Home Page

Site Meter


In UFO conspiracy theories, the term Men in Black (MIBs), also known as Men in Gray, are alleged to be men dressed in black suits claiming to be government agents who attempt to harass or threaten UFO witnesses into silence.

 "All MIB are not necessarily garbed in dark suits," writes Jerome Clark. "The term is a generic one, used to refer to any unusual, threatening or strangely behaved individual whose appearance on the scene can be linked in some fashion with a UFO sighting." 


The phenomenon was initially and most frequently reported in the 1950s and 1960s; it is contemporaneous with many other conspiracy theories.


There are various types of MIB encounters, but they typically follow a pattern: after a presumably credible witness reports or witnesses a UFO sighting, the witness is visited by a man or men who are often dressed in black suits, lending the reports their name. The men suggest—or the witnesses assume—that they are government agents, and often flash convincing-looking badges and demand that the witness recant their story or hand over photographs or physical evidence of a UFO. If the witness refuses or questions their credentials, they often subtly or overtly threaten the witness or their family with bodily harm or other hardship.


The men are often reported driving large, late-model cars, typically Cadillacs; in rare cases, they are reportedly seen in black helicopters.


While it is not known if these threats have ever been realized, there are largely unsubstantiated reports of hardships and harassment leveled against those who resist. The number of claimants of MIB encounters is unknown, and might be rather small. Chevon Wallace writes:

Some of those who write about UFOs and other strange phenomena rather casually mention 'countless' cases where people have been visited by Men In Black. In reality these 'countless cases' are difficult to pin down. In fact, there really seems to be a rather small number of MIB cases where there are any details available at all.



The phrase "Black Hat and Mirror Shades" refers to the image of stereotypical image of mysterious government agents, those envisioned in conspiracy theories and the stories and movies spawned from said theories. This "mysterious agent" is generally in a dark (but not necessarily black) suit, sunglasses (mirrored, of course), often with an earpiece (for talking to fellow agents), and sometimes a black (or, again, dark) hat. It is not quite synonymous with the closely-related term Men in Black, as it implies that they can 1) not be men, and 2) not necessarily wear all black, and 3) still be sinister.

This term, like its cousin, is modeled on real images of the United States' FBI, CIA, and Secret Service agents -- especially members of the latter organization, who protect the President of the United States. However, special agents in other countries look very similar as well, simply because it's a logical look. This appearance makes a person distinct, but nondescript, and the mirrored sunglasses let them look wherever they want without others being able to tell. This image can inspire intimidation and reminds people that there are government protectors around, but without the starkness of a soldier in armor or a uniform, carrying a large rifle.

The small hat, relatively popular in the 1950s and 1960s, started to disappear in the 1970s. This is simply a matter of men's fashion changing in these time periods, not a matter of some dress codes changing. Since the near-disappearance of this hat, the term is often shortened to "Mirror Shades." This, however, causes the image to lose the connotation of "bad guy."

The most controversial part of this image is the idea that it's evil. By contrast, many real-life agents have been and are heroes -- for example, Tim McCarthy, the Secret Service agent, who took a bullet intended for then-President Ronald Reagan. This "evil" connotation comes from Conspiracy Theories, many centered around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Movies after this historical event contributed to that image, such as Enemy of the State (1998). (One can argue that the images in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and its association with Kennedy's death strengthened the idea of evil or corrupted government agents.) The Agents in The Matrix (1999) were modelled off this image, and the movie Men in Black (1997) turns this image around to make the agents into good guys again, albeit still with a conspiracy.

This term was also used in the modern fantasy roleplaying game Mage: The Ascension to refer to the Technocracy portrayed in that game, especially their agents used to clean up supernatural messes or eliminate "deviants" (not unlike Agents in The Matrix).

A similar image is used in the term Black Hat, which refers to a cracker, or hacker who does illegal work


Appearance & Behavior

Some MIB are described as essentially normal in appearance, but others are said to be quite strange, whether in appearance or behavior. John Keel thought that many MIB were of an "Asian" appearance, though he also thought this description was inadequate, and hinted that some MIB might not be human. Some accounts record agents appear to wear make-up, and even lipstick in an attempt to mask their inhuman appearances.


Witnesses sometimes describe MIB behavior as often odd, or belligerent and threatening, and are often noticeably unfamiliar with everyday common courtesies and civil behavior. They are also recalled as often speaking in archaic or obscure forms of slang English, or using odd sentence construction and grammar, as if English were not their first language.


Some have also claimed that some MIB agent's skin seemed to be semi-transparent.


Early accounts

Similarities between Men In Black accounts and earlier tales have been noted by folklorist Thomas E. Bullard, who argues that Men In Black "step into the shoes vacated by angels and demons ... modified to reflect extraterrestrial rather than supernatural employment but clearly functionaries in the same mold ... Even high gods like Odin ... sometimes disguised themselves and roamed the earth to dispense justice or stir up strife ... The devil of folklore sometimes rides in a black carriage, the nearest thing to a Cadillac."


While Bullard and others have simply noted the similarities and differences, some ufologists, such as John Keel, have argued there are explicit connections between older and more recent accounts of black-clad figures; that the demons of old and the men in black of today are one and the same.


Jerome Clark cites William Woods’s 1973 work "A History of the Devil", which notes, "sometimes the devil wears green or gray, but mostly he is dressed in black, and always in the fashions of the day.")


Woods relates an account from Norway in 1730. A thirteen-year-old girl told investigators that some years earlier she had accompanied her grandmother on a trip to meet the devil. On their way they met "three men dressed in black, whom the grandmother referred to as 'grandfather's boys.' Once they arrived and met the devil, grandmother called him 'grandfather.'"


