the tale of
the men in black
Three men in black suits with threatening expressions on their faces. Three men who walk in on you and make certain demands.
Three men who know that you know what the saucers really are!
They don't want you to tell anyone else what you know.
The answer had hit you like a flash, one night when you had gone to bed after running all the theories through the hopper of your brain. You had sat up in bed, snapped your fingers, and said, "This is IT! I KNOW I have the ANSWER!
The next day the theory didn't sound as convincing to you as it did the night before. Nevertheless it was a good one, and you had certain data which would more than half-way prove it. You wrote this down and sent it to someone. When the three men came into your house one of them had that very same piece of paper in his hand.
They said that you, among the thousands working on the same thing, had hit pay dirt. You had the answer! Then they filled you in with the details.
After they got through with you, you wished you'd have never heard of the word, "saucer."
You turned pale and got awfully sick.
You couldn't get anything to stay on your stomach for three long days.
-- Gray Barker
They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers
EVEN THROUGH the yellow-red glow of ancient flame flickering against a neolithic cave wall -- meant, yes, for warmth but also to protect against things unseen -- phantoms have lingered in shadow, silent, watching, waiting, always just beyond the limits of sight, sentinels of the solitary paths which lead across the borderland of consciousness into regions sensed, but unknown.
Across the long eons there they've remained -- shrouded in the morningtide mists of woodland fog or cloaked within the obsidian veneer of a moonless night, ever enduring, even as entire civilizations rose to their glorious height and then crumbled back into the dust from whence they came.
In latter-day, too, they stealthily abide, concealed and unspeaking within darkened city passageways, or lying in wait for the lost traveler along a lonely last road.
But for Albert K. Bender, in the very midst of the Gregorian twentieth century, the phantoms first made themselves known from the eerily unrevealed terminus of a telephone line...
I received a strange phone call while alone in my den. When I lifted the receiver there was no reply, but I sensed somebody was on the other end of the line, while at the same time my head began to spin and ache. No voice answered when I spoke, but nevertheless I seemed to receive a message, as if telepathically. The message decreed I should not delve into the saucer mystery any further. As I listened to the phone, I then heard a strange throbbing, humming sound, and then suddenly, as if a knife had cut it, the noise was gone, and I got the usual dial tone, without the click of anybody replacing a receiver.
For Albert K. Bender this was in the very modern year of 1952, but for the phantoms on the other side of the phone line, who knows? Albert's dwelling in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was temporally domained at the tail end of a long and turbulent history. The Pequonnock peoples of the Paugussett nation who had homed there since time unremembered had been struck down with the pox which was the only gift borne by the people from the sea, their smooth dark Pequonnock skin turning crocodilian, entombing them even as they lived, a macabre prelude to actual death, the few survivors forever scarred and displaced, their lands thieved from them, their sacred places despoiled. Soon anon came the first excruciation and execution of those who had once shared the pews of Puritan congregation, but who thereupon thence stood accused and judged as being spell-casting consorts of Lucifer, supreme regent of hell and lord of all evil, long before distant Salem would stake its own grisly claim to neighborly obliteration. Long years after, pirates came, plundering the length of the eastern seaboard but calling Bridgeport home, and along with their moneyed treasure came a wealth of spilt blood on briny decks and cobbled streets alike. Slaves as well suffered and died here, lashed under the deathly mercy of their self-proclaimed squires. Places of penitence, too, had their own tales to tell of misery, desolation, and doom, and in the late 1800s constables were reported by the local gazette to be living in dread of walking the jail yard at night, sensing something evil and unseen eyeing their every footfall. And it was in Bridgeport at this same time that Dr. George Porter secreted himself away to conduct his attempts to reawaken the dead.
With so many potential phantoms from which to choose, legions of spiritualists, too, made Bridgeport their home, tables tipping and knocks echoing as they sceanced together or shared a fingered place upon the planchette gliding from letter to letter across their candle-lit spirit boards. And it was from this century-old Bridgeport tradition that Albert K. Bender dimmed the electric light to find the communion most comforting to his soul, dabbling in magic, seeking whatever ancient arcana might now be brought forth once again into the world through the revelations of the occult books he lovingly gathered unto himself, the groans of the creaking old house he shared with his step-father only adding dark ambiance, the two of them alike alone, the older male haunting the downstairs below, while Albert took up his quarters apart in the large lonely attic above...
Late at night the attic became a creepy place. The floor boards creaked as you walked upon them, and on dark windy evenings stranger noises came from it. . . Visitors were often 'shaken up' and uncomfortable. . . I laughed heartily at their nervousness and amused myself by relating ghost stories at times. My friends eventually decided they enjoyed the spooky atmosphere and that probably was another reason for my fixing up the 'chamber of horrors'. . . by painting grotesque scenes and faces upon the walls of the room. . . and after about eight months I had done so good a job that it almost frightened me when I stood back and looked at all of it one evening. No wonder my friends found it so fascinating; for so many of the ghostly characters appeared to be looking straight at me, no matter where I might be in the room.
Accumulated also for amusement in Albert's attic had been "human skulls, shrunken heads, bats, spiders, snakes...". Nor was this the sum of the oddities to be found therein, for on the walls were 20 clocks which chimed each quarter hour, in keeping with both the mood of Albert's nighttime occupations as well as in his daylight world as chief timekeeper at a nearby factory.
But to Albert's way of thinking the spectral telephone call which had caused his mind to spin and head to ache bespoke not of phantoms from any of the underworlds of old, but instead heralded the arrival of unearthly beings only recently emerged on the earthly plane, the creatured inhabitants of the flying saucers helming their way through the ether, and carrying the warning to him personally to cease all attempts to apprehend their essence and meaning.
FOR ALBERT, IT HAD ALL started in early 1952, when -- fascinated by the growing number of saucer reports -- he began to see the coming of the saucers as a prophecy fulfilled. Focusing his full attention on the phenomenon, Albert became the founder of the "International Flying Saucer Bureau", its history and purpose reflected in the December 28, 1952, edition of the Bridgeport, Connecticut, Sunday Herald...
Flying Saucer Men to be Definitely Our Cup of Tea
There will be a landing by a flying saucer late in '53, according to Albert K. Bender, 784 Broad St., president of the "International Flying Saucers Bureau."
The flying saucer addict bases his assumption on the predictions of the prophet-monk Nostradamus who wrote, "A third word war will come to the world. A great ship from another world of high intellect shall land and intervene. These other worldians will help the Earth people."
There doesn't have to be a landing of saucers to convince Albert now. This enthusiast of inter-planetary disc hopping founded the International Flying Saucer Bureau last April with the specific purpose of aiding humanity by preventing war between the saucer travelers and earthmen.
EYE THE SKIES
He points to the fact that the organization, which listed 100 members in 16 states last August, now boasts 425 members throughout the world. Among those listed as members is the name Eddie Rickenbacher, "Capt. Eddie" who is carried on the rolls as an honorary member.
Members of the club submit all reports of flying saucer sightings in their area. These reports are compiled and reprinted in the IFSB quarterly, "Space Review."
Bender, who is chief timekeeper at the Acme Shear Co., wrote physicist Albert Einstein asking his opinions on the flying saucers.
The Wizard of Princeton replied: "Having no experience and only superficial knowledge in the field I regret not to be able to comply with your request."
Referring to Nostradamus, Bender said that he believes the visitors will come in peace and his organization is prepared to meet them on these terms.
The Bridgeporter said, that the unknown pilot of these suspected space ships has probably the power of mental telepathy.
And being tuned into the minds of such men as Bender, he will be aware of the IFSB's peaceful intentions and be prepared to respond in kind.
But Albert was merely hinting to his reporter-novitiate what he had already come to know, for the threatening silence on the other end of the telephone line had come to him some six months earlier -- two months after the formation of the IFSB -- followed in mere days by an equally chilling warning from above...
I was on a dark section of Broad Street when I suddenly developed a throbbing headache, and my ears seemed to block up. I felt as if something was pulled over my head to shut out everything about me. For some reason I looked up at the sky, and when I did, I saw a bluish flash. At the same time I had the sensation that my feet were being lifted off the ground. My head throbbed, and again, as when I had received the strange telephone call, I had the strong impression that somebody or something was telling me to forget IFSB, to give it up. As suddenly as the feeling came it left, and my head ceased to ache.
Nor was that the end of the evening's events, as Albert returned to his attic abode...
I unlocked the door and pushed it open. A large object of undefinable outline was aglow in the center of the room. It looked like a bright, shimmering mirage. As I switched on the room light the strange effect disappeared and everything seemed to be normal. . . I then noted another peculiar thing. A strange odor filled the room. It smelled like burning sulphur, and was so strong it irritated my eyes. I opened a window to let in fresh air and began a quick examination of the room because I had noted that several files of IFSB records were disturbed. I was startled to find my radio was on, but without any sound coming from it.
But Albert failed to heed the warning, and a month later, while sitting unaccompanied in a movie theater, the threat manifested itself physically...
I fancied someone had his eyes upon me. . . with a prickly sensation on the back of my neck. . . began to fidget in my seat. Suddenly I felt the presence of a person in the seat next to me, though nobody had been there previously. I had heard nobody enter and sit down.
I took a quick glance without turning my head, and saw a man sitting there; then the eyes drew my attention. I turned my head facing him and found myself looking straight into two strange eyes, like little flashlight bulbs lighted up on a dark face. The eyes seemed to burn right into me. . . I felt a spinning in my head and the movie screen blurred. I blinked my eyes several times then closed them for a few seconds. When I opened them the man was gone, yet I heard no movement.
Then glancing at the seat to the left of mine, I found him there, still looking at me with those eyes! Could I be mistaken in thinking he had been on the right of me? I couldn't be wrong! Was I losing my mind? The terrible shining eyes deliberately tried to meet mine and hold them in their stare, but I quickly arose and moved to another part of the theater.
