Aug 20, 2022
1 mins read
Back in during the early 90s during the Golden Age of Comix+Zines, I used to take The Kid to whatever local micropress/comic book fair was going on in San Francisco at the moment. There we'd spend the day rummaging through boxes of old random publications: raunchy hand-inked comic books; personal handwritten diary-zines; fanzines (usually stories that put famous characters like Spock, Batman or Princess Leia in amazingly graphic sexual situations); dog-eared, hand-bound magazines on esoteric subjects.
One such magazine proclaimed itself to be some sort of a UFO "annual". I didn't buy it, it was 20 bucks, but I spent most of that afternoon poring over this saddle-stapled tome. It had a lot of writing about Roswell of course, but also about other places, other sightings, in Ecuador, Oregon, etc. One place was mentioned I'd never heard of—a town (or city? or village?) called Bensham somewhere in the UK.
The story fascinated me. It took place in wartime and involved a young boy's discovery. Very Stephen King. Only this tale is a lot eerier. For years I had it in the back of my mind to expand on it, until it started drifting out of memory...
And then recently during one of my online excursions getting to know the hometown of John Wilson, the BBC conductor I'm in love with, I came across this 5-part video documentary from 2011:
Hallelujah, there it was! Bensham, a neighborhood in Gateshead, across from Newcastle on the south side of the Tyne!
I can't wait to work with this.