Mary Jones

In Wales in the early 1900s there was a religious revival centered around thirty-eight-year-old Mary Jones. Though in some ways very different from modern UFO or MIB reports, this account is intriguing because it is perhaps the earliest account of spooky, black-clad figures explicitly associated with inexplicable lights reported in the skies.


Beyond the usual events associated with revivals, Jones was accompanied by "Mysterious Lights" in the night skies, which Evans reports were widely visible to many reputable witnesses and which "follow(ed), preced(ed), or accompanie(d) Mrs. Jones on her journeys."

 Writer Breiah G. Evans asserted that he saw these aerial lights himself. Residents furthermore reported encounters with a number of "Dread Apparitions" associated with Jones' revival.


One of these dread apparitions has some similarities to later Men in Black accounts: "In the neighborhood dwells an exceptionally intelligent young woman of the peasant class, whose bedroom has been visited three nights in succession at midnight by a man dressed in black ... This figure has related a message to the girl, which, however, she is forbidden to relate."


Evans goes on to note that "a similar apparition was seen from different standpoints, but simultaneously" by two witnesses. One of the witnesses "startled (and) uttered an involuntary prayer. Immediately, one of Mrs. Jones 'Lights' appeared above, a white ray darting from which pierced the figure, which thereupon vanished."


It’s worth noting, however, that these Welsh accounts also feature elements not typically featured in modern UFO or Men In Black accounts. For example, one of the “dread apparitions” was said to transform into "an enormous black dog".


Maury Island incident: The first MIB?

Arguably the first MIB report was made shortly after June 21, 1947. On that date, Seaman Harold Dahl claimed to have seen six UFOs near Maury Island (which is actually a peninsula of Vashon Island in Puget Sound, near Tacoma, Washington, USA). Dahl, his son, two other men, and Dahl's dog were on the boat. Dahl took a number of photographs of the UFOs, and reported that one UFO shed some type of hot slag onto his boat. The slag, he said, struck and killed his dog and injured his son.


The next morning, Dahl reported a man arrived at his home and invited him to breakfast at a nearby diner. Dahl accepted the invitation. He described the man as imposing, over six feet tall and muscular, and wearing a black suit. The man drove a new 1947 Buick, and Dahl assumed he was a military or government representative.


While the two men ate, Dahl claimed the man told him details of the UFO sighting, though Dahl had not related his account publicly. Furthermore, the man gave Dahl a nonspecific warning—which Dahl took as a threat—that his family might be harmed if he related details of the sighting.


Some confusion and debate over Dahl's statements has occurred: Dahl would later claim the UFO sighting was a hoax, but he has also claimed the sighting was accurate but that he had claimed it was a hoax to avoid bringing harm to his family.


Bender and Barker

Alfred K. Bender seized on Dahl's story and printed it in his newsletter. In 1953, Bender claimed three men in black visited him and warned him to stop his UFO research. Bender's account was popularized in Gray Barker's 1956 book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers.

Historian Mike Dash writes:

One of the first visits from the Men in Black occurred in 1953, when Albert K. Bender, director of the International Flying Saucer Bureau, the largest early UFO organization, was visited by three dark-suited men who, he said, first confided the 'solution' of the UFO mystery to him, then threatened him with prison if he told the secret to anyone else. Bender was so scared by the visit that he closed down his bureau and ceased all his active involvement in the world of ufology.


Bender's insistence that he was ordered quiet would become an important feature of UFO lore; the tale was initially spread by Bender's friend, writer Gray Barker. Clark writes that "Bender’s 'silencing' obsessed Barker, who would go on to become a prominent writer, editor and publisher in the fringes of saucerdom." Barker speculated that the "silence group" might not be human, and advised UFO researchers to be cautious.


The 1998 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine casts a different light on Barker. The issue featured John C. Sherwood's article "Gray Barker: My Friend, the Myth-Maker", which suggests that deliberate hoaxes were responsible for some early MIB stories. Sherwood says he was part of the hoax, and cites his own "youthful amorality" and an eagerness to see his fiction published, in that he wrote sensationalistic UFO accounts at Barker's request. Barker had earlier published one of Sherwood's tales, which Sherwood altered to give the fiction a "factual" veneer.


In a letter to Sherwood, Barker wrote that Saucer Scoop was printing a piece on Sherwood, calling it "a big deal on you, suggesting you really were hushed by the blackmen. I'll always be glad to print an article by you if you'll tell the real (or made up) story of how these strange forces made you quit. You might as well go out of saucers in the usual syndrome." The "usual syndrome" being warned to keep quiet by sinister men.


"By the mid-1950s," writes Clark, "the legend of the men in black had become fixed in the imaginations of ufology’s more excitable followers.") Accounts of Men In Black have been reported since then and continue today.

The late Gray Barker, head of Saucerian Publications and author of numerous books about flying saucers, was one of the most prolific writers and publishers in the "fringe" area of UFO fanaticism.

His 1956 book They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers made the Men in Black (M.I.B.) feared within UFO circles during the late 1950s and 1960s. In it, Gray told about alleged brushes between the sinister M.I.B. and a Connecticut man, Al K. Bender, who set the pace for what is now the stereotypical M.I.B. story: Someone sees a UFO and tries to tell the world about it. Without warning, three men in black suits and driving a big black car confront the witness. Afterwards, the witness appears too frightened to talk further about the UFO -- or anything else.

In account after account within the pages of They Knew Too Much and subsequent writings by others (including John Keel, who began using the shorthand "M.I.B." in his writings), the mysterious trio -- who at times seem to have uncanny mental powers and weird, otherworldly faces -- squelch all discussion about supposedly true UFO encounters. The whole notion smacked of a huge, pre-Watergate conspiracy.

