Part 1 of this article was focused on the life and involvement in Ufology of Albert Bender. He was one of the key figures in the development of the Men in Black phenomenon. Part 2 takes us to New Zealand and to an equally hazard-filled story. The saga starts with one of New Zealand’s earliest Flying Saucer seekers: Harold Fulton. He started his UFO research in the early 1950s and passed away halfway through the 1980s. Fulton served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. That was not all: he created the Civilian Saucer Investigation (CSI). Just like Albert Bender’s International Flying Saucer Bureau, the plan for the Civilian Saucer Investigation body was for its members to research and investigate cases – and to write-up reports on their findings. In other words, it was a well-planned operation designed to try and understand the nature of the UFO phenomenon in New Zealand. Interestingly, it wasn’t long before Albert Bender and Harold Fulton began to correspond with each other. Also mirroring Bender’s work, his group, and his newsletter, the CSI took off to a significant height. It wasn’t long after the creation of the CSI that Fulton and his colleagues had more than five hundred subscribers to the Flying Saucers journal. What began as friendly correspondence between the two soon changed. It became decidedly mysterious.
As I noted in my 2017 book, The Slenderman Mysteries: “It wasn’t long after the revelations concerning Albert Bender’s torturous encounters with the Men in Black surfaced that Fulton contacted Bender. A lengthy period of correspondence between the two duly followed. Indeed, Fulton had established a connection with numerous UFO researchers in the United States, including Gray Barker, who, in 1962, published Albert Bender’s MIB-themed book, Flying Saucers and the Three Men. The letters between Fulton and Bender (in my possession) make it very clear that Fulton was concerned that whatever it was that had got its grips into Bender was, by the summer of 1953, now doing exactly the same with him. Fulton told Bender (and MIB investigator/author Gray Barker, too) that on several occasions he experienced in his home the very same overpowering odor of sulfur-meets-rotten-eggs that Bender had talked about. Equally disturbing, Fulton began to see vague, shadowy, human-like figures out of his peripheral vision – and usually late at night, and always when he was engaged in his UFO research. They were wizened, goblin-like things that crept around Fulton’s home, in what amounted to almost a taunting fashion: they wanted to be seen, but not too closely. A bad sign that the Shadow People were on the move, perhaps?”
Intriguingly, some of the Shadow People that Fulton encountered way back then sound very much like today’s Hat Man, as the creature has become known. It is a dark, shadowy figure usually seen wearing an old-style fedora hat – hence the clear and obvious MIB parallels. During the summer of 1953, Fulton wrote to Bender and told the latter that he and his wife had been woken up on several occasions by an overwhelming smell of brimstone. It started in the bedroom and, eventually, overwhelmed the whole family home. Violent thumping on the walls of the house in the dead of night became regular.. It all sounded very much like poltergeist activity. On top of that, small balls of light flickered around the entrance to the bedroom. For Fulton and his wife, things were becoming nightmarish. It wasn’t long at all, however, before additional New Zealand-based UFO researchers told of their similar, nerve-jangling experiences. As an example, Fulton wrote to Bender about the incidents involving a man named John Stuart – a fellow citizen of New Zealand.
John Stuart lived in Hamilton, New Zealand and, like Harold Fulton, he was fascinated by the Flying Saucer phenomenon. Stuart’s experiences began in 1952. Stuart went on to write a book on the subject, UFO Warning. Not unlike Albert Bender’s 1962 book, Flying Saucers and the Three Men, Stuart’s publication was UFO-based, but it was somewhat tinged with matters of a demonic kind. Interestingly, Stuart began to experience something that John Keel wrote extensively about. Namely, weird, late-night phone-calls from strange characters with near-robotic voices. The first call for Stuart came in the early hours of the morning. Of course, on being jolted out of his sleep in the early hours of the morning, Stuart’s immediate thought was: bad news. As most of us probably would in such a situation. Well, yes, it was bad news. But, not of the kind Stuart was expecting. Rather, it was one of Keel’s creepy characters doing their best to terrify a UFO researcher. In simple terms, Stuart was told to quit Ufology. Or else. A shaky Stuart got himself a shot or two of whiskey. Now, the story gets even more complicated.
As is the case in today’s UFO arena, back then everyone knew everyone else – or, at least, they knew of them. So, when the rumor got out that Stuart was having close and clandestine encounters of a very different kind with a woman named Doreen Wilkinson – who was also active in the UFO field – it didn’t take long before most of the UFO sleuths in New Zealand knew of the claimed affair between the two. Of course, if both Stuart and Doreen were single, no-one would have been spreading gossip. Stuart, however, was married. The pair brushed the whispers away as nonsense. As for why they spent so much time together, Stuart and Doreen claimed it was solely because of the combined UFO research they were doing. Okay. We’ll never know and it’s all in the past now. Whatever the truth, the fact is that Doreen and Stuart spent a lot of time together. It was this togetherness that led to one of the strangest and most sinister of all the New Zealand-based encounters in the early 1950s.
It was during the early hours of the morning when Doreen and Stuart did most of their, ahem, “work.” There was something very strange, however. On occasion, Doreen’s personality would suddenly change. And change radically, too. She became what we might call a supernatural seductress. No, this was not a bit of fun and fantasy and playing role-games. It was as if Doreen had been possessed by a manipulative, sexually-charged, “demon,” as Stuart put it. Interestingly, Stuart vehemently disagreed with his colleagues in Ufology, who believed that Doreen was possessed by the spirit of an alien. Stuart was sure the entity that had Doreen in its grips was a literal demon from a literal Hell. Matters came to their peak when – also in the dead of night – something suddenly manifested in Stuart’s home. It was described as humanoid-like in figure, but clearly not human. The pair was naturally terrified. Stuart would later say that the thing made a move towards Doreen and forced her to have sex. On a second time, when Stuart wasn’t at home, Doreen was attacked and assaulted again – on this occasion, though, by an invisible creature. Enough was enough.
Just like Albert Bender – whose hazardous experiences caused him to quit Ufology – Doreen and Stuart also left the UFO scene behind them, disturbed by the possibility that the UFO phenomenon had a demonic aspect to it.