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What Are Men In Black?


A REVIEW OF MIBS (Men In Black):A History

 By Linda Murphy of Nexus -=ParaNet Psi=- (Fido 304/1):
Phone: 602-526-8025 at 300/1200/2400/9600 HST 23 hours a day.

"MONSTERS: Giants and Little Men From Mars"
 DELL Publications (paperback) (C) 1975
 Written by: Daniel Cohen

The purpose of this file is to aquaint users with MIBs history, how they are 
related to the coverup allegations, along with associated reference material 
and names of files which contain more current thoughts on the subject. Sysops 
are encouraged to add in the files contained on their systems at the bottom of 
the file, and any other additional reference material which would be useful in 
helping others in their personal research.

Chapter 10 "The Men in Black and Other Terrors"

When the Condon Committee was sampling public attitudes toward UFOs they gave 
this statement to a cross section of the American Public: A government agency 
maintains a Top Secret file of UFO reports that are deliberately withheld from 
the public." THe respondents were supposed to answer TRUE or FALSE. A 
substantial majority, sixty-one percent, thought that the statement was true 
while only thirty-one percent said it was false. Among teenagers, the 
credibility gap was even wider -- 73 percent believed the statement to be true. 
General opinion studies conducted by the Condon Committee, and other surveys 
about UFO's came up with the rather paradoxal fact that there were more people 
who believed in a conspiracy of silence about UFOs than believed in UFOs in the 
first place.

It has  often been said that we Americans today are a bit paranoid; that we 
always tend to believe that something is out to get us, or something is being 
kept from us. It certainly seems that we were a bit paranoid about UFOs.

Most people thought vaguely in terms of an Air Force conspiracy or a CIA 
conspiracy or even of a world-wide scientific conspiracy. It was generally 
acknowledged that the reason behind such a conspiracy was a desire on the part 
of those in power to hide the "truth" fro the public because people would panic 
if they knew that we really were being visit by superior creatures from another 
world. COnspiracy theorists constantly harkened back to the old "War of the 
WOrlds" broadcast, and the panic it started.

Such a belief, however, is rather too simple for the true connoisseur of 
conspiracies. He has long ago rejected the simple, straightforward Air Force - 
CIA - science establishment - cover-up as too obvious, and really rather 
ridiculous. The conspiracy connoisseur pointed out quite correctlyl that no 
government or group, no matter how powerful, could possibly supress so much 
sensational information for so long -- no earthly group that is.

If the extraterrestrials wanted to make themselves known then they would land 
in a central place, and all the feeble earthly cover-up would simply be blown 
away. It is out of this sort of background that the legend of the Men in Black 
arose. It concerns strange little men in dark suits who drive around in big 
shiny cars and harass people who claimed to have seen a UFO.

The origin of the Men in Black legend can be pinpointed fairly exactly. Back 
in 1953 a man by the name of Albert K. Bender was runnong an organization 
called the International Flying Suacer Bureau (IFSB) and editing a little 
publication called "Space Review" that was dedicated to news of flying saucers.

The IFSB had a small membership despite its rather grandoise title, and "Space 
Review" reached at best, no more than a few hundred readers. But they were all 
deeply devoted to the idea that flying saucers were craft from outer soace. In 
common with other ture believers, these saucer buffs were convinced that they 
were in possession of a great truth, while most of the rest of the world 
remained in darkness and ignorance. They felt very important , and thus it was 
with a sense of surprise, even shock, that they opened up the October 1953 
issue of "Space Review" and found two unexpected announcments:

   "LATE BULLETIN. A source which the IFSB considers very reliable has informed 
us that the investigation of the flying soucer mystery and the solution is 
approaching its final stages."

   "This same source to whom we had referred data, which had come into our 
possession, suggested that it was not the proper method and time to publish the 
data in 'Space Review'."

   The second and more shocking item read:

   "STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: THe mystery of the flying saucers is no longer a 
mystery. The source is already known, but any information about this is being 
withheld by order from a higher source. We would like to print the full story 
in "Space REview", but because of the nature of the information we are very 
sorry that we have been advised in the negative."