In July 1997, the news came that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency indeed may have participated in a cover-up not unlike that supposedly initiated by the fabled M.I.B. U.S. intelligence historian Gerald K. Haines wrote an unclassified article for Studies of Intelligence, a CIA journal, revealing that during the 1950s the U.S. Air Force and other agencies actually did conspire to suppress the UFO issue and to concoct false cover stories to explain sightings of such super-secret U.S. spy planes as the U-2 and later the SR-71 Blackbird.

So, Bender, Barker, and the rest indeed may have been inspired by a grain (or several grains) of truth.

The Facts of MIB

MIB phenomena is interesting on several levels, so many, in fact, that it is difficult to know where to begin. For instance, on the surface it would appear that MIB is one of those very few legends that can be traced to its ultimate source, i.e. Bender. However, a brief perusal of human history suggests that this might not necessarily be the case.

A tradition of MIB-type entities, that is mysterious dark-clothed individuals with sinister intentions, can be followed back to ancient times and across virtually all cultures. At least as far back as biblical times there has been a tradition in the Middle East of men attired in black robes and turbans attempting to lure victims out into the desert for unspecified sinister purposes. Likewise, in central and southern Europe during the middle ages there existed a genuine fear among the inhabitants of those regions of black-clad beings who wandered the countryside performing indiscriminate acts of vampirism on humans and livestock alike. Fairy lore allows for otherwise human-looking fairies who dress in black and delight in causing mischief in the human world. The fact that MIB are often (in fact nearly always) described as having Asian features is interesting in light of the fact that there is a long- standing myth in China, Tibet, and India that a superior race of humans live beneath the surface of the earth who occasionally send "agents" dressed in black to the surface to surveil and/or manipulate human affairs. (This is known as the "King of the World" myth.) Native Americans feared the "Black Man" who supposedly lurked in the forests with malicious intent.

So there would appear to be a general precedence, if not an archetype, for the beings Bender described. However Bender can be credited with giving these beings a specific purpose, i.e. discouraging UFO percipients from discussing what they have experienced. What is interesting is that not only did reports of MIB encounters begin to filter in before Bender's book was published, nearly all MIB encounters since have involved people who have never even heard of the phenomenon, let alone Bender.


Dr. Herbert Hopkins

A detailed men in black account comes from 1976, as related by Dr. Herbert Hopkins of Maine. In late 1975, two men—David Stephens and Glen Gray—had reported an odd UFO encounter to several people, including Hopkins.


Some six months after speaking with Stephens and Gray, Hopkins took a telephone call at his home from a man who claimed to represent a UFO research group, and who had heard that Hopkins had spoken to the UFO witnesses. The man asked to interview Hopkins, who agreed to the request. Just moments later, the man knocked at the back door of Hopkins' home, and Hopkins let him in without asking his name. The man wore a clean, pressed black suit and white gloves and "looked like an undertaker", said Hopkins.


The man was pale and bald, also lacking eyelashes and eyebrows. His lips were bright red. In a dull, monotone voice, the man asked Hopkins about the tale related by Stephens and Gray. Hopkins began relating the account, then at one point, the man’s gloved hand brushed against his face and smeared lipstick from his bright red mouth onto both the man’s white gloves and his pale face.


This bizarre sight snapped Hopkins from the trance-like state he had been in since the man arrived, and Hopkins realized how profoundly strange the entire incident was. "Then came the threats," writes Dash. The man then made a coin that Hopkins held dematerialize, and then told him that "No one on this plane will ever see that coin again," seeming to suggest that the man had teleported the coin. (Dash, 162) The man then told Hopkins to destroy his notes and tape recordings of his meetings with Stephens and Gray, or Hopkins' own heart would disappear just as the coin had.


The man's voice slowed and he told Hopkins, "My energy is running low. Must leave now. Goodbye." (Ibid) The man then walked slowly and stiffly out the backdoor towards a bright light. Hopkins never saw the man again; Dash does not note if Hopkins did indeed destroy his notes regarding the UFO sighting.


Peter Rojcewicz

Peter Rojcewicz reported a detailed Men In Black account which occurred while he was researching his Ph. D. thesis in folklore. Like some other MIB reports, this one has been interpreted as having its origins not in physical reality, but in an altered state of consciousness.


One afternoon in November 1980, Rojcewicz was in the library of the University of Pennsylvania, seated at a table near a large window. "Without any sound to indicate that someone was approaching me from behind," said Rojcewicz , "I noticed from the corner of my eye what I supposed was a man’s black pant leg. He was wearing rather worn black leather shoes."

A tall, slender man with deep-set eyes and a dark complexion stood by the table. After gazing out the window for a moment, the man sat near Rojcewicz. His suit was somewhat dingy and oversized, hanging loosely on his slim frame. With a slight "European" accent, the man asked what Rojcewicz was doing; he replied that he was researching similarities between UFO accounts and earlier tales from various folklore traditions. This instigated a brief conversation about UFOs.


The man asked if Rojcewicz thought that UFOs were real. Rojcewicz replied that he was less interested in the physical reality of UFOs than he was in studying UFO accounts and stories from the perspective of a folklorist.


The man suddenly became angry, shouting, "Flying Saucers are the most important fact of the century, and you’re not interested?" Rojcewicz feared that the man was a "lunatic" and tried to "calm him," after which the man became silent. The man then stood, placed his hand on Rojcewicz's shoulder and said something like, "Go well in your purpose."

