Albert Bender, author of the 1962 book, Flying Saucers and the Three Men, is inextricably linked to the enigma of the Men in Black. For that reason alone, it’s baffling that practically every researcher and author that has ever commented on Bender’s encounters with the dark-suited ones, has overlooked something massively important: his family’s links to a Woman in Black.
In 1933, while he just a child, Bender’s mother told him the chilling story of a family ghost, a definitive WIB. The story revolved around a second-cousin of Bender who, while only six years of age, moved into a creepy old house with his family. It was a house that sat adjacent to an old, abandoned mine-shaft. The mine was a downright eerie place: it was filled with angular shadows; old wooden supports creaked and groaned endlessly, and a multitude of bats and rats called it their home.
It was also a mine in which, years earlier, a despondent young woman slit her throat and, as the blood cascaded forth, threw herself into the depths of one of the darkened, old shafts. Her battered and torn body was finally recovered and was taken into the house in which Bender’s cousin lived, before being buried in the local graveyard. The woman, noted Bender, was said to have been a definitive witch, one that “lived alone with a great many cats and she was said to prowl about only at night.”
Bender added that: “My cousin wore a coin on an unbroken chain around his neck constantly, even to bed. After having lived in the house a few months, his parents noticed his health was failing. He would not eat, and claimed he saw a lady in black in his bedroom at night. Of course they thought it all nonsense and that he was only dreaming, but soon they began to have sleepless nights when the boy would scream out in his sleep and they would find it necessary to go and comfort him.”
In the early hours of one particularly fraught morning, Bender’s cousin awoke the family, wailing like a veritable banshee. His parents noticed that the coin had been unhooked from the chain and was positioned on the pillow. According to Bender, the boy told his mother and father that “the lady in black was trying to choke him and take his coin away from him.” The local doctor said the whole thing was down to nightmares and nothing else. Very soon thereafter, the doctor would be proven catastrophically wrong.
With no end in sight to the night-terrors, both parents elected to sleep in the boy’s room until things calmed down. On the fourth night, they were woken up by the menacing and horrific sight of a hooded, female form – dressed in black, and with anemic-looking skin – that slowly glided across the room, right in the direction of the boy.
A bony hand moved slowly down to grasp the coin, at which point the boy’s father lit a candle and firmly thrust it in the face of the WIB. Bender said: “They could see a pale, chalky-white face staring at them.” In an instant the terrifying hag was gone – and so was the coin. Not surprisingly, the family vacated the house within a week; the boy, to the relief of everyone, quickly recovered.
This is just the mere tip of the iceberg. Indeed, there is more to come on the Bender family/WIB connection – much more, in fact. And, it will all be revealed in my forthcoming book, Women in Black. The saga gets even stranger…