It was a sad day when long-time writer and researcher Brad Steiger died on May 6, 2018. Brad was a good friend and someone who could focus his attention on just about any and all aspects of the paranormal, supernatural, ufological and much more. One of the last things that Brad gave me was a great, informative paper that demonstrated Brad's views on the UFO subject and the mystery of the Men in Black. With that said, I'll now share Brad's own words with you. Brad began: "After more than 50 years of research in the UFO and paranormal fields, I have come to the conclusion that many of the mysteries that bedevil us are products of a reflexive phenomenon. This reflexive action does not usually occur in the more mundane pursuits of architecture, industry, mining, agriculture and the like, but once one begins actively to pursue Ufology or psychical research, one runs the risk of entering a surreal world in which the usual physical laws do not apply."
Brad continued: "In the case of the mythos of the Men in Black, I suggest that that eerie enigma may have begun with the machinations of a human agency assigned to investigate the actions of the more high profile investigators of the phenomenon and the more convincing witness of UFO activity with the goals of learning more about the growing interest in a worldwide phenomena. Somehow along the way, this activity of the human surveillance of other humans caught the interest of a nonhuman, paraphysical agency that has for centuries pursued goals that remain elusive, even sinister, to the individuals whom they visit. Whether motivated by a bizarre sense of humor, an essentially malicious nature, or a desire to learn how much some humans know about their eternal secrets, the Others began knocking on the doors of those who had witnessed or who had investigated UFO activity. Some of my experiences with the MIB seem most certainly the product of human surveillance that in most instances was conducted with awkward fallibility."
Brad had much more to say: "Once in the golden era of MIB activity in the late 1960s while speaking to a fellow researcher on the telephone, our conversation was interrupted by a metallic-sounding voice chanting: 'Ho, ho, UFO!' Because it seemed that this got a rise out of us, this merry chant was repeated on a number of telephone calls with other investigators. A friend who had been doing a great deal of research on my behalf told of the time when he was anticipating a visit from me. He picked up the telephone to make a call on his private line, only to hear the following bit of conversation: 'Has Steiger arrived in town yet?' 'Not yet.' 'What motel will he be staying in?' 'Don’t worry. Everything is set.' At this point my friend broke in and asked who the hell was on his private line. There was a stunned silence, a click, then the steady buzzing that indicates a clear line.I had my own experience with the awkward telephone spies when I checked into a hotel and found that the bell man had missed one of my suitcases - the most important one with the slides for my lecture."
Brad's friend continued: "I picked up the receiver to hear a man’s voice inquire: 'When is he supposed to check in?' 'He is already in his room,' I said in reply, though I knew the query wasn’t asked of me. 'Oh, shit!' was the profound response, followed by two rapid hang-ups. Other experiences with the MIB are not so easy to place in either the Human or Non-Human category." Things will get even weirder, as you'll see right now. Brad said: "A friend of mine was traveling in England before starting on an around-the-world junket with a layover in Vietnam to visit his son in the armed forces. He was walking near a railway station in London when he noticed three men dressed completely in black staring at him. When my friend returned their collective stare, they approached him and asked him which train they should take for such-and-such a city. My friend calmly pointed out that he was a tourist, and it made a good deal more sense for them to ask at the information booth just a few feet away. My friend turned on his heel and walked away from the odd trio, but a glance over his shoulder told him that they were still standing there staring at him, unmindful of checking with the information booth. Suddenly ill at ease, my friend hailed a taxi and went directly to his hotel."
There was much more to come from Brad: "When he got to his room, an uncomfortable sensation prickled the back of his neck and he glanced out his window. On the street corner, looking up at his room, were the three men. Baffled, he tried to push the incident from his mind. A day or so later, though, he was confronted by one of the men who told him straight out: 'You are a friend of Brad Steiger. Tell him we shall visit him by Christmas.' My friend had only a peripheral knowledge of the UFO can of worms, but he returned to his hotel room and wrote me a long letter with the above details. Not long after I had received his letter, I visited a friend in another city and told him about the bizarre experience my correspondent had encountered in London. 'Humph!' Jim snorted over the lunch we were sharing. 'If those monkeys come to see you this Christmas, send ‘em down to talk to me. I'd love to get one of those characters in my hands. I would solve this man-in-black mystery you've been telling me about!'"
"I had not returned from my trip by more than a few minutes when the telephone rang," said Brad. "It was Jim calling. Wondering if I might have left something at his place of business, I was informed that I had indeed left a most peculiar something behind me. Jim told me that I had no sooner started my homeward journey than he was told that a gentleman wished to see him. A secretary ushered a man of average height into Jim's office. But my friend said that his visitor was the thinnest human being he had ever seen. 'He was cadaverous, Brad,' Jim told me. 'He looked like those World War II photographs of someone in a concentration camp. But he seemed alert enough, and so involved in his quest that he ignored my proffered hand of greeting. In fact, I tried to push shaking his hand, but he refused to touch me. 'I hear you want to be the head of UFO’s in Iowa,' he said quickly. 'He took out a wallet, flipped it open, then shut, before I could see any identification. I can’t really recall anything else he said, because it was all so damned nonsensical. Soon he was gone, and I was still sitting there dumbfounded."
