Dec 21, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Men in Black: How Many Different Types are There? Robots, Secret-Agents and Paranormal Things

As someone who has written extensively on the mysterious issue of the Men in Black, I'm often asked something along the lines of "What are the different types of M.I.B.?" Well, that's a very good question. Specifically because there isn't just one sort of Man in Black. There's not even just two. In fact, there are several, as strange as it might sound. We'll begin with the image that most people have: stern-faced characters - very often wearing fedora hats - and looking like they stepped out of a top secret, government facility. In other words, they aren't the kinds you would want to cross paths with, but there's nothing strange or odd about them. We can't say that for all of the Men in Black, though. As we'll see soon. Another type, that also comes across totally normal are the "Military Men in Black." By that, I mean characters who wear military uniforms - and as a means to get into peoples' homes and question them about their UFO encounters. Such was the extent to which this type of Man in Black was prevalent in the 1960s, the U.S. military circulated an official document warning its personnel to keep a look out for these mysterious, uniformed figures. For example, here's one of several documents that was circulated:

On March 1, 1967, Lieutenant General Hewitt T. Wheless, USAF, penned the following memo. It was widely circulated within the military: "Information, not verifiable, has reached Hq USAF that persons claiming to represent the Air Force or other Defense establishments have contacted citizens who have sighted unidentified flying objects. In one reported case, an individual in civilian clothes, who represented himself as a member of NORAD, demanded and received photos belonging to a private citizen." The document continues: "In another, a person in an Air Force uniform approached [italics mine] local police and other citizens who had sighted a UFO, assembled them in a school room and told them that they did not see what they thought they saw and that they should not talk to anyone about the sighting. All military and civilian personnel and particularly information officers and UFO investigating officers who hear of such reports should immediately notify their local OSI [Office of Special Investigations] offices."

John Keel said of these uniformed men, in The Mothman Prophecies: "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." Moving on, there are the "robot"-like M.I.B. No, I'm not joking. Some Men in Black act and even look like robots. Their skin looks like plastic, and they have a jerky walk.

Robot Book Cover 570x855
(Nick Redfern) Robots in Black?!

Gareth J. Medway has an excellent list of Men in Black encounters that began a long, long time ago and that continued up to the 2000s. Of these robotic M.I.B., Gareth gives us these words: "1967, 9 January: The Christiansen family of Wildwood, New Jersey, who had seen a UFO on 22 November 1966, were interviewed by 'the strangest looking man I’ve ever seen', wearing a thin black coat, who introduced himself as 'Tiny' from the 'Missing Heirs Bureau.' He spoke in a high, ‘tinny’ voice, in clipped words and phrases like a computer, “as if he were reciting everything from memory.” His black trousers were too short, and 'they could see a long thick green wire attached to the inside of his leg, it came up out of his socks and disappeared under his trousers.' John Keel commented that he had not heard of this feature in other MIB cases: 'Was Tiny wearing electric socks? Or was he a wired android operated by remote control?' He departed in a black 1963 Cadillac. Sanderson, Uninvited Visitors, pp.160-61; Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.85-89."

We now come to the creepiest Men in Black of all. They look far less like government agents and far more like the M.I.B. of the 1998 movie, Dark City. In fact, I would say the Men in Black of the movie are almost identical to those in the real world. Not only that, they have the ability to hypnotize people, to make them sick, to cause poltergeist activity in the home of the targeted person, and sometimes to vanish at almost impossible speeds. The big question is: are all of these Men in Black interconnected? My view is a big "No." That, of course, makes the M.I.B. enigma even more complicating! Now, with the various Men in Black addressed, in the next article I'll do likewise with the Women in Black.

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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