Barker, Gray (1925-1984)
Barker, Gray (1925-1984)
Writer on UFOs who launched the story of Albert K. Bender and the men in black, who are supposed to have silenced Bender's revelations about flying saucers. Barker's book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers (1956) started other similar conspiracy accusations against mysterious officials or unidentified aliens. A number of UFO researchers have since reported sinister telephone warnings, slow knockings at the door, confiscation of documents, and other harassment.
Born May 2, 1925, in Riffle, West Virginia, Barker studied at Glenville State College (B.A., 1947). He was a public school teacher (1948-49), then a sales agent and theater owner. In 1952 he became interested in flying saucers and began writing for Space Review, the magazine of Bender's International Flying Saucer Bureau. In the fall of 1953 Bender closed the bureau and Barker began his own magazine, The Saucerian, later called The Saucerian Bulletin (1953-62). Barker then became obsessed with Bender's claim of having been threatened by three mysterious men in black and eventually wrote his first book about the Bender case, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers (1956). He also founded Saucerian Press (later the New Age Press), which published its first title, From Outer Space to You, by contactee Howard Menger in 1959.
Barker emerged in the 1960s as a collector of tales that floated through the flying saucer community, especially stories dealing with claims of actual contact with outer space beings and accounts exhibiting a paranoid element. Barker wrote and edited several books, including the Bender Mystery Confirmed (1962), Gray Barker's Book of Saucers (1965), Gray Barker's Book of Adamski (1967), The Silver Bridge (1970), and Gray Barker at Giant Rock (1974). Among his last publications were two bibliographical books, his own A UFO Guide to "Fate" Magazine (1981) and Bruce Walton's A Guide to he Inner Earth (1983). In the 1970s Barker began to issue an irregular publication, Gray Barker's Newsletter. He was president of the Saucers and Unexplained Celestial Events Research Society (SAUCERS) and a member of the National UFO Congress, the National Audio-Visual Association, and the Mountaineer Educational Media Association. He died December 6, 1984.
Barker, Gray. The Silver Bridge. Clarksburg, W. Va.: Saucerian Books, 1970.
——. They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. New York: University Books, 1956.
Clark, Jerome. The Emergence of a Phenomenon: UFOs from the Beginning through 1959. Vol. 2, The UFO Encyclopedia. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1992.