Moments later Rojcewicz grew frightened and anxious as he became aware of how profoundly strange the brief encounter had been. "I got up," he wrote, "walked two steps in the direction he had left in, and returned to my seat. Got up again. I was highly excited and walked around to the stacks at the reference desk and nobody was behind the desk. In fact, I could see no one at all in the library. I’ve gone to graduate school, and I’ve never been in a library when there wasn’t somebody there! No one was even at the information desk across the room. I was close to panicking and went quickly back to my desk. I sat down and tried to calm myself. In about an hour I rose to leave the library. There were two librarians behind each of the two desks!"


Official interest

Clark cites an official response to MIB reports which suggests that U.S. government officials gave some credence to accounts of harassment of UFO witnesses by persons claiming to be government officials. In 1967 United States Air Force Colonel George P. Freeman is quoted as saying, "We have checked a number of these cases ... By posing as Air Force officials and government agents they are committing a federal offense. We sure would like to catch one."

A classified U.S. Air Force memorandum from 1960 also reinforces the fact that there was high-level interest in reports of impostors:

Information, not verified, has reached HQ USAF that persons pretending 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 member of NORAD, demanded and received photos belonging to a private citizen. In another, a person in an Air Force uniform approached local police and other citizens who had sighted a UFO, assembled them in a school room, and told them 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 offices.

The report of the Condon Committee devotes some eighteen pages to a UFO sighting case from 1965, in which the witness, Rex Heflin, claimed to have been visited by two men who said they were NORAD officials. Heflin, described as a California Department of Transportation “on duty Traffic Investigator” in Santa Ana, California, took three clear photographs of a “metallic looking disk” (and a fourth photograph of what Heflin said was its exhaust plumes) on August 3, 1965.


Heflin made multiple copies of the photos and tried to interest government officials or the mass media. He met with limited interest from officials, but the Condon Report does state, however, that popular interest was piqued and "most of Santa Anna was saturated with the UFO pictures."

On the evening of September 22, Heflin reported that "two men, claiming to be from NORAD, arrived at the witnesses' home and asked to borrow the original Polaroid prints." (Condon) Heflin turned the first three of the four photos over to the two men. NORAD denied that any of their employees had ever visited Heflin, at least in any official capacity. The three photos were not returned to Heflin until 28 years later when in 1993, Heflin received two phone calls from an unidentified woman telling him to check his mailbox where he found the three photos in an unmarked 9x12 inch manilla envelope.


Citing inconsistencies in Heflin's story, the Committee noted that the alleged "'NORAD Episode' ... is open to serious question," but they also added that "Indications are that if the two visitors did in fact exist, they were probably impostors."


Ultimately, the Committee offered a somewhat inconsistent appraisal of the Heflin case, describing it overall as "inconclusive" and Heflin's story as "internally inconsistent," (Condon) but also noting that "this case is still held to be of exceptional interest because it is so well documented."




The actuality of Men in Black has been the subject of debate. No incontrovertible evidence has been presented in favor of MIB's reality. Furthermore, testimony of supposed witnesses is typically the only evidence presented in alleged MIB encounters, and eyewitness testimony--however compelling it might seem--can be notoriously unreliable, and is therefore nearly always open to doubt. Indeed, the involvement of MIB is often used as an excuse for lack of evidence in claimed UFO encounters.

On the other hand, as noted in Col. Freeman's statement quoted above, the U.S. Air Force seemed interested in the phenomenon, and seemed to accept some reports as genuine, or at least as intriguing.


The depth of the conspiracy theory leads some to believe that the MIB's odd mannerisms and dress are due to the fact that they are aliens or alien-human hybrids, and that their job is to eliminate physical evidence of alien involvement on earth. Others believe that they are actual government agents who intentionally dress and act ridiculously, in an attempt to get UFO witnesses to discredit themselves if they ever report such an encounter.


Possible explanations

Men In Black accounts often feature "High Strangeness" or the Oz Factor (the latter term coined by ufologist Jenny Randles). Both terms are used to describe a strange sensation of "otherness", or of a dreamlike dissociation that accompanies some UFO reports. Such reports have led to speculation that Men In Black accounts are not part of any objective reality, but are rather best explained by altered states of consciousness, such as fantasy-prone personalities, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic states and the like.


In support of this hypothesis, Dash cites research by ufologist Nigel Watson, which suggests that many Men In Black witnesses "are often undergoing some sort of mental upheaval at the time of their encounter. Furthermore, Dash also cites work by folklorist Peter Rojcewicz "who himself encountered a possible MIB in his university library after entering what appears to have been an altered state of consciousness."


Rojcewicz noted that many men in black accounts parallel tales of people encountering the devil: Neither men in black nor the devil are quite human, and witnesses often discover this fact midway through an encounter. The meaning of this parallel has been the subject of debate.


Although the phenomenon was initially and most frequently reported in the 1950s and 1960s, some researchers—John Keel and others—have suggested similarities between MIB reports and earlier demonic accounts.


Jerome Clark writes that "In Keel’s view, MIB are a ubiquitous presence in human history," involved with the likes of such pivotal figures as Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Malcom X. Keel also argues that "The huge Warren Report contains multiple pieces of sworn testimony describing MIB-type men in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza" in the confusion following the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.


More prosaically, Clark cites William L. Moore, who asserts that "the Men in Black are really government people in disguise ... members of a rather bizarre unit of Air Force Intelligence known currently as the Air Force Special Activities Center (AFSAC) ... As of 1991, the AFSAC, headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virginia," and "under the operational authority of Air Force Intelligence Command centered at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas." (Clark) Curiously, Moore also reports that AFSAC was inspired by the tales of men in black from the 1950s, and had nothing to do with those early accounts.