   The statement ended with the ominous sentence, "We advice those engaged in 
saucer work to please be very cautious." Bender then suspended the publication 
of "Space Review", and siddolved the IFSB.

The tone of the announcemnets would have been familiar to anyone who had much 
experience with occult organizations. Occultists often claim they are in the 
possession of some great secret which, for equally secret reasons, they cannot 
reveal. Even the appeal, "please be very cautious" was not unique. It made 
those engaged in "saucer work" feel more important . After all, who is going to 
bother to persecute you if you are just wasting your time?

Shortly after Bender closed down his magazine and organization, he gave an 
interview to a local paper which he asserted the he had been visited by "three 
men wearing dark suits" who had order him "emphatically" to stop publishing 
material about flying saucers. Bender said that he had been "scared to death" 
and that he "acutally couldn't eat for a couple of days." Some of Bender's 
former associates tried to press for a more satisfactory explanation, but to 
all questions he replied either cryptically or not at all.

This state of affairs created considerable confusion among the flying saucer 
buffs. What were they to think about such a strange story? Some were openly 
skeptical of Bender's tale. They said that his publication and organization 
were losing money and the tale of the three visitors who "ordered" him to stop 
publishing was just a face-saving gesture. Yet, as the years went by the "three 
Men in Black" began to sound more rspectable and they took on a life of their 
own. Some' were Bender's friends first thought that the Men in Black were from 
Air Force or the CIA, and indeed Bender's original statments do seem to sound
like government agents. But after a while the Men in Black begun to assume a 
more extraterrestrial, even supernatural air.

Finally in 1963, a full decade after he first told of his mysterious visitors, 
Alber Bender elaborated further in a book called "Flying Sauvers adn the Three 
Men in Black." It was a strange, confused and virutally unreadable book that 
revealed very little in the way of hard facts, but did significantly enhance 
the reutation of the Men in Black as extraterrestrials. The book also 
introduced into the lore "three beautful women, dressed in tight white 
unigorms." Like their mail couterparts in black, the women in white had 
"glowing eyes."

But even before the publication of Bender's book in 1963, the Men in Black (or 
MIBSs as they are know to insiders) had already been reported to be visiting 
others besides Albert Bender. By now they have been reported so often that they 
have become an established part of the UFO history. The Men in Black, naturally 
enough, wear black suits. They also usually wear sunglasses, presumably to 
disguise their "glowing eyes". Most of them are reported to be short and 
delicately built with olive complexions and dark, straight hair. They are often 
described as "Gypsies" or "Orientals". Most MIBS are reported to travel in 
groups of three and usually ride around in shiny new black cars -- often 
Cadillacs. These cars are even supposed to "smell new." Sometimes the MIBs pose 
as investigators from the CIA or some other government agancy. They may flash 
official-looking credentials, but these can never be checked out. Occassionally 
the MIBs display badges with strange emblems on them, or have unrecognizable 
symbols painted on their cars. The purpose of the visits seems to be to get 
people who have seen UFOs to stop talking about them, or somehow to confuse and 
frighten the witnesses.

People who worry about MIBs tend to lump all sorts of mysterious visitors into 
the category, even if they don't wear black, have glowing eyes or show any of 
the familiar MIB characteristics. The primary qualification for the Men in 
Black is that they be of unknown origin, and that they appear to act oddly and 
vaguely menancing.

Some of those who write about UFO's and other strange pehomena rather casually 
mention "countless" cases where people have been visited by Men in Black. In 
reality these "countless" cases are difficult to pin down. In fact, there 
really seems to be a rather small number of MIB cases where there are any 
details available at all.

The impression given by the writers is that the publicized cases represent only 
"the tip of the iceberg." Beyond these, say the writers, are many "more 
sensational" cases, the details of which cannot be revealed for a variety of 
reasons. In any event solid evidence for a vast number of MIB cases is lacking. 
But we are, after all, dealing with beliefs as much as with reality, and 
impression is an important one.

