For just about as long as the UFO phenomena has been around there has been the complimentary anomaly known as the notorious Men in Black. These phantom figures have long been reported to threaten and stalk certain eyewitnesses or those with insider knowledge of UFOs, usually warning them away from sharing what they have seen or know and always freaking them out. Reported from around the world, the Men in Black are typically almost universally described as being individuals, usually male, dressed in black suits or trench coats, often with sunglasses on even at night, mostly at least a bit odd-looking, and always displaying extremely bizarre behavior and mannerisms, and this is a phenomenon which my fellow Mysterious Contributor Nick Redfern has covered in far more detail than I intend to go into here. However, what has always intrigued me are the times when these frightening and creepy specters have actually been allegedly photographed or even filmed, and there are actually a few cases where this has allegedly happened. This is what I plan to delve into here, so let's take a look.
Perhaps the earliest and best known purported image of a Man in Black comes from 1968, in Jersey City, in the United States, where a UFO researcher named Jack Robinson lived with his wife, Mary. The couple began to notice something strange going on when they would come home to find that their house seemed to have been searched or rummaged through, ransacked even, especially their files of the UFO phenomena, although there was never any sign of forced entry or burglary. Shortly after this, Mary claimed that she began to notice a peculiar stranger dressed all in black and wearing sunglasses lurking and loitering about the area of their apartment, who could sometimes be seen staring up at their window. This was all spooky to be sure, and the creeped out couple told a friend of theirs, Tim Green Beckley, about what was happening. My esteemed colleague Nick Redfern, an expert on the MIB phenomenon and author of numerous books on the matter including The Real Men in Black, talked about this stranger and what happened next in an interview with New Dawn Magazine, saying:
Mary said he had an unsettling look on his face, kind of unemotional and zombie-like. Mary happened to mention this to Tim and Jim, and because the guy appeared three days in a row, they decided to drive over early one morning and see if they could see the Man in Black for themselves. Sure enough, he was there, staring ahead, with the black sunglasses, long black coat, and enigmatic stare.
Beckley allegedly came by one day when the enigmatic man was prowling about and managed to capture a photograph of him before he sauntered off and was gone. Although it is inconclusive to say the least, the resulting photograph is believed to be one of the first and clearest photos of one of the alleged Men in Black. What does this picture show? Is this really one of the Men in Black or just a guy in black clothes hanging out on the street? It is hard to say, and the authenticity of the photograph has been much discussed in UFO circles.
Perhaps even more impressive than this is a purported piece of video footage that is said to show two of the Men in Black, which surfaced in April of 2012 from the Aerial Phenomena Investigations Team. The incident allegedly began at a hotel in Canada, when the hotel manager was approached by one of his bellboys, who seemed to be rather unsettled about something and wanted to talk in private. He then claimed that two mysterious men dressed in black suits and trench coats had approached him, and he told the manager:
Something really weird happened here yesterday, and you weren’t here. There were a couple of guys looking for you. Well, this is really hard for me to say, but there were a couple of really strange looking men that were here, and they kind of freaked everybody out, and they were asking questions about you. And I said, “I’m sorry, he’s actually not working today.”
The bizarre strangers were described as being very tall, and of exactly the same height, with very pale skin and generally looking “odd.” It was also noted that they appeared to have the same face, as if they were twins. The bellman claimed that the two strangers had not seemed to really believe that the manager wasn’t in at the time, and proceeded to look around the premises and question other employees, with one other hotel staff member who was approached saying of them:
They asked some questions about you, and they said strange things that I didn’t understand, and they were talking about governments and conspiracies, and none of it made any sense to me, but they were very, very scary. They had no facial hair, none. They had no eyebrows, no eyelashes, nothing. Their hair looked like they had a wig on, like it was attached to their hat, like it wasn’t even real. And the scariest thing, their eyes were so big, and so blue, that they almost hypnotized me a little bit. These men, they didn’t blink. Not once did I see them blink.
The hotel manager was a bit disturbed to hear all of this, but was still skeptical about the whole thing. He claims that he then went through the security footage to check it out and found exactly what had been described, with two strange men dressed in black entering the hotel through the front doors. Is footage this the real deal? If it is not a hoax, then who were these mysterious gentlemen and what did they want? Were these really the legendary Men in Black? We will probably never know.
Even more recent is a case of supposed photographic evidence of the Men in Black that came out in 2014, according to a UFOGrid report. In the report, two witnesses came forward to tell their tale of being harassed by the Men in Black in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the witnesses was identified by the alias Jack Smith, now in his 50s, who claims that he had been relentlessly stalked by a pair of the mysterious entities wearing identical black suits his whole life, which he surmised was due to encounters he had had with the “grey” aliens back in his youth. He says that ever since, he had been menaced by the Men in Black for decades, saying:
They have let me know that I could be found where ever I was. What was said to me was threatening and they have caused me to live in fear a lot of the time. I know the truth. My good, close friends know the truth, as well.
