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FORTEAN TIMES UNCONVENTION 1997

JIM MOSELEY (SAUCER SMEAR): SHOCKINGLY CLOSE TO THE TRUTH

Philip Klass had been on before Jim Moselely. Moselely says of him that "Philip Klass is not a skeptic - he is a debunker." There is always, says Jim, something left over that does not fit the equation.

Here are some of Jim's weird experiences during his 44 years of UFO research.

In 1990, Moselely was on a flight from Miami to New York. They were delayed for three hours, which meant that when they were passing Cape Kennedy they would see a rocket going up. Moselely noticed a white light lingering in the sky after the rocket went up. This mysterious light turned out to be the wing light of the plane...

In 1992 he saw a light in Gulf Breeze in Florida. Gulf Breeze of course is famous for Ed Walters' photographs in 1987, which are generally considered fake. People got interested in UFO's in that area because of it. Over a period of years, "skywatching" people were seeing things they could photograph, two or three times a week. A red light they called "Bubba" was one of these and Moseley went out there and saw it. Nobody knows what it is.

In 1954 Moselely went out skywatching. The sky was clearer then, in the pre-smog era. It occurred to him while he was out there that if a saucer stood still and posed as a star it would look like one. He picked out a star at random and that star then took off and disappeared behind a building! Was it an hallucination???

Moselely liked to go to casinos for fun. One day Moselely met a psychic called Butler and took a tip off him for gambling in Atlantic City. Butler told him that in his hotel there would be fifty cent slot machines against one wall. He was to play the one on the far right and win. Butler did not know what hotel Moseley was going to be staying in. It turned out that there was a row of machines against one wall and Moselely played the one on the far right and won $150 the day he checked in. The day he checked out, he gave it another go and won another $100.

None of these stories prove anything and are not reproducible. Science cannot analyse "fortean" events.

Moselely was playing solitaire once and decided to play a "psychic" game with the cards. He would go through a pack of cards one by one and try to guess the value of cards before he turned them over. In most cases he got just the same as the law of probability would dictate. One day he was doing this and got a huge amount of them right. What was happening was that before he would turn over a card he was seeing it for a fraction of a second in his mind's eye. He found that this would only work for a few seconds at a go. It works once in a while but not all the time. This is possibly true for all psychic powers.

10 or 12 years ago Moselely was in his apartment, along with a cat. He was sleeping in his bedroom. He heard a crash and went out to see what was up. There was broken glass in the centre of the floor. There were no small pieces and the glass was not spread out. It was a broken drinking glass (knocked over by the cat?). Half the glass was missing. He never found it and he lived there over the next two years.

Moseley met Uri Geller about five years ago due to Geller's lawsuits with James Randi. He met him in a hotel in Miami in a tea-room. Geller's family was there and they all sat around a table together. At one point Geller took a spoon and grabbed it by the stem and walked Moseley to the nearest wall. He watched Geller's hands all the time. Holding one hand on the stem he stroked the spoon with his forefinger, but not enough so that it would generate heat. The spoon started to bend and Geller took his finger away. The spoon continued to bend. He put it on the table - it continued bending, and stopped at ninety degrees.

In 1954 Moseley was in Orangeburg, South Carolina, working on a book. A couple had seen a saucer at their home. They asked him to come by at seven pm, the time when they usually saw UFO's. They lived near an airport. Moselely as good as had this case solved before he got over there! At seven they went outside and the first "craft" was like starlight but streaked across the sky in a hundred and fifty degree arc over ten seconds and another did the same thing, only this one was a light surrounded by an outer orange light. It looked like an earth satellite. But the first earth satellite, the Sputnik, went up in 1957...

Jim offers to discuss well-known UFO researchers, but only within the constrains of British slander laws. The reason for this caution is because Stanton Friedman sued Jenny Randles for libel over something he could not have sued her for in his own country. Moseley calls this "despicable."

He is asked why he thinks Gulf Breeze was a hoax. He says because of the two teenagers that came out and said they were involved with Ed Walters in the early stages - the "first batch" of photos. And also because he knows Walters personally. Walters started out entertaining his son's friends. He took "ghost pictures" for fun. He got the idea to do a UFO hoax and the two kids were involved and later on they publicly said so. What had happened in the meantime was that Walters realized he could make money out of it. MUFON made a big thing out of the photos. Walters received a 200,000 advance for his first book...

He is asked about Princess Moon Owl and her current whereabouts. He explains to the uninitiated, i.e., most of the audience, that Princess Moon Owl was a minor figure in the "contactee" movement. He does not know what happened to her.

He is asked about crop circles. He thinks some are natural phenomena and some are made by humans.

The talk ends, and no-one has asked him about any UFO researchers. Oh well, at least he won't end up getting sued.

UnConvention '97 reviews

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