What I’m going to do to make this as merciful as possible is to make a timeline of events. If this works, I hope that you’ll see the emergence of some possibilities as to why the Men in Black concept occurred and grew.
April 1952: Albert Bender, newly energized saucer enthusiast and science fiction hobbyist, founds a small organization, The International Flying Saucer Bureau, IFSB, composed of himself and a few of his science-fiction friends. He announces that the purpose of the organization is to be a force for friendship between Earth and the Flying Saucer people so as to avoid a disastrous war.
July 19-20 and July 26-27, 1952: The two weekends of the “Washington Merry-go-Round” visits of UFOs over DC. These two events, embedded in the Wave of 1952, demonstrated that military experts in psychological warfare were correct, and the American public was in fact panic-prone and semi-hysterical.
July 28, 1952: President Truman hands this problem to the CIA and asks for a policy.
July 29, 1952: General Samford holds his famous press conference for damage control.
August 19, 1952: The Sonny Desverges “landing” case occurs. It is taken very seriously. It appears to have been an incident [regardless of how it’s told] wherein the witness was injured somehow. Meanwhile, Bender and IFSB have grown to 100 members in 16 states. Bender, proving to be as fanatical about saucers as he was about science fiction and horror story fiction, is contacting persons around the country, and shortly around the world, eliciting their membership.
September 12, 1952: The Flatwoods, WV case [The Braxton County Monster] occurs. Gray Barker, who does not yet know Bender, is one of the primary investigators, and surprisingly is still serious at that stage and does a pretty good job. Barker’s work here ultimately brings him to Bender’s attention, and during the late part of the year communications will culminate in Barker accepting the position as Chief of Investigations for IFSB.
October 1952: Meanwhile, an ambitious Al Bender has been pushing forward and publishes his first volume of his UFO magazine, Space Review [SR from now on]. It was 12 pages and, to my eyes, the best looking thing yet out there on UFO news. Bender sent this to Eddie Rickenbacker, then President of Eastern Airlines, and Rickenbacker liked it and continued to receive it from Bender.
The publication was set up to receive new story reports from members, of whom 16 [15 across US states and one in Canada] had special designation as local focus people. Bender stated that IFSB would soon have focus individuals in Britain and France and Brazil. All commentary in the magazine was ET-Hypothesis related. In the editorial, Bender reveals a mind spinning with ideas most of them fairly sensible. He then says that he believes that we [the USA] have already sent a rocket to the Moon containing passengers under, obviously, the highest secrecy.
“In summing it up, it would be wise for the public to start turning its eyes and thoughts toward the heavens, because there is more danger lurking there than on the Earth itself.”
Read the rest at Michael Swords’ post at his blog: