Men in Black have been a wonderfully creepy and sinister mystery in UFO lore. MIBS; are they government spooks? Aliens from other planets? Inter-dimensional beings?
I'm currently reading the classic The UFO Silencers, by "Mr. UFO" himself, Timothy Green Beckley. (Inner LIght Publications, 1990) The book is full of stories from witnesses about these weird "people" who threatened them in connection with their UFO sightings or research.
Men in Black are the stuff of flying saucer legend; many books and articles exist about MIB encounters UFO witnesses sometimes have tales to tell of weird "men" who suddenly appeared at their doorstep, usually with threats to them and their families if they didn't stop talking about their experiences. Some say it all started with Albert K. Bender, in the early 1950s, who published the UFO newsletter "Space Review." But men in black go back hundred of years, always in a paranormal, Fortean context, usually appearing in threes. Much has been written about the "devil" appearing as men in black; this motif seems to represent something both supernatural and sinister. Are the men in black of folklore (using folklore in its true form, and not to mean "falsehood") the MIBS of flying saucer stories?
MIB UFO stories are full of malevolent energy indeed. The MIBS drive shiny, new looking cars, but the make of the car is out of date. Windows are blacked out, no license on the car. The "men" themselves wear black suits, again, out of date and ill fitting. They wear hats. They look "foreign" often described as Asian looking. They don't seem to recognize the most mundane everyday things of life, like foods, what items are for, etc. They move in jerky motions, speak in monotones, are awkward. They threaten witnesses and researchers with physical violence, harm to their loved ones, demand they stop talking about their experiences, chase them down in cars.
The following descriptions from Beckley's book gave me the creeps; it's a small detail but one that gave me chills. Doctor Herbert Hopkins, who had hypnotized a patient with a UFO experience had a visit from the MIBS, who threatened him. Hopkins described the MIB's lips:
"His lips were ruby red -- brilliant red-- which I thought was odd, and I wondered about it." (p93)
Christa Tilton, an abductee, had a few frightening encounters with MIBS; chasing her down in their shiny car, trying to run her off the road, and so on. She said that the MIB's "lips appeared to be reddened in some way." (p110) This was independent of Dr. Hopkin's description.
The consistency among the MIBS appearance in general, and this odd specific detail, add more mystery to an otherwise Big Mystery: UFOs. What, who, where, why, how? Something about the red lips gives me the creeps; reminding me of Killer Clowns From Space and clowns in general. Don't mistake this for some kitschy appreciation of a pop culture meme; I don't like clowns, not one bit. There's a whole shadowy world of clowns in Forteana (including some Mothman related stuff) that is not the amusing, friendly and harmless circus type clown some know and love. (I don't think the circus is any wholesome happy place either but that's another story.)
Is the force behind what manifests MIBS still around? It seems as if the MIBs try to act like normal, every day humans, but just don't get it quite right. The same can be said of some sightings of helicopters -- usually black -- and other "normal" aircraft in connection with UFO sightings. Chris O'Brien, author of the UFO and paranormal weirdness in the San Luis Valley of Colorado (Mysterious Valley, etc.) writes of seemingly normal helicopters seen in areas where UFO activity is strong. The problem with these helicopters is that they're makes that have been out of commission for decades. Their presence, their actions are out of place, and only adds to the mystery. Instead of appearing as a mundane helicopter that no one would pay attention to, these helicopters attract attention. Of course these strange, unmarked and out of context helicopters aren't unique to just Colorado UFO cases, but it's one example out of many.
Both MIBS and these helicopters and other weird craft are threatening. Both chase people and harass them. Both are odd and out of place; they don't quite fit. They seem to be untraceable; efforts to track down MIBS, or their cars, and the source of the helicopters with neighboring air fields and the like, reveal nothing. And both appear within the context of UFOs.
If the MIBS are of this sinister mischievous (Trickster) "devil" realm, where weirdness, game playing and camouflage are the standard, one question that seems obvious is why? Do they mean what they say about these warnings; do they care about UFO research, cases, witnesses? Or do they just enjoy scaring people simply because they can, and it's what they do? Being distracted by the creepy antics of MIBS and ominous aircraft keeps our attention diverted from the UFO, or UAD, or orb wielding Bigfoot, or Mothman -- does this force care, or are they just playing around to see if we're paying attention?
It's a moot point for us humans though. Either way, they're a nasty bunch; people who've encountered them are not amused, nor should they be. Thankfully I've never had a MIB encounter, and I don't think I'd be at all casual about if it ever did happen!