Though there were certainly earlier accounts, Clark credits John Keel with disseminating the idea of ominous men in black to a wider audience beyond ufology, and with inventing the term and its abbreviated form of "MIB". (Clark) Keel’s paperback books sold well and certainly helped spread the idea of sinister men in black; Keel claims to have been followed or threatened by men in black on several occasions.



  • Barker, Gray (1956). They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. New York: University Books, 1956 and Georgia: IllumiNet Press, 1997. ISBN 1881532100
  • Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Volume 3: High Strangeness, UFO’s from 1960 through 1979; Omnigraphis, 1996; ISBN 1558887423
  • Edward W. Condon, Director; Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, Daniel S. Gillmor, Editor; Bantam Books, 1968
  • Mike Dash, Borderlands: The Ultimate Exploration of the Unknown; Overlook Press, 2000; ISBN 0879517247
  • Beriah G. Evans, “Merionethshire Mysteries”, The Occult Review, Vol. I, No 3, March 1905; Ralph Shirley, Editor; William Rider and Sons, LTD
  • John Keel; Our Haunted Planet; Fawcett Publications, 1971
  • Keel, John (1975). The Mothman Prophecies. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1975 and Georgia: IllumiNet Press, 1991. ISBN 0765341972
  • Jenny Randles and Peter Houghe; The Complete Book of UFOs: An Investigation into Alien Contact and Encounters; Sterling Publishing Co, Inc, 1994; ISBN 0806981326
  • Ann Druffel, “Heflin's 1965 photos validated”, MUFON UFO Journal, No 454, February 2006; Dwight Connelly, Editor; MUFON UFO Network


Click for the most reliable proof EVER that extraterrestrial beings have visited our planet!


One of the most unusual aspects of the UFO mystery is the Men in Black (MIB) phenomenon. It involves the subtle intimidation of UFO witnesses by strange visitors dressed almost entirely in black. Years of amassed evidence points to a definite trend that is no mere illusion. The identity of the MIB is just as elusive as anything else to do with UFO's. Governement agencies, the CIA, as well as alien entities have been put forward as answers.

Rarely - if ever - do the threats of the mysterious Men In Black, following a close encounter, come to anything. So what could be the purpose behind their visits?

The concrete nature of the phenomenon was accepted by the United States Air Force, who were concerned that persons passing themselves off as USAF personnel should be visiting UFO witnesses. In February 1967, Colonel George P. Freeman, Pentagon spokesman for the USAF's Project Blue Book, told UFO investigator John Keel in the course of an interview:

"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 with 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 offence. 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."

UFO sightings, like sensational crimes, attract a number of mentally unstable persons, who are quite capable of posing as authorized officials in order to gain access to witnesses; and it could be that some supposed MIBs are simply psuedo-investigators of this sort.

One particularly curious recurrent feature of MIB reports is the ineptitude of the visitors. Time and again, they are described as incompetent; and if they are impersonating human beings, they certainly do not do it very well, arousing their victims' suspicions by improbable behaviour, by the way they look or talk, and by their ignorance as much as their knowledge. But, of course, it could be that the only ones who are spotted as impostors are those who are no good at their job, and so there may be many more MIB cases that we never learn about simply because the visitors successfully convince their victims that there is nothing to be suspicious about, or that they should keep quiet about the visit.

A common feature of a great many MIB visits is indeed the instruction to a witness not to say anything about the visit, and to cease all activity concerning the case. (Clearly, we know of these cases only because such instructions have been disobeyed.)

However, there is no reliable instance of such threats ever having been carried out, though a good many witnesses have gone ahead and defied their warnings. Indeed, sinister though the MIBs may be, they are notable for their lack of actual violence. The worst that can be said of them is that they frequently harass witnesses with untimely visits and telephone calls, or simply disturb them with their very presence.

While, for the victim, it is just as well that the threats of violence are not followed through, this is for the investigator one more disconcerting aspect of the phenomenon - for violence, if it resulted in physical action, would at least help in establishing the reality of the phenomenon. Instead, it remains a fact that most of the evidence is purely hearsay in character and often not of the highest quality.

Another problem area is the dismaying lack of precision about many of the reports. Popular American writer Brad Steiger alleged that hundreds of Ufologists, contactees and chance percipients of UFOs claim to have been visited by ominous strangers - usually three, and usually dressed in black; but he cites only a few actual instances. Similarly, John Keel, an expert on unexplained phenomena, claimed that, on a number of occasions, he actually saw phantom Cadillacs, complete with rather sinister Oriental-looking passengers in black suits; but for a trained reporter, he showed a curious reluctance to persue these sightings or to give chapter and verse in such an important matter. Such loose assertions are valueless as evidence; all they do is contribute to the myth.

And so we come back once again to the possibility that there is nothing more to the phenomenon than myth. Should we perhaps write off the whole business as delusion, the creation of imaginative folk whose personal obsessions take on this particular shape because it reflects one or other of the prevalent cultural preoccupations of out time? At one end of the scale, we find contactee Woodrow Derenberger insisting that the "two men dressed entirely in black" who tried to silence him were emissaries of the Mafia; while at the other, there is theorist David Tansley, who suggested that they are psychic entities, representatives of the dark forces, seeking to prevent the spread of true knowledge. More matter-of-factly, Dominick Lucchesi claimed that they emanated from some unknown civilisation, possibly underground, in a remote area of Earth - the Amazon, the Gobi Desert or the Himalayas.

But there is one feature that is common to virtually all MIB reports, and that perhaps contains the key to the problem. This is the possession, by the MIBs, of information that they should not have been able to come by - information that was restricted, not released to the press, known perhaps to a few investigators and officials but not to the public, and sometimes not even to them. The one person who does possess that knowledge is always the person visited, In other words, the MIBs and their victims share knowledge that perhaps nobody else possesses. Add to this the fact that, in almost every case, the MIBs appear to the witness when he or she is alone and the implication has to be that some kind of paranormal link connects the MIBs and the persons they visit.

