Showing posts with label Gray Barker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gray Barker. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gray Barker: Rumors of NASA Suppression of UFO Evidence!

Since getting interested in the Cash-Landrum case, I’d wondered if Gray Barker had published anything about the story, and if so, what wild and wooly things he might have said about it. Barker is responsible for a lot of UFO mythology, and I was curious how he'd interpreted this one. 

I'm hoping to visit the Gray Barker Collection in Clarksburg, West Virginia, but until then, this fragment I recently came across provides some answers.

Gray Barker, Saucerian
Gray Barker’s Newsletter Hotline (Supplement 19-B) December, 1983
 WILD RUMOR DEPT: That James W. Moseley has evidence of a 
terrestrial origin of the famed “Cash/Landrum” sighting, during 
which witnesses were injured by radiation-like effects. also that
Moseley is under heavy pressure from NASA to withold printing it 
in his notorious “sheet,” Saucer Smear.

What’s interesting here is that Gray Barker was known for spinning straw into gold, but here he takes a very conservative approach on describing the C-L injuries as “ radiation-like effects,” more cautious and accurate than more reputable UFO journals.

Silenced by NASA?
The part about the Moseley "evidence" is much more Barker’s style. This almost certainly is an exaggeration of the story being circulated by Richard Doty and Bill Moore that the C-L UFO was a secret test vehicle from Kirtland AFB. The APRO Bulletin printed this rumor and Moore had discussed it with Moseley, who "leaked" it to Barker.  The “heavy pressure from NASA” may even have a sliver of truth in it, as John Schuessler, the C-L case investigator was a NASA contractor employee, and he rejected the Moore story as speculation and rumor. 

This short passage shows a good demonstration of the Barker method at work. Any information is dramatically turned into a puzzle, teasing the reader with possibilities, and leaving them hungry for more.

Sadly, Gray Barker was unable to see how the Cash-Landrum story developed. He died December 6, 1984.

Some mysteries are born, others are made.

Special thanks to debunker Robert Sheaffer for posting the collection of his Gray Barker correspondence and documents.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Exposure to Flying Saucers: Your life may change!

This is an autobiographical piece of sorts, where I look at my memories of being exposed to the notion of Flying Saucers from childhood and beyond.

Me circa 1965,  ready for school.

Roughly the order of exposure, regardless of my love for them:

Past my bedtime, but caught this episode that gave me the creeps!

Not really Saucers, but Ancient Aliens at the Earth's core!

Not really My Favorite Martian, but nothing else on… At least he's friendly!

WE are in control (but lost).
Less scary when we have the Flying Saucer! Space travel goes mainstream via prime time TV.

THEY are in control (but humorless).
A scary show, bad aliens every week!

This is where I got hooked! All the Blue Book classics in four color glory!

An examination of alien races, featuring Orthon and the Flatwoods Monster!

After that, the first "real" book I ever bought!

 Flying Saucers- Here and Now!  by Frank Edwards!
And this book had pictures of real flying saucers!
They can't put it in a book if it isn't true!

 And in the news...

The first UFO case I remember on the news, mostly due to it happening in my home state of Mississippi.

The Pascagoula (Hickson/Parker) Alien Abduction

Through the 70s, I read every UFO book I could find in the library (not many, but free). Along the way, I also had interest in many other sensational things like the NASA programs, comic books, Bigfoot and Fortean weirdness. The only movies I recall seeing about UFOs were Chariot of the Gods (spooky), and later, Close Encounters (disappointing). By 1980, my interest in UFOs was waning, but a film advertised as if it were a documentary caught my attention.

I actually took my mother to see this!
Hangar 18 was so bad it may have killed my interest in the topic. After seeing it, I just drifted away to more concrete and productive interests. I still loved science fiction and monster movies, though!

If a UFO show came on, I'd watch it, but there was all this very weird stuff about abductions, probing, cutting cows and Cosmic Watergate… pretty ugly and unbelievable stuff. Later, it was more entertainingly served up on the X-Files, which I didn't realize at the time was basically a filmed adaptation of the 80s "darksider" UFO mythology.

Years passed, and I happened to watch a film on Netflix about Gray Barker, a flying saucer writer who was equal parts trickster:

Shades of Gray

I became fascinated with Barker and tried to learn more. Reading about him, I kept seeing mention of a friend and co-conspirator of his who was also featured in the film. Having not found my answers in the literature, one day I wrote him a letter. Before long, the phone rang, 
"Hi, it's Jim Moseley…"

The conversation was interesting, the first of many.

I was back in the grip of the saucers...