Men In Black In Real Life: The Darkest Strangers
On a pleasant September evening in 1976, the Man In Black paid a visit to Dr. Herbert Hopkins, respected physician and UFO investigator. Hopkins had been investigating an unusual UFO case in the nearby town of Norway, Maine.
Two working men, David Stephens and Glenn Grey, had encountered a strange flying craft. Approaching the craft, they were engulfed by a blinding white light and “passed out”. When the men came to, they were a mile further down the road than where they remembered and hours had passed with no memory.
Hopkins, a trained hypnotist, had examined the men under a trance and was fascinated by the accounts they gave of the “missing” time. He felt that he was on the edge of a breakthrough in understanding UFO abduction reports.
On this particular evening, Hopkins was alone in his home, with his wife and children gone for the night. His phone rang and a man claiming to be the Vice-President of the “New Jersey UFO Research Organization” asked if he could speak in person to Hopkins about the case. Hopkins agreed and gave instructions on how to get to his home.
When Hopkins stepped to his back door to turn on an outside light, he saw a strange man walking up the driveway towards the house. It could not have possibly been the man who had called him earlier and yet, who else could it have been? Hopkins did not see a car parked anywhere nearby that might have belonged to the stranger.
When the man reached the door, Hopkins was further taken aback. This stranger was strange indeed. He was dressed in a dark black suit that was immaculately pressed…in fact, it looked like it had never been worn. The man also wore a black Homburg hat. When he removed the hat, he revealed a chalk-white face with no hair of any kind, including eyebrows. The lips, though, were bright red, as if the man had used lipstick on them.
The man then spoke to Dr. Hopkins in a strangely inflected voice with perfect diction. For some odd reason, Hopkins and the stranger discussed details of the Norway UFO case with complete normality. It was only after the visit that Hopkins recalled many of the strange aspects of his unusual visitor.
Towards the end of the discussion, things took on a menacing tone. The stranger handed Hopkins an odd metal coin which the doctor did not recognize and told him to hold it in his hand and watch it. Before Hopkins’ eyes, the coin seemed to blur and then disappeared completely. “Neither you nor anyone else on this plane will ever see that coin again,” said the stranger. “We can do the same to your heart.”
The visitor advised that Hopkins cease his research into the Norway incident and destroy his records of it. Hopkins then noticed the man’s speech was starting to slow, like a tape at half speed. “Energy running low,” explained the stranger. “Must go now…” The man staggered out of the house like he was drunk, towards a bright blue light. Hopkins assumed it might have been some kind of vehicle, but saw nothing. The man disappeared.
Hopkins was so unnerved by the experience that his wife and kids found him sitting with a gun in his hand when they got home. They looked for tire tracks or any other evidence of the weird visitor but found nothing. The point, though, had been taken. Hopkins ceased his work with Stephens and Grey and burned the tapes he had made of his hypnotic sessions with them.
The Men In Black had struck again!
Who are these creeps? They have appeared so much in UFO literature that they have become as well-known as the alien spacecraft themselves. They’ve become such an in-joke and “urban legend” that a smash movie spoofed the whole thing.
But the phenomenon of menacing intruders in black goes far beyond Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and talking pugs. In fact, it goes beyond UFOs and our time itself, stretching centuries into the past and into the deepest reaches of the human mind.
Herbert Hopkins was one of the most distinguished of those visited by the Men In Black. His credentials were good and he was a respected man in his field. It seems pretty improbable that he would make up such a story himself, especially since he had to have known what questions it would raise about him. But Hopkins was by no means the only UFO or paranormal researcher to encounter these menacing, semi-comical characters.
Men In Black are overwhelmingly identified with the UFO phenomenon. They are seen as agents of unknown forces trying to silence witnesses of paranormal events. Although there is a fair amount of variation in how they are described and their behavior, the one thing all MIB cases have in common is that they do not want witnesses and researchers to share their information.
Some MIB are so typically normal that they are almost certainly real people working for known companies or agencies. Others are so bizarre that they seem to be from another planet or dimension entirely. Most MIBs are just that…men. Women MIBs are virtually unknown, though there are rare cases. And almost all wear black suits and hats exclusively. Dr. Hopkins said that his MIB looked “like an undertaker”.
The mysterious strangers all seem foreign, yet nobody can pin down what country they belong to. Many have tanned or dark skin and almond-shaped eyes like somebody from Southeast Asia. Yet they are not Southeast Asians. Their speech is also foreign, but the accent is difficult to pick up. Many talk with great precision, as if they learned English out of a dictionary.
Almost all of them exhibit unusual knowledge of the personal lives and background of the people they contact. Dr. Hopkins’ MIB was definitely on the strange end of the scale as far as his appearance went and the odd slowness of his speech towards the end of their encounter almost suggests he was like a robot running out of energy!
