The answer to that question is “No!” The reason I bring the matter up is because it’s being discussed right now at Rich Reynolds’ blog. It’s important to note that the terms “M.I.B” and “Men in Black” were created years ago to describe those sinister characters who turn up at the homes of UFO witnesses and terrorize them into silence. Today, the fact is that – unlike in the early days of Ufology – those terms are far more flexible than they were decades ago. Yes, the Men in Black are still calling on people and intimidating them. But, while the black suit is still dominating, it’s certainly not alone. Even the MIB, it seems, need a change in style now and again.
Back in the 1960s, when they weren’t always wearing black suits and black fedoras, the MIB were dressing in military uniforms, which is a far cry from the image that most people have of these creepy figures. Even U.S. Air Force personnel have acknowledged that fact. When John Keel’s research into the Mothman phenomenon of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was at its height in 1967, he came across more than a few cases of MIB. But, Keel was also given other accounts of strange characters who scared the you-know-what out of witnesses to UFO activity. They acted like the MIB, some of them looked weird – just like the MIB, too. But, they had the military uniform, rather than the suit.
In early ’67, Keel was able to speak to a Colonel George P. Freeman about this strange development. Freeman said: “Mysterious men dressed in Air Force uniforms or bearing impressive credentials from government agencies have been silencing UFO witnesses. We have checked a number of these cases, and these men are not connected to the Air Force in any way. We haven’t been able to find out anything about these men. By posing as Air Force officers and government agents, they are committing a Federal offense. We would sure like to catch one – unfortunately the trail is always too cold by the time we hear about these cases, but we are still trying.”
So, what we have here are cases of what appear to involve the Men in Black – except that they’re not dressed in black. I have a handful of cases of another kind of MIB: Men in Brown. They look just like the Men in Black. That’s to say they are pale, skinny and menacing. Their modus operandi is just the same: they warn, they threaten, and they give people nightmares. But, there’s not a black suit in sight. Typically, the suit is of a very dark brown. I have one case of a light-brown suit, this one from Warminster, England in the 1960s and after the witness encountered a Flying Saucer-type UFO, late one night. I have several cases of MIB wearing black suits, but also wearing largely unheard of (a) striped ties and (b) fedoras with white bands.
Then, there is the matter of the Men in White. In my 2015 book, Men in Black, Rich Reynolds said: “The Men in Black, whom Nick Redfern has documented rather fully in his book, The Real Men in Black, have been with mankind for a lot longer than surmised. They ensued right after the dawn of civilization, if The Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) and various myths have any reportorial accuracy. The modern-day MIB phenomenon began with Gray Barker’s introduction of them in his 1956 book, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. However, those versed in early religious and mythological tales know that Men in Black types have pounced on humanity well before 1956. The difference, which seems to have thrown off MIB enthusiasts, is that those early ‘men’ were garbed in white; Men in White, as it were. The Bible is replete with such encounters: Genesis 18/19: Verses 1 through 29 (in Chapter 19) recounts the visitation of God and/or his angels, telling Abraham about a pending birth and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
So, what we have here is a phenomenon that, for Ufologists, began with the MIB – and meaning quite literally strange characters in black and nothing else. Today, however, things have changed a bit. The term now encompasses entities that are MIB-like, but with certain, significant differences when it comes to their clothing. Should those terms “Men in Black” and “M.I.B.” be phased out, and replaced by something that has a broader scope and meaning? Any thoughts on what such a title should be?