This past weekend, I lectured at the Philadelphia-based conference of the Pennsylvania chapter of MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. It was an excellent gig, thanks to organizer John Ventre and the team. The presenters included MUFON member Fred Saluga, who spoke about the UFO-Cryptozoology connection, and Bill Weber, who detailed a very intriguing radar-visual-based UFO event. Tom Carey shared with the audience his findings on the Roswell affair, while Bill Birnes and Pat Uskert entertained everyone with a behind-the-scenes look at their TV show, UFO Hunters.
Travis Walton discussed his book Fire in the Sky and John Ventre asked the thought-provoking questions regarding UFOs: "Do you know? Should you know?" Antonio Paris dug deep into 21st Century Ufology, Anthony Sanchez shared his findings on the "Dulce Underground Alien Base" saga, Jon Maberry gave an excellent presentation on UFOs and pop-culture, and Richard Lang focused on UFO methodology. And then there was me.
John Ventre asked me if I would deliver a presentation based around my book, The Real Men in Black, which I was cool with. As is always the case when I lecture on the subject of the MIB, I always make it very clear that the real Men in Black are actually nothing like their on-screen versions portrayed by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Rather, the real-world MIB are very creepy, weird, sickly-looking creatures that look part-zombie, part-vampire and part-anemic.
Not only that, and as I also pointed out in my lecture, whereas most people assume the MIB only ever target and terrorize people in Ufology, that's very far from the truth. As I told the audience, there have been MIB encounters at Loch Ness, Scotland, involving cryptozoologists and eye-witnesses to the monsters of the loch.
I have several cases on file where people using Ouija-boards received visits of the MIB kind. There are demonic parallels. There is the time-travel theory to explain the MIB and their weird antics. And there are even Women in Black - a subject on which, right now, I'm writing a full-length book.
In other words, the MIB puzzle is a wide and varied one that extends far outside of the confines of Ufology. Well, as is usually the case when I do a lecture, write a book, or take part in a radio-show, people contact me to ask questions or to make observations. They also, very often, share personal stories. And, with regard to the latter, that was most certainly the case regarding the Men in Black.
I know from speaking to people - and this goes for both witnesses and the UFO research community - that there is often an assumption that the Men in Black are something of the past, something that revolved around the likes of Albert Bender's MIB-based experiences of the early 1950s and the Men in Black links to the Mothman affair of the 1960s. But, that's very far from being accurate. Indeed, the MIB have never really gone away at all. Rather, they are simply extremely good at hiding under the radar.
But, for those dark-suited visitors, there is one fatal flaw in their sinister and covert activity. It's when their cover is blown and the witnesses decide to come clean and reveal their experiences - even in the wake of chilling, MIB intimidation. And that's exactly what happened over the course of the weekend - both before and after my lecture on the MIB. I'm used to getting MIB reports on a regular basis, but at the MUFON gig the reports came tumbling out.
And guess what? While one or two of the reports could certainly have been the result of visits from - or surveillance by - people at an official level, the majority of the 15 or so accounts I received were of the classic Men in Black type. That's to say the pale-faced, scrawny, staring-eyed, Fedora-hat-wearing kind. And almost all of them dated from as late as the last decade or so.
There were two cases involving old-style black cars of a type that would have been right at home in some old B&W gangster movie of the 1950s. And to my amazement, I got no less than three accounts of the Women in Black variety. Interestingly, of the testimony provided to me, two of the witnesses described MIB confrontations that utterly lacked any UFO links whatsoever, but that revolved around the domain of the occult.
Collectively, this tells me several important things: (a) the MIB have not gone away; (b) they haven't even bothered to upgrade, or change, their modus operandi or fashion sense (or lack of it); (c) they are as curiously out of time as they always have been; and (d) they are still keeping careful and clandestine watch on matters of a paranormal nature that extend far beyond the mystery of UFOs.
We may be no closer to really knowing who or what the MIB are, or from where they originate, but they are still out there, still knocking on doors late at night, and still provoking fear and dread whenever they appear.