Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2023
Charles Lindbergh, NJ prosecutor Anthony Hauck, Jr., Thomas Stoelting, Howard Menger, UFOs, and dubious shenanigans
by: Brent Raynes
I never know what sort of bizarre and intriguing tales I'm going to hear when chatting with long-time Fortean Peter Jordan of New Jersey. He's delved ever so deeply over the years into so very many high strange stories. A friend of John Keel, Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, and an investigator into the complex contactee story of Howard Menger, we have a unique connection right off the bat. I corresponded extensively with both Keel and Dr. Schwarz, and in April 1977 visited the good doctor at his home in Montclair, New Jersey, and met some of people who had known Menger back in the day (I even heard some personal accounts of strange happenings) and was even given a tour of Menger's former home and property in High Bridge.
Back in the Summer 1994 edition of this magazine (then called UFO & Paranormal Perceptions, issue 27) and which at that time came out in print, Peter wrote an excellent feature for us entitled From Outer Space To You: The Twisted Tale of Howard Menger. Peter wrote another article (it was Alternate Perceptions at that point) for the Spring 1998 issue #42, entitled The Mystery of Chance: Jung & Synchronicity. We corresponded for a while and I was looking forward to engaging in further correspondence with him, when soon afterwards he dropped from the field. A lot of people were wondering what ever happened to this very active, knowledgeable and thought-provoking author and researcher.
Well, last year I found out. I made an attempt to reach out to him once again (I think I followed up on a new lead I had come upon) and lo and behold, he invited me to chat with him on skype, and before long that one chat turned into many, many more. In fact, since November of last year, six video interviews posted on YouTube, and in this current issue Peter even joined me for a lively and very interesting interview with Christopher O' Brien, the author of Stalking the Herd, Mysterious Valley, and Enter the Valley, books dealing extensively with the cattle mutilation phenomenon - something that Peter delved into quite extensively himself in years past, along with a host of other strange, unexplained occurrences.
Although absent for active involvement in the field for a while, Peter continued to still follow the news and read books and articles dealing with all sorts of Fortean phenomena. UFOs, contactees, spooklights, poltergeists, cattle mutilations, remote viewing, spontaneous human combustion, etc., etc. All kinds of high strangeness stuff. In recent months, I've had many hours of private conversations with Peter, learning much from him, and he would bring up significant reports from the past, encouraging me to dig further, try and interview principles involved and learn more. As a result, a number of really great articles and interviews emerged from our conversations. I told him he was sure giving me a lot to chew on and he replied that he'd not let me go hungry, and he certainly hasn't. Although I had interviewed Christopher O' Brien back in 2009, he strongly urged a follow-up, which he was so interested in that he joined me in that interview. He urged me to look further into the contactee claims of the late Ted Owens, and I interviewed parapsychologist Jeffrey Mishlove of New Thinking Allowed. He put me in touch with David Perkins, who had been deeply involved in the cattle mutilations too, and from Mr. Perkins I learned the whereabouts of researcher Tommy Roy Blann, someone Peter and I had discussed a good bit already, who I've now done two interviews with about his own deep dive investigations into UFOs and cattle mutilations. All of which just illustrates a small portion of the directions that our conversations have taken me off into.
Although our preference is predominantly the unexplained high strange occurrences, we acknowledge the situations wherein the human part of the equation, one might say the trickster element, rears its ugly head. Naturally, as responsible investigators and researchers, we have to keep it real and strive to be cautiously discerning and objective. Sometimes it can be both disappointing and humorous in what comes your way. And sometimes it can be downright disappointing in how some people who you would have thought would have been much more credible and discerning could end up being a major disappointment.
I'll begin with the first one I mentioned. Disappointing and humorous. Peter was telling me how some years back he met with Richard Harpster, a veteran reporter for New Jersey's Newark Evening News. Back in the 1950s, he was covering some of the contactee Howard Menger stories, of which he was quite skeptical, but nonetheless it was news and he was ordered to go out and interview people. In one particular instance, he and a fellow reporter were assigned to investigate a story in South Jersey of a couple who claimed a UFO came down out of the sky and attempted to kidnap their dog. Supposedly a chain had been attached to the pet and they had to unhook it before the UFO went sailing away with their dog.
So beforehand Harpster hatched a plan and told his partner that they'd go into the interview playing a good cop bad cop routine. He'd be the bad cop and his news partner would act like he believed the story, flatter them with how amazing it was, but as the bad cop Harpster would give then the 9th Degree and warn them that if this was an untrue story then it could be considered a capital criminal offense, putting the proverbial fear of God in them. The trick that was played here, as Peter explained, was they left a locked briefcase behind with a tape recorder running inside. Just as they had planned, soon while acting like they were getting ready to leave, a voice yelled out, "You forgot your briefcase!"
Peter recalls how Harpster said to him something like, "That was the most satisfying debunking that you could ever have." When they played back the tape, they heard the husband and wife arguing back and forth. They listened as the husband was yelling at the wife how he didn't even believe in UFOs, but how he wanted to show how easy it was to make something up and fool people, how she was in on it too and how they might both end up in jail, while his wife fired back something like, "Well, now look at the mess we're in!"
