Yes, I know the title of today's article is a weird one. But, stay with me. There is, for example, the very weird saga of a man named Peter Rojcewicz who, in 1980, had a bizarre encounter with a Man in Black in the library of the University of Pennsylvania. It was an encounter with a tall, wizened old man with a European accent. As the aged and unsettlingly odd figure in black proceeded to grill Rojcewicz on the matter of flying saucers, Rojcewicz suddenly realized he was all alone in the library, with no-one but the creepy MIB around. Everyone had vanished; as in gone. Only when the old man exited the building did normality return. Let's expand on the story: on the day in question, Peter Rojcewicz was working on his PhD thesis in folklore. It was while doing research at the Library of the University of Pennsylvania that Rojcewicz had an encounter of a type that will instantly be recognizable, in terms of its relation to Jane’s, some thirteen years earlier. Rojcewicz’s very own words are suggestive of the menace that was soon to follow: “It was a strange day, weather-wise, with erratic shifts of rain and wind and sun. It would get very blustery, and then it would become very calm. It was approximately 4:30 P.M. and already on the dark side.”
As Rojcewicz studied hard, and as nightfall loomed, he suddenly became aware of a darkly-clad, tall and thin man in his midst. The odd character had tanned skin, black and greasy hair, sunken eyes, and a hard to define accent, but one which had a strong European flavor to it. In addition, he wore a Texan-style string tie. Its color doesn’t even need describing; one and all surely can surely deduce that by now. The man asked Rojcewicz what he was working on, and Rojcewicz told him that he was researching the UFO phenomenon. The MIB then proceeded to ask Rojcewicz if he had ever seen a UFO. He replied he was more interested in accounts of UFOs than whether or not they were alien craft. The MIB was not happy by Rojcewicz’s response. In a loud voice he said, “Flying saucers are the most important fact of the century, and you’re not interested?!” The man then stood up – “as if mechanically lifted” – put his hand on Rojcewicz’ shoulder, and added, as he walked away, “Go well in your purpose.”
Now, to a very creepy story of books: it was a wintry, freezing, and dark Saturday afternoon in the latter part of January 1987 and a man named Bruce Lee - who worked as a senior editor at a New York publishing house, William Morrow & Co. - walked into a bookstore on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was the now- closed-down Womrath’s, on Lexington Avenue. Also with Lee was his wife. It turns out that William Morrow & Co. had then very recently published Whitley Strieber’s New York Times’ bestseller, Communion – a book that told of Strieber’s very own and deeply personal encounters of the so-called “alien abduction” variety. Womrath’s had a large display set up for Communion and they also stocked a couple of Lee’s own books. Quite naturally, Lee, who had also worked for Reader’s Digest and Newsweek, was curious to see how both of the displays looked. At this point, Lee and his wife parted and she headed off to the fiction section. Lee’s attention was suddenly drawn to a strange couple that entered the store. In his own words, the pair headed “directly for Communion.” He explained: “I mean, it was just, you could see them come in – they didn’t know where the book was, you couldn’t see it from the street – and they came in and headed right back for where that rack was. Most unusual, if you see what I mean.”
That was not the only unusual thing about that fateful, Saturday afternoon. Both the man and the woman were barely five feet in height – maybe even slightly smaller. They had scarves that covered their chins, hats pulled tightly down, and huge, black sunglasses. They also appeared to begin speed-reading the book, noting out loud – one might even suggest for Lee’s benefit – where Strieber had “got this wrong” and “got that wrong.” They also giggled in a strange, unsettling fashion. We’ve seen that before, too. Quite naturally, given that he worked for the very publisher that had just released Communion, Lee walked over and asked the pair what was wrong with the book. The woman suddenly looked up, at which point Lee was able to see through her sunglasses that her eyes were not just large, but huge, and shaped like almonds. Lee, by his own admission, felt the hackles on the back of his neck rise, and got a “mad dog” feeling emanating from the woman. He was likely not wrong when he observed: “I got to feeling that I was in eyeball contact with somebody who did not like me at all.”