Often the MIB cases that we know of are not quite as sensational as Albert 
Bender's three visitors, but they are unsettling nevetheless. Take the case of 
California highway inspector Rex Heflin. On August 3, 1965, Heflin claimed to 
have taken a series of Polaroid photos of a UFO from his car while parked near 
the Santa Ana Freeway. The pictures were quite clear and they showd an object 
shaped rather like a straw hat apparenlty floating above the ground. These 
pictures got a great deal of publicity, and are still among the most requently 
repreinted UFO photos. Heflin's story was investigated by the Air Force shortly 
after it bacome known. It was also looke into by investigators fot the Condon 
Committee durring their inquiry. (The committee investigator produced a pretty 
fair imitation of the photos by suspending the lens cap of his camera in front 
of his car with a thread and photograph it through the car window). In 
addition, a host of unofficial UFO groups tackled the case in their own way.

There was considerable suspicion on the part of official investigators that the 
photos had been faked, but this was difficult to prove or disprove without the 
original prints. Being Poaroid photos there were no negative.

Heflin said that he had turned over three of the four originals to a man (or 
two men, the stories differ) who calimed that he represented the North American 
Air Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD denied that they had ever sent out an 
investigator or indeed that they had the slightest interest in the photos. The 
mysterious person who is alleged to have taken the photos has never been 

On October 11, 1967, over two years after Heflin's original sighting, but while 
the Condon investigation was going on, Heflin reported another encounter with 
mysterious visitors. A man who said that he was Captain C. H. Edmonds of the 
Space Systems Division, Systems Command, a unit of the Air Force that had been 
involved in the first investigation of his UFO photos, came to his home. During 
the interview the man who called himself Captain Edmonds asked Heflin if he 
wanted his original photos back. When Heflin said no, the man was "visibly 
relieved." Inexplicably, the man then began discussin the Bermuda Triangle. 
This is an area near the island of Bermuda where a number of mysterious 
disappearances of airplanes and shops have been reported. These disappearances 
have been linked by some to UFOs, though the connection does not seem very 

While this strange interview was going on Heflin said that he saw a car parked 
in the street. It had some sort of lettering on the front door but he could not 
make it out. To quote the Condon Report description of the indicent, "In the 
back seat could be seen a figure and a violet (not blue) glow, which the 
witness attributed to instrument dials. He believed he was being photographed 
or recorded. In the meantime his FM multiplex radio was playing in the living 
room and during the questioning it made several loud audible pops." All 
attempts by the Air Foece, various civilian researchers and the Condon 
Committee itself to find "Captain C. H. Edmonds" failed. As far as can be 
determined, no such person has ever existed.

A much more bizarre story was supposedly told by an unnamed family who had 
sighted a UFO. Sometime after the sighting they said that they were visited by 
a very strange individual. Ivan Sanderson, who reported the incident in his 
book "Univited Visitors", decribed the individual thus:

  "almost seven feet tall, with a small head, dead white skin, enormous frame, 
but pipe stem limbs." This oddity said he was an insurance investigator and 
that he was looking for someone who had the same name as the husband of this 
family. He indicated that the man he was looking for had inherited a great deal 
of money. Continued Sanderson, "This weird individual just appeared out of the 
night wearing a strange fur hat with a vizor and only a light jacket. He 
flashed an official-looking card on entry but put it away immediately. Late on 
when he removed his jacket he discolsed an official looking gold shield on his 
shirt which he instantly covered with his hand and removed."

The strange visitor asked some personal questions about the family, but nothing 
at all about the UFOs. The creepiest part of the whole affair came when the 
eldest daughter of the family notices that the "investigator's" tight pants had 
ridden up his skinny leg, and she saw a green wire running out of his sock, up 
his leg and into his flesh at two points. After the interview the 
"investigator" got into a large black car which contained at least two other 
persons, and seemed to appear on an old dirt road that led from the woods. The 
car drove off into the night with its headlights off.