Many professional people investigating UFOs have encountered these odd characters, including members of the military. The U.S. Air Force took them seriously enough for Col. George P. Freeman to tell paranormal investigator John Keel this bit of information:
“Mysterious men sometimes 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 the men are not connected with the Air Force in any way. We have not been able to find out anything further about these men…”
Are the MIBs human agents of some shadowy power or branch of government, specially created to cover up clandestine activities? It sounds like a good possibility and in some cases, it is probably the case that MIBs are “spooks” used by someone to control information about top-secret subjects such as unorthodox aircraft. But there seems to be much more going on than just “typical” human spy activity.
One thing which many MIBs have in common is their strange way of speech and the way they strike people as radically “weird”. This doesn’t sound like the quiet, effective methods trained intelligence personnel would use.
MIBs often talk like characters from a B-movie: “We are sure you do not want something bad to happen to your family, Dr. So-and-so”, “It is not good to meddle in these things, beware!” The tactics and appearance of the strangers would almost be comical except for one thing…their victims are almost always terrified out of their wits by encountering them.
One case involved two different sets of MIBs interacting with the same victim. The year was 1967 and the target was Robert Richardson of Toledo, Ohio. Richardson was a member of the respected Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) who had had an unusual UFO encounter himself.
He had actually hit a UFO with his car! Driving around a sharp bend late at night, Richardson found a strange object blocking the road and was unable to avoid hitting it. But the minute he struck it, the UFO vanished without sound or impact. Looking frantically for evidence of the encounter, Richardson found a small lump of what looked like melted metal, which he kept as possible evidence. He told no one but his wife and a couple of close APRO associates about this.
Three days later, Richardson was visited by two young men driving a black 1953 Cadillac. The two men, who did not appear to be all that strange, quizzed Richardson about his experience. The men did not threaten Richardson or make bizarre statements, but they also did not exactly say who they were working for. Richardson took down the license number on the Cadillac and found that there was no such number in the records.
A week after that, Richardson received much more threatening visitors who more closely resembled the classic Men In Black: two men dressed entirely in black with dark complexions and a vaguely “foreign” look. One man spoke precise unaccented English, his compatriot had an accent Richardson could not identify.
The men declined to identify themselves and they both tried to convince Richardson that he had seen and experienced nothing more than a hallucination. When Richardson stuck to his story, one suddenly asked him to give up the piece of metal he had taken from the accident site. Startled, Richardson told them that he had turned it over to APRO for study. The conversation then turned dark as one MIB said “If you want your wife to stay as pretty as she is, you’d better give that metal back.”
Richardson was unnerved by the second contact but did not give the metal up and told others of his experience. What was the most uncanny thing about the second MIB visit was that only very few people knew that Richardson had kept the metal from the UFO encounter. Unless one of those people divulged the info or the MIBs tapped into Richardson’s phone, there was no way they could have known about it.
It seems clear that Richardson’s first visitors were “regular” humans working for some clandestine government or perhaps private agency. The only thing unusual about them was their reluctance to divulge who they worked for and the fact that their car could not be traced. These may have been government investigators trying to obtain information while keeping their origin a secret.
The second visitors are the more ominous Men In Black associated with UFO cases. Once again, they resorted to threats to keep someone quiet. In this case, Richardson spoke out…and nothing happened. His wife was not bothered and he never heard from the men again.
This is another pattern of MIB cases. They make threats that they very rarely follow through on. In the case of Herbert Hopkins, their intimidation worked for many years. But obviously Hopkins’ heart was not transported out of his body.
Some psychologists have theorized that the Men In Black are creations of the minds of their own victims. Confronted with “secret knowledge”, the inner mind creates the illusion of menacing figures to keep that knowledge from being revealed…a kind of psychic protection device. This could also be a clue to how they seem to know so much about those they talk to. But why would there be so much similiarity to the way the MIBs look, talk and act, if they are coming from the minds of widely different people?
Contrary to popular belief, the Men In Black are not denizens of only our modern age. Mysterious figures cloaked in black have been seen all through history, acting as agents of some mysterious power.
John Keel, who encountered Men In Black while investigating the Mothman case, feels that UFOs, Men In Black, ghosts and all sorts of paranormal phenomena are all linked to some extradimensional force. In other words, the MIBs do not come from outer space…they have always been here on Earth, alongside mankind but not part of it, working on their mysterious projects and helping to keep us in the dark about…what?
This is yet unknown but an American paranormal investigator named Tony Kimery had this to say in 1970:
“The mysterious MIB and the entire collection of their thugs, henchmen, and highly trained intelligence officers, are a big part of the complex UFO phenomena which is in turn part of another big and complex phenomenon. It is known that projects by them are now under way for the complete control of…political, religious and scientific institutions. They–the MIB–have a very long background and history that stretches back for centuries…”
Paranoia? Perhaps. Paranoia may in fact be the Men In Black’s biggest advantage. Such a huge conspiracy sounds unbelievable…and maybe it is. Maybe, too, that is the best cover for a REAL conspiracy.
No matter who the Men In Black are or where they come from or what they want, they are here. So if you should ever happen to see strange lights in the night sky, don’t be surprised when you hear a sudden knock on the door a couple of nights later…