Such was the nature of the woman, Lee literally began to shake, backed away, quickly looked for his wife, and fled the store. “I didn’t want to get bitten” he said. Was the woman sending a message to Lee, one that was all but guaranteed to get back to both William Morrow & Co., and to Strieber himself? Very possibly, yes, since that’s precisely what happened. Certainly, it hardly seems likely that this encounter between Bruce Lee and the “mad dog” woman, and her silent male partner, was down to nothing stranger than chance. Now, let’s take a look at a certain Woman in Beige. She, too, has a connection to Whitley Strieber and his blockbuster, Communion. Two months after Bruce Lee’s traumatic experience in Womrath’s, there was yet another encounter in a bookstore that had at its heart a mysterious woman and Whitley Strieber’s 1987 book Communion. In this case, the person in question was a psychoanalyst, Dr. Lee Zahner-Roloff. As he walked through the store, a tall, blond woman came towards him, holding in her arms – almost as one would cradle a newborn baby – a copy of Communion. Zahner-Roloff told Strieber:
“In passing her I was overwhelmed with a sudden urge to pick up that book. Why would I pick up that book, about which I knew nothing, and seemed to have a loss of control regarding the purchase of?” He added that, “I lost personal volition completely.” Zahner-Roloff bought the book and quickly told work colleagues about it. In no time at all, it was as if an epidemic of alien-themed dreams took hold of him and his work friends. He said to Strieber: “Every once in a while I think about that tall woman in the beige suit carrying your book face forward through the aisles.”
Ten years later, and on the other side of the pond, the wife of an English UFO researcher named Nigel Wright was threatened by a mysterious woman in white. It just so happens that on the very day Wright was busily pouring over old newspaper archives. Where? In his local library, that’s where – and in search of material on UFOs in the county of Devon, which was where Nigel and his wife, Sue, were living at the time. Not only that, Nigel found in the archives an old report of what sounded like an encounter with a group of Men in Black in the early years of the 20th century. And, another source told me the following:
"I’ve met the MIB twice, 2005, about 2009, and a WIB once in the mid-1990s. The WIB claimed she was a “government attorney,” had a strict intimidating manner. She had a black suit with dress, black shoes, no black hat, and a black briefcase. She was in a Mall Bookstore (Waldenbooks) shopping for UFO books, (strange). She told me she was looking for [Brad] Steiger’s Project Blue Book, the last copy of which I bought day before. She followed me out of the store and talked to me briefly. I told her that “any ufologist (me) could be easily discredited by claiming they had watched too many Star Wars or Star Trek type movies.” She didn’t smile, and then we both separated. I’ve met about 5 different alien races since late 1950s starting with one group, The Elephant Skinned or Wrinkly Skinned Alien in about 1957-59 when I was 4-5 years old. This is the same group as per the 1973 case Hickson/Parker in Mississippi. Today I am retired as a hospital pharmacist with Pharm.D. degree after 32 years of practice. I had attended UC Berkeley as science student back in the 1970s but did not graduate there. I have not be involved myself that much due to these MIB approaches and subtle telepathic and verbal threats. I am a private UFO/alien researcher." Moving on...
One of the people whose Men in Black experiences feature in my 2015 Men in Black book is a friend of mine, Steve Ray. After reading the book, and just a few days after it was published, Steve experienced something unusual. In his very own words to me: “I read the whole Kindle version of the book Sunday and Monday. Monday night I came home and found two black cars parked – headlights out – in non-assigned spaces directly facing my assigned parking space. When I came upstairs, I found my living-room lamp had been switched from its normal setting to the spookier black-light setting – which I have no memory of doing, and I was the last one here.” I told Steve I was not surprised. He was not comforted by my words; not at all. He wasn’t meant to be. I tell it as it is: good, bad, or worse still.
Now, another strange story concerning UFOs and books. Back in 1962 UFO writer Gray Barker published a follow-up, and far less known, title to Albert Bender’s Flying Saucers and the Three Men. It went by the moniker of Bender Mystery Confirmed. It was, basically, a 100-page collection of letters from readers of Bender’s book and who wanted to offer their thoughts and theories on its contents. One of those people was the now late ufologist Trevor James Constable. The author of They Live in the Sky, and someone who believed that at least some UFOs are living, jellyfish-like creatures, Constable wrote the following letter to Gray Barker, which the latter duly published in Bender Mystery Confirmed. It begins: "Dear Gray, It is difficult indeed for me, as an occultist with some firsthand experience of this field of UFOs, to sort out Bender’s journeys back and forth across the threshold line between the physical and the astral. A biometric examination of Al Bender would probably indicate similar things to what it revealed about certain other researchers - total inability to distinguish between events on two planes of reality."