On April 13, 2014, he claims that he and a friend were followed by the mysterious strangers, and that this time he managed to capture them on video staring directly at them. The day had started with Jack and his friend, Jane, going out for some sightseeing and lunch, and they found themselves waiting for a streetcar at the French Quarter’s Bienville Street station near Jackson Square. It was here where they would notice two weird looking men dressed in stuffy black suits despite the hot weather at the time, standing there milling about at the station, and Jane would say of them and their behavior:
I knew something was wrong immediately. They looked like identical twins. They were slim, and much taller than the average person. They were dressed in identical black suits, white shirts, skinny black ties, fedoras, and black sun glasses. They just looked so odd. They were pale, they were stiff, and they moved eerily in unison. They had oblong faces with a thin line for a mouth. Their whole vibe was cold and creepy. (They were) calm, but like how a reptile can appear calm. Twin lizards in suits. They leaned in simultaneously to communicate with each other. Their mouths opened slightly, but they were not talking. They were communicating something to each other, but not talking!
The two strange men apparently waited there and repeatedly stared at Jack and Jane the entire time, but when the streetcar finally arrived after a 20-minute wait, the two men reportedly turned away and walked over to a shiny black car with a foreign license plate. The two then simply got into the vehicle and drove away. Jack had captured some of the encounter on his cell phone, and he would later relate to Jane what he thought they were, and although she was taken aback she had indeed seen it all herself so there was no denying that these were not ordinary people. Eerily, Jack later sent her the video footage he had taken, but Jane’s phone inexplicably deleted it, as well as all of the data on her SD card, which the cell phone company was unable to explain. The mysterious video also supposedly deleted itself off of another friend’s phone when Jack attempted to send it. Jack would finally send it to UFOGrid, telling them:
The thought of giving (the video) to anybody scares the hell out of me because when I tried to share it before bad things happened. The thought of what could possibly happen to me if I did release this…I honestly do fear for my life. This experience is awful. I can't even begin to explain to you how awful it is. The very thought of stirring things up scares the heck out of me. I hope it can help someone that is struggling in silence because of MIB harassment. Whatever or whoever uses these [MIBs] to keep us in fear to control us, is despicable.
Again, what does this strange footage show? There are certainly men dressed in black visible, but it is impossible to tell if they had anything off about them or if they are really the Men in Black or not. And therein lies the trouble with capturing photographic or video evidence of these mysterious individuals. They appear as more or less human, albeit creepy looking, and any alleged photograph is difficult to assess, as it could very well just be some weirdos in black suits. There is absolutely no way we can really know what we are really seeing in such images, nothing to mark it as truly outside of the explainable and so banishing such evidence to the limbo of mere speculation and rumor, although to be fair if they are real then this is probably exactly how they want it.
Indeed, it has not even really been ascertained just what the Men in Black are actually supposed to be in the first place. They are surrounded by so much lore and bizarreness that it is hard to say if they are agents from some secretive government organization, a freelance cabal with their own inscrutable agenda, aliens themselves, something more paranormal in nature, or simply an elaborate and persistent urban legend. Reports of the Men in Black help matters little, as they are so varied and absolutely riddled with myriad high strangeness. Just what are we even supposed to be dealing with here? To again quote my colleague Nick Redfern, when asked what he thought they were he has said in the past:
My personal conclusion is that there are at least two things going on. There are the government-originated MIB, and there are the weirder MIB. As for the former, I prove in the book (The Real Men in Black) that some can be traced back to official agencies of at least several governments. As for those stranger MIB, my personal view is that they are paranormal. Of course, much of this depends on how we define the paranormal! My personal view is that the MIB may be the inhabitants of multi-dimensions or extra-dimensions that co-exist with ours, and whose role it is to keep us away from the truth about not just UFOs, but a whole range of strange phenomena too. But as for why, that is the big question still eluding us!
Whatever the Men in Black are, they appear to be here to stay, and they invariably go hand in hand with the UFO phenomenon, whatever that all entails. Who they are, how they are linked to such oddities, and what their capacity is may likely be debated forever, but for those who have encountered them they are at the very least very real. While these figures have mostly been confined to the realm of witness accounts, with very little physical evidence, we are still left with these intriguing images. Are we really seeing the legendary Men in Black here? Is there any clue to be gleaned from these images and videos? It is all at the very least a baffling piece of the Men in Black puzzle.