The next story, also told to Peter by reporter Harpster, is one where you would have expected certain people to have been far more discerning and credible. Talk about a major disappointment. This next one involved the famous New Jersey prosecutor Anthony Hauck, Jr., who was involved in the famous Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping case of 1932. Peter explained how Hauck was "one of the highest-ranking prosecutors in all of Hunterdon County." A little over two months after the 20-month-old had been taken from its home, the body had been found in the woods a short distance away from the Lindbergh home. On April 3, 1936, one Bruno R. Hauptmann was executed, successfully charged with this high-profile crime by prosecutor Hauck.
Hauck sounds like a pretty sharp cookie, right? But then he met up with a charlatan of the first order. One Thomas Stoelting. Supposedly a miner and a Ph.D. geologist from Germany who during a blizzard one night in 1956 just happened to arrive at the mansion home of Anthony Hauck. His old jalopy just happened (the story goes) to break down there. He drudges through the snow and knocks on the front door of Hauck's home. Hauck opens the door to find an old and feeble looking man in an old, tattered coat standing there. Stoelting explains his dire situation and Hauck offers to help, and boy does he help the old man. He ends up living with the Hauck family for some three years. Not only that, but Peter explains to me, "So Dr. Stoelting asked if it would be okay if his bodyguard, an associate Rolf Myer, who always carries a gun with him, can stay with him as well." So Myer's is also allowed to stay.
It also turns out that Hauck and Stoelting were interested in UFOs. Peter recalls, "Dr. Stoelting says he communicates with aliens all the time and the ones you have to watch out for are the greys. Now I found this really interesting. Who talked about the greys in the 1950s? I've been researching that. The greys didn't even appear anywhere - not even in most science fiction, but they do appear in some very old science fiction fantasy published in Germany and in Sweden and elsewhere. Not here in the states." And regarding Lindbergh and Hauck, Peter was told by Herpster, "Both of them were UFO nuts."
Back to Stoelting. He managed to convince Hauck to invest close to $50,000 in a mining venture that he promised would turn over a huge profit. "Tony Hauck convinces all of his friends to invest their money, and these are bankers, doctors," Peter explains. "High profile people. So now he's got hundreds and thousands of dollars invested with this man, and of course, needless to say, he's a charlatan. They all lose all of their money, but still Anthony Hauck continues to support him and feels he's an important man with a lot of important connections. He would also disappear from time to time and tell them, 'I have to go to New York on important business.' And he starts talking to the family about his contacts with a blond Venusian. He wants to introduce them to her so he invites her to come to the house and meet everybody in the family and the mother and the father are absolutely just enthralled with this woman."
"It gets crazier and crazier. What happens is I learned from Howard Menger and Connie that he, almost immediately upon coming to live in New Jersey, reaches out to Howard and says, 'I'd like to talk to you and Connie about what you're doing and maybe we could collaborate on some things.' Howard said to me, 'That son of a bitch tried to hypnotize me and I told Connie to stay away from him. Connie had gone to meet him and I guess he put her in some sort of trance. He told her to look into this reflective pool of water and she started seeing these weird things and she got nervous around him.'"
"I should also tell you that Dick Harpster said that he was like one of the best hypnotists he had ever seen in his life. He saw him give public performances where he would put an entire audience in trance states. Everyone loved him. But he was a charlatan. Tremendously charismatic. He also starts raping the young girl when the parents are out of the house. When the daughter complains they tell her you are not to say a word about him. That 'he should be like a godfather to you.'"
"He would spend a lot of time with the little girl and he would take like her toy dolls or whatever and say, 'What do you think of Mister Turtle? Mr. Turtle really likes you.' And then he would put it toward her vagina and she would say to him, 'No, no, that's not a turtle. That's something else.' And he said, 'No. Close your eyes and you'll see.' And she would be in tremendous pain afterwards, her pelvis, and she developed syphilis. They took her to their doctor - had their own doctor - and the doctor said, 'Yeah, there's something but I don't think there was an assault.' They said, 'Oh good. Would you write a thing up to that effect? So that we have it on record that there's no evidence of it.' It's assumed that the doctor was probably paid to look the other way. Eventually what happens is Rolf Myer had several guns that are loaded that he keeps in his bedroom and the girl later wrote a memoir about this whole thing. She goes to sleep and suddenly her next recollection is standing downstairs with a loaded gun in her hand, and she shoots him. She has no recollection how she got downstairs and why she has a gun in her hand. He is struck in the shoulder. The family is horrified that their daughter shot this man and tells her, 'You're probably going to go to prison over this. Hope you're happy. You've ruined a wonderful relationship we had with this man.'"
"Of course, there's a lawsuit that arises against Tony Hauck and his family saying that they're going to bring them to court. He's going to bring them to court over his injuries. They have to go to court and he goes to court and now he looks extremely feeble. He's bent over and he's in a wheelchair. He has a nurse assisting him and he convinces the jury that the little girl is evil and that she shot him and that the Hauck's need to pay a million dollars in damages. The attorney for Dr. Thomas Stoelting is none other than Saint Germaine. Jule St. Germaine is the attorney who defends him and he was the same man who was friends with Long John Nebel, who was on the Long John Nebel show for many years, and was the person that actually went down to the farm during Howard's convention and did all of the recordings of all the interviews with the people."
"It's a small world, isn't it?"
"The daughter (Sandra Hauck) became estranged from her family, moved to Arizona, and wrote her book."
Howard Menger used to do the lettering on Hauck's law firm door. Menger told Peter: "Everyone thinks I'm a fraud, but here's this guy."
Peter concluded, "Menger really didn't profit from this. They made up stuff I believe, but they weren't sinister like some of them."