In addition to scaring and intimidating people, visits of MIBs are also 
supposed to produce a variety of unpleasant physical symptoms. Bender said he 
suffered from headaches, lapses of memory and was plagued by strange odors 
following the first visit of the Men in Black. Others who say they have had 
similar visitations have made similar complaints.

Another eerie thing attributed to MIB types, it the ability to lok like anyone 
they want to. Some UFO researchers claim that MIBs have bee posing as THEM in 
order to silence potential witnesses. John Keel, who has written a number of 
UFO books, said that he had encountered people who refused to believe that he 
was who he said he was. "Later contactees (those who say the are somehow or 
another in contact with the space people) began to whisper to local UFO 
investigators that the real John Keel had been kidnaped by a flying saucer and 
that a cunning android who looked just like me had been substituted in my 
place. Incredible though it may sound, this was taken very seriously, and later 
even some of mymore rational correspondents admitted that they carefully 
compared the signatures on my current letters with prerumor letters they had 

As we said earlier, each era tries to explain strange encounters in terms of 
its own system of beliefs. I have been struck by the similarity of some of 
these MIB cases with medieval tales of encounters with the devil or some of his 
demons. The devil, for example, was very often described as a man dressed in 
black. The ability to change shape and appear in any form was commonly 
attributed to demons, who were able to take the shape of a victim's friends and 
neighbors and evenassume the likeness of angels and saints. Many of those who 
said that they had met the devil complained of the same range of physcial 
symptoms reported byt those who encountered the MIBs.

The shiny new cars associated with MIBs is reminiscent of the Haitian belief in 
an evil society of sorcerers called "zobops". Haitians say that if you see a 
big new car going along the road without a driver is under control of the 
"zobops", and you had better not try to interfer with it.

Now, I am not trying to imply that the MIBS are agents of the devil, or vice 
versa, anymore then I would try to say that the little green men from Mars were 
really the fairy folk of past generations. It is just that our visions and 
fears often remain the same over the ages, and only our explanations for them 

Of course, encounters with the devil during the Middle Ages were generally more 
frightening and overpowering experiences than current experiences with MIBs. 
Everybody believed in the devil, while today everybody does not believe in the 
creatures from outer space. Medieval society took devil stories in dead 
earnest, and anyone who made such a report might find himself facing a painful 
death at the stake. The worst one can expect from reorting an MIB encounter is 
a certain amount of disbelief and ridicule. In general, MIB tales are 
considered too bizarre even to be reported in local newspapers. They are 
published only in magazines and books put out for and by UFO enthusiasts.

Usually such publications are privately printed and are read by only a few 
hundred. A few book, however, have been issued by major publishers and have 
reached a far wider aydience. These cases are also occasionaly discussed on 
radio and TV talk shows, so the information gets around more widely than one 
might think. A lot of people of heard of "something" about MIBS without really 
knowing any of the details. 

There is one incident which bared certain similarities to the traditional MIB 
case that did receuve very wide publicity. This is the story of the "kidnaping" 
of Betty and Barney Hill. While most of the MIB cases do not appear directly to 
involve a UFO, this one does. The couple was driving to their home in 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from Canada on the night of September 19, 1961. They 
were on an isolated stretch of road when they spotted what they thought was a 
flying saucer above them. The followed two completly blank hours in their 
lives. They could remember nothing from the time they saw the UFO until a time 
two hours later when they found themselves in their car several miles down the 
road from where they had seen the UFO. For months after this experience both of 
the Hills suffered from severe psychological distress. Finally they consulted a 
psychiatrist, who hynotized them, and under hypnosis the Hills revealed a 
strange story of being kidnapped and taken aboard a flying saucer.

The Hills didn't rush out and try to get publicity about their experience or 
write a book about it. In fact, they were remarkably quiet. But the incident 
did ultimately come to the attention of author John Fuller, who had already 
written an extremely popular UFO book. With the co-operation of the Hills and 
of their psychiatrist, Fuller produced another best seller, "The Interrupted 
Journey", which was first serialized in the now defunct Look magazine.