But the changing of seats brought no change to the situation, and within minutes Albert once again sensed the menacing presence of the stranger, this time sitting behind him, boring into his being "with the same weird eyes". Unable to endure any more of this, Albert left the theater, but while stopping at a store window display sensed the menacing stranger just behind him once more.
"I had the feeling that the figure was definitely not human," Albert recalled, feeling frightened and alone. He returned to his attic that night in fear that the stranger might be there as well, but unlocking the door he found nothing on the other side but the usual grotesque faces watching him and the chiming of the clocks, and he was comforted.
THE THREE WARNINGS given thus far had not served to waylay Albert but to instead spur him on, for as the local scribe had said, "there doesn't have to be a landing of saucers to convince Albert now". And as the months went on new initiates were drawn into Albert's circle.
But nor were the messengers dissuaded from their task, and it was just after a local meeting of Albert's IFSB that the next warning came. Having seen his earthly visitors out, Albert heard discomfiting noises arising from beyond, from above, from his room, then found himself drawn up the stairs...
As I reached the top I noticed that the door to my room was open. I froze, as there again was that bluish light, emanating brightly from within. Cold chills went through my body. To bolster my nerve I said to myself somebody was playing a trick on me, and I picked up a broom from the attic and approached the open door. Looking inside I saw a bright glow in one corner, with some body or object appearing hazily in the center of the blue light.
"Cut the kidding and come out of there!" I cried out in a halting voice.
As I spoke the glow disappeared, but as it faded the image of two glowing eyes lingered for a moment. I turned on the lights and found the room normal except that again it contained the odor of sulphur, again so strong I had to open the windows and air out the place.
Albert told no one, but now contrived to act. Members of the IFSB from across the globe would, in Albert's own words, "send out a telepathic message to visitors from space" on an appointed time and day. But it was not a decision received well by all...
Discord first arose at IFSB [International Flying Saucer Bureau] headquarters at a meeting held early in March 1953. We voted to hold what we would term a "World Contact Day", on which we would urge all IFSB members to attempt to send out a telepathic message to visitors from space. If there was anything to the claims of people expounding telepathic methods, and if we did have visitors from space, perhaps such a message might get across, particularly with so many minds concentrating on the same message.
Two IFSB officials thought the idea was ridiculous and voted against it. They thought people would feel we had all lost our minds and that our organization would be ridiculed as a result. Other officials and I felt differently. The two opposing members turned in their resignations the following evening and withdrew all financial support. But this did not dishearten the remaining members of the executive staff. Two other sources, learning of the matter, offered financial support immediately.
So we decided to go ahead with "Contact Day", or "C-Day", and quickly multigraphed instructions to send around the world by airmail so that all members would get the material in plenty of time before March 15, the day of the experiment. We received letters from many who thought the entire thing crazy and said they would have nothing to do with it.
We do not know who took part and who did not, but I am certain that a great many of our members did so.
The special bulletin was as follows:
ALL OFFICERS, REPRESENTATIVES AND MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL FLYING SAUCER BUREAU
SPECIAL BULLETIN: March 15, 1953 is C-Day (Contact Day)
On March 15, 1953, all officers, representatives and members are asked to participate in an experiment, something that has not yet been attempted by any other group such as ours. We will attempt to send a message to the occupants of the saucers (if they exist) by the use of mental telepathy. Each member will memorize the message on this form, and on the time designated will close his eyes in a quiet secluded spot, lie down if possible, and repeat this message in his mind (do not repeat vocally). If the saucer people are able to pick up mental telepathy they certainly will be able to pick up a message that will be sent by hundreds of IFSB members. We may never know if this message has reached anyone, but if a sudden flurry of saucer sightings occurs in 1953 or soon after our message, or even a saucer landing, we will know that we may have been indirectly responsible for it.
Members must remember that, in order for mental telepathy to work, you must have nothing on your mind at the time you send the message. You must only think of the person or persons to whom you are sending the message, and repeat it over in your mind. You must not have troubles or worries of any kind in the back of your mind, as this will tend to distract. This experiment is not compulsory to anyone in IFSB; we merely ask you to volunteer your services in trying to make it a success. Everyone participating must do so at the time designated, and not too soon before or after the time shown. We are sending this bulletin far enough in advance so that you may be sure to have your clocks set correctly that day and that the message has been memorized.
(To Be Memorized)
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft! Calling occupants of interplanetary craft that have been observing our planet Earth. We of IFSB wish to make contact with you. We are your friends, and would like you to make an appearance here on Earth. Your presence before us will be welcomed with the utmost friendship. We will do all in our power to promote mutual understanding between your people and the people of Earth. Please come in peace and help us in our Earthly problems. Give us some sign that you have received our message. Be responsible for creating a miracle here on our planet to wake up the ignorant ones to reality. Let us hear from you. We are your friends. (End of Message.)
The date, the places, and the times for this message to be sent:
THE DATE: March 15, 1953
States in the USA using Eastern Std Time 6 pm
States in the USA using Central Std Time 5 pm
States in the USA using Mountain Std Time 4 pm
States in the USA using Pacific Std Time 3 pm
Great Britain 11 pm
France 11 pm
Australia March 16, 9 am
New Zealand March 16, 11am
Canada Same as United States
The day came and went, and as far as members of the IFSB knew, all was well.
But all was not well.
All was not well at all.
THERE ARE CIRCLES, and there are circles within circles, and closest of all people in Albert's inner circle was Gray Barker.
Like Albert, he had been drawn inexorably into the mystery of the saucers and their inhabitants, and in fact it had been in his birthplace of Braxton County, West Virginia, that a creature of monstrous countenance had been said to emerge from a saucer, gliding through a sulfurous mist toward a terrified woman and her children. Barker would delve into the ghoulish event and then pen an article for Raymond Palmer's Fate Magazine. And it was through another Palmer publication that Gray Barker and Albert Bender would be fated to meet, drawn together through the kindred spirit of their fascinations...
...it was through the letter columns of Palmer's magazine, Other Worlds, that I first found out about Bender.
A civilian investigating agency was being formed in Bridgeport, Conn., to look into the Flying Saucer Mystery, Albert K. Bender wrote. He called the organization The International Flying Saucer bureau, welcomed membership and assistance.
I wrote to Bender, offering my help...
Bender replied enthusiastically to my letter of November 20, 1952, was particularly interested in hearing more about the West Virginia "monster" I told him of investigating. He would welcome my membership, but more important he asked, would I become a representative of IFSB for the entire state. Representatives had already been appointed in fifteen states, and machinery was being set in motion to institute foreign chapters. The response to his letter in Other Worlds had been overwhelming.
And it was Gray Barker who would later reveal to the world the eerie events following Albert's worldwide "Contact Day"...
The eye-witness accounts piled up in our files. We analyzed them and assessed them and compared them, looking for corroborative details and sometimes succeeding, looking for contradictions, looking for hoaxes, looking for a key that would unlock the mystery. More and more new members joined the IFSB. In the course of my work for the Bureau I met some its other active representatives. One of these men was Dominick C. Lucchesi of Jersey City...
He got into flying saucers through Bender...
Another of these men was August C. Roberts, who, as did Lucchesi, became a close friend of mine through our work for the Bureau.
And it was through Dom Lucchesi and Augie Roberts that Barker would later learn of the events following "Contact Day", a foreshadowing of which would appear in the IFSB newsletter, Space Review...
On the same day Bender wrote to me, however, he called a meeting of the IFSB local staff in Bridgeport, according to the October, 1953, issue of Space Review.
They agreed upon a statement to be published in that issue:
"After serious consideration of all aspects involved in the operation of the International Flying Saucer Bureau, it has been decided to completely reorganize. Effective January 1, 1954, we will no longer be known as the International Flying Saucer Bureau, which specialized only in the mystery of the Flying Saucer."
Even then it would appear Bender was holding back something from me. Something that later on he would describe only to a few close friends...
I couldn't for the life of me figure out Bender's letter of September 16, 1953...
The mysterious part of his letter was the third paragraph.
"I do not know if I advised you or not, but do not accept any more memberships until after the October issue of Space Review is in your hands."
Did Bender plan some change in the organization? True, it was growing by leaps and bounds. I t now had representatives in nearly all the 48 states, branches in five foreign countries. Maybe, I thought, he had found it necessary to reorganize in some fashion, in order to handle operations on the larger scale now possible and necessary.
My mind flashed back to the April, 1953, issue of the quarterly publication in which the staff stated "A STARTLING REVELATION BY OUR PRESIDENT" would be published in the next number. No revelation of such anticipated nature had appeared in the next issue, that of July, 1953, to my knowledge, and that was strange, I reflected.
Then Bender's letter, come to think of it, didn't sound right. It was formal, stilted, not like Bender at all. Since we had become very good friends through the mail, our letters were quite informal, contained many references of personal nature. This one sounded odd, if only because of its abrupt, businesslike manner.
I was to get the shock of my life when I received a tape-recorded message for Lucchesi...
The relevant part of the message...
But actually, Gray, some very interesting things have happened...
It all began when Augie bought a new car last week. I worked on it for him Saturday, making some adjustments they had missed at the sales agency.
The next day being a Sunday Augie said he'd like to try the car out on a long trip, and we decided to drive up to Bridgeport and see Al...
On the way Augie's car overheated, probably due to a blocked radiator, and we decided it would be more practical to turn back... Augie called Al from his house, telling him we wouldn't be able to get there.
Augie asked A lot if there was anything new in "saucerology," as he put it...
This is all very hard to describe about Al, that is, for actually the conversation was not between Al and myself, but between him and Augie. Actually the phone call lasted for about 20 to 25 minutes and Augie and I had been thinking previously about the strange silence from Al regarding saucers -- his lack of correspondence. So Augie questioned him as to what recent events had occurred since he had written.
