If you’re into flying Saucers and monsters, you’ve probably run across the name Gray Barker. Even those unfamiliar with the name are usually familiar with the creatures he helped to introduce to the world!
Gray Barker (1925-1984) cut his teeth on the Flatwoods Monster investigation (“The Monster and the Saucer,” Fate magazine, January 1953), introduced the world to the Men in Black through his 1956 book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, and told the world about Mothman in his 1970 book The Silver Bridge, 5 years before John Keel published The Mothman Prophecies. His flying saucer writings were so influential that he was among a handful of people cited more than a dizen times in the US government’s ‘UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annoted Bibliography’ (1969).
Barker was an accomplished storyteller and master hoaxer, and he wrote a lot about monsters. The Waldomore at the Clarksburg-Harrison County Public Library holds a collection of Gray Barker’s writings, as well as files of correspondence between Barker and notable figures in the UFO field from the 1950s to the early 1980s such as George Adamski, Howard Menger, James Moseley, and others. It cannot be understated how great a trove of information on flying saucers and cryptids this collection holds.
In fact, it was through research in the Gray Barker Collection that Mark A. Hall rediscovered the long-lost Grafton Monster, also known as the Headless Horror. The Grafton Monster’s rediscovery in 1995 led to its eventual fame as one of the monsters of the Fallout 76 video game. Barker speculated in his 1965 correspondence with eyewitness Robert Cockerell that the “Thing” and similar “space animals” he’s heard about had been left behind by UFOs for research purposes, much as we’d sent dogs and monkeys into space before sending humans up in rockets.
Through my own research at the Waldomore, I discovered that Barker wrote quite a lot about monsters. After the Flatwoods Monster investigation, Barker went on to write about everything from the well-known Abominable Snowman to the lesser known Abominable Glowman of the Everglades, from little men from Mars to Mothman, and more! I’m submitting what I uncovered in two volumes.
Volume One is already out (Volume Two should be available later in 2022) and begins your illustrated survey of the varied aliens, cryptids and boogeymen in Gray Barker’s menagerie who made their appearance in the years leading up to the publication of They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers (1956). . I truly believe in the value of original sources so, where possible, the stories are related in his own words, from his volume of writings and from newspaper articles of the time of the events described. Only after providing the original accounts do we sift through later evidence and opinions to see what we might make of these monster stories. Inevitably, some are tall tales and hoaxes. Others are cases of misidentification. But there’s always a few that defy easy explanation! The truth may surprise you.
Get your copy today at Amazon.com.