Fortean explorer and UFO humorist Jim Moseley died of cancer this past Friday night ( 11/16 ) at the age of 81.
I never talked to, emailed, posted a reply or blogged Mr. Moseley at all since I’ve been posting on the Internet over the past five years, but I’ve listened to him and Gene Steinberg banter on Steinberg’s Paracast radio show enough times to know that he was a very fascinating and interesting folk character in his own right and that his influence will be felt in the UFO community forever and his type of humor will be greatly missed:
Fortean friend, ufology humorist, and writer James W. Moseley, 81, died Friday night, November 16, 2012. He passed away at a Key West, Florida, hospital, several months after being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.
Upon hearing of the death of Moseley, Anomalist Books publisher and editor Patrick Huyghe said: “He was one of the last remaining old timers from the golden age of flying saucers. Goodbye, Jim.”
I, Loren Coleman, first met James W. Moseley (“Jim” to his friends) when he, John Keel, and I were speaking at a Fortfest in the D.C. area, in 1973. The most vivid memory I have of that time is sitting with these two gentlemen in the dark and shabby lobby of a motel, listening to the foremost scholars of ufology decide what they would do that evening. I recall politely excusing myself to finetune my next day’s presentation, as they skipped off, by foot, across the multilane highway, to visit a nearby striptease joint. And thus I was introduced to the braintrust of ufology, and knew what the end would look like – some sort of cosmic mix of humor and nudity galore!
For years, according to only a few readers, Moseley too frequently posted photographs of large-breasted women in his humorous ufology newsletter, Saucer Smear, confusing people who wished to claim that Moseley was gay, even though he was not, just because others wish to remain closeted for years.
Did it matter what people thought? Ufology historian and Moseley friend Jerome Clark wrote me: “Well, it did matter. It mattered to Jim, who was not gay and who did not like it when people spread such speculation.”But it went beyond breasts: In the May 10, 2004, issue of Saucer Smear, Moseley highlighted the republishing of a book on three alien monsters raping a woman named Barbara Turner in her bedroom.Actually, it was quite obvious. Moseley was a comic, extremely interested in women and sex, and loved to be the center-of-attention. Certainly, his lifestyle was secretive to some. For almost thirty years, Moseley lived in Florida.Moseley with a large poster of marine treasure hunter Mel Fisher.
In 1984, Moseley established an antiques store in Key West, Florida. He also made money in real estate. In 1992, Moseley donated his Peruvian material to the Graves Museum of Archaeology and Natural History, located in Dania, Florida, where it is on permanent display.
James Moseley was a pivotal chronicler of a now-famed mystery that issued from his interest in ancient Peruvian artifacts. It is to be recalled that the Nazca Lines were first discovered by the Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe, who spotted them when hiking through the foothills in 1927. He discussed them at a conference in Lima in 1939. Maria Reiche, a German-born mathematician and archaeologist, first studied and set out to preserve the Nazca Lines in 1940. Paul Kosok, a historian from Long Island University, is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the Nazca Lines in the USA, on site in Peru, in 1940-41. But it was Moseley who first wrote about the Nazca Lines as an intriguing Fortean phenomena in Fate Magazine, in October 1955, suggesting a mysterious origin, long before they interested alternative writers such as Erich von Däniken (1968), Henri Stierlin (1983) and Gerald Hawkins (1990).