To make a long story short, Gray, I can't give it to you word for word, what happened is something like this:
Al told Augie that Space Review WOULD come out on October 15, but whether it would come out after that was something else.
It seems something strange has occurred in IFSB.
Well, Augie was quite persistent, and kept pushing Al for more information. Finally Al stated bluntly, "I know the secret of the disks!"
He added that three men had visited him, and in effect shut him up completely as far as saucer investigation is concerned!...
In other words, Al told Augie that he knows what the saucers are!
And that the three men pledged him to silence!
Augie asked Al if he should continue with his... research which would assist in the solution of the problem, and Al said for Augie not to waste his time or money delving deeper into the saucer mystery.
Gray, from Augie's conversation with him, and my own impressions upon hearing his voice during this telephone call, it seems a great change has come over Al.
It appears he has lost all the interest and enthusiasm that used to seem to set him on fire -- so to speak -- now that he evidently knows.
Al said that they, the three men, more or less edited the copy he will use in the next issue of Space Review. So I am looking forward to receiving that issue, to seeing how badly butchered the truth will likely be.
Disturbed, Gray Barker telephoned Albert Bender personally...
He didn't sound natural. He acted as if he didn't want to talk to me. I asked him to confirm what I heard from Lucchesi and Roberts.
"What they told you is true. I know what the saucers are."
I pressed him for additional details.
About all I could get from him were statements such as "I can't answer that," or "I don't care to comment further." ...
I did draw from him an unusual attitude, for Bender, who formerly was enthusiastic about saucer research:
"The saucers don't interest me any more. I've lost all interest in them."
"Was that because," I asked, "you found out they were too ordinary to be interesting (I was hinting they might have turned out to be government devices), or that what you discovered about them is painful for you to think about? "
"The latter," he said, with a detectable hint of fright in his voice.
Later Lucchesi and Roberts would make another attempt to discern more, this time visiting Albert in person. They quizzed him at length, and sent Barker their notes...
Roberts does not record who asked specific questions, he or Lucchesi, nor does it matter. Both quizzed Bender...
Q. When did the three men visit you?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Who were the men?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Were they from the government?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Do saucers come from space?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Are the saucers real; are they made of something solid?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Does it have anything to do with the space platform?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Can you tell me where you found your source of information?
A. I was turning a theory over and over in my mind. When I got some actual names and places to back it up I submitted it to someone. Then the men came.
Q. Who was that "someone" you mention?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. Does it have anything at all to do with the Shaver Mystery?
A. No answer at all (Bender tensed noticeably when asked).
Q. Is the flying saucer going to be a help to the world?
A. It's going to be both good and bad.
Q. Are the saucers going to harm us in any way?
A. I can't answer that.
Q. What do you think of Shaver? Is there anything to his stories?
A. No answer; Bender changed the subject.
Q. Do you think it will be safe for me to go on the skywatch tower all alone at night?
A. It would be safer (Roberts believes Bender probably meant to say it would be safer on the tower than it would be on the ground).
The question and answer session continued for quite some time, the transcript giving the feeling of a psychic reading by one placed in a trance --- and who knows, it might well have been that Albert was indeed in a trance, being told what to say or acting as a medium for others who spoke through him, for he would go on to state that he had been threatened with arrest if he continued, and many other details in which he made clear that it was earthly representatives of the government he had encountered, though it would be a far different story he would later reveal to the world.
But the story of those events in 1953 were already three years old and not yet generally known when Gray Barker published his book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers in 1956, which included one more detail from the Q&A...
Q. Did you notice what the men wore?
A. They wore the same type of clothes and hats. Dark clothes and black hats.
And from that moment forward, the "men in black" would enter legend.
THAT HAD BEEN the story as told to and by Gray Barker, but Albert had yet to come forward publicly himself. That would change in 1962, when Barker finally convinced Albert to reveal all, in a book published by Barker but written by Bender, Flying Saucers and the Three Men, at last telling the "true story" of the events of "Contact Day" and the days after...
On March 15, 1953, in my den at Bridgeport at exactly 6.00 pm, I proceeded to take part in the experiment as planned. I put out the lights in my room and then quietly lay down on my bed. After studying the saucers for eleven years, I felt that I would try anything that might help solve the mystery. Saucer investigation had become the biggest part of my life, and I had worked diligently to reach a solution. As soon as I was comfortably situated on the bed, I closed my eyes and began to repeat the message over and over -- three times, to be exact.
It was after the third attempt that I felt a terrible, cold chill hit my whole body. Then my head began to ache as if several headaches had saved up their anguish and heaped it upon me at one time. A strange odor reached my nostrils -- like that of burning sulphur or badly decomposed eggs. Then I partly lost consciousness as the room around me began to fade away.
Then small blue lights seemed to swim through my brain, and they seemed to blink like the flashing light of an ambulance. I seemed to be floating on a cloud in the middle of space, with a strange feeling of weightlessness controlling my entire anatomy. A throbbing pain developed in my temples and they felt as if they might burst. The parts of my forehead directly over my eyes seemed to be puffed up. I felt cold, very cold, as if I were lying naked on a floating piece of ice in the Antarctic Ocean.
I opened my eyes, and to my amazement I seemed to be floating above my bed but looking down upon it where I imagined I could see my own body lying there! It was as if my soul had left my body and I was hovering above it about three feet in mid-air. Suddenly I could hear a voice which permeated me but in some way did not seem to be an audible sound. The voice seemed to come from the room in front of me, which remained pitch dark.
"We have been watching you and your activities. Please be advised to discontinue delving into the mysteries of the universe. We will make an appearance if you disobey."
I replied in words, though my lips did not move. "Why aren't you friendly to us, as we do not mean to do any harm to you?"
"We have a special assignment," came the reply, "and must not be disturbed by your people."
As I tried to remonstrate, I was interrupted by another statement. "We are among you and know your every move, so please be advised we are here on your Earth."
With this, the voice faded away, but I could sense that something was watching me. My body seemed to drop suddenly and I once again regained my senses and realized I was on my bed. The room was filled with yellow mist. Not far from my bed was a shadow, resembling that of a man, but as I made a move to rise from the bed it disappeared. The yellow mist was gradually fading and my room was becoming normal.
I rubbed my eyes in bewilderment. I couldn't believe that what I had just experienced had been real. I must have dozed off, and with the telepathic experiment on my mind must have had a terrifying dream as a result. Looking at the clock, I noticed it was five minutes past six, which certainly would have allowed time for me to have slept and dreamed.
As I sat up on the edge of my bed I grew sick at my stomach; I felt as if I had eaten something rotten. Had I really experienced something unearthly? I could hardly force myself to rise from the bed. My head still throbbed and the spots over my eyes retained the same puffed feeling.
After a while I got up from the bed and walked about the room. I heard a humming and noticed that my radio was on. I turned it off, as I realized I had not turned it on when I came into the room. The same thing had happened on previous occasions. I was beginning seriously to feel I might be losing my mind. Again I wondered if I should tell anyone about it.
I sat down and made a diary of everything I could remember of the experience, sealed it in an envelope and locked it in the desk. I felt that if anything of a serious nature did happen to me, somebody would find the envelope and would know what had happened that day.
After I convinced myself that I had fully recovered from the experience, I was left puzzled by a smell of sulphur which lingered in my room for two days afterward. This smell had accompanied the other experiences and had been the most physical part of them. This time I opened my windows and used room sprays to get rid of the odor, but this did not completely dispel it. When I went to bed I still could smell it in the bedclothes. This convinced me even more strongly that I was witnessing some very real events and that I would no longer be wise to assume they had been my imagination or dreams.
I felt I should bring some IFSB officers into my room and have them witness the odor, but thought better of it. I did not want to divulge my experiences to anybody, for fear that it might be repeated and I would be thought of as a crackpot or insane. If publicity should get in the newspapers, I would become the laughing-stock of Bridgeport, and, worse, I might lose my job. My best friends would advise me to see a psychiatrist and I might even end up in a mental hospital.
I knew that people throughout history have witnessed strange events but were unable to convince others they were telling the truth. Many people are not convinced of these matters until they, themselves, experience them -- then they look for believers, only to be met by charges of "fake" and "fraud".
It is a lonely position you occupy when you have looked into the fantastic, and there is nobody to believe you have actually done so. Picture yourself, say, alone on a beach at night, when suddenly out of the sky a flying saucer appears and lands a few feet from you. Strange figures get out and walk toward you. They greet you and then get back into the ship and sail away. You go home and tell others what you have witnessed, but with no proof, other than your reputation for truthfulness, to offer. They laugh and tell you that you should lay off the stuff for a while, that you are seeing much more than the average person -- they see only snakes! How could you convince them; how could you win when they are all against you? I felt up against the very same thing after the happenings in my room. I did not know what to do or where to turn.
After some time went by and nothing further happened to me, I decided that I should write up the whole thing in Space Review, so I made a notation in the April number that I would make a startling revelation in the July issue. I consulted two of the officers at the meeting and took them into my confidence about everything that had happened. But they were of the opinion that I had invented the story in order to gain more publicity for IFSB, and insisted they didn't want their names dragged into it. They said they felt that the policy of the IFSB was to tell the truth and nothing but; if I went ahead with my plans they would drop out of the organization, and such an action would make me appear as mentally unbalanced.
From that time onward I had trouble trying to convince them of anything or to get them to do anything for me. One of them further threatened that if I publicized my "nonsensical plot" and he became connected with it, he would have me arrested. So after considering the attitude of these two people I decided against publishing anything about it at that time. When the July issue came out without the scheduled announcement, many members wrote me, asking why it had not appeared and what it was all about.
Secretly I sat down and wrote up the experiences of C-Day, with the intention of mailing it to some official in Washington, DC, possibly the Pentagon, to see if they would help me in my dilemma or if they, too, would share the reactions of our own officers. I locked the report away safely because I wanted to think about it for a few days before mailing it. When I did get up enough courage to mail it, I went to get it and could not find it. The inside of the box where I had locked it contained the now familiar odor of sulphur. I searched the box thoroughly, but the report had vanished.
