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 AudioVisual
Association, and the Mountaineer Educational Media
Association. He died December 6, 1984.
Sources
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.