In the most recent release of our Darklore anthology series (Darklore X, available now from Amazon), Blair MacKenzie Blake writes about one of the key figures in the golden age of ufology: Fortean trickster, publisher and author Gray Barker. The article, titled “Making the Unbelievable Believable – The M.I.B. of Saucerer Gray Barker”, tells the tale of the man who helped introduce paranormal concepts that have now become Hollywood staples, including the Men In Black, the Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster, Mothman and the Philadelphia Experiment.
In Blair’s article we added some images of rare book titles from his own amazing collection, such as a copy of the legendary, super-rare issue of Saucerian with cover illustration by Albert Bender.
If you’re into book collectibles – or have always wanted to begin – Blair has sent word of a bunch of books, both old and new, that you might like to get your hands on – including some from his own collection, as well as a new book about Tool drummer Danny Carey’s own vintage synthesizer collection.
The titles from Blair’s collection include a number from Gray Barker’s seminal Saucerian Press, which was for the most part a small mail order business that Barker – ran from his residence in West Virginia from the early 1950s until his death in 1984. Most of the books were amateurish publications that were either spiral bound or had stapled cardstock covers. As such, those that have survived the intervening decades are extremely sought after by collectors.
For those who are interested in acquiring some very scarce books on ufology, I have listed some titles from my personal collection on eBay.
Included are 2 copies of the legendary VARO EDITION of M.K. Jessup’s 1955 “Case For The UFO,” Unlike others that are for sale on-line, both are original Saucerian Press issues from 1973 that Barker laboriously assembled as a “virtually exact facsimile” of the clandestinely produced original by the Varo Corporation in the 1950s. In these Saucerian issues, all of the mind-boggling discussions (marginal notations, etc.) of Mr. A, Mr. B. and Jemi are listed in separate RED INK to represent the three shades of ink used by the ‘annotators.’ When first published in 1973, due to the cost involved in duplicating the notations in a separate color of ink, the book’s price was a hefty $32.50.
If you can find one today, you can expect to pay up to $500.00. The two that I’ve listed are considerably less.
One of Barker’s last titles, “GRAY BARKER’s M.I.B… The Secret Terror Among Us” has also been listed. Again, this is the ORIGINAL from 1984, with only one other copy currently on-line (priced at over $700.00!)
Perhaps even more sought after by collectors is a beautiful copy of “SERPENTS OF FIRE – THE HITLER-UFO STORY (1983). Try to find another ORIGINAL of this title anywhere on the Net.
Kenneth Arnold’s “The Coming of the Saucers” (1952)
George Hunt Williamson’s “The Saucers Speak!” (1954)
Blair also points us at two new coffee table-styled books that he worked on with Tool drummer Danny Carey about collecting: the first, a brand new release about Danny Carey’s collection of vintage synthesizers (titled Remember the Future), and the second the release of an expanded version of The Wickedest Books in the World, about Danny and Blair’s collections of rare Aleister Crowley-related occult books.
“REMEMBER THE FUTURE: DANNY CAREY’S SYNTH PROJECT”
The specialty printer recently finished and delivered DANNY CAREY’S coffee table-style book entitled “REMEMBER THE FUTURE.” Along with Danny’s essay on collecting vintage synthesizers, the limited edition hardcover contains wonderful glossy full-color photos (by Duncan Blake) of Danny’s impressive collection of synths (many being modular behemoths!), electronic percussion and related electronics. The book also contains articles by synth experts and historians, including BRIAN KEHEW, JACK DANGERS, DARREL JOHANSEN, CHRIS PITMAN and PETER GRENADER. Besides editing the book (with assistance by Greg Taylor), I (Blair MacKenzie Blake) have also contributed a few articles about my own experience with analog circuitry. Each of the first 167 copies comes with a decorative card signed by Danny Carey:
We’ve just received from the specialty printer 200 copies of the expanded 3RD IMPRESSION of “THE WICKEDEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD: CONFESSIONS OF AN ALEISTER CROWLEY BIBLIOPHILE.” The new LIMITED EDITION is a sumptuously produced HARDCOVER that contains an updated author’s preface as well as lots of additional full-color glossy photos (and associated captions and comments) of the Crowley rarities that were added to the private collections of the author (Blair MacKenzie Blake) and Danny Carey since the 1st impression in 2008 and 2nd impression in 2011. The first 156 copies of the 2018 impression come with a decorative card signed by Blair MacKenzie Blake and Danny Carey:
There’s enough goodness in there to do serious damage to someone’s bank balance – but man, there’s some great value for money as well for any collectors out there. If you’re interested, get in quick before someone beats you to it!
(Full disclosure: as mentioned above by Blair, I helped out with some of the editing on ‘Remember the Future’)