Had one of the members with whom I argued been able to get into the box and remove the document? I used this as a mental argument because I did not want to believe that its disappearance was a part of the phenomena the paper was written about.
Soon afterward I would have the biggest shock in the chain of frightening events. I will never forget it as long as I live, and to me it is the greatest yet the most fantastic thing ever to happen to anybody on Earth.
It happened the day I returned from a two-week vacation. My room had been locked all the time I had been away, for my stepfather knew how fastidious I was about my room and seldom went into it when I was not around. On that hot July evening I carried my suitcases up to my den and unlocked the door. As I swung it open, an inordinate smell of staleness met my nostrils -- intermingled with the sulphur odor. I opened all the windows. Everything seemed to be in place, just as I had left it, but again the radio was on. This time the set was so hot that it is a wonder it had not started a fire while I was away. I knew I hadn't left it on before leaving on vacation. As usual, the dial was set to a portion of the band where no station came in. I shut it off and told my stepfather about it when I went downstairs. He assured me nobody could have been in my room and that I had simply forgotten it when I left.
I ate a cold snack and decided to go to bed since it was late and I was very tired. I went back to my room, closed the door and latched it. I had a washroom in my den and set about cleaning up before sleeping. After I had brushed my teeth and gone back into the room, I sensed that something was just not right. Then the prickly feeling came at the back of my neck, and my eyes began to water.
Blue lights appeared from nowhere and swirled about the room. I grew dizzy as the areas above my eyes throbbed and again felt puffy. I stumbled to the bed and threw myself upon it. As I did so, I felt my body grow icy cold. I could feel I had quickly come under the complete power of someone or something.
The room seemed to grow dark, yet I could still see. I noted three shadowy figures in the room. They floated about a foot off the floor. My temples throbbed and my body grew light. I had the feeling of being washed clean. The three figures became clearer. All of them were dressed in black clothes. They looked like clergymen, but wore hats similar to Homburg style. The faces were not clearly discernible, for the hats partly hid and shaded them. Feelings of fear left me, as if some peculiar remedy had made my entire body immune to fright.
The eyes of all three figures suddenly lit up like flashlight bulbs, and all these were focused upon me. They seemed to burn into my very soul as the pains above my eyes became almost unbearable. It was then I sensed that they were conveying a message to me by telepathy. Their message went something like this:
"You have dedicated yourself to the solution of the strange problem of unidentified objects in your atmosphere. Your interest is deep and sincere and you have devoted many hours to it. We also know that such interest and determination might lead to something that could bring you harm. We feel that you are a very good contact for us on your planet of Earth. You are an average person, and we know that what we tell you and show you will not be believed by anyone you might tell.
"You are not a person of great renown on your planet; therefore we have nothing to fear at present. We have a purpose for being here, and we will be here for some time yet. We must not be disturbed in our ultimate goal. As you see us here, we are not in our natural form. We have found it necessary to take on the look of your people while we are here. This is mainly used as a means of returning here without being detected by anyone. We have made numerous contacts with Earth by means of craft from our own base and at present we have craft hidden at a remote spot on your planet. We have found it necessary to go to great extremes at times to frighten off your Earth people, and it has resulted in their deaths. We have also found it necessary to carry off Earth people to use their bodies to disguise our own.
"We wish to keep in touch with you and tell you many things because one day you will write about this, and we are certain that nobody will believe you, but you will be much wiser than anyone else on your planet. You will know what is out there in space, and you will know what the future holds for your mankind. You will see all three of us again, but we shall not reveal our names as they would mean nothing to you. Refer to us as Numbers 1, 2 and 3. We will answer according to number. We will leave with you a small piece of metal similar to your coins. It is to be kept in a secret place of your own. We wish to have you come with us at a time to be announced to you soon."
I was to keep the piece of metal and when I wished to make contact with them I should hold it tightly in my palm and close my eyes, at the same time repeating "Kazik", and turn on my radio. I should contact them in two days, at this same time. As they gave me this information, one of them went to my radio, turned it on and switched the dial. I asked him mentally why he was doing it, and he replied only that it was a method of getting back to their base.
They disappeared, and once again I could feel my body resting on the bed. I was covered by perspiration, though during the experience I had felt so cold. In my hand was the piece of metal: finally I had physical evidence that I was not insane. This cheered me in spite of the shocking circumstances I had just encountered.
The metal was most peculiar. It seemed to shine almost like a light. In weight it was very light, yet very hard. I tried to make a mark on it with a file, without success. With the metal I could make somebody believe me. I put it in my locked box for the night. Already it was 2:00 am, and lying down I went off to sleep, waiting for morning when I could reveal the news to everybody.
When I awakened I thought the experience of the preceding night had been a dream. Then I thought of the metal. I jumped from bed and went to the box. I couldn't find it! I threw all the contents out on the floor, but the metal was not there. Then I wondered, as I had previously, if it had been a dream. I had been very tired; I had gorged myself with a midnight snack and it had given me a nightmare.
I felt disappointed as I thought I would be looked upon as a person of importance if I could only produce the piece of metal to back up my story. Then I thought that the three men in black probably had read my thoughts and taken the metal until they again made contact with me. Perhaps they did not wish me to tell, or to have the metal fall into the hands of the government. This piece of metal could reveal the truth that we were under surveillance by people from space.
I felt sick all day and couldn't eat. I told my stepfather I wasn't feeling well, and that it was probably due to the heat wave we were having. I felt uneasy at work and little things upset me. I was cranky and snapped at people for no reason.
Two days after I'd either had the contact or experienced a dream, I waited in my room to see what would really happen. For the sake of curiosity I went to the box where I had put the metal. When I opened the box it was there, glowing slightly -- in the same spot I had placed it two nights before! I reached in and got it, and, as I did, so the thought of showing it to somebody came back into my mind. As I thought of this, the metal began to glow with a deep red color and got so hot I had to drop it. When it hit the floor it resumed its former appearance. I could see that I was not to use it for any personal glory or gain, so I picked it up again and decided to try to contact the three strange personages who had recently been my uninvited guests.
I held the metal in the palm of my hand, switched on my radio and repeated the word "Kazik" several times. For a few seconds nothing happened. Then again I got the sensation of extreme cold enveloping my body. My temples throbbed like the breast of a bird when you hold it in your hand, and excruciating pain abounded just above my eyes. Again an overwhelming power was taking over my entire person. I immediately went to my bed to lie down: I felt so giddy I was afraid I would fall.
I had hardly touched the bed when once again I could sense leaving my body, and looking back could see myself lying on the bed as I drifted away from it. Everything went dark and I felt myself floating, as if on a cloud. How much time this floating consumed I do not know, but it seemed like days. My only feeling then was the pain above my eyes. Why I should have this annoying discomfort I did not know, but it must have had something to do with the transformation taking place. I sensed that the living part of my body was being transported to some other place -- where, I didn't know. I squeezed the shiny piece of metal tightly in my palm, as if it were my only contact with reality and life. Very well it might have been.
A sudden jolt ended my floating and all movement ceased. The darkness cleared away and I was suddenly surrounded by a brilliant glow, as if the beam of a large searchlight had suddenly hit me in the eyes. As my eyes grew accustomed to the brilliance, I began to make out my surroundings.
I was in a huge, circular room with a glass dome. The walls gave me the impression of stainless steel, but they seemed to give off light, accounting for their unusual glitter. I was seated in a chair made of the same metal, while directly before me I noted a sort of dais where a large tubular object about eight feet in diameter was mounted in the wall. Other similar chairs surrounded me, reminding me of a theatre or lecture room. I looked for a door, but the walls appeared smooth and unbroken all the way around. The ceiling was made of glass or some transparent substance, for I could see what resembled a night sky with twinkling stars above. My first impression was that of being inside a flying saucer which had landed in some secluded place. The chair was of simple design, modernistic with straight lines. It was made entirely of the shiny metal. It tilted backward slightly so that I had a full view of the area in front of me where the dais was located.
Once again I was thrown into complete darkness. I tried to rise from the chair but found that although I could move my arms and my head I could not raise my body to a standing position. A bluish light began to make itself present on the dais directly behind the tubular object; then, out of nowhere, a wall panel slid open and someone stepped onto the dais. The panel closed, the person walked to the edge of the dais and spoke to me (his lips did not move).
"Welcome to our domain. We now meet under different conditions. You are where no other Earth creature has ever set foot. In this domain you will witness things that will be most astounding to you, things that you did not know of on your planet, things that will make you disbelieve what your very eyes are witnessing."
As he conveyed this message, he seemed to be using words I could speak myself, somewhat as if I were talking to myself -- this is the very best way I can describe it. I could understand everything well. I assume this and other communications were carried out by means of telepathy. Whether it was augmented mechanically or electronically, I do not know. He continued to deliver the message.
"Behind me you will see a large circular object, and if you will focus your eyes upon it I will endeavor to tell you something about ourselves and why we are here."
He made a motion with his hand and the large circle immediately came to life, in some ways similar to a television screen.
"The first pictures you will see will show you the part of the universe from which we come. We are far from the reaches of your Earthly telescopes."
With this, he motioned again and a spectacular view appeared. It seemed that the tube had come to life and that I was actually there. It had a fluorescent appearance, yet was in full color. I could see a group of glowing objects on a dark background that appeared to be blue, yet at times seemed to be a velvety black. I can best describe the picture by comparing it to a "3-D" movie, but this will not do it justice. Added to the stereo effect was a peculiar identity I associated with it -- almost as if I were a part of the picture itself! He then continued.