To this must be added other features of the phenomenon that are not easily reconciled with everyday reality. Where are the notorious black cars, for instance, when they are not visiting witnesses? Where are they garaged or serviced? Do they never get involved in breakdowns or accidents? Can it be that they materialize from some other plane of existence when they are needed?

These are only a few of the questions raised by the MIB phenomenon. What complicates the matter is that MIB cases lie along a continuous spectrum ranging from the easily believable to the totally incredible. At one extreme are visits during which nothing really bizarre occurs, the only anomalous feature being, perhaps, that the visitor makes a false identity claim, or has unaccountable access to private information. At the other extreme are cases in which the only explanation would seem to be that the witness has succumbed to paranoia.

There are at least two different distinct types of MIB that we must contend with

"Secret agents" posing as either Air Force or other authorized officials have, from time to time, popped up in the annuals of ufology, prompting, in the late 1960s, the Defense Department’s Vice Chief of Staff, to issue a warning to all Branches of the service to be on the look out for individuals impersonating Air Force officers.

"In one reported case," the memorandum signed by Rewitt T. Wheless, Lt, General, USAF, notes, "an individual who represented himself as a member of NORAD, demanded and received photos belonging to a private citizen. In another, a person in an Air uniform approached local police and other citizens who had sighted a UFO, assembled then 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."

In other instances, the MIB do not impersonate government officials, but arrive seemingly out of thin air dressed in sinister black garb, only to frighten the literal daylights out of those who have experienced a UFO sighting, undergone a close encounter with aliens, or somehow stumbled upon "hard evidence" that offers additional proof that a particular case is legitimate.

Often the MIB are said to be able to read the minds or control the thoughts of those they set about to harass. They can also tap telephones lines, invade a person's dreams, interrupt the flow of mail, cause hallucinations, and, in general, reek utter havoc on the lives of those they seek to intimidate. They have tried to run over witnesses, or have driven them off the road, shot at those they are trying to "silence," and even physically attacked certain individuals (if we are to believe the more outlandish MIB stories that have spread throughout the field).

Even the noted astronomer and foremost researcher, the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek, did not discount these bizarre stories that were reaching him as head of the Center for UFO Studies. Hynek once noted in an interview: "I have on occasion been told what seemed to be a straightforward story, when suddenly the witness lapsed into a highly confidential mood and told me that he was sure that his phone was being tapped or that he was being watched, sometimes on a regular basis either by the government or by occupants of the craft."


In 1995 alone, four million Americans vanished, according to the Tracers Company. Missing persons reports from different law enforcement agencies around the world added another two million souls to the list. The world's load was lightened by six million human beings in that year alone. Most of these appeared to be solidly respectable citizens with clear consciences. UFO-minded researchers have long been fascinated by the epidemic scale of such disappearances and sought to interpret it as due to an unknown phenomenon. Soon, they themselves were becoming part of the phenomenon. Inevitably, when a UFO investigator disappears, it is seen as the action of sinister alien forces or sinister government silencers – either way an obvious sign that they were 'close to the truth'.

Despite the seeming outrageousness of such claims, it is no secret that many UFO researchers have either disappeared without a trace or else perished under mysterious circumstances. Undoubtedly, the most famous in the latter category is Morris K Jessup, an American astronomer who was interested – ironically – in the apparent disappearance of a number of lunar craters, strange falls and other possibly UFO-related Fortean events. Jessup's interest in the UFO phenomenon brought him into contact with the bizarre Carlos Allende, the enigmatic author of a series of mind-bending commentaries on several classic UFO-related cases – including the Philadelphia Experiment – written from the viewpoint of a visiting alien who knew the 'truth' behind them. Prior to committing suicide in April 1959, Jessup had exhibited symptoms of nervousness and foreboding. After entrusting his research notes and a copy of his book The Case for UFOs (1955) to a friend, Jessup was found dead in his car from asphyxiation.

Even "flying saucers" themselves disappear at times. According to an anecdote related by French investigator Patrice Gaston, the life-sized mock-up of the pie pan shaped flying saucer from the 1960s' TV show The Invaders – which featured actor Roy Thinnes as UFO witness David Vincent – disappeared in an extremely curious manner. It had been taken out to the Mojave Desert to be used in filming some exterior shots using the Rockies as a natural backdrop, after which it was displayed in an unnamed public square for promotional purposes. During the night and to the utter astonishment of the producers, the sizeable prop vanished, never to be seen again. Gaston discreetly suggested that the all too realistic contraption might have attracted the attention of officialdom, on this world or another.

It is quite easy, at first brush, to imagine that some nefarious organised force (governmental or private) might well have a vested interest in 'silencing' UFO researchers, particularly if they should 'come too close' to the truth about a secret project, concealed information, or other important item. Unfortunately for the mythologisers, this perspective simply doesn't hold up; there are as many active UFO researchers now as there were in the past and even the most vocal among them appear unconcerned for their welfare.


Meet the "real" Men in Black
Could this reveal the truth behind these enigmatic agents?

The mysterious Men in Black, or MiB's, have a long history of reports that date back to the mid-1940's in almost every country. While many connect the encounters of MiB's to the famous and well publicized encounters reported by Albert Bender and John Keel, the actual number of reports from people internationally who have encountered these mysterious men who are then intimidated into silence, are much greater. The truth behind the MiB is even more compelling and disturbing then many might think. These mysterious agents actually belong to a very REAL agency that has and continues to infiltrate every aspect of our society.From 1990 through 2000, this secret agency went overt to the world under the alias of The Office of Scientific Investigation and Research (O.S.I.R.). The O.S.I.R. conducts scientific investigation, research and experimentation in all fields of science; from astronomy to geology, from biology to psychology, from physics to zoology.