Constable continued: "Bender’s honesty I do not for a moment doubt. His discrimination I would deem non-existent. It seems almost incredible that the man could relate the full story of the construction of his chamber of horrors in the attic in the way Bender has. This is what convinces me of his honesty. Nothing could be more logical, in an occult way, than that the invisible entities he invited by the preparation of this locale, should indeed manifest to him, and thereafter proceed to obsess him for a protracted period, using hypnotic techniques that brought the man completely under their control. As to the nature of the entities involved, it seems that my writings about the 'imperceptible physical' as source of many space ships, or so-called space ships, are only too close to the truth. Indeed, if Bender’s experience has any value, I’d like to suggest that it certainly illuminates a re-reading of They Live in the Sky. I don’t believe I know of any case quite like Bender’s, where a man seemingly oblivious to the reality and laws of the occult, brought upon himself the energetic attention of aggressive occult forces. Certainly, the man can thank some kind of Divine intervention for the preservation of his sanity - if everything he writes is true."
There was more: "Assuming that Bender has been truthful and honest, I would say that the lesson if his experiences is this. For the understanding of the UFOs and all the bewildering phenomena connected in this field, a working knowledge of occult science is indispensable. This lesson, driven home in innumerable ways since saucers came to mankind, is given new force with the Bender book. But few there will be who will heed it. It does not surprise me to learn of the various manifestations you report – in fact, an occultist would be surprised if they did not occur. The psychic lady in Cleveland undoubtedly provides enough prana [“prana” being a Sanskrit word meaning 'life-force'], voluntarily or involuntarily, to permit the near manifestations of low grade entities drawn to her aura by her concentration on the book. The odor of drains and these occurrences in the toilet are old hat to occult students. It might give you pause to wonder just what you are setting on foot for some people, and undoubtedly drawing to yourself. Not for the sake of money did I suggest that you leave this kind of thing behind! The impulse to burn the book is mighty interesting.
"This impulse springs from the best kind of intuition. When the Fire Gods come, everyone else in the unseen departs. It’s as simple as that, so the lady in question would have been well advised to consume the book in fire, as her intuition so rightly prompted her. The lady who returned the book was also wise, if she felt that way. Send it back to its source – a sound occult system of personal defense, if no higher knowledge is at the individual’s disposal. What Constable was talking about here – with regard to one reader burning her copy of Albert Bender’s Flying Saucers and the Three Men and another one who felt so unclean and infected after handling the book that she felt the need to mail it back to Barker – were other people who had written to Gray Barker and whose accounts Barker privately shared with Constable." Now, let's brings matters closer to the present day.
In early November 2016 I received in the mail a copy of Linda Godfrey’s new book, Monsters Among Us. In her book, Linda tells the story of a man named Paul who, in October 2012, shared with her an intriguing story. Paul stated that at the time he was twenty-one and, one week before his traumatic encounter, he read Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby novel. That Paul thought it relevant to even raise that issue is interesting. According to Paul, he was asleep in the front bedroom of his girlfriend’s house when he quickly woke up – to a smoke-like odor. In an instant, Paul saw at the foot of the bed what he described as a “Dogman.” He added: “It was very dark in color, like a German shepherd without the saddle colors but more black, and the presentiment of its intellect was very scary.” As if Paul’s experience wasn’t enough, only two days after Linda’s book arrived I received a Facebook message from a woman named Natalie, who had her own Rosemary’s Baby-themed account to relate. Natalie told me that as someone who is a big fan of horror-movies, she was very pleased to receive at Christmas 2015, a DVD copy of Rosemary’s Baby, which she watched on the night of December 26 in her Austin, Texas apartment.
During the early hours of the 27th, Natalie experienced a classic example of sleep-paralysis. Looming over her – as she lay in bed and unable to move – was a darkly-hooded, man-sized figure with a pale face. And holding a sickle, no less. Natalie says she was given a “message”-like prophecy concerning the detonation of a nuclear weapon in early 2017 in a major city. Where, exactly, or even in which country, Natalie wasn’t told. She “sensed” it would be a devastating, localized event – with millions dead – but which was quickly destined to spiral out of control and ignite World War Three, with billions dead That Natalie shared her story with me less than 48-hours after Linda’s book arrived is something I find intriguing. Of course, the fact that prophecies – and the supernatural entities that so often provide them – are notoriously unreliable suggests we should not be too concerned, despite the dangerous state the world is in right now.
I have to admit that I don't know why there should be such a connection between the UFO phenomenon, Men in Black, Women in Black, libraries and book-stores. But, there is. Any thoughts?