A while back, I published this post on the Men in Black. In that post, I gave a brief overview of some of my thinking on the subject and put forward the seemingly wild conjecture that the MIB might actually be entities moving into our world to try to move us away from the clutches of the Intruders. As I noted in that article UFOlogy is not one of my primary areas of interest but I do find the MIB phenomenon interesting as a sort of modern day monster story so I picked up a copy of Nick Redfern’s book The Real Men in Black to glean more information.
As I have said in other articles, Mr. Redfern’s work sometimes passes into ‘what horrors have we yet to discover’ mode but the man is trying to make a living selling books. He has to appeal to a wider audience than just egg-headed folklore geeks like myself. Despite this tendency to the sensational and a habit of re-using cases throughout his many books, Mr. Redfern is my go-to person if I want a fairly wide ranging, informative, easy to read introduction to a topic. This author did not fail me with The Real Men in Black; the book is well researched and provides an extensive bibliography for anyone interested in exploring the subject more deeply. Be forewarned though . . . one of the points that Mr. Redfern makes repeatedly in this book is summed up in a quote from Fortean researcher Brad Steiger:
The Men in Black are real, and if you truly devote yourself to pursuing this, then one can become in great danger. We’re up against something that none of us can truly comprehend.
While I am not sure how dangerous the MIB are, it does seem that paying attention to them draws their attention to you and that attention can be distinctly creepy. Be aware of this and prepared to deal with it if you choose to research this topic in any depth.
About the book . . . it is divided into two sections. In the first part of the work, you will find a general overview of the history of the phenomenon with special attention paid to Albert Bender, Gray Barker and John Keel, the writers/researchers who brought forth the MIB myths as we have it today. Mr. Redfern then goes on to provide a sampling of cases from the seminal time period of the 50’s up to the present. In the second part of the book, Mr. Redfern brings forth the many theories about who the MIB’s are and where they come from. This section ranges from real life agents of government to over-enthusiatic members of UFO research groups on to the more sinister concepts such as demonic activity, tulpas/thought forms and/or time travelers from our distant future.
In the section on demonic intervention, Mr. Redfern speaks to what I think is the real point of the MIB mystery (setting aside the government agents for a moment). In this quote, the author has been speaking to Ray Boeche, an Anglican priest who has spent time studying the UFO and MIB phenomenon in depth:
Boeche cites the words of the late author/researcher Ivan Sanderson, whose influence on paranormal research still resonates nearly 40 years after his untimely passing. Sanderson asked: Are the Men in Black extraterrestrials, the descendants of extraterrestrials, or even the agents of extraterrestrials? Or, he wondered, do we need to allow for a totally new category of intelligent beings that are interacting with us? Boeche answers that “we must acknowledge a different category of being. We must awaken to the realization that we are caught in a web of deception, and that the web is closing in on us. We are being watched, probed, and manipulated by forces from outside our known physical universe. We are not alone, and we may not like it much when we find out what sort of company we have” (Boeche 1994).
While I put hellish demons fairly low on the list of possible Intruders, I think that Fr. Boeche is quite correct. There is too much of the UFO phenomenon and particularly abduction experiences that screams of Otherworld manipulation to ignore the thought that the Intruders have simply slipped into a guise that will make more sense and be deeply frightening to the modern homo sapiens.
The MIB could very well be entities from the Otherside as well, bent on keeping humans from the nasties that wish to prey on them but unfamiliar with the mechanics of moving through the etheric and into the physical. A being that was not comfortable with a physical form and not familiar with how to make it move would have all the hallmarks of an MIB – the form that is not quite right, awkward gait and posture, unawareness of social conventions, the feeling of the creeps that people get around them (human intuition recognizing something “other”), the hypnotic effect some MIB’s seem to have and their ability to disappear seemingly at will. In addition, a powerful entity from the Otherside might also interfere with electrical communication devices and, given that these beings seem to interact with humans only when they come through to warn someone off and have no social skills, what might be meant as a sincere warning to walk away from a dangerous situation could easily be taken as a threat or perhaps even voiced that way.
Again, I am not saying that my theory is the correct one. I would still be inclined to deal with an MIB as I would any Intruder unless I was absolutely convinced that I was correct. Still, in all that I have read about these beings, despite the horror they engender in some, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them since they are so obviously out of step with what is going on around them..