In addition to these areas, the agency is the only agency of its kind in the world with a “Phenomenology Division” that exclusively researches areas dealing with all types of paranormal, supernatural, anomalous and metaphysical phenomena. The agency researches and investigates every type of phenomena imaginable, from extraterrestrial Close Encounters, supernatural phenomena (i.e. poltergeist/haunts, possession/exorcisms, miracles, metaphysics, etc.) psychic phenomena (i.e. remote viewing, reincarnation, psychokinesis, etc.), cryptozoology (i.e. encounters of strange creatures) and generally undefinable anomalies (i.e. crop circles, vile vortices, raining frogs, time/space distortions, etc.). In addition to these areas, they also explore ancient earth mysteries and investigations that deal with supernatural mythologies that prove to be authenticated. The exact number of researchers, operatives, staff and personnel are unknown, but it is conjectured that the agency is staffed some of the world's best scientists, researchers and experts who come from private institutions, corporations and universities.

They specialize in every discipline of science imaginable, from astrophysics to psychology, from geology to zoology, from chemistry to biophysics. In addition to specially trained scientific operatives, the agency utilizes next-generation super technology and state-of-the-art equipment, mobile laboratories, unmanned surveillance drones and other experimental technology that is not yet available to even government agencies. The O.S.I.R. has been linked to hundreds of government intelligence agencies, ultra top secret government programs all over the world, as well as secret projects conducted by high-ranking religious groups and powerful corporations.It is presumed that the agency was created in the mid-1940's due to the first sightings of MiB's. Created under ultra top-secret conditions, the agency has taken on many front-company identities in order to maintain its anonymity and operational covert nature. In 1990, for the first time in its history and for some secret agenda, the clandestine agency went overt under the name of The Office of Scientific Investigation and Research (O.S.I.R.), establishing a “Public Affairs Department” to interact with the general public and media and was featured on such popular TV news shows as, 20/20, National Geographic, NBC Network News and 60 Minutes.

In 2000, the agency closed its Public Affairs Department and terminated all communications with the general public and media, terminating its image as O.S.I.R. and disappearing back into a covert state. Why would such a powerful agency enter the spotlight and then just as mysteriously and quickly as they appeared, disappear? Conjecture surrounding these unusual actions range from some type of massive experiment regarding mass-hypnosis to dis-information campaigns surrounding the Millennium change-over.The primary true agenda of the agency is unknown, utilizing their unlimited resources and omnipotent power to conduct scientific investigations and research in almost every area of science, utilizing any means necessary to maintain the complete secrecy of their operations, including the dissemination of mis/dis-information. Because of their secret agenda, all research, investigations, findings and discoveries made by the group have and continue to remain completely confidential, adhering to the highest level of secrecy, even to the recognized elite of the private and government scientific community.

As a shadow agency operating above the law and autonomously outside of all government and private oversight, it answers to no one with an authority that supercedes all governments and private/civilian entities. Because it's outer-identity is so mercurial and it's covert operations stretch deep into every aspect of society and science, the agency has been frequently mistaken for other secret government agencies or mythical shadow groups. Their methods of maintaining secrecy and of intimidating anyone they might encounter, has allowed the operations of this omnipotent secret agency to go unchecked. Few known living “witnesses” of the agency have come forward to recount their stories of how these elite mysterious operatives infiltrate situations, conduct their scientific operations, then disappear, utilizing extreme means to ensure their anonymity and complete secrecy.Whether they are called MiB's or the O.S.I.R., one can only imagine what this agency is deriving from the investigation and research of paranormal, supernatural and anomalous phenomena.



Exploring the Myth
The Men In Black

Andrew Lunn

The making of the myth

Many seem to feel it was divisions of the USAF that created the MIB myth, but this could not be further from the truth. There is strong evidence to suggest that MIB have been co-existing with us, since we care to remember and this leads one to ask why there was ever such a need. The actual basis of their origin lies deep within the recesses of the UFO witness, as research suggests that MIB normally make an appearance after somebody has witnessed a UFO.

This has often led me to believe whether the ability to see a UFO, brings out the MIB from their hiding, forced to contemplate the inevitable that their hidden origin will be revealed one day. However this is even harder to believe when faced with the MIB themselves; a shocking confrontation whereby the witness is unsure of how to act, due to the weirdness being exhibited by the strange guests. The actual name Men in black is misleading, as there have been sightings reported to me of Females in black; this may lead one to think that maybe they do possess some Alien origin, capable of taking on any form they like.

I tend to back away from the alien hypothesis mainly due to my consistent analysis of English cases pre 1976, which tend to emphasis a more direct link with military, normally RAF or MoD. Looking at American reports seem to emphasise a more alien account, and it is here when the issue becomes confusing. It would surely be a lot easier for the government to make use of the MIB, instead of spending copious amounts of time and money necessary for carrying out such widespread operations against people seeing lights in the sky.

However there is clear evidence in  which witnesses to UFO's or even top secret government projects have been severely harassed. Much has been born out of this myth, and I feel that around the 1960's, the
US government was able to use some of the personnel from the Air Force Special Activities Centre(AFSAC), and 'disguise' them as MIB. Their identity becomes ever more tightly kept due to the natural progression that we do nothing to halt proceedings; MIB are natural to human folklore.

