MEN IN BLACK: MENACE OR MIRAGE?
Ominous entities visit UFO witnesses to threaten and coerce them to silence.
Men in black are unknown entities who threaten and menace UFO witnesses. They claim to be from obscure government agencies that don't exist and they drive brand new vintage cars with license plates that subsequently prove to be unissued numbers.
Men in black ultimately prove to be harmless, despite all their threats of beatings and kidnapping. But who are they and who sends them to the homes of UFO witnesses?
An encounter with the mysterious figures can be one of the most disturbing experiences a UFO witness can have. Visits from MIBs follow a set pattern and usually happens to a male UFO witness who reports his sighting or encounter.
Immediately after (and often before) he reports the sighting, two or three figures who appear to be almost human, dressed in black conservative suits, often with sharply white shirts, black ties, dark hats and black shoes, arrive at the witness's home.
They appear to be FBI agents from early black and white B-movies. Some appear to be suntanned or olive skinned with Asian features. Some are pale and wan. They flash badges and ID, claiming to be from government agencies or UFO investigating organizations.
They often appear awkward or ill-at-ease and talk in the stilted, dramatic slang of 1940s gangster movies, warning witnesses that if they want their wives to "... stay as pretty as she is," they will keep their mouths shut or recover samples or photographs sent to labs for analysis.
Their cars are as unusual as the entities. Classic reports of MIBs state they arrive in brand new Cadillacs (in America) or brand new Jaguars (in the UK and Europe), although the models they drive have been out of production for 20 or 30 years! License plates, when checked, are always numbers that have not been issued. A third entity will often remain in the car, sometimes enshrouded in an ozone-like aura.
One explanation of the enigma is that they are some kind of transmitted hallucination. Another is that they are pure hallucinations conjured from the minds of the witnesses, perhaps as a result of the stress associated with a UFO encounter. But why their appearance and mannerisms remain so consistent in reports from worldwide sources, including from people in remote areas who know little or nothing of UFO lore, remains a mystery.
More complex theories purport that MIBs are a part of some elaborate psychological experiment conducted by government agencies, both foreign and domestic, using subliminal transmissions and telepathy to either implant the images or to test a witness's integrity.
In 1976, Dr. Herbert Hopkins was working as a consulting hypnotist on an alleged UFO abduction case in Maine. One night when he was home alone, he received a telephone call from a person who said he represented a New Jersey UFO research group, a claim which later proved to be false.
The caller asked to visit Hopkins to discuss the abduction case and the doctor agreed to meet with the caller. It was only after the meeting that he would reflect upon how odd it was that he had so readily agreed to share the details of the case with a stranger.
He did not even consider it odd at the time, however, that only seconds after the call he found a man waiting at his front door. The man was hairless; bald and completely without eyelashes or brows. He was dressed in the classic black suit, white shirt. black ties, black shoes. Hopkins imagined that he was a mortician.
Completely at ease with this unusual visitor whose dead-white face was punctuated only by lips that appeared to be covered with lipstick, Dr. Hopkins invited the man in and sat with him for some time while the details of the abduction case were discussed.
After a period, Hopkins noticed that the stranger's speech was slowing and his movements appeared to become unsteady. His parting words to his host, as he rose to leave, were: "My energy is running low. Must go now. Good-bye." Only after the MIB had staggered away did Hopkins understand the strangeness of the event.
With certain variations, this visit is considered to be typical of the legendary Men In Black, beings who are on the surface human, but who are clearly something else. Since the 1950s, MIB have become almost an adjunct of some UFO sightings and have attained a near-mythical status in UFO lore.
Many MIB appear to be puzzled and confused about such everyday items as ball-point pens and eating utensils. Nearly all have in common a somber appearance and immaculate black and white attire. They tend to be robotic or android-like, emotionless and business-like in their mannerisms. Some instill fear by their very appearance and presence.
Although there has never been a report of actual physical harm, MIBs often threaten witnesses with all sorts of violence to dissuade them from talking about UFO sightings or seeking information about them.
The theory that MIBs are from some government organization has gradually lost favor, primarily because no one can imagine any but the most paranoid and nefarious federal agents of perpetrating such a conspiracy, but that is not to say that paranoid and dangerous federal agents are not out there listening to your phone calls or reading your mail.
Whether or not they paint their faces and dress in pressed black suits to dissuade you from investigating your UFO encounter too closely is another question, and one that may never be satisfactorily answered.