Indiana-born astronomer Morris K. Jessup is best known for his UFO books and has been described as "the most original extraterrestrial hypothesizer of the 1950s". He committed suicide in 1959 at age 59, while clinically depressed after his wife left him and following a serious car accident causing him head injuries.
‘The Expanding Case for the UFO’ was published in 1957 and was Jessup’s fourth book on the subject. Here the author examines some apparent lunar anomalies revealed by 1950s photographic imagery, later built upon by other authors (and the remote viewer Ingo Swann) in succeeding decades. Jessup’s claimed lunar anomalies include geometric shapes, “evidence of strip mining”, bright lights of indeterminate origin, expanding/contracting areas of dark and shade, “gas clouds” and other transient observable phenomena. Jessup not only links these lunar phenomena to UFO activity but buys into the alternative history ideas of people like Richard Shaver with good and bad aliens at war over the future of humanity, and is therefore something of a conspiracy theorist (Jessup is on record as believing in the concocted story of the so-called ‘Philadelphia Experiment’).
The book also includes discursions on the resemblance between reported small ‘grey alien’ UFO occupants and diminutive races of humans like African pygmies; on mysterious ancient archaeological sites, and how Native American accounts of UFO/alien encounters are woven into tribal mythos. In these respects, Jessup was a forerunner of Erik von Daniken whose books on ancient aliens playing a major part in the development of early human civilization became best-sellers in the 1970s.
Jessup’s writing style is plodding rather than racy and engaging, and overall the book is just OK; a minor classic likely to appeal most to the reader with an abiding fascination with this subject.