Common characteristics of the modern day MIB

While most MIB reports tend to highlight the fact that MIB may be of some oriental origin, the detraction is made through the association that MIB always come in threes. Is this irrelevant? Why? Maybe due to the fact that transmogrification takes place, and size/quantity/appearance is irrelevant, in that what you see is what you get, but not necessarily what you want! The classic conception of an MIB is a man of indefinite age, medium height and dressed completely in black. He always has a black hat and often a black turtleneck sweater. They present an appearance often described as "strange" or "odd". They speak in a dull monotone voice, "like a computer", and are dark; complete with high cheekbones, thin lips, pointed chin, and eyes that tend to look oriental like.

Often when quizzed as to who they are, they say they are salesman, telephone repairman(even though your phone is not broken) or representatives from official(i.e. RAF) groups or an unofficial UFO group. Their mode of transport differs whether you are in
America or England. In America they are often seen driving Buicks or Lincolns(black); it seems to be only the films that portray the MIB using black Cadillacs. In England, the cars are normally Jaguars. It is also important to state that not all reports of MIB are that describing a meeting with men of oriental features; some have included men with very Aryan features, with distinguishing blond hair.


Throughout many of the MIB reports I have studied many MIB car number plates are never traceable, and many never existed in the first place - what are the chances of making up a number plate and it being the only one in existence?

MIB & Black helicopters

Occasion permits oneself to see some sort of connection between the Men In Black and these mysterious black helicopters that seem to be plaguing our skies, but it is far more complex than the colour match! If we are to presume an existence that is 'alien' to us but having a connection with earth far greater than we could imagine, we start to understand a little of the origin of what I like to refer to as the "original MIB". The same sort of theories are being attached to reasons behind the appearance of unmarked dull grey/green/black helicopters, mysteriously hovering over people's back gardens. A number of reports state that witnesses who have caught a glimpse of the pilots of these strange craft are that of oriental origin, and thus a familiar pattern starts to build up. But this shows now direct correlation, until we look at the behaviour and timing of the black helicopter sightings.

We know that MIB are notorious for making an appearance after someone believes they have seen a UFO, and it is from this we can understand a little behind this timing of events and the occurrence of the black helicopters - the majority of mysterious helicopter sightings suggest that the primary witness has seen a UFO, but what must be determined is how 'knowledge' of these facts are 'leaked' out. The co-existence theory explains a little as to how the MIB can be so knowledgeable about a primary witness(for example, MIB have been known to recall memories that only the witness would have known), but this is where a sharp dividing line is drawn when looking for similarities between the MIB and black helicopter sightings.

What has been seen is some form of remote viewing being associated with the helicopters gaining 'special' information; more precisely this can be broken down when hearing witnesses explaining seeing one of these helicopters while at the same time having files downloaded from her computer. Is there a connection, and if so how can this be determined? What is more pleasing to the researcher is the fact that we see some need being built up between the two 'organisations' if you like, to gain this special information and it is this that ties the two phenomena together.

It is receipt of this knowledge that enables the MIB to gain such a superior advantage over their human counterparts. Without the ability to 'co-exist' and being able to listen but be seen only when it suits them, the MIB would not be associated with UFO phenomena to such a large extent. It is in essence the very basis of their unknown quantity that allows them to stay as outsiders, but involved in everything we do. One must stop short of trying to empathise with something that will never be fully understood and perhaps try to concentrate on the knowledge we do have about the MIB.

The Men in Black, chic and scary, are still an unexplained phenomenon. Psychiatrists may throw out phrases such as "fantasy prone personalities", "disassociative states", and "constructive perception"; debunkers will do their work and describe rational causes; but no one has pinned down The Men In Black and, consequently, disparate suppositions have been spawned in this arena of strange perceptions. Theorists who affiliate UFOs not so much with outer space as with the paranormal suggest that The MIB are a form of demonic psychic energy similar to the poltergeist. Some have said that The Men in Black were linked to a branch of the US Air Force Special Activities Centre known as the 1127th Field Activities Group, which was said to comprise a group of underworld figures who were specialists in lock-picking and intimidation. Others argue that The Men in Black were Tibetan monks who followed the Dalai Lama and the Khamba riders into exile, and placed their yogic powers at the service ofthe CIA. This could help to explain why many reports of MIB describe their features as Asian. John Keel, a leading UFO investigator, has pointed out that, "a large proportion of the available UFO literature is based on hearsay and speculation. Many ofthe real and important problems have been supressed at the source by the witnesses themselves or have been ignored by superficial investigations which concentrate on obtaining descriptions ofthe objects rather than studying all the events and factors surrounding the sightings.

Many of the aspects which have preoccupied UFOlogists for years have proved to be misleading or have failed to contribute to a better understanding of the whole. The UFOs represent only a small part of a much larger phenomenon which is now occurring on a worldwide scale. By being more thorough and objective in our investigations we can - and will - learn more about the main phenomenon itself.

But objectivity holds little sway in a land where meta-logic makes faith and pseudo-science gives rise to all manner of extraterrestrial hypotheses. You could put it all down to protean psychoid phenomena. Or you could simply agree that everyone loves a good story.



WASHINGTON -- The government's mysterious "Men in Black" will soon be trading in their traditional dark garb for the light gray suits worn by most other federal agents, a report claims.

The Bush administration reportedly ordered the change for the hush-hush unit responsible for investigating possible close encounters with extraterrestrial life forms, because officials decided a less conspicuous look was needed.

According to the odd report, which surfaced in a D.C. watchdog group's newsletter, Washington Conspiracy Confidential, some members of the elite organization are peeved at the switch to the blander color.

But the White House is sticking by its guns on its decision.

"Whether or not these federal employees feel they look 'hip' is not a particularly high priority for the administration right now," an unnamed Bush aide is quoted as saying in the newsletter.

-- By Mike Foster