Though the book is carefully hedged with qualifications that the experience 
described might be a hallucination or a dream rahter tha a "totally real and 
true experience," the distinct impression left by "The Interrupted Journey" on 
thousands of readers was that the experience was a "totally real and true" one.

The people or entities that were supposed to be controlling the spaceship that 
kidnaped the Hills can be squeezed into the Men in Black lore. Barney Hill 
described on of his captors as looking like "a red-headed Irishman," hardly an 
MIB type. But another wore "a shiny black coat," with a black scarf thrown 
about his neck.

Under hynosis Hill  drew a picture of "the leader" of his abductors. It is a 
strange insectlike face with a wide, thin mouth and huge slanting eyes that 
seem to go halfway around the creatur's head. The eyes were the most 
frightening part of the saucer inhabitant's strange physiognomy. Once during a 
hypnotic session with the psychiatrist Barny Hill cried out in terror, "Oh, 
those eyes! They're in my brain!" Glowing eyes, you will recall, are considered 
of of the key characteristics of the typical Man in Black.

Unlike many of the books written by or about people who say that they had 
encountered the inhabitants of UFOs, "The Interrupted Journey" carries real 
conviction. One gets thefeeling that the Hills and Fuller are intelligent, 
cincere and sane people who really believe that what they descrobed is what 
actually did happen.

So this idea was planted in the minds of thousands of readers of "the 
Interrupted Journey": UFO's can land, the extraterrestrials can kidnap ordinary 
people, subject them to a degrading and almost brutal examination and then wipe 
all memory of the incident from their minds, leaving behind only an unexplained 
sense of anxiety bordering on panic.

Well, what does all of this mean? Are we being invaded by some weird bunch of 
extraterrestrials who havei in the words of the old "Shadow" radio show, "the 
power to cloud men's minds"? Frankly the evidence does not support such an 
alarming conclusion.

Are all the stories hoaxes and hallucinations? Psychiatrists could certainly 
have a field day with many of these accounts. Symptoms such as loss of memory, 
severe anxiety and other unpleasant reactions strongly suggest that many of 
those who report such experiences are in a disturbed psychological state, 
though they would claim the disturbance was caused by the encounter with the 
strange visitor. In any event they do not make the most reliable of witnesses. 
SOme of the other stories are almost certainly sheer fiction, made up either by 
some practical koker or by a writer of senstaional books.

Whether all the stories are real or unreal is not a question that we can answer 
conclusively here. The point is that we Americans are building a mythology for 
ourselves, just as the Europeans did with their tales of dragons, ogres and 
elves, and just as all people have done in all parts of the world in all ages.

We have often prided outselves on being a practical hardheaded, no-nonsense 
sort of people who were immune to the irrational fears an superstitious notions 
of less clear-sighte and realistic folk. This proposition is demonstrably 
untrue. And perhaps we are better off for it. Our monsters, our space people, 
even if they don't exist, if indeed they are rather silly, also make life more 
interesting and exciting.


Additional notes:

Please take into consideration the above was written in 1975 prior to the 
calvacade of reported abductions and sightings which are occuring today. To 
view the progrees of this "myth", the following material may be of interest.

"Excalibur Briefing"
Thomas E. Bearden
Strawberry Hill Press (C) 1980 

MIBS from a paranormal point of view.
"UFO's and Their Mission Impossible"
Dr. Clifford Wilson
Signet Press (C) 

MIBS and abductions in contrast to medeival possesions and early occult 
phenomena in the 1800's.

"Flying Saucers on The Attack"
Harold T. Wilkins
Ace Books (C) 195?

A good account of the Albert K. Bender incident including views towards the 
MIBs during the era it all started.

Please feel free to add to the reference list when circulating the file.

  -- Linda Murphy

Maury Island Incident - Overview

     This is probably the only case on record of a Hoax indirectly leading to the death of UFO Investigators. 

