Well, for fans of the Men in Black mystery, here's something that may appeal. In fact, I'm sure it will. A new edition of Albert Bender's controversial and mind-altering 1962 book, Flying Saucers and the Three Men, is now available. Nope, it's not a hardback, softback, or Kindle edition (they're already out there). It's an audio edition, one which runs for in excess of five hours.
If you haven't read Bender's strange, little book, then getting acquainted with it in audio form is a good idea. It's a story that most definitely lends itself to a late night listening, when the moon is full, the air is cold, and the wind howls. The reason being that Flying Saucers and the Three Men - despite its title - has far more to do with the worlds of the occult, the supernatural, and demonology than it does aliens from faraway worlds.
It's ironic that most people's perceptions of the MIB are dictated by the characters "J" and "K" in the Men in Black movies, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. For those wondering, the letters "J" and "K" were intended as homage to the late and near-legendary John Keel, a leading authority on the MIB. In the movies, the Men in Black are the agents of a secret group that exists and operates outside of the confines (and even the knowledge) of regular government.
And why is it ironic? I'll tell you: unlike their movie counterparts, the real MIB have zero connections to government - any government.
There's no doubt that without Albert Bender there would be no MIB mystery. His run-ins with the dark-suited ones began in the early 1950s, and not long after he established the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB) in his hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut. So traumatic were the encounters with the MIB, Bender soon shut down the IFSB and quit Ufology.
That didn't stop Gray Barker - author, publisher, and trickster - from unleashing, in 1956, his very own story on Bender's experiences. Its title: They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. Barker was a skilled author who wrote in an atmospheric style, but who would very often take liberties with the facts, resulting in an output of a near-Gonzo nature. In Barker's book, the MIB are, without doubt, agents of government, the military, and the intelligence community. It was imagery that quickly took hold.
The problem is that Barker was way off the mark. Bender's early writings make it clear that his MIB were anything but G-Men and military officials. Indeed, that early 1950s correspondence mirrors identically with what appeared in 1962, in Flying Saucers and the Three Men - a book published by the aforementioned Gray Barker.
Bender's MIB were, in reality, pale-faced, shrunken-cheeked ghouls that resembled a combination of the staggering zombies of Night of the Living Dead and grim-faced KGB assassins. As pale as milk, foreign-looking, and possessing nothing less than glowing eyes, they didn't knock on Bender's front door (as Barker maintained), but literally materialized in the man's attic bedroom.
When Bender failed to heed the warnings of the MIB, he was hit by something akin to a psychic or demonic attack. His health - both physical and psychological - went downhill at a hurtling speed. He began to see shadowy figures following him around town, late at night. His bedroom was regularly filled with the odor of devilish brimstone. Paranoia set in. That Bender had a major fascination for the world of the occult may well have led him to become vulnerable, weak, and open to paranormal assault and torment.
Many might scoff (and, indeed, they have scoffed) at Bender's controversial words. But, I say, get yourself the new audio edition of Flying Saucers and the Three Men. Listen to Bender's words very carefully. What many interpret as the work of government, of aliens, or of nothing stranger than Bender's imagination, can easily be placed in a demonological context. Now, I'm not talking about horns, forked-tails, fiery pits, spinning heads, green puke, and all that belief-driven, indoctrinated nonsense, which is designed to try and control us via fear and guilt.
We're talking about something ancient, something evil, and something we don't understand. Something that enjoys targeting and manipulating the human race, and which can take on multiple guises as it seeks to torment us - one of those guises being the MIB.
Listen and be warned.