Many of our Associates have purchased and read a copy of this 194 page, illustrated volume, the latest of publisher Gray Barker's output, but none have written a review nor even cared to venture an opinion; though they have asked me, what do I think of it? If you want to read Bender's story in the original, send $3.95 to Saucerian Books, Suite 17, Terminal Bldg., Clarksburg, West Virginia.
He didn't send a review copy so we borrowed one from Associate Gladys Domogalla, while staying in her home in Fortuna last month. She believes Bender's story, so does Gray Barker, so do I. To those without training or belief in occult science, Bender's experiences are science fiction -- a combination of wish-fulfillment and an over-active imagination. Could be.
To me, one fact stands out above all others in the Bender story. His International Flying Saucer Bureau was shut down in nine months. Bender had started what promised to be the biggest and best Flying Saucer Club in the business in 1952. A natural leader, his efforts aroused national and international interest, memberships, mail and Saucer reports flowed in from all over the world. His headquarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut was swamped with correspondence. Such a widespread effort was bound to crack the secret in time. The IFSB had to be stopped, and stopped it was, cold, dead in its tracks. The "silence policy" of the U.S. Government on Flying Saucers -- and of the secret world government -- was maintained. This is not science fiction; this is fact.
My review of the Bender story is built on this incontrovertible base. Albert Bender's straightforward description of his personal life at the time of his experiences reveal that he was an easy mark for psychic attack. Apparently he and his step-father lived alone in a two story house in Bridgeport. Bender's quarters were in the attic on the top floor. A house without women is an unbalanced house. There, in his sanctuary, Bender could indulge his taste for science fiction, and the grotesque and macabre in occult literature. The large attic room outside his bedroom was forty by forty-five feet. Being something of an artist he turned it into a gallery of the hideous.
"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, as 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."
He added to the spooky atmosphere by adding a collection of twenty chiming clocks, which banged away at the quarter, the half and the hour. One wall of the room was still empty. To this he added a full color painting of the solar system and, of all things, a sketch of his conception of the hidden side of the moon, which "caused much comment and conjecture . . . Developing my horror motif further, I discarded my table ornaments and substituted macabre items such as artificial human skulls, shrunken heads, bats, spiders, snakes, black panthers and the like."
A local paper heard of Bender's Chamber of Horrors and did a story on it "showing me in my strange vault of creatures which it termed 'out of this world'. I began reading books on black magic, occult subjects and other similar works which I found deeply engrossing . . ."
He dabbled in magic, with no success in table-tipping, and surprising success with a yes-or-no technique using the Holy Bible. There was a history of psychic phenomena in his family. Bender's later psychic experiences indicate he may have been a reader of the Shaver Mystery and also the Hefferlin Manuscripts, two 1940s preludes to the Flying Saucer phenomenon which broke in the public press in June 1947. Albert clipped Saucer news stories from the beginning and by 1956 was organizing this material in files.
"I indexed the sightings, arranging them both chronologically and by subject matter. After completing this task, a study of the data led me to only one conclusion: most of the material was true; a great many of the sightings were valid; that a great many people were really witnessing phenomena which were not of earthly origin."
There is a photo of Albert Bender on the book jacket. It reveals a clean-cut, serious minded young man, with bow tie and glasses, who would push his faith with missionary zeal if he were an orthodox Christian; but not being orthodox Bender pushed his enthusiasm into borderland fields and his mission became the cracking of the secret of the Saucers. Informal discussions at his home and on the job as a supervisor in Acme Shear at Bridgeport finally led to organizing the International Flying Saucer Bureau on Jan. 15, 1952.
THE "SPACE REVIEW"
It wasn't long before Bender and his club officers realized they would need a regular publication to keep their members informed. It was while they were deep in preparations for their first issue, during July and August of 1952, that Bender realized they might be under observation by the Visitors. " . . . numerous sightings suddenly made the news in Bridgeport and surrounding towns. At the time I wondered if the saucer occupants sensed that we were going to look into the mystery of their appearance here on our planet and might be looking us over to  see what we were up to -- or putting on a show for us, possibly to encourage us. Prior to this, no sightings had been reported in or around Bridgeport to my knowledge."
HIS FIRST WARNING
July 1952 is one of the best evidential periods we have for Saucer reality. The night of July 20th several UFOs moved in and around the airport and over the White House at Washington, D.C. They were seen visually and radar confirmed their presence for at least five hours-over the nation's capital. On July 28th a young Italian engineer got five good photos of a thirty-foot disc resting on a glacier in the Bernina alps while one of the crew walked around it. He also got two good pictures of the UFO after it was in the air. The next day, July 29th, George Stock took several good pictures of a dome-shaped disc circling above his home in Passaic, New Jersey. This was in full daylight. On July 30th Bender received his contact.
"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 out it, the noise was gone, and I got the usual dial tone, without the click of anybody replacing a receiver."
Of course Bender tried to rationalize it as a trick of some kind. He tried to trace the call through the operator with no success. The incident continued to haunt him as he and his fellow officers tried to cope with the phenomenal growth of the IFSB. The first issue of "Space Review" got out on schedule and was distributed widely. To Bender's relief, the initial reaction was generally favorable. And within a week of this he received his second contact from the Visitors. He was walking home alone from a late movie.
"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."
Al went on home, tiptoed through the house to avoid awaking his stepfather, and went on up to his room without turning on the light. A blue glow coming from under his bedroom door startled him. "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 . . ."
After satisfying himself that nothing was missing from the room; Bender went to bed; but he left the light on all night!
He devotes Chapter III of his story to the international growth of the International Flying Saucer Bureau. Edgar Plunkett headed up an active British branch in London. Edgar Jarrold, Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia became Bender's Australian representative; and in turn, Bender offered to represent two New Zealand Flying Saucer groups in the United States, F.J.M. Clark's Hamilton, New Zealand group and H.H. Fulton's Civilian Saucer Investigation group of Auckland.
