Nov 24, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Men and Women in Black: A Catalog of Creepy Characters

Most people, surely, have heard of the Men in Black - even if it's only because of the Will Smith-Tommy Lee Jones movies. I'm often asked how strange are the real Men in Black. There's no doubt: they are extremely strange. As you'll see now. Not one of them are what you could call normal. In September 2014, a very weird report came my way. Like most such MIB reports involving the black-suited things which have caught my attention, it was a bizarre one, and one which had significantly traumatized the witness. Only hours after briefly seeing a cigar-shaped UFO hovering near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England on December 25, 1985, Sandra Green – who was driving home, in the early hours, after a late night Christmas Eve party in the English city of Bath – had a bizarre dream. In it, three Men in Black warned Sandra to keep her nose out of UFOs. They were – as they usually are – cadaverous “slightly dead”-looking MIB. As for the warning, it was one of those “or else”-type threats that the MIB are so skilled at making. The dream was so graphic it led Sandra to believe that the MIB had the ability to literally get inside her dreams, manipulate those very same dreams, and issue a bone-chilling warning – one which she has still not forgotten. Sandra shared the story with me on the evening of September 9, 2014 – the facts of the affair still firmly fixed in her mind and her memory after close to thirty years. And, I have to say, it wasn’t just the facts that were fixed in Sandra’s mind: it was cold fear, too. Even across a transatlantic telephone call I could sense that all was not well. I messaged Sandra a few days later, in an effort to clarify a couple of things she mentioned to me. She did not reply. She still hasn’t. A sign of something? I hoped not. 

(Nick Redfern) Keep Away From the Men in Black

October 8, 2014: The Hat Man is a Man in Black-type being that appears in shadowy form; not unlike the infamous Shadow People – to whom the Hat Man is almost certainly related, even if we’re not sure why. On many occasions, however, the Hat Man appears in regular, human form, with a black beard and a black suit, and wearing a long overcoat or a cloak –always black, too. I know this, as I have investigated many such affairs. Most noticeable about this creepy figure is, of course, his hat. Sometimes, it’s a fedora, other times it’s an old style top hat. Occasionally, it’s more like a cowboy hat. But, regardless of the kind of headgear, it’s always present and always black. Many of the encounters occur while the victim is in a distinct altered state – that of sleeping. Angie had just such an encounter in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 6, 1994, as she told me late on the evening of October 8, 2014. Her reason for contacting me was due to the fact that, quite out of the blue, she had suddenly begun to dream of the events of twenty years earlier – and dream of them almost every night for the last couple of weeks. Very much like those people unfortunate enough to be confronted by the somewhat similar Slenderman – the ultimate Internet meme come to life in Tulpa form - Angie was sleeping when the mysterious thing disturbed her sleep by manifesting in her bedroom and staring at her with a menacing grin on its pale, ghoulish face. For a few moments, Angie was unable to move. As she finally broke the spell of paralysis, however, the Hat Man was gone.

Now, let's go to November 2014: The Marshall family of Perth, Australia had a strange encounter after seeing a huge, black, triangular shaped UFO flying completely silently, and at a dangerously low level, as they headed home after a night out on June 3, 1999. Although they did not tell anyone about their experience (at least, not at the time, anyway), late on the following night the phone rang. It was a man with a strange and somewhat European accent who warned them not to talk about the craft they had seen. In this case, the family forgot about the experience until years later when they saw a TV documentary on the Men in Black enigma - which referenced the issue of the MIB making threatening phone calls to UFO witnesses. Today, the family is solidly convinced that what they experienced was full-blown intimidation from a menacing MIB. I had to agree, when I read the facts, which came to me through Facebook on November 9. It was yet another chilling affair to add to my files.

I was told the story on March 28, 2015. The location: Pasadena, California. The site of a strange encounter with a definitive Man in Black, was specifically on March 22 1979. The witness, Charlie H., contacted me thirty-six years later to share his story, after I spoke on the MIB enigma on a local, Texas radio show. Charlie, now living in the Lone Star State, had seen a UFO as he drove near to what is known locally as Devil Gate Dam. It’s a place with a great deal of paranormal activity attached to it and at which Jack Parsons, a 1930s rocket-pioneer and a devotee of “the great beast” Aleister Crowley, hung out on a regular basis. The UFO, said Charlie, was not particularly large, and was circular and bright pink in color. Charlie, who was driving home from a shift which ended at 2:00 a.m., added that the UFO came close to his car – around eighty or ninety feet away – then shot away into the sky. Two days later, and as he happened to look out of his living-room window, Charlie saw a man dressed in a black fedora, black suit, black trench-coat, white shirt, and black tie, get out of an old, black Cadillac and quickly take a photo of his home. The MIB then got back into the vehicle and drove away. John Keel termed this particular brand of MIB as “phantom photographers.” A most apt term, to be sure. I shared my thoughts and opinions as we chatted and thanked Charlie for his call. We’ll hear more about those creepy characters with cameras later on.

