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Exploring The Myth of The Men In Black

Andrew Lunn, British UFO Research Assoc. and ISUR

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: This article explores the myth of the MIB(Men In Black). It is mainly based on MIB research regarding incidents after 1976 in England.

This section explores the myth of the MIB(Men In Black). It is mainly based on my MIB research regarding incidents after 1976 in England.

Part 1: The making of the myth

Many seem to feel it was divisions of the USAF that created the MIB myth, but this could not be further from the truth. There is strong evidence to suggest that MIB have been co-existing with us, since we care to remember and this leads one to ask why there was ever such a need. The actual basis of their origin lies deep within the recesses of the UFO witness, as research suggests that MIB normally make an appearance after somebody has witnessed a UFO. This has often led me to believe whether the ability to see a UFO, brings out the MIB from their hiding, forced to contemplate the inevitable that their hidden origin will be revealed one day. However this is even harder to believe when faced with the MIB themselves; a shocking confrontation whereby the witness is unsure of how to act, due to the weirdness being exhibited by the strange guests. The actual name Men in black is misleading, as there have been sightings reported to me of Females in black; this may lead one to think that maybe they do possess some Alien origin, capable of taking on any form they like.

I tend to back away from the alien hypothesis mainly due to my consistent analysis of English cases pre 1976, which tend to emphasis a more direct link with military, normally RAF or MoD. Looking at American reports seem to emphasise a more alien account, and it is here when the issue becomes confusing. It would surely be a lot easier for the government to make use of the MIB, instead of spending copious amounts of time and money necessary for carrying out such widespread operations against people seeing lights in the sky. However there is clear evidence, which will be discussed later on, in which witnesses to UFO's or even top secret government projects have been severely harassed. Much has been born out of this myth, and I feel that around the 1960's, the US government was able to use some of the personnel from the Air Force Special Activities Centre(AFSAC), and 'disguise' them as MIB. Even Mothman(see The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel) was part of the MIB myth, and thus their identity becomes ever more tightly kept due to the natural progression that we do nothing to halt proceedings; MIB are natural to human folklore.

Part 2: Common characteristics of the modern day MIB

While most MIB reports tend to highlight the fact that MIB may be of some oriental origin, the detraction is made through the association that MIB always come in threes. Is this irrelevant? Why? Maybe due to the fact that transmogrification takes place, and size/quantity/appearance is irrelevant, in that what you see is what you get, but not necessarily what you want! The classic conception of an MIB is a man of indefinite age, medium height and dressed completely in black. He always has a black hat and often a black turtleneck sweater. They present an appearance often described as "strange" or "odd". They speak in a dull monotone voice, "like a computer", and are dark; complete with high cheekbones, thin lips, pointed chin, and eyes that tend to look oriental like. Often when quizzed as to who they are, they say they are salesman, telephone repairman(even though your phone is not broken) or representatives from official(ie RAF) groups or an unofficial UFO group. Their mode of transport differs whether you are in America or England. In America they are often seen driving Buicks or Lincolns(black); it seems to be only the films that portray the MIB using black cadillacs. In England, the cars are normally Jaguars. It is also important to state that not all reports of MIB are that describing a meeting with men of oriental features; some have included men with very Aryan features, with distinguishing blond hair.

A classic MIB case could be highlighted by the 1978 West Kirby case in Liverpool, England. Here the witness JW has described the classic features of the MIB, and seems to suggest some ulterior motive as to why they came in the first place. It seems usual; JW had seen a UFO, and was shortly visited by two men in black (more men were seen sitting in the car), one of which confronted JW, a teenager at the time. "You'd better run on home" said one of the men. The other man who was with our witness said "It's alright he is with me", and they both then walked away from the men in vehicles. Our witness described the man who got out of the car as dressed in dark blue or black, and stranger still, he appeared to be wearing makeup in the form of lip foundation. This has occurred before(lipstick on MIB), but mainly in American reports(e.g. 1976 Maine). If this was not strange enough JW has no memory of the man's lips moving as he was talking. The descriptions that he gives is remarkably similar to other accounts since the 1950's of the men in black. The MIB's are renowned for visiting UFO witnesses and are often keen in trying to encourage the witness to say nothing of their account. Also many MIB reports state that the men were wearing large hats(often too big for them), however the 1978 West Kirby MIB, had no such headgear.

