Today is the funeral of my friend and ASSAP Vice Chair Robert Moore: UFOlogist, folklorist, and researcher. We are thinking of his friends and family and raising a glass to his memory. A number of ASSAP friends are travelling to Bridgwater, Somerset for the wake – health and a dodgy car keeps me here.
I wrote the following words for the forthcoming Seriously Strange magazine but it makes sense to share them here: please feel free to add your own memories on Robert.
Dear friends of ASSAP —
There can be only one subject for this issues editorial: the tragic death of our Vice Chairman Robert Moore. Robert was a well loved part of ASSAP and everything we did: he would contribute every day in the Exec chat, making jokes, pouring oil on troubled waters and keeping us all going in adversity with his wisdom and gentle humour.
Robert was a good man: but he was also a first rate scholar. I believe his success in UFOlogy was partly due to the former — like all these areas there is plenty of ego and infighting in UFOlogy – probably far more than actual research; the same is true in what some term “Paranormal” interest circles. Robert’s modesty, good grace and self deprecating humour allowed him to thrive in a contentious field. Perhaps that has been his greatest contribution — he reminds us all that by avoiding bitterness and the endless politics of the field and making friends from many different perspectives you can promote genuine growth and findings.
Robert also though was dedicated and hard working. If asked him to do something he did it: some of the things he put together for the new website are in the accompanying Journal, including his useful and detailed guide to US government initiatives on UFOs — and other things like Project FoxFire his magisterial study of British UFO reports (also in the journal) show his immense dedication to research. We worked together recently on some material converting ET entities from the sightings into game stats for Call of Cthulhu rpg for a project of mine, and it was abundantly clear to me how encyclopedic his knowledge of the literature was.
Working with Robert was fun and interesting but not without frustration: mainly his infuriating and endless IT issues that made online meetings with him amusingly unpredictable! He was not a wealthy man, and ASSAP is not a wealthy organisation — yet happily in the last few months of his life we bought him a new laptop and we were finally able to hear him at meetings properly. 🙂
Robert was only 55 years old; too young to die so suddenly, and leave so much undone. We have lost one of the best minds in UFOlogy: and one of the best researchers in ASSAP and anomalies research. I’m thinking of his work on the ghostly highwayman of the A38 as well as his UFO cases; and his broad theoretical pieces like the presentation he did on historical ghosts. He will be an incalculable loss to the British UFO community.
Naturally shy and diffident Robert found presenting painful but he was determined to do his duty: he gave many papers for ASSAP. Deeply sensitive he was stung by criticism – and really, deeply hurt. Yet I have never seen anything but praise for his papers we have published – and now you have in your hands more, sadly his most extensive and final work, barring his book.
Robert was working in a book, a project that involved him and Jenny Randles over many years. We hadccome to an agreement to publish his UFO Handbook, inspired by the pioneering work of Jenny Randles – and this invaluable investigator’s guide will be made available as soon as ASSAP can make the arrangements.
I think of Robert as one of the last of a certain generation of British UFOlogists in some of his attutudes: he had no interest in drones or balloons; and while he seemed committed to psycho-social models I think he was always hoping the ETH might prove true. Fascinated by space, it is fitting that one of his last projects was making a star map of near space: he always enjoyed illustrating and design.
When I returned from Weird Weekend North I found a message in my inbox telling me that Robert had apparently died. I was shocked, and upset as you can imagine – we’d spoken a lot for fifteen years, and I wanted to establish the truth. The facts are simple – Robert had hypertension and heart disease and passed away quietly at home on Saturday, April 1st, 2023.
He slipped quietly and without fuss from our lives, as if in the night he followed a light and finally meeting the beings he searched for chose to board their ship and head off to the final frontier. What adventures he has there we will not know, until it is our time to follow him into the Unknown.
Farewell Robert; a fine man, a great scholar, and a dear friend. You did your duty and you shone a light in to the dark: and we salute you.
Not to be confused with Patrick Moore of course.
Wonderful sensitive words, written for a wonderful sensitive soul. God bless, Robert. We will miss you x