(Nick Redfern) Strange and Sinister Figures

Now, to April 8, 2015. Time and again I hear stories of the Men in Black and the Women in Black. On February 1, 2015, however, Marc encountered in California woods a child in black. Not a Black-Eyed Child of the type diligently pursued by BEC expert David Weatherly, I should stress, but a pale-faced boy attired in black pants, black t-shirt, and a black hoody. The CIB turned up while Marc was hunting, and just a few hours after he encountered a globe-like UFO over his tent, at a height of around eighty or ninety feet. According to Marc, who reached me by Facebook, the boy in black appeared out of nowhere, laughing in an odd and hair-raising fashion, and then suddenly vanishing into nothingness. I was not at all surprised when Marc told me he didn’t stay in the woods for much longer: he was soon gone. Now, to the Women in Black.

The mid-to-late 1960s was a period when encounters with the Women in Black reached near-fever-pitch levels. It all began in early spring 1967, when reports began to surface of black-garbed “gypsy women” roaming around certain, quieter parts of New York. They clearly weren’t regular gypsies, however. That much was made clear by the fact that they exclusively targeted those who had undergone UFO encounters. Odder still, on more than a few occasions, the alleged gypsy women were seen in the dead of night, standing as still as statues and staring malevolently into the homes of people who claimed close encounters with alien entities. Attempts to confront them were met with outright hostility – something which made even the homeowners back away in fear. One of the weirdest of all the early 1967 cases occurred in the vicinity of Melville, New York, and involved a rancher whose farm was located in a rural, isolated part of town. Only days before he received a most unwelcome visit, the man saw a definitive flying saucer hovering over one of his fields, and which – somewhat amazingly – had what was described as a “ladder” hanging from its underside. At least, until the ladder was hastily retracted and the saucer shot away, high into the sky, and vanished from view. That was hardly the end of the matter, however.

Just a few days later, the man heard a knock at the door. Given that his home was in the middle of pretty much nowhere, he opened the door both slowly and cautiously. Stood before him was a “Gypsy lady” who was dressed in a gray dress that reached her ankles and who wore sandals. Just like so many of the Men in Black, her skin was noted for its deep, olive complexion, and her eyes were described as “Oriental.” The rancher added that she stood around five-feet and four inches tall, and had long hair that was “so black” it “looked dyed.” The woman said to the slightly alarmed man: “I have traveled a long way. May I have a glass of water? I must take a pill.” Baffled, the man decided not to risk incurring her wrath and quickly fetched her a glass of water and watched as she swallowed a round, green-colored pill. She thanked him, turned, and walked away – which the man found very strange, given that he lived on a backroad, and walking to the nearest town would be an arduous task, to say the least. John Keel said of this acutely odd and disconcerting episode: “‘I have traveled a long way’ is an old Masonic pass phrase and is frequently used in these contacts.” He added: “The pill-taking ploy is also a common procedure. When a most peculiar being visited a family on Cope May, New Jersey, early in 1967, he also took a pill. He too had ‘traveled a long way,’ and after conducting an inane interview with the family, he stepped into the night, got into a black Cadillac, and drove off with the lights out.”

(Nick Redfern) Look-Out for the Women in Black

Moving back to 1968, there is the story of UFO researcher “Dan O.,” which was provided to the late paranormal authority, Brad Steiger. It was the night of July 13, 1968 when Dan had the great misfortune to cross paths with a Woman in Black. He was on the phone, speaking with a colleague in the UFO field, when their phone call was suddenly, and mysteriously, interrupted. Dan told Steiger: “The third party identified herself as a Mrs. Slago, who, as she said, was accidentally connected with our line. She had been listening to our conversation strictly out of curiosity.” Despite the fact that Mrs. Slago was a complete stranger and had, according to her, intruded upon the conversation by mistake, Dan decided to tell her about his UFO research, since she had at least heard snippets of what he and his friend had been talking about. As the conversation between Dan and Mrs. Slago progressed, however, the likelihood that her intrusion was all a big mistake, and nothing else, quickly evaporated. Dan’s words make that extremely clear. He told Steiger that Mrs. Slago suggested investigating UFOs was not a wise thing to do, and that the matter of UFOs possibly being of alien origin was a matter Dan should steer well clear of. Dan continued: “She also stated that UFO organizations should not attempt to further the investigation and study of UFOs, because as she put it, ‘Earth people do not understand.’ She suddenly stopped short of what she was about to say, as if she caught herself about to say something that I should not hear.” 

Things then got even odder, and somewhat troubling: the woman warned Dan that he should cease his UFO investigations, that it was not wise to speak on the phone about such matters, and that her name was not Slago, after all. It was Nelson, and she worked as a “researcher” for the local police. At that point. Mrs. Slago – or Nelson – abruptly left the conversation. The story wasn’t over, however, as Dan demonstrated to Steiger: “When we checked with the police headquarters, the officers told us that they had no knowledge of either a ‘Mrs. Nelson’ or a ‘Mrs. Slago’ being connected with any phase of police research. Following this incident, we had a complete check made on our telephone lines, but the check revealed no evidence of wire-tapping or anything of that sort. A check with the telephone company revealed that a misconnection of this type could not possibly have been made.” The mystery was suddenly over.

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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