"The view you now have on the tube is our home. It is many, many light years from your small system of planets. We are much older than your system, for we were created long before the Earth or any of the planets revolving about your central body. All of these systems of planets and their central bodies have been formed from a central source so powerful that you could not even approach it by light years, for if you did you would be immediately destroyed. It is a vast, glowing body so immense one cannot calculate its density. It is the creator of all of us, and more families of planets are constantly being formed and thrown off into orbits. Such systems are not always perfect, and some disintegrate after a few years.
"We do not all revolve at the same rate of speed, and eventually some of us overtake others after billions of your years on Earth. We have overtaken your system many times before, but, of the years that have passed between, you could never begin to conceive. Your planet was not always inhabited, although others in your system have been before yours; but the years have made changes, and many civilizations have died on other bodies in your family of planets, while others are to be yet created.
"Most of the smaller bodies revolving about your planets were at one time parts of the planets themselves, but were thrown clear when the bodies took their ultimate shape and cooled down. The nearest planet to Earth at one time nurtured a great civilization which was destroyed by marauders from another system of planets in an orbit beyond ours. They will once again make their appearance in the future when they reach this same spot in their trip about the central body. Almost every system of planets that has an orbit about the central body contains some sort of intelligent inhabitants, but not all the same in body structure, being adapted to the various conditions that exist on their particular worlds. Because many of these are far advanced in their ways of life, your planet Earth will constantly be under surveillance by these systems as they overtake you and pass you by. Your planet is yet an infant as far as progress is concerned, and you have far to go to accomplish what many others in your neighboring systems have already achieved.
"Your planet has been disproportionately cursed in some matters, which so many do not suffer and which slows your progress. For instance, our planet has but one race and one people. Because of your many races and national groups, there may always be conflict which may result in the complete destruction of your world.
"We have been within reach of your system for a number of years, but will soon pass beyond the point of no return. So we have found it necessary to accomplish our task speedily.
"We have been taking a valuable chemical from your seas. This substance is vital to our existence, so whenever we come within reach of a planet that contains such sea water we go there and take the material without harming anyone who lives there. We process the sea water to remove this substance. A sticky residue that remains floats back to your planet in the form of long strings. In the past we have been careless and have allowed some of this to fall upon land areas; but we are now more cautious and make certain that it returns to the sea from which it comes. As the sea water is broken down and the vital product extracted, it is shipped immediately to our own planet by a spacecraft capable of speed you could hardly imagine possible."
He then paused in this discourse, and with a motion of his hand changed the picture on the tube. I saw a landmark familiar to every American: the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the surrounding area.
"You wish to know why I am showing you this view," he continued. "It is only to inform you that we have some of our people stationed in your so-called Pentagon while we are visiting your planet. We have them stationed in numerous places about your planet, to keep us informed of all that is taking place."
The next scene showed a vital spot in the United States, but unidentified as to locale. It was one of our atomic stockpiles. Then, continued changes of scene exhibited similar storage places in the United States and other countries including the Soviet Union. I asked him why he was showing this to me, and he startled me with his blunt answer. I sensed he wished to appear friendly, but his reply led me to doubt.
"With the push of a small button in our space laboratory we can detonate every bomb you have in your stockpiles all over the globe, causing almost total destruction to your planet."
The first thing that came to my mind was the question, "Why would you want to do something so horrible?".
His reply was also blunt and to the point. "Only if we were discovered and your people tried to stop us with whatever means they had at their disposal. But having looked over your planet thoroughly we have nothing to fear in this respect, for nothing you have on Earth could harm us. Our weapons for self-defense against marauders in space are far superior to anything you have."
Then he switched to a horrifying picture that made me shudder. It depicted a hideous monster, more horrifying than any I have ever seen depicted in the work of science fiction or fantasy artists. The monster was alive. As I reacted in repugnance to this scene, I did not see the speaker leave the dais, and started again when I noted his absence.
He then seemed to be speaking from the screen itself, and from the mind of the monster itself. It was as if he had instantly changed himself from the form of a man to a creature which appeared to be similar to that pictured by the West Virginia witnesses who described the Flatwoods monster!
"You view me here on the screen in my normal appearance. I note you find me horrible to look upon, yet the people on our planet do not find me horrible. We looked upon your people as odd when we first saw them evolve. We watched your people develop from small sea creatures into what you are today, but if your planet continues to exist without self-destruction, your people will change in appearance over the billions of years ahead. For your atmosphere will change. It will become thinner. Your supply of oxygen will diminish, and you will find it necessary to exist on whatever type of air mixture you may have at that time. This and other environmental changes will lead to necessary adaptations in body structure. Continued experimentation with radioactive material will undoubtedly have effects upon future generations. This could even lead to loss of reproductive capabilities, which could eventually leave your planet devoid of human life. These things are ahead of you and you must face them and solve these problems if you can. To us, your progress is of academic interest but little more.
"On our planet we have three sexes: female similar in function to yours; male also similar to yours; and the third is neither male nor female. These latter individuals are the exalted ones who become our rulers. They are few, and when they are born there is great celebration. Our females bear eggs which are stored away. We control our population, and these eggs are permitted to be hatched only when the great blackness covers our planet and takes many lives."
The great blackness and many other things would be explained at a later date; but evidently he felt I had witnessed enough at this time, for the screen glowed bluish again and went black.
Once again he stood on the dais in human form. He then went to the sliding wall panel and, as it opened, disappeared behind it. The room suddenly went into complete darkness, and I felt myself losing consciousness. Then again I had the feeling of being on a cloud and drifting off into space. As I held tightly to the piece of metal, the icy coldness enveloped my body. My temples throbbed and the pain above my eyes returned with frightening, sharp jabs as if needles were being thrust through my skin.
Then all movement seemed to stop and my head cleared. I opened my eyes and found myself lying upon my bed in my own room on Broad Street. I sat up and looked about. Glancing at the clock, I noted only half an hour had elapsed. It didn't seem possible that so much could have taken place in such a short time, but it had -- and I really didn't know how far I had travelled.
Of the entire experience, my mind dwelled more greatly on the monster I had seen on the screen -- and yet it wasn't really a monster as we would think of the term. We had created pictures of monsters here on Earth, and the many representations we made of such creatures had led us to think of them as hideous, terrifying, supernatural and unearthly. The last is more likely to be correct, but not in the fashion of our thinking. They could be terrible to look upon only because we have made them appear so to everybody; but actually they could possess an intelligence far superior to ours. Such had been the case with the person in the room with the glass dome.
I opened my hand and looked at the piece of metal resting in my palm. How was I to tell anyone? I would be open to so much ridicule that life could become almost unbearable. I had actually been transported to another place -- perhaps the inside of a spacecraft, as I had surmised previously. It had been accomplished in the span of half an hour, yet I had learned so much in that length of time, had been exposed to matters no other person had ever seen or heard before, even in their wildest imaginings.
Many might ask why I, instead of some noted scientist or astronomer, had been the person chosen for such an adventure. The only reason I could summon was that which my visitors had given me -- that I was an average person, interested in science and flying saucers, who had devoted much valuable time to the subjects. If I related my experiences it wouldn't mean anything, simply because people wouldn't believe me. Had I been a well-known scholar or statesman, I might possibly be believed. If people did believe, they might become horrified and go into mass panic. This the visitors did not want, for they had a job to do and wanted to go about it without being disturbed. They had not come here to cause trouble; they felt we had enough of our own.
I found myself with an overwhelming desire to relate my fantastic experiences to somebody who would listen to me without questioning my sanity. So I put the metal away in my strongbox and telephoned my closest friend, who was a member of the executive committee.
I asked him to come over right away to discuss something which had happened to me and which I could not talk about over the phone. He didn't seem to be impressed and wouldn't answer yes or no about coming over. He talked hesitantly as if he were building up to some point, then blurted out, "Say, Al, stop having those pipe dreams so you can get publicity for the IFSB! Do you think people are going to believe such nonsense? Give up the idea of making contact with creatures from another world. If they were going to contact somebody, it wouldn't be you. There are more intelligent people around they would want to meet!"
He hung up as I held on to the phone with a sinking feeling. My best friend had refused to listen to me. How would others react? What a predicament to be in -- with nobody to confide in. What had I got myself into?
Suddenly I became conscious of and more afraid of another threat, a mundane terror which eclipsed the more unearthly fears I had gone through and survived. What might happen if my story did get out to the wrong people? I was reaching a kind of numb familiarity with the people from another world, and as I chuckled somewhat ironically to myself I realized that my final downfall might more likely come from a visit by a different kind of men -- dressed in uniforms of white, freshly laundered at their home base, the booby-hatch!
I didn't know when I might be contacted again, but I hoped it would be soon! Now for the first time I found that what the aliens had shown me had given me an insatiable curiosity to learn more. It was as if the film had broken during an engrossing movie and I was sitting in the darkness hoping it would resume soon. This curiosity had grown into an incredible longing to see and hear more from them.
I had to make a decision about my further relationships with the IFSB. I decided that my best way of handling the committee would be to tell them only part of the truth. I could tell them I had a visit from certain individuals, whom I could not name, who had warned me against further investigation of UFOs. If I told them they had shown credentials, had revealed much to me as to the secret behind the saucers, and that the saucer mystery was approaching a solution, the committee might tend to be satisfied and even attach an Earthly explanation, in their own minds, to my actions.
I would simply tell them it would not be possible to publish anything, because such was not the proper method, nor was it the proper time for such an action. All information was being withheld by orders from what I would simply term "a higher source".
I decided the best possible thing to do would be to discontinue publishing Space Review in its present form, for I already knew the secret of the UFOs and no one would believe the story anyhow if it were published. Why go on conducting an investigation of something no longer a mystery?
Money for memberships was pouring into IFSB headquarters. I felt that accepting memberships under the present circumstances was not fair, for these were joining under the charter of the IFSB which stated we would one day find a solution to the mystery and inform all members about it. So this was the main part of the business conducted at the next meeting. As I had hoped, the committee agreed to everything I proposed after I had told them the altered version of the visitations. I asked them to reveal nothing I had said until Space Review came out in October. They pledged their silence, but I was to learn within a few days that the pledge was not kept.