     The story surfaced from Ray Palmer (editor of Amazing Stories), regarding a man called Fred Crisman who claimed to have
     actual physical evidence of a flying saucer. 

     Palmer passed the story onto Kenneth Arnold, who was investigating UFO reports in the Northwest. Arnold interviewed
     Crisman an his associate Harold Dahl who claimed they were harbour patrolmen (their first lie). Crisman reported that they
     had seen a doughnut-shaped craft dump piles of slaglike material on the beach of Maury Island in Pugent Sound. The
     next morning a mysterious man in black had threatened Dahl, who claimed the man said 'I know a great deal more about
     this experience of yours that you will want to believe.'. 

     The 2 men showed Arnold the material who in turn contacted an Army Air Force intelligence officer, Lieutenant Frank
     Brown, who flew up from Hamiltion Field in California in the company of another Air Force officer. 

     The 2 Air Force officers immediately recognised the material as ordinary aluminium but did not say so in front of Arnold
     due to the fact that he would feel embarrassed. While flying back to Hamiltion, their B-25 caught fire and crashed, killing
     both officers. 

     Crisman and Dahl later confessed to investigators that they had made up the story. Before his death Crisman changed the
     Maury Incident story to that of an American Plane dropping radioactive waste instead of a UFO dropping unknown

     The following is also a reprinted account, and in no way reflects the opinions, views, or beliefs of we here at the 
     Red Right Hand.--RevDr.Dark

                                The Men in Black - Overview

     All things considered, UFO research has become pretty much of a circus today, and the most intriguing and controversial
     sideshow skirting the edges is the question of the "silencers," or the mysterious "Men in Black." There is a strong
     subliminal appeal in these accounts of visits by mysterious dark-suited figures (I have been visited myself, as have others
     I've known) attempting to silence UFO witnesses. A typical situation would be that a witness has a UFO sighting or
     UFO-related experience. Shortly thereafter he is visited by one or more "odd"-looking men who relate to him the minutest
     details of his experience, even though he has as yet told no one for fear of ridicule or other reasons. 

     The men warn him about spreading the story of his experience around and sometimes even threaten him personally,
     sometimes obliquely, sometimes directly. Any evidence, if it exists, is confiscated in one way or another. Sometimes the
     visit is for some totally meaningless reason and the subject of UFOs is hardly mentioned, if at all. But again, the men all
     seem to look alike. 

     We actually seem to find ourselves in close proximity to beings who obviously must be directly connected in some way
     with the objects themselves or the source behind them, yet they seem to be functioning unobtrusively within the
     framework of our own everyday existence. 

     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-complected with high cheekbones, thin lips, pointed
     chin, and eyes that are mildly slanted. 

     The visitors themselves are often on absurd missions. They have reportedly posed as salesmen, telephone repairmen or
     representatives from official or unofficial organizations. Their mode of transportation is usually large and expensive cars --
     Buicks or Lincolns, sometimes Cadillacs, all black, of course. 

     I might note at this point that their physical appearance also has included beings that have pale-greyish skin, and that
     some of them have been seen to have blond hair, yet they wear the clothing and drive the cars previously described. 

     Their cars often operate with the headlights off, but ghostly purple or greenish glows illuminate the interior. Unusual
     insignia have been seen emblazoned on the doors and the license plates are always unidentifiable or untraceable. 

     The fabric of their clothes has been described as strangely "shiny" or thin, but not silky -- almost as if they have been cut
     from a new type of fabric. 

     Their often mechanical behavior has caused them to be described by some as being like robots or androids (think back to
     the Dulce lab). 

     A lot of descriptions of some of these "folks" are pretty bizarre. A businessman's family in Wildwood, New Jersey, was
     visited by an unusually large man whose pants legs hiked up when he sat down, revealing a green wire grafted onto his
     skin and running up his leg. 

What do you think?

Meet People who feel that they are real Men In Black!!!

Remember:Seek and Ye Shall Find.....

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