In 1947, Crisman was involved in the Maury Island incident, an early UFO hoax. Crisman's "fellow UFO witness" Harold Dahl believed the 1960s TV series, The Invaders was based on Crisman's life. Prior to this, Crisman had written to Amazing Stories magazine claiming that he battled "mysterious and evil" underground creatures to free himself from a cave in Burma during World War II.
In 1969, Crisman was subpoenaed by Jim Garrison to testify in the case against Clay Shaw in the John F. Kennedy assassination. A photocopied document later circulated among Kennedy assassination buffs claimed that Crisman was one of the "three tramps" allegedly employed by a secret government agency. During this time, he hosted a radio talk show under the pseudonym "Jon Gold" and wrote a book, The Murder of a City, Tacoma published in 1970 through Transistor Publishing Company. The book was described by reviewer Michael Sullivan as a "weird, politically slanted rant" that manages to "tie corruption in Tacoma to everything from communist infiltrators to the Kennedy assassination"
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