THE THIRD CONTACT
A month after the Blue Light episode in his room, Bender actually saw one of the Etherian Visitors in tangible form. It was at night in a Bridgeport theater. Al attended alone.
"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."
By an effort of will Bender had momentarily pulled himself back to physical plane reality, shifted psychic gears, so to speak, but the Dark One was still there at his own level of being.
"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."
Bender was "thoroughly shaken" and at this part of his story he admits that the movie he had been watching might have helped induce these "hallucinations". It was a science-fiction horror movie. He hadn't shaken his tormentor off, however; for in ten minutes the same feelings returned. This time the Dark One was seated behind him "with the same weird eyes".
Desperate now, Al got up and sought out the theater manager. He returned to search the area with a flashlight but of course revealed no  one resembling Bender's description. For courtesy's sake he stayed a few moments longer, then left and strolled down Main Street. It was 10 p.m. While window shopping he again felt the prickling on the back of his neck and turned to find the stranger's eyes boring into his!
"My fear was not one of meeting a person he is afraid of; instead, I had the feeling that the figure was definitely not human . . ."
Bender rushed to find a policeman, explained the case to him; and they retraced his steps back to the theater. Of course there was no sign of the borderland Visitor. The policeman didn't have psychic sensitivity; he offered the limp explanation that some drunk might have been playing tricks on Bender. Then, probably for the first time since he had lived there, Bender regretted having to go home alone to a dark house and that lonely third floor room without the warmth of human companionship. Nevertheless he did, and perhaps he was slightly disappointed that there was no ghostly presence there to give him an icy thrill.
At this point in his story Albert Bender reveals a couple of traits which indicate susceptibility to psychic attack. His description of Saucer researcher Dominick Lucchesi -- and his personal reaction to the man -- is most interesting.
"A moment or two after Lucchesi stepped into my house two overwhelming impressions struck me. I knew immediately I liked this man, because he had great intelligence, wit, and a warm personality. At the same time I also realized that an element of mystery would always remain attached to him . . .
"My probable overestimation of mystery in Lucchesi's personality and intentions could have come from his brilliant technical and general vocabulary, and the commanding way he used it. I am quite shy in front of strangers, and I may have been overawed by his aggressive conversational technique. When he spoke on any subject he held one spellbound."
Sounds as though, by his own admission, Bender is a setup for hypnotic suggestion; and an aura of glamour about certain individuals could blind him to their real motives. He had reason to be grateful to Lucchesi after he closed the IFSB. Dom protected him from Barker's prying questions when the latter tried to discover Bender's secret. Dom also convinced Bender that he was a master of many Yoga techniques and "an authority in many schools of occultism and philosophy."
THE FOURTH CONTACT
Growth of the IFSB continued apace in January and February 1953. Gray Barker joined up. Bender's executive skill was developing an organization capable of sound and thorough-going research in this borderland field of Flying Saucers. Big Brother was watching with growing uneasiness. The resulting warning to Bender created a scene suitable for a comic horror movie. He saw the club officers to the door after an evening meeting and stopped in the kitchen for a glass of milk. Everyone  had gone, yet he heard footsteps in the club room above. Bender put down his milk and moved cautiously upstairs.
"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."
After this contact Bender considered telling his odd experiences to family, friends and officers of the IFSB but decided against it. Who would believe him? Besides, "I was well physically, and I couldn't believe I was dreaming up whatever was happening to me. There surely was a logical explanation somewhere and perhaps I could find it."
There is no logic to Etheric and Lower Astral plane experiences of the kind Albert Bender was having in connection with Saucer research. It takes spiritual discernment to bring order out of that chaos. Such wisdom comes only after years of a self-less and courageous search for Truth. Our hero made a brave, and successful, attempt at it early in 1953.
WORLD CONTACT DAY
Bender wont say who originated the idea, but he and two or three of his IFSB officers agreed that members should "attempt to send out a telepathic message to visitors from space". Some club officials thought the whole idea ridiculous and would have nothing to do with it; nevertheless, March 15, 1953 was chosen for Contact Day. A special bulletin went out, containing a message to be memorized and a time schedule which if followed, would have all cooperating members sending at the same moment Bender made his pitch in Bridgeport at 6 p.m.
"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."
Dedicated leader that he was, after eleven years of researching  Unidentified Flying Objects, Bender was eager to solve the mystery. He dutifully went to his room at 6 p.m., laid himself down on his bed after turning out the lights, closed his eyes, and repeated the contact message three times. He doesn't know if any other IFSB members got results on that memorable March 15th, but he did!
"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 some 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."
It was 6:05. His radio has been turned on. He felt sick and rotten and wondered seriously if he was losing his mind!
(Continued in the December Journal)
Continue with "Albert Bender, Flying Saucers and the Three Men" (Part II)
“FLYING SAUCERS and THE THREE MEN”
by Albert K. Bender (edited by Gray Barker)
"After heading the International Flying Saucer Bureau for many years (a civilian UFO investigative organization), Albert K. Bender suddenly disbanded the group. Bender told close associates that he had found the solution to the flying saucer mystery but he had been frightened into silence by three ‘men’ in dark suits who warned him not to divulge his fantastic discovery. Now Bender reveals the sinister events behind his UFO encounter: the identity of ‘the three men in black’; where the flying saucers come from; their strange purpose here on Earth; and how he was terrified into keeping their dangerous secret!"
- Beckwith, Ethel. "Don’t Be Afraid, Darling; It's Bender." Sunday Herald 25 May 1952: 20. Print. <http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=H2kmAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QwAGAAAAIBAJ&pg=5769%2C3237717>