a CD, a word for word adaptation from the found audio of Schirmer at a 1970’s UFO conference in Florida, making it simultaneously an aural event (surely a first for a graphic novel, but fanboys will no doubt correct me). Finally, there's the story: of Schirmer's childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth. Herbert’s heart-felt story speaks of his childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth ...
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