A case that has come of light fairly recently, is that of William Shearer, whose case is being thoroughly investigated by Ufology and Supernatural Studies(01206 286543-Paul Joslin), led by Barbara Fennell and Paul Southcott. On Monday 19th January 1997(4 days after his UFO incident in Essex) Shearer had returned from work and gone to bed as usual. His wife and daughter had popped out, so he had the house to himself. Unable to settle, he came downstairs for a drink, and thought he heard a faint knock at the door. Sure enough, as Shearer approached the door he could see the outline of a tall man through the glass. Shearer opened the door and was faced with a strange sight. The man was around 6'4", and dressed in a dark grey suit and full length coat. He wore a brilliant white shirt(many other reports have suggested that MIB wear a 'new' type of fabric) and a red tie, and was holding a brimmed hat. Another similarly dressed man was standing behind Shearers' wife's car, and appeared to be looking up and down the road, as if to see if anyone was coming. The first man said "Can I speak to you please?" His voice was very deep, and seemed to Shearer to be coming from his chest rather than his mouth. At this stage, the man's gaze was lowered to the floor so Shearer could not see his face. Shearer assumed the men were Jehovah's Witnesses and replied "No, I'm not dressed". The man persisted, and asked again to speak to Shearer, who again declined and asked him to come back later. When the man lifted his head and looked straight at Shearer his first impression was that the man was very ill, as he looked deathly pale. In contrast, the stranger's lips seemed to be tinged red, as if he were wearing lipstick (how can they get it so wrong for so long??). Again the man spoke, this time asking to come in. Shearer stood his ground. After to looking at the second man, the first finally relented and said okay, they would be back later. On reflection, Shearer states that it was "almost as if the two men were talking to each other, but I couldn't hear them" as the second man kept looking at the first and either nodding or gesturing in some way. The men walked towards their car - which was black and according to Shearer "like something straight out of a gangster movie, yet it looked brand new".

Throughout many of the MIB reports I have studied many MIB car number plates are never traceable, and many never existed in the first place - what are the chances of making up a number plate and it being the only one in existence? Shearer also noticed that the men walked awkwardly, as if they were suffering from arthiritis. Shearer was only convinced that these men were the infamous MIB when told by Paul Southcott of USS, until which time he was adamant that they were religious types. On 12th February, Shearer received another visit, this time while he was at work. He got to meet with the MIB at 1:15 am when he heard a knock on the door. The MIB were slightly smaller than the one he had spoken to before, and Shearer immediately knew it was the one standing by his wife's car on their previous visit. Again he was dressed in the dark suit and coat and wore a hat. This time the MIB asked to speak to Shearer by name, and specified that they wanted to talk to him about his UFO sighting, giving exact date and times. Shearer was baffled as to where he had got this information, but refused to let him in. Shearer asked for the mans name and ID, but the MIB ignored him and repeatedly asked to come in. Shearer states that it was almost as if the MIB could only utter a selection of set phrases, since he kept repeating the same questions over and over again, ignoring Shearer's own questions. On this occasion, Shearer was able to get a closer look at the MIB's face, and realised he had no facial hair at all - no eyebrows, eyelashes, or signs of stubble. The visit lasted for about two minutes, and then the office phone rang. Shearer turned to pick up the phone to hold, and turned back, the MIB was gone

Since the night of Shearer's sighting, all the video equipment in his office building has been malfunctioning for no apparent reason. Since the MIB visits, Shearer has had problems with his phone lines(very very common in reports both in America and England). Clicking sounds can be heard on calls he receives after 4pm, and on many occasions he will pick up the phone only to find out there is no-one at the other end. British Telecom are at a loss, so they say. On the 26th March 1997, Shearer's phone, was completely out of order. No other lines in the area were affected. At the time of writing, he is still waiting for an explanation from BT.

Part 3: MIB & Black helicopters

Occasion permits oneself to see some sort of connection between the Men In Black and these mysterious black helicopters that seem to be plaguing our skies, but it is far more complex than the colour match! If we are to presume an existence that is 'alien' to us but having a connection with earth far greater than we could imagine, we start to understand a little of the origin of what I like to refer to as the "original MIB". The same sort of theories are being attached to reasons behind the appearance of unmarked dull grey/green/black helicopters, mysteriously hovering over people's back gardens. A number of reports state that witnesses who have caught a glimpse of the pilots of these strange craft are that of oriental origin, and thus a familiar pattern starts to build up. But this shows now direct correlation, until we look at the behaviour and timing of the black helicopter sightings.

We know that MIB are notorious for making an appearance after someone believes they have seen a UFO, and it is from this we can understand a little behind this timing of events and the occurrence of the black helicopters - the majority of mysterious helicopter sightings suggest that the primary witness has seen a UFO, but what must be determined is how 'knowledge' of these facts are 'leaked' out. The co-existence theory explains a little as to how the MIB can be so knowledgeable about a primary witness(for example, MIB have been known to recall memories that only the witness would have known), but this is where a sharp dividing line is drawn when looking for similarities between the MIB and black helicopter sightings. What has been seen is some form of remote viewing being associated with the helicopters gaining 'special' information; more precisely this can be broken down when hearing witnesses explaining seeing one of these helicopters while at the same time having files downloaded from her computer. Is there a connection, and if so how can this be determined? What is more pleasing to the researcher is the fact that we see some need being built up between the two 'organisations' if you like, to gain this special information and it is this that ties the two phenomena together. It is receipt of this knowledge that enables the MIB to gain such a superior advantage over their human counterparts. Without the ability to 'co-exist' and being able to listen but be seen only when it suits them, the MIB would not be associated with UFO phenomena to such a large extent. It is in essence the very basis of their unknown quantity that allows them to stay as outsiders, but involved in everything we do. One must stop short of trying to empathise with something that will never be fully understood and perhaps try to concentrate on the knowledge we do have about the MIB.

The Mothman Prophecies - John A. Keel
The Eighth Tower - John A. Keel
Daimonic Reality - Patrick Harpur
Operation Trojan Horse - John A. Keel
Ufology & Supernatural Studies - Barbara Fennell and Paul Southcott
Men In Black Casefile - Jim Keith

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Men in Black (MIB)