We informed state and foreign representatives not to accept any further memberships because changes were in the making. They were to wait for the October issue of Space Review which would give more details. Our biggest job would be a clerical one, that of going through membership records and determining the amount of money to be refunded after the next issue came out. We must determine if the treasurer had enough money in the bank to make all of the refunds. We wanted to be financially square with all subscriber-members since they had remitted the money in good faith. Thus, the wheels began to turn to stop all further investigations and to close the IFSB.
In August 1953 I was to have the pleasure of again visiting the people from another world -- an experience that would be even more revealing than the last one. I had no way of knowing exactly if and when I might receive another visit, but just for experimentation I often removed the metal from the strongbox, turned on the radio and repeated the word. Nothing happened, however, so I gathered it just wasn't time for a visitation.
On a hot evening in August I was in my room busily editing copy for the October issue of Space Review when I thought I heard a board squeak in the attic just outside my door. I got up and went to the door to see if my stepfather might be walking about in the attic, looking for something. No light came from under the door, so I figured I had imagined the noise -- until once again the odor of sulphur reached my nostrils. The odor was faint until I sat; as I did so, it became stronger. Kneeling to the floor I discovered it was even stronger there, so I supposed it had the characteristic of creeping along the floor, then rising until it reached the nostrils. Because it had always accompanied a visit from these strange beings, I could expect them shortly. I puzzled myself with the question of the odor. I had never asked about it, but would make a point to do so the first opportunity I had.
I didn't know whether I should open the door and look out into the attic or wait and see if someone was already in the room with me. As the odor grew stronger, however, I finally opened the latch. As I did so, my heart almost stopped beating! When I opened the door, there stood the same figure who had sat next to me in the theatre, followed me on the street and had paid me a visit in my room. He motioned for me to go back into the room as his eyes focused upon mine with that same luminescence. I thought he was alone, but found I was mistaken when I saw two others directly behind him. All three came into the room and closed the door.
A chill came over me as these three figures occupied the very room in which I had experienced the almost unbelievable transport of my body from one spot to another. What could they want by actually appearing in this manner and taking a chance of being seen by some other person? I backed away from them toward my bed. One came forward while the others stood in the background, looking about the room. This was my first opportunity to see them at such close range.
Their clothing was made of a black material which reminded me of cloth used in the attire of clergymen. It was well-pressed and appeared almost new. All the other apparel such as ties, shirts, stockings and shoes was also black. They wore hats, of Homburg style, also black. Their faces were unpleasant to look at. Their eyes shone like tiny flashlight bulbs and the teeth were pearly white, set in a very dark complexion. I could not see their hands; they were covered by black gloves. A bluish radiance enveloped their entire bodies, and I wondered if this was giving off the sulphuric odor.
Again I was frightened. I waited for some move on their part, for I didn't know if I was to be treated kindly or with aggression. The figure closest to me soon settled the matter as he spoke to me in the usual manner, without moving his lips.
"We have come to take you to a most important meeting, and such is the distance that all of us must accompany you. You are to see our base of operations here on your planet. Please take your small metal disk with you."
I went to the strongbox where I kept the piece of metal, took it out and held it tightly in the palm of my hand. Then, turning to the figures, I waited further developments. They approached me and formed a circle about me, and for the first time these people from another world actually touched me. They placed their hands on my shoulders, and as they did so I felt as if I had been touched by a piece of dry ice. My whole body suddenly went numb as if I had received a giant dose of novocaine.
That was the last I remembered until I opened my eyes and found myself in a large cavern of some sort. The immense size astounded me, for I had never seen or heard of a cavern such as this one. I was not even certain I was still on Earth. After the fantastic events of the past months, I would not have been surprised had I found myself on the Moon!
My three companions were still beside me as I noticed we stood on a platform made of a bright shiny metal, reminding me of stainless steel, and a bright beam of light shone on us from an object in front of us but not far away. I wondered why so much light also came from above, and looking up discovered the reason. The entire ceiling was made of ice, and light from the surface was shining through it, illuminating the cavern. It appeared as if some superhuman being had carved this enormous cavern as a human would form a hollow spot in the snow with a hot iron. A tremendous amount of heat surely had been used to create such a hideout.
I had a remarkable feeling that I was still on Earth, but at a remote spot where man would likely never set foot for many years. My escorts noticed my keen interest in my surroundings and pointed to a metal path directly ahead of me, indicating I should take it. I walked on, and as I did the beam of light followed us. The path continued straight for some distance, then made a sharp turn to the right; and there, nestled in a larger portion of the cavern, loomed a huge cigar-shaped object resembling one of our rockets, though as big or bigger than one of our ocean liners. I couldn't see the other end of it from my vantage point, but noted it was constructed of similar shiny metal and contained porthole-type openings in its side.
The path led directly to a panel in the side of the enormous object. As I reached the panel, the beam of light which had accompanied us focused on a small bubble on the panel. At once it slid back, making a shrill, piercing noise. I entered, followed by the three escorts. As we did so, the panel closed behind us with the same noise. I could not hope to imagine what would happen to me, why I had been brought here and whom I was to meet.
We were in a long corridor with panels at various points along the walls. Above all the panels were small, glowing bubbles, some of the same color, others varying in hue. My escorts halted at one panel and one of them removed a small cylindrical object, similar to a flashlight, from his clothing, and shone it on a small hole in the panel. The door slid open at once. They beckoned me to step inside, and I found myself in a room resembling a laboratory in a chemical plant.
The lab was equipped with complicated machinery, all of which seemed to be made from the same shiny metal. At many locations in the long lines of tubes and coils, globular glass containers interrupted the flow of a travelling liquid which was clear like water. It was evidently heated by some means, for it was bubbling away into vapor. My impression was that of witnessing some distilling operation of gargantuan scale. At one end of the lab stood a huge instrument complex of gauges, lights and meters. Someone sat at the panel, working levers and pushing buttons. As we approached, my three escorts stopped and the panel operator turned to them and spoke, still without lip movement. Although I had been able to understand all which had been said previously, I could not grasp their communication. I knew, however, they were conversing.
The operator retained his natural, monster-like appearance, as I had seen on the screen in the room with the glass dome. He was no taller than my escorts, but quite ugly. His outline was bulky and almost oblong. But his eyes conveyed that same glow, and when he looked at me I could feel them burning into my very soul. I then sensed he was speaking to me.
"Welcome to our base of operations here on your planet of Earth. You have travelled many miles to reach this spot, but the time has been only seconds, whereas you would require many days to reach this same area by your conventional means of transportation.
"You are at a spot on your planet known as Antarctica. We have chosen this area because it is uninhabited and there is no one here to disturb us in our task. We have made this base by tunnelling into your ice-covered surface and burying ourselves, with only a small opening through which our smaller craft may enter and depart. The intense cold here does not disturb us, for we are not affected by your range of temperature. Our bodies acclimate themselves readily to such ranges. The surface of our home planet is barren and the cold even more intense than here in your southern polar region.
"All our cities are constructed underground. We have crater-like openings on the surface, through which we are able to elevate spacecraft stations for take-offs and landings. When these stations are not in use they descend into the craters, and the landing fields serve as a cover for the openings, with only communications towers visible.
"I have been instructed to show you just what we are doing with your sea water which we are taking from the surface of your planet. First we will show you how this water reaches us, so we must go to an adjoining room. Your escorts will take you on this tour and then will return you to this room, where I will explain the breakdown of the water."
With that he dismissed us. My escorts led me to another wall panel and, again using the 'flashlight', caused it to slide open. We stepped through into a long, narrow tunnel that looked like a New York subway, though on a much smaller scale. We approached a small mobile unit containing seats. It was supported by a single rail and evidently was used for transportation throughout the large enclosure which I believed to be a spacecraft. At their motion I climbed into one of the seats, and they also seated themselves. No sooner were we seated than the unit sped down the track with a humming noise. A light shone from its front and illuminated the passageway. I noted many lights along the route we were speedily traversing, and gathered these were stations along this monorail set-up.
We came to a sudden halt and stepped onto a platform facing another panel. The escort with his door-opening device again flashed it, and we entered a large circular room that was buzzing with activity. The wall was covered by instrument boards before which seated operators manipulated levers and buttons. Lights flashed here and there. Fenced off by metal railing was a large circular opening in the floor. We walked to the railing, and I estimated the opening to be about sixty feet across, if not more. Looking down I saw an elevator-like device ascending. It reached the floor level, and without halting moved toward the ceiling. As it rose, a panel in the ceiling opened. A large cylinder, evidently working from below, supported the platform, which halted when it had protruded through the ceiling.
A large screen then lighted on a nearly instrument board, and a bright dot appeared. The dot moved from one side of the screen to a point near the center, reminding me of a radar screen. The dot then glowed red and died out. From above came a vibration, as if something had struck the roof lightly. The platform then descended, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw what it supported as it reached floor level.
Here was my first view of a real flying saucer, and I was only a few feet from it! What a beautiful machine to look at: completely round, with a section of portholes, and a single metal rod protruding from the top of the craft. It was constructed of the same shiny metal. I couldn't detect any door or panel from which occupants could emerge, but later would be enlightened on that point.
The saucer descended through the opening in the floor until it was out of sight. My three escorts then took me to a round pillar, about nine feet in diameter, in one section of the room. He opened a panel which closed after we stepped inside the pillar. I noted we were in an elevator, as one of the men pressed a wall button and the floor began to descend.
When we stopped, the panel again opened and we stepped out into a long tunnel of such size I could hardly believe I was still inside the large craft. The saucer which had just descended on the large elevator was now just in front of us. A long tube had emerged from under the craft and was discharging what appeared to be water into a funnel-like device that sucked the liquid inward with great rapidity. As the eyes of one of my escorts glowed into mine, he conveyed the message that this was sea water from the surface of the Earth.
