Albert K. Bender’s Contactee Experiences

No live show yesterday, so here is another rare UFO audio gem.

The largest (best attended) indoor UFO convention in US history took place on the weekend of June 24, 1967 in the Hotel Commodore in New York City. Organized by UFO researcher James Moseley, speakers included John Keel and Roy Thinnes, who was the star of the popular Invaders TV show. Tim Beckley recalls:

There were quite a variety of speakers like Venus from the planet Venus, Dr. Frank Stranges, Howard Menger, and in fact Dr. Condon of the infamous Condon Report was there. He was in the audience taking notes.

Another personality who “appeared” so to speak, was Albert K Bender, famous for his founding of the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB), and his book on the Men In Black enigma. Due to unspecified fears or some other reason, he sent a tape recording of his presentation which was played to a room full of eager listeners.

Bender described his MIB experiences, the history of the IFSB and curiously, his growing contactee-type experiences which were going to be part of a book that publisher Gray Barker was going to release. The book never saw the light of day. Barker described it as “not good enough to do anything with.”

Bender apparently lives about 5 miles from me, but I have repeatedly heard that he wants nothing to do with any UFO researchers, so I have left him alone.

I have posted this before at ufomystic, but the link is broken, and I can’t seem to find the speech anywhere else online. The snippet of introduction at the beginning is the voice of Gray Barker.

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11 Responses to Albert K. Bender’s Contactee Experiences

  1. Kandinsky says:

    Wow, I never would have thought he was still alive. Get out there and see if he’s willing to add to his story!

    I saved a copy of this tape last time you had it posted and uploaded it last year; it’s amassed an awesome *4* downloads in 6 months. Gosh almighty indeed. These recordings deserve to be out in the wild to ensure their existence so I doubly appreciate your putting them out there.

    The impression this tape left on me was one of sadness for Bender. I didn’t feel convinced by his claims and instead heard a lonely, vulnerable person compensating by claiming special powers. It’s tragi-comic as he implies terrible forces will be wreaked upon his detractors if he loses self-control – reminiscent of the impotent bully victim warning that ‘one day they’ll be sorry.’

    On some level, I wonder if his visiting entities and special powers weren’t the ‘imaginary friends’ that some of the loneliest children conjure up.

    You know it’s funny, the impression left on me by most of the Contactees is broadly thematic along similar lines; from Buck Nelson to Orfeo, they frequently seem to conjure fantasies that plug the (perceived) holes in their self-esteem and status. Aura Rhanes taught an ungrateful wife to value her husband and Nelson’s male-centric Solar System validated the bachelor life-style.

    • Greg says:

      Perceptive analysis. I tend to agree with you, although I leave the door open for some sort of anomalous experience in a small minority of cases.

  2. Sagacious says:

    Great podcast! What a classic! Bender sounded like a full-fledged mad man. Perhaps the madness was exacerbated by his UFO studies and that’s why he quit the field. Its amazing to think he invented the men in black. Alas, he is unknown to the public at large though his hallucination/imagination/invention is a staple of pop culture.

    • Greg says:

      True. No one wants to hear about the origins of the MIB mythos today, though. It’s far more boring than a flashy movie with Will Smith.

      I find it hard to discount all of the MIB stories, although I tend to think that anyone who wanted to silence UFO witnesses (whatever they saw) could do worse than to latch on to the myth.

  3. Listening to Bender it made me think of all the movies and modern pop-culture references that seem to have a subtle (or not so subtle) reminiscence of his claims:

    * The planet he visited (Keik? Kazik?) reminds me of K-Pax, the home planet of Prot played by Kevin Spacey, much so for the allusions that they feed almost exclusively on vegetables and a strange kind of fungus, and that families or social unions are non-existent.

    * A mother-ship hidden in the Antarctica: John Carpenter’s The Thing, which I’m aware was based on the short story Who Goes There? published in 1938.

    * The manifestation of our wishes: Michael Crichton’s Sphere.

    * The MIB using dead people’s bodies to conceal their presence —which doesn’t make much sense considering Bender’s explanations that they can ‘morph’ into whatever shape they want, like the X-File’s bounty hunter— is a clear reminiscent of Alex Proyas’ Dark City.

    The other elements that are not really part of pop culture, but has some links with other stories in the UFOlogy mythos is the idea that the aliens live in the interior of their planet, just like Val Thor explained to Dr. Stranges. And also this concept of a ‘cosmic creator center’ reminds me of the complex cosmology explained in the Book of Urantia and the Cosmic Island of Paradise.

  4. Joe says:

    Excellent stuff. Entertaining, bizarre and fun.

  5. AJ Gulyas says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I like to think it was the will of the THREE MEN that you posted this right when I was deep in work analyzing Flying Saucers and the Three Men (and some fun correspondence between Bender and Augie Roberts on slick “Space Review” letterhead)…

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