THE CONTACTEE FILES: HOWARD AND CONNIE MENGER, a truly out of this world couple!Before Lux and Ivy, there were Howard and Connie. Sadly, Howard passed away not long after Lux did. I like to think that the two of them are now enjoying a relaxing Weekend on Mars. - Chuck
R.I.P. Howard Menger (February 17, 1922 – February 25, 2009)
FROM ANSWERS DOT COM:
One of the original flying saucer contactees of the 1950s, Howard Menger emerged in 1956 when he told his story to late-night radio talk show host Long John Nebel. Three years later, his book From Outer Space to You appeared. Menger told of contacts that began when he was only ten years old. The original contact was with a beautiful blonde woman whom he met in person but who communicated via telepathy. Other contacts followed with other humanoid beings. Then in 1946, the woman disembarked from a spaceship and announced that a wave of contacts was in humanity's immediate future as many space people were coming to Earth to assist in solving its problems.
In 1956, in the wake of the publicity given contactee George Adamski, Menger took some photos of flying saucers, and claimed he took a ride in a Venusian ship. Following his appearance on Nebel's show, he was a guest on a national television shows hosted by Steve Allen and Jack Paar. The television exposure led to attacks by critics. An examination of his pictures led to denouncements that they were a hoax, and they caught Menger lying about his having read (and drawing material from) Adamski's books. Amid the controversy, a young blonde woman came to a gathering at the Menger home. He recognized her as the sister of the space person who had originally contacted him as a child. They began an affair and were eventually married. The woman, Connie Weber, wrote her story, which was published in a book under the pseudonym Karla Baxter. It actually appeared in 1958, a year prior to Menger's first book.
The title, My Saturnian Lover, continued Menger's claim that he was actually an extraterrestrial who had reincarnated on Earth. Through the 1960s, Menger seemed to back away from some of his claims, but added assertions of government agents involving him in an elaborate hoax. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Mengers withdrew from the flying saucer scene, but in the 1990s they returned to reassert their contactee claims.
They authored a new book in 1991, and subsequently appeared on a 1992 Discovery Channel one-hour special, "Farewell, Good Brothers," that explored the experiences of several contactees. The Mengers were interviewed before the large saucer model that dominates one room of their Florida home.
Reincarnated Saturnian and space communicant Howard Menger held forth from his farm in New Jersey, where followers would come to witness... well, something. Followers would see lights and even figures but always in the dark and never up close. Once, when Menger led a follower into a dark building to speak with a spacewoman, a sliver of light happened to fall on the face of the "extraterrestrial." It was, the follower could not help noticing, identical to the face of a young blond woman who happened to be one of Menger's closest associates.
Most contactees have managed to stay out of legal trouble, though law-enforcement and other official agencies look into their activities from time to time. Reinhold Schmidt was not so lucky. In the course of contacts with German-speaking Saturnians, Schmidt's space friends showed him secret stores of quartz crystals in the mountains of California. Armed with this information and a gift for (so the prosecutor charged) "loving talk," he persuaded several elderly women to invest their money in a crystal-mining venture. The money went, however, into his own pocket. He went on trial for grand theft and from there to jail.
Still, not all contactees are con artists, by any means. In 1962 Gloria-Lee, who chronicled her psychic contacts with "J.W." of Jupiter in Why We Are Here (1959), starved to death in a Washington motel room after a two-month fast for peace ordered by her space friends. In 1954, in the face of massive press ridicule, followers of Dorothy Martin, who communicated with extraterrestrials through automatic writing, quit jobs and cut all other ties as they awaited a prophesied landing of a flying saucer that would pick them up just before geological upheavals caused massive destruction.
The charlatan contactees typically claim physical encounters, nearly always have photographs and other artifacts (in one especially brazen instance, packets of hair from a Venusian dog) to "prove" it, and in general behave more like profiteers than prophets. The psychic contactees, on the other hand, tend to be quiet, unflamboyant, and almost painfully sincere. They can best be described as Space Age religious visionaries. In another century their messages would have been from gods or angels or spirits. These messages, generally inane and rarely profound, are manifestly not from true extraterrestrials. Psychologists who have studied contactees believe these individuals are not crazy, just unusually imaginative; their communicators come from inner, not outer, space, via a nonpathological form of multiple-personality disorder.
Though only a few professional contactees of the 1950s are still alive or active today, the contactee movement is as big and vibrant as ever. This is due in part to the efforts of a Laramie, Wyoming, psychologist, R. Leo Sprinkle, who sponsors an annual summer conference on the University of Wyoming campus. Those attending are mostly individuals convinced that the Galactic Federation -- a sort of extraterrestrial United Nations -- has placed them on Earth to spread the cosmic gospel. In a sense these conferences function as revival meetings in which the faith is renewed even as the larger world continues to scoff.