After the saucer had discharged its load, it moved along a track to a siding similar to a railroad yard, for many such tracks traversed this tunnel, and I had rubbed my eyes when I caught sight of so many saucers, all sitting on sidings with platforms for the occupants to use when entering and departing. In Earth terminology, I suppose this would be called an enormous saucer garage. The smell of sulphur lingered all about, and I wondered if this odor had anything to do with the fuel being employed.
We retraced our route and again I found myself in the laboratory from which we had begun our tour. The 'monster' I had previously met in the lab confronted us, and for the first time since they brought me to this strange place, all three escorts departed. The 'monster' took me to the instrument panel and pointed to a small gauge containing figures of odd appearance. From beneath the gauge a pipe extended to the walls and into the system of coils and tubes.
This, I was told, was the point where the sea water entered the lab from large tanks below. It was sent through the tubes and coils where it was processed to obtain the product they needed. I learned not one single thing about how the process worked or the nature of the final product they extracted. I hoped I might see the finished product, and was delighted when I learned I would now have such an opportunity.
He took me to an adjoining room where a huge machine occupied its center. It contained many meters, gauges, buttons, dials and the like. The machine emitted a strange noise as three operators, similar in appearance to my guide, adjusted knobs and operated switches. From the far end of this machine, a small conveyer in a glass tube carried tiny blocks of compressed material, which reminded me of bouillon cubes, through the wall. I was allowed little time in this room, and no offer was made to show me anything further about the processing. I assume that great secrecy surrounded the final disposition of the processed material, and sensed this was a forbidden area of discussion.
Once again I was taken back to the lab, where my three original escorts waited for me. From their actions I gathered my tour was not over. Again we took a ride on the monorail system, this time stopping at a different station but again stepping into an elevator. We emerged into a brilliantly lighted, semicircular room containing a row of chairs. The floor intrigued me for it reminded me of tile, but each block was made of the shiny metal, with a hammered design -- a masterpiece of workmanship like nothing I had ever seen.
A large panel faced the row of chairs, and over it a large bubble glowed a deep red as we seated ourselves directly before it. One escort arose, went to a panel of buttons at one side of the panel and pressed one of them. With a hum, the panel slid open. He motioned to us and we arose and followed him through the door, down a long hallway to yet another panel. We stopped for a few seconds, whereupon a red light glowed above the panel, and the same escort again pressed a button and the panel opened.
I found myself in another semicircular room, though larger than the first. The walls were covered with glass screens of milky-white appearance similar to television picture tubes. The screens were divided by metal frameworks. In the center of the room stood a circular dais on which I noted a slanted instrument panel, containing many buttons and knobs, mounted on a metal pedestal. In front of the panel was a seat for an operator not yet present. We walked to the center of the room, stepped up onto the dais, and sat in a half-circle of seats before the panel.
Immediately the room began to grow dark, and from a sliding panel facing us on the opposite wall stepped a figure glimmering in a blue haze. He was dressed in a uniform of golden color. His silvery white hair contrasted with the skin of light brown color. He appeared as if he might have a very heavy suntan. As he drew closer, my attention focused on his face of handsome features. It was almost Earthlike, contrasted to the ugliness I had observed in the others. He was of muscular build and about nine feet tall. I gathered this was the "exalted one" about which I had been informed, and that this bisexual entity was in charge of the base and probably the entire planetary operation.
The three men rose as he approached, and I did likewise. They bowed as he stepped upon the dais. Each of my escorts then took a piece of metal, like mine, which I then discovered they were holding tightly in their hands, and in turn walked to the exalted one and pressed it to his forehead. I presumed I should do the same, and followed suit. When I touched his forehead with the metal I felt a tingling shock go through my arm and into the temples of my head. The exalted one sat at the operator's position in front of the instrument panel and we also seated ourselves.
He turned and looked directly into my eyes, and I noticed that his eyes also glowed. Like those of the others, his eyes seemed to penetrate deep within me. Then he spoke to me without lip movement.
"I bid you a cordial welcome to our base of operations on your planet, and it is with deepest esteem that I permit you to be our honored guest because you have given so much of your time to establishing friendly relationships with visitors from space. We knew of your activities long before you tried vainly to contact us with your experiment. Prior to our personal contact with you, we had you watched. We were merely testing your sincerity.
"Having proven to us that you were a trustworthy person who had much willpower, you, above anyone else, were chosen to visit with us and learn of our purpose here on your planet. You have already learned many things about us. You have listened courteously without troubling us with many questions, but I am certain you have many you would like to ask us, so we are now prepared to permit you to ask any questions you desire; but we must be free to decline to answer any we feel is out of order. May we now hear your questions?"
Here indeed was the moment I had awaited; an invitation to satisfy my curiosity upon so many points and to hear the answers direct from the 'head man' of the saucer people on Earth. Giving the matter quick but considerable thought, I decided I must ask questions of importance for I didn't know how much time would be allotted for the interrogation.
My first question came out without great hesitation.
"How long have you been on our planet?"
He answered unhesitantly, "Since the year 1945 in your length of time."
I continued. "What is your main purpose in coming to our planet?"
"To obtain water from your vast bodies of sea."
"For what purpose are you using this sea water?"
"We cannot answer that, but we have shown you what we do with it once we obtain it."
"Do you intend to stay on our planet long?"
"Perhaps a period of fifteen of your planet years."
"Do you make trips back and forth to your planet while you are here on Earth?"
He did not answer "Yes", but replied, "We have been changing our crews every two years."
"I was told that you return some of the waste material from the sea water to the sea from which it came, but watching your process I did not see how this was done."
"The waste is returned in the small craft that bring in the fresh supply. It is actually strewn while the craft is in flight."
"Do you intend to cause any harm to our people while you are here?"
"We have found it necessary to frighten many, but we also have had to resort to graver action in some cases which involved deaths among your fellow Earthmen. We have carried off many of your people to our own planet for means of experimentation and also to place some of them on exhibit for our own people to see. We have specimens of peoples from many planets, but some of them do not live. These we preserve. Such has been the case of your Earth people; they have not survived."
"Do you intend to take me to your planet at any time?"
"We would not take you to our planet unless you became an obstacle in our path; then we might find such action necessary."
"Have I been an obstacle to you so far?"
"You have not done anything to harm us, but you have delved deep into the minds of our people by your determined initiative."
"Why have you chosen me above some of our most brilliant men on our Earth?"
"Any person of high intellect or position in your society would not be satisfied with what we had shown or explained to him at this point. He would be inclined to keep the secret only until he was out of sight and then would have everyone out searching for us."
"May I ask you some questions that have been puzzling me for many years, to which there is, of course, no true answer here on Earth as yet? Our scientists only surmise and guess as to these things and do not know for sure."
"You may ask any questions you like, but, I repeat, I will not answer if I feel I should not do so. Let us have some of these questions."
"The big question I wish to ask first of all: How far does space extend? This is our biggest mystery."
"You have chosen a very important question, and I feel you are clever for doing so. Space or the great void has no end as far as we have been able to explore. As we explained previously, there is a large main body from which all the planets and their suns are formed by means of being cast off into this vast void we call space. This main body seems to grow in size and never diminishes, despite the fact that it discards new bodies constantly. It is so hot a mass you could not go near it, even in terms of billions of your light years. All the bodies cast off are hot, burning balls of fire, and as they reach the cooler parts of space they explode and form smaller bodies that circle them. These smaller bodies become planets as they cool off, but the cooling-off period consumes many, many years. We have sent out spacecraft to explore the regions beyond the circling bodies where there is an area that is deep black and in which you are unable to see anything. This vast black area is waiting for bodies to fill it. We have lost many of our exploring craft that went too far into the deep black and never returned. I think it would be clearer if we showed a picture to you on one of our screens. If you will look upon this frame of light you will receive a better idea of what we have tried to explain."
The dais revolved until we faced a lighted screen. On it appeared a three-dimensional sky map, showing the large central body glowing a fiery red, twirling about and sending off balls of fire which seemed to take paths around it. Many small solar systems revolved around the central body -- so many that it was impossible to determine some of them from others. Each body was a small speck of dust, and I suspected that many of them were thousands of times larger than Earth.
Circling the edge of the screen was a deep, inky black from which not a speck of light shone. This was the outer void which had no end, the region from which their people had not returned. This magnificent view vanished and I resumed my questions.
"Since you have explored so much of space and the bodies that are now about us, I would like to know if there is life on any of our other planets in our own solar system."
"It was mentioned to you previously that at one time people existed on the planet you call the Red Planet, or Mars. They were destroyed by people from a passing planet similar to ours. They were exploited and ravaged by these visitors. The other planet nearest you, called Venus, is covered in shroud because it is going through a prehistoric stage similar to the one your planet experienced so many years ago. Life is just developing there. Whether it will be like that of your Earth we do not know, but it has similar characteristics to life in your early evolution."
"Are there any signs on Mars that life did exist there?"
"Yes, there are ruined cities which were masterpieces of architecture, and the remains of a vast system of waterways that were used mainly for travel. When destroyed, the people there did not employ air travel; neither had they developed a technology to equal your present state of progress."
"Many of these things you have told me are similar to what some of our astronomers and scientists have surmised. Are they correct in most of their assumptions?"
"You have many wise men and women on your planet, and they could go to great lengths with their intelligence if they would make use of it in a peaceful way, without trying to destroy each other with horrible weapons."
"Are there any other inhabited planets in our system?"
"You are the sole planet with human life in your solar system."
"Could a person from Earth survive on any of the other planets in our solar system?"
"No, not without special equipment."
"Do you think we will ever reach our Moon or Mars or Venus?"
"Yes, you will reach your Moon, but it holds great disappointments for members of your races."
"Is the Moon rich in minerals that we might use here on Earth?"
"Yes, it is very rich, and I might add that, unknown to many of your people, there is moisture in many of the craters of the Moon."