The story was far from over: "I jumped to my feet, though, when I heard his car starting. I got a good look at his automobile and I wrote down its license number. I can't tell you what make of car it was. It looked like a combination of three or four different makes and models, but it didn't really look like anything I had ever seen before. And the license number didn't check. The Highway Patrol said there was no such Iowa plate registered. A friend in another branch of state government, who owed me a favor, said the plate wasn't registered to any government agency, either.” Brad said: "The cases above are baffling, but in the following cases I suspect a human agency involved in a strange campaign that was conducted regarding Steiger imposters who spoke at various conferences around the United States. On occasions the imposters allegedly conducted themselves very well, thus making the whole enterprise of Counterfeit Steigers a seemingly futile project. On other occasions, the imposter’s assignment was quite obviously to taint my reputation."
Now, we come to another aspect of Brad's work: "On a unfortunate number of occasions, I received letters complaining of my outrageous and insulting behavior while speaking at a conference. There were claims that I had openly berated my audience, calling them stupid for accepting the very premise of UFOs. A close friend happened to arrive on the scene after one pseudo-Steiger had departed and tried his best to assure the sponsors of the event that the rowdy, disrespectful speaker could not have been the real Brad. In his letter, my friend warned me that he had visited a number of lecture halls where the imposter had damned his audiences. “Someone seems out to damage your reputation,” he advised. "In a most bizarre twist, dozens of men and women have approached me at various lectures and seminars, congratulating me about the manner in which I bested Dr. Carl Sagan in debate. The event allegedly occurred after a lecture when I happened to bump into the great scientist in a restaurant. The eatery, according to the witnesses, was crowded with those who had attended the seminar, and they egged on a debate between myself and Dr. Sagan. I mopped up the floor with him, countering his every argument against the reality of UFOs."
Brad explained the mystery. Or, at least , to the extent he could: "The truth is that I never met Dr. Sagan, therefore, neither had I ever debated him. But from coast to coast, there are those who claim to have witnessed my triumphal bout. Even more individuals claim to have been in the audience when I delivered a rousing message from the Space Brothers in Seattle. Regardless of how often I deny that I was not in Seattle at that time and have never channeled the Space Brothers, those who were at that event are puzzled why I would deny my eloquence. It is true, that I have met and interviewed men and women who do claim to speak on behalf of Extraterrestrial Intelligences, but in retrospect, I found such a privilege to carry with it many possible negative experiences. I think of the reminiscences that I have shared with an Iowa farm family about those weird and wild MIB days. UFOs had become a part of this family’s life several years before one of its male members became a “channel” for an entity who claimed to be from another world. The invisible telepathic being began communicating with the family because they had been “selected before they had been born” to assist him in doing 'His' work and in protecting Earth from another group of intelligences who sought to enslave mankind."
"The communicating entity, said Brad, "led the various members of the family circle on a number of “assignments” designed to save the Earth and to serve the benign entity and his kind. But always, the entity warned them, there was the enemy group with its men in black, seeking whom they might devour. The family, who became 'flying saucer missionaries,' saw mysterious fellow passengers board airplanes with them--then disappear somewhere in mid flight. Automobiles appeared out of nowhere to follow and harass them. A man claiming to be from a state educational division called at the high school and talked for over an hour with one of the teenaged girl members of the family. The only questions he asked had to do with whether or not she would be able to recognize a spy. When suspicious adult members of the beleaguered family checked with school administrators, they were informed that they had no knowledge of such a man nor of such a division within the state educational system. The girl who had been interrogated by the unidentified man also developed into a 'channel' for the communicating entity, and soon several members of the family were practicing automatic writing."
Brad had a wealth of cases to share: "UFO’s swooped low overhead at night. Eerie lights were seen to dance about in the fields. Invisible entities snatched keys from their resting places and jangled them about the room, terrifying the children. Unseen hands lifted a mattress on which one couple lay sleeping, under which were some “secret” papers that the principal communicating entity had dictated. Their farm work was being ignored. Their lives had become a living nightmare in which every stranger was suspect, every sound in the night that of an invader, every strange coincidence imbued with desperate and weighty significance. At last the full realization that they had been deceived - that they had been led into a silly game - jolted them into determined action, and they resumed meaningful living, becoming a quite prosperous farm family. Although some of their past experiences seemed foolish in retrospect, they had to agree that they had learned valuable lessons from their strange companions."
Brad had a few more things to say: "Nowadays, whenever I review those days of encounters with the men in black, I am led to think of the mythological figure common to all cultures and known generically to ethnologists as the Trickster. The Trickster plays pranks upon mankind, but often at the same time he is instructing them or transforming aspects of the world for the benefit of his human charges. Most cultures view the Trickster as a primordial being who came into existence soon after the creation of the world. A number of Amerindian tribes referred to their Trickster figure as 'Old Man,' because they saw him as someone who was ageless, as old as time. The Trickster is usually viewed as a supernatural being with the ability to change his shape at will. Although basically wily, he may behave in a very stupid, childish manner at times, and may often end up as the one who is tricked. The Trickster lies, cheats, and steals without compunction. He seems often to be the very essence of amoral animalism. The Trickster figure is often credited with bringing death and pain into the world; yet, in some recitations, his own son was the first to die as a result. Perhaps one day we will learn the positive aspect of the MIB, the Trickster, the UFOnaut. As strange as it may seem, the MIB may merely be attempting to teach in their own strange ways the knowledge, or awareness, of powers that today exist only in our dreams of the future." A fascinating report from Brad and a fantastic man, too.