In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Alfred K. Bender of Bridgeport, Connecticut, became fascinated by the ever-growing number of “UFO” sightings throughout the United States and the world. Bender, who worked as a supervisor at Acme Shear in Bridgeport (now called the Acme United Corporation), a company that made scissors, shears, and other devices for cutting, began collecting newspaper and magazine clippings about UFO sightings.
In 1952, he started one of the first civilian UFO study groups, which he called the “International Flying Saucer Bureau.” Researcher Riley Crabb describes the organization: “Bender had started what promised to be the biggest and best Flying Saucer Club in the business in 1952. A natural leader, his efforts aroused national and international interest, memberships, mail and Saucer reports flowed in from all over the world. His headquarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut was swamped with correspondence. Such a widespread effort was bound to crack the secret in time.”
Obsessed with solving the mystery of the UFOs, Bender became convinced that members of his group should “attempt to send out a telepathic message to visitors from space.” March 15, 1953 was chosen as “Contact Day.” Bender sent out a special bulletin, containing a message to be memorized and an appeal to have all members focusing their minds on the message at the exact same moment, at 6 p.m. on March 15.
The message that everyone was supposed to memorize stated:
“Calling occupants of interplanetary craft! Calling occupants of interplanetary craft that have been observing our planet Earth. We of IFSB wish to make contact with you. We are your friends, and would like you to make an appearance here on Earth. Your presence before us will be welcomed with the utmost friendship. We will do all in our power to promote mutual understanding between your people and the people of Earth. Please come in peace and help us in our Earthly problems. Give us some sign that you have received our message. Be responsible for creating a miracle here on our planet to wake up the ignorant ones to reality. Let us hear from you. We are your friends.”
At 6 p.m. on March 15, Bender lay down on his bed in Bridgeport, closed his eyes, and repeated the contact message three times. He later described an odd experience that happened next, “I felt a terrible cold chill hit my whole body. Then my head began to ache as if several headaches had saved up their anguish and heaped it upon me at one time…. Then I partly lost consciousness as the room around me began to fade away.”
Bender then had the feeling of leaving his body and hovering above it. He said, “I felt cold, very cold, as if I were lying naked on a floating piece of ice in the Antarctic Ocean.”
Then he heard a voice in his head. It did not seem to be an audible sound. The voice said to him, “‘We have been watching you and your activities. Please be advised to discontinue delving into the mysteries of the universe. We will make an appearance if you disobey.”‘
He spoke back to the voice, saying, “Why aren’t you friendly to us, as we do not mean to do any harm to you?”
The strange voice responded, “We have a special assignment and must not be disturbed by your people. We are among you and know your every move, so please be advised we are here on your Earth.”
When he snapped out of his “contact,” Bender found a yellow mist hovering in his room, and he saw out of a corner of his vision what seemed to be the shadow of a humanoid. He also noticed that the radio in his bedroom had turned on by itself and that there was a strange odor in his room. Bender later claimed that in this, and other “contacts,” the whole mystery of the flying saucers was revealed to him.
Shortly after this incident, despite its popularity, the International Flying Saucer Bureau was suddenly disbanded, only nine months after it was created. Bender refused to say why he shut the group down, but several years later, he stated that he received a visit from three mysterious “men in black,” who told him that he needed to desist from his UFO activities. He described the Men in Black as “three men in black suits with threatening expressions on their faces. Three men who walk in on you and make certain demands. Three men who know that you know what the saucers really are! They don’t want you to tell anyone else what you know.”
An incredible story of the origin of World Contact Day! For more information about World Contact Day, visit http://worldcontactday.com.