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Flying saucer investigator Gray Barker was born at Riffle in Braxton County on May 2, 1925. He spent most of his life in central West Virginia, earning a degree from Glenville State College, teaching school, and booking acts for local theaters.
Barker’s interest in unidentified flying objects was sparked by mysterious sightings of the Flatwoods Monster in 1952. Based on Albert Bender’s “Men in Black” theory, Barker published his best-known book, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers.
Following the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, Barker published his next book, The Silver Bridge, which popularized the Mothman legend. In 1983, he wrote MIB, The Terror Among Us, about the Men in Black
Gray Barker’s fame spread after his death in 1984 at age 59. A 1995 video by Ralph Coon recognized Barker as one of the 20th century’s leading UFO theorists. Barker’s personal collection is now part of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library. When asked once if he believed in flying saucers, Barker replied, “I am not sure, but anything that generates that volume of interest is worth collecting.”