Sep 04, 2014 I Nick Redfern

Men In Black: The “Other” Silencers

With an article title like that above, you might think that I'm talking about the way in which the legendary, creepy Men in Black  make it their business to shut people up - and specifically UFO witnesses and researchers. Well, I'm actually not. The silencing  I refer to does relate to the MIB, but not in the way you might assume. If that all sounds a bit confusing, well, read on. All will soon become clear...

About three weeks ago, I flew down to Houston, Texas to do a TV shoot for a forthcoming, 90-minute documentary. The subject was the controversy surrounding those mysterious, dark-suited characters that have plagued Ufology for decades. Since I have written extensively on the MIB, I often get asked to do television shows on the subject. Generally, they run smoothly. Not on this occasion, however.

It all kicked-off fine - at least, from my perspective. Things began chronologically, and I began to tell the story of Albert Bender, the brains behind the International Flying Saucer Bureau, who, in the early 1950s, was terrorized into silence by the Men in Black.

I explained that Bender's MIB were far less like those of the Men in Black movies (with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones), and far more like something befitting the likes of an H.P. Lovecraft novel.

The producer stopped me in mid-sentence (which was the first thing that pissed me off big-time) and asked me what I meant. Well, had he not stuck his nose in, he would have known what I meant!

I explained that although popular-culture generally portrays the MIB as the "secret agents" of government groups, or (as in the aforementioned Smith-Jones films) of super-secret bodies that operate outside of the official government, the real Men in Black were very different.

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Less getting jiggy with it, more terrifying the crap out of you

With the cameras rolling, I said that Albert Bender's MIB did not knock on his door, flash ID cards, and proceed to petrify him into silence, as many might assume. No: they materialized (as in literally materialized) in his attic-based bedroom in Bridgeport, Connecticut, amid nothing less than a foul odor similar to demonic brimstone! On top of that, their eyes shone - in fact, they almost glowed.

The MIB were thin, pale, and  near-vampire-like in appearance. They "spoke" with Bender in telepathic fashion. It was an exchange that provoked intense dizziness, pounding headaches, and both psychological and physical disturbances, including overwhelming exhaustion. It was, I said, as if Bender had been the subject of nothing less than a full-blown demonic attack.

I then proceeded to state how, as someone who writes regularly on the MIB, I get dozens of reports of encounters with the dark-suited ones, per year. I also noted that the overwhelming majority of the cases I receive are of the Bender variety, rather than of the Smith-Jones type.

The producer looked aghast. This was not what he expected or - clearly - wanted to hear. What he wanted from me was a great deal of talk on "government agents," hidden groups in the military and the intelligence community, and so on. Blah, blah, blah.

Again, I explained that what he was referring to was the pop-culture version of the MIB. If he wanted that, he really should have asked someone else to be on the show.

Then came a question that I most certainly didn't expect to hear (although, given some of the scummy shows I've worked on over the years, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised). It went something like this: "Could you talk about the Men in Black in general, and avoid things like the paranormal links and the glowing eyes?"

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Are you sure you want to talk about UFOs

In other words, pretend that the cases of the Bender kind simply didn't exist!

I replied that no, I could not do that. Whether the producer liked it or liked it not, that's how it was and how it still is: the MIB are clearly not the agents of government; of any government. They are far, far weirder.

The guy complained that the "secret agent" angle was the one they were pursuing - and the only one they were pursuing. I said, in that case, the show would not just be  inaccurate, but it would be deliberately inaccurate, if I were to kiss TV ass.

I made a joke about how it wasn't just the MIB that were silencing UFO researchers, but it was now TV companies, too! My sarcasm was not appreciated - not that I gave a damn, though.

I have done a lot of paranormal-themed TV shows in the last twenty years - or thereabouts - but I can state with certainty that, in the last year or two, things have definitely changed for the worse.

More and more, I'm asked to skirt around the facts for the sake of entertainment - something which I won't do. More and more, I'm asked to avoid bringing up certain things that might impact negatively on the show. Well, that's too bad: I won't bow down to that crap either.

How surreal and  ironic things have become: I fly to Houston to do a TV show on Ufology's most sinister silencers, and I find the TV company trying to silence my words on the silencers!

Although they failed to shut me up, and I told it as I see it - namely, that the MIB are paranormal, and not from "the government" - I don't doubt that my interview will suffer a far worse fate than anything the MIB could ever dish up. That means, I will be subjected to the editing process and the cutting-room floor...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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