"What caused these craters?"
"Most of them were caused by a cooling-down process when the Moon was thrown from the Earth itself; but some of them were caused by large meteors which hit the face of the Moon when another solar system was thrown from the central body at about the same time your system was born."
"Do you believe in God?"
"That is a creation of your people on Earth. You have strange races and colors in your people, and many languages are spoken, but it seems that all your peoples have had the desire to worship something during their evolution. They, growing like small children, wanted to have an anthropomorphized idea to cling to. Their belief was so great that in some cases miracles seem to have been created. These were written down for others to read, but these stories were told over and over until they are now considered to be true."
"What about Jesus Christ here on Earth?"
"A great believer in the God, with miraculous attributes of great exaggeration. He could not save himself from death, and even his own race did not believe in him, yet they worshipped the same God."
"Do you not have a god on your own planet, and do you worship anything?"
"We do not worship anything, but we all know that the great central body created all of us and cast us off into space to form a life or to remain a barren piece of matter floating about."
"What about Jesus Christ ascending into heaven, since they could not find his body?"
"We have studied all these things of your planet and have often thought how primitive your people appear to be. They are easily convinced of anything. They can be led by anyone who can turn their loves or hatreds in directions so desired by leaders. Yours are a vulnerable people: as long as somebody leads them, they feel safe. On our planet, every person is independent and his own leader. Some may be superior in intellect, but they are merely respected and do not become leaders. In the case of your religious leader, Jesus Christ, the wisest man of all was not the religious leader himself, but the person who devised the idea to hide away or destroy his body so that for centuries afterward people would benefit from the celebration of the birth and death of this prophet. It is best to leave many things unsaid in the area of your religions, for it is a topic which causes great upheaval on your planet."
"Is there a life after death?"
"On our planet there is no life once the body is destroyed, but we are fortunate in having a life-span five times your own. Some live even longer, but they are the gifted ones. We have no disease on our planet, but the thing which causes many to die is the great blackness that covers our planet when we pass a certain cluster of celestial bodies on our trip around the great central body. This has been our reason for living underground and sealing all surface openings against penetration of a strong gas which troubles us at such times."
"How do you account for the apparitions and ghosts that people claim to see?"
"It will surprise you to learn that beneath the surface of your planet, far down in cavernous cities, live creatures that are able to make themselves invisible when they come to the surface. They roam the surface of your planet quite frequently and like to cause fright to cover their stealing of certain things which they take back with them."
"What would you say is the cause of the dreaded disease of cancer we have on Earth?"
"The advent of your gasoline-propelled vehicles is a main factor."
"Will there ever be a cure?"
"Yes, your learned men will develop a cure."
"Could you show me some scenes of life on your planet?"
"I had hoped you would express curiosity about this, but I first wanted you to feel free to ask about your own."
At this point the lights dimmed and the dais revolved, as screens about the walls lighted with scenes of life on the planet of these strange visitors. The exalted one pressed buttons and pulled levers on the instrument panel as he explained the scenes, or "frames" as he termed them.
"In the first frame you will see a view of the surface of our planet, in one particular area. If you watch closely, you will see how the elevated landing fields come up from below with the massive towers and elevator shafts. Many of our cities are not connected by underground passageways, and therefore major travel is carried out on the surface by the small craft."
As he explained each frame, he kept his eyes focused upon me. My head continued to throb and my eyes burned, though I was so fascinated by the experience I almost forgot the discomfort. Soon a second frame appeared. This showed an underground city. It was magnificent, lighted like daylight by some unknown source. Buildings were connected by transparent tubular roadways, supported only by the buildings they connected. Small vehicles moved in both directions in the center portions of these tubes and people walked on both sides.
The next frame depicted a building resembling a vault or tomb. An inside view showed walls containing drawers or trays. In opened trays appeared objects which looked like ostrich eggs. These, I was told, were the future generations of the planet, hatched by controlled system whenever the blackness approached and caused many deaths. I learned, too, they were also hatched to replace any persons dying of accident.
Another frame exhibited a large underground firing range where several people practiced the use of a peculiar firearm. It was a silver, tubelike device with several buttons on the handle. As the men pressed the buttons, large fireballs shot out the end and burned through huge sheets of metal placed some distance away. I was told this was one of their weapons. But of the firing, this impressed me most: after the fireball pierced the thick metal, it would make a loop and slowly return through the air until it once again entered the 'gun' from which it had been fired! The ball returned in a kind of slow motion. This evidently recharged the tubes, for, once the ball had returned, it was fired again.
I asked further questions.
"Is this your most powerful weapon?"
"No, it is not. We have a weapon that is even too horrible to show to you."
"Could you tell me a little of its nature?"
"It is a ray with a long range which burns up everything in its path."
"Have you ever used this weapon in a warlike manner?"
"Only to ward off invaders that try to do us harm."
"What is the food on your planet? Do you have plants and animals?"
"We live mainly on a fungus kind of growth similar to your mushrooms. We grow many varieties, of different food values. We also consume many types of shell-covered water creatures. Large plants which grow near our bodies of water bear delicious fruit. From this we make many of our food products."
"If you have water on your planet, why is it necessary for you to take water from our seas?"
"The water of our planet contains no impurities. We have no water similar to your sea water which is so rich in many things."
"Would it be possible for me to write about my experiences so that others on Earth can learn of your existence?"
"We do not want you to tell anything to anybody about what has happened to you. You must keep all of this a complete secret. To date you have done well, though your reasons for secrecy have been motivated by factors other than fear of consequences from us. As long as you possess the small piece of metal, you will be under our power."
"Why does my head hurt so severely when I am in the presence of you or those who have visited me at home?"
"We are able to penetrate your skull and gain complete control of your body."
"Is there any possible way by which you can convince me that this is not just a dream? Can you, let us say, perform some kind of maneuver or make an appearance near my home which not only will make me realize that you actually exist, but will also demonstrate your reality to others who are skeptical about the existence of the flying saucers?"
"We can create an event that will prove this to you, but we do not wish you to tell others of its actual genesis. In a few days we will send one of our small craft into your area, where it will eject a fireball which will penetrate something of little value. We will not harm anyone, although it could cause a great deal of excitement in your community."
"Will this occur near my home?"
"It will be near enough for you to hear about it and see the results."
Suddenly the exalted one rose, and I knew that the interview had ended. He bade me farewell, and then each of the three escorts approached him and pressed their metal discs to his forehead. They said I should do likewise. The exalted one then left the room in the same manner as he had entered.
The three men guided me back to the monorail car and we retraced our route back to the small metal ramp where we had first entered the spaceship. Although I am certain the temperature must have been extremely low, I did not feel any change of temperature. I did find myself clutching the piece of metal more tightly, and as I released the pressure lightly I immediately felt cold. The metal may have been a factor in keeping me immune to the low temperature -- I never did think to ask questions about this.
As I descended a flight of metal steps onto the floor of the cavern, my three escorts suddenly halted me and again formed a circle around me. They held the pieces of metal to my head and I again lost consciousness.
When I regained my senses I was standing alone in the center of my den. The headache remained and my eyes burned and felt swollen. I sat down on the bed and rubbed my eyes and head. Again I wondered if I were going out of my mind. Had I suffered some kind of fit? Had I dreamed this and the other realistic experiences? I began to think it might be logical and wise to see a doctor.
Suddenly I realized I no longer held the piece of metal, and my fears grew. Acting on impulse, I ran to the strongbox and opened it. There, at the bottom of the box, shining as before, lay the metal disc! I picked it up, and as I did so the pain over my eyes grew intense. As I replaced it in the box, the pain went away. I locked the box again and went to my bed to lie down. As I did so I looked at the clock and noted it was 4:00 am. I had been gone about six hours! Only a few hours remained before I must go to work, so I lay down and fell almost instantly asleep.
Albert would have no more to say on the subject until five years later, when in 1967 he sent a recording to be played at a ufology conference held in New York, telling of a new book to be published, which would reveal experiences Albert had gone through after the publication of Flying Saucers and the Three Men -- most of them resulting in the unintended death of people Albert disliked.
"A strange, forceful compulsion would overtake me," he said, "a compulsion that defied natural instincts, and betrayed me to thoughts I had never before conjured in my mind.... Something, someone, was crushing and distorting my values and judgment".
And for Albert that "something, someone" was clear. "I thought that I was all finished with the three men in black. But actually I haven't finished with them. They're still about. I thought they had gone... And I'm frightened. And I have tried to and live the way I should live, but this thing is in the shadows in the background and keeps coming forth."
Albert, it seemed, was seeing his phantoms still.
THEY'RE ALL gone now -- Albert Bender, Gray Barker, Dominick Lucchesi, Augie Roberts, and presumably the creatures from Kazik as well, all of them now bereft of the human cloaks they once variously donned.
But the specters they left behind are with us still, in mind, in memory, and in legend -- for as Albert K. Bender learned to his ultimate horror...
...phantoms, once summoned forth, are never, ever, wholly dispossessed.
1. Quotes for above are taken from primarily from They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers and Flying Saucers and the Three Men.
2. Gray Barker's They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers may be read at the Library portal of this site.
3. Albert Bender's second book was never published.
4. Albert Bender's recorded message played at the 1967 ufology conference may be heard in at the Audioplex portal of this site.
Whether you need some serious styling for your walls at home or work or are on the lookout to give someone a special gift they'll treasure forever, you support the work of Saturday Night Uforia whenever you shop for great posters from AllPosters.com from any link at this site -- any, each, and every time you start your shopping from here. You still get the same great deal as your friends and family, but a little will be sent back our way as a thank you from AllPosters.com. And you'll have the extra satisfaction of directly supporting the work of Saturday Night Uforia while treating yourself or friends to something special... like any of these great sci-fi movie posters (you can even have them mounted, laminated, or framed). Just click on the pic for a larger version...