The Men In
Tonight on the Midnight Train we are exploring the world of the men in black. That's right we're going to be talking about the best Johnny Cash cover band to ever live!!! Oh wait… Wrong notes… We're actually talking about the real men in black tonight… Not the movies… The good stuff.
So first off.. Let's get into what the men (and women) in black may be, then a few fun encounter stories!
So many people have theories on who or what the men in black are. These theories range from the mundane to the insane! Government agents, to paranormal, to extraterrestrial and everything in between. Government agents seem to be the most prevalent answer to who the men in black are mostly because of the circumstances behind their appearances.
If you don’t know already, the Men in Black, also known as the MIB, are men from a secret government organization aimed at keeping the existence of aliens away from the public eye. They are typically bald, going as far as even not having eyelashes. All are required to wear a plain black suit and black fedora as to keep from arousing suspicion and to intimidate individuals. They speak in a very monotoned nature and never reveal their true identity. Some have reported them calling each other by identification numbers rather than name. The Men in Black idea was accepted by many in the conspiracy-prone UFO community, partly because it seemed to legitimize the truth of eyewitness reports. No matter how outlandish their story, if an eyewitness credibly claimed that he or she had been threatened, the story seemed more plausible. After all, if the story was bogus, why would the government take an interest in the eyewitnesses, much less try to silence them? They typically come in groups of three barging into homes and brandishing a badge of some sort. It seems their only purpose is to rattle and disturb the target individual. The men seem to already know about the experience and even know details that the individual may not know. After initially questioning the individual on the experience, there is generally some sort of threat made to try and encourage the individual to keep quiet. Often they say that it is for the good of the individual, the country or even the world. Occasionally some have even claimed it was for the good of the universe. Most people believed that the MIB were just what they claimed to be, a secret branch of the air force. But it seems to some that as the strangeness of the sightings increased, people who experienced the MIB and other researchers started to think that this was much more than a simple branch of the government. Some started to notice that the MIB seemed to be distinctly...unhuman. Skin has been reported to look like plastic or rubber, and as stated earlier they seem to have no hair including eyelashes and eyebrows. They walk and move around in a clumsy manner and seem to struggle with basic human interaction. They seem to misuse common english words and display strange and disturbing body language. So with all this being said, where did all of these stories begin, well let's find out. The very first recorded brush with the MIB came in 1947 from one Harold Dahl.
Dahl was fishing with his son and dog one day. He saw six strange looking and unidentified craft in the sky. As they stared into the sky, Dahl claims one of the craft dumped what he described as molten lava onto the boat. The substance landed directly on the dog killing it. Dahl and his son both suffered severe burns and had to be hospitalized. After Dahl recuperated he had the presence of mind to collect some of the material that was left on his boat after the incident. After this Dahl was greeted at his door one day bya man dressed all in black. He demanded Dahl forget everything that he witnessed. After several more visits Dahl was compelled to listen to what the man said and left it alone.
THis is kinda crazy!
The next and one of the most infamous accounts we are going to talk about is that of Albert Bender. This one gets pretty crazy, so buckle up passengers. Bender's experience is one of the earliest and most well documented accounts of the MIB. He was an office clerk and served a brief stint in the military during world war 2. After he returned he moved into his fathers attic. Bender would eventually be the founder of the first major civilian UFO investigation group, the International Flying Saucer Bureau or the IFSB. He brought the group to the forefront of the ufo investigation community with the publishing of a periodical The Space Review in 1952. Soon like minded individuals began contacting Bender from all over the world with their own UFO stories. As the IFSB became more and more popular, its popularity would ultimately be the thing that found it completely shut down!
Bender would find himself on the receiving end of some very strange phenomena. It began with a strange phone call. Bender picked up the phone and as soon as he put it to his ear he felt strange, and a chill went up and down his spine. He repeatedly asked hello but no one responded but he knew someone was there. He felt dizzy and hung up and went and laid down. He sort of forgot about the call until a little later in the week when he decided to take in a movie. It was just past midnight when the movie ended and he began to walk home. He couldn't see anything but he could feel someone, or something, following him. He sped up to make it home and quietly made his way to his room. When he opened the door to the attic he was hit with an extremely foul odor, and that's not all. He was also presented with a floating orb in the middle of the room. H switched on the light and quickly the orb was gone. Bender was not sure what had just happened, was it just in his head, was it a strange paranormal phenomena? Well, he soon realized it couldn't have all been in his head. As he looked around the room he could see that there were wrecked items all over his attic room. His files were all over the floor, laid out as if someone had been looking through them all looking for some sort of information. While this incident was shocking an unsettling Bender kept pushing forward with his work with the IFSB. A few weeks later he yet again had a strange incident at the movie theater. He was sitting in seat and had the feeling that someone was staring at him, but upon looking around the theater he couldn't see anyone particularly looking in his direction. Then as he continued to look around he was shocked to turn back around and see a man, dressed all in black, suddenly occupying the empty seat next to him. It was as if the man just popped into existence. His appearance was just as strange as his arrival. He had a long black trench coat, black fedora, and most strangely his eyes seemed to glow unnaturally in the darkness. As with the phone call and the last theater experience, Bender began to feel sick. He closed his eyes as the room began to spin. When he opened his eyes again the strange man was gone. He tried to rationalize the experience any way he could and get back to watching the movie. Soon though he got the same feeling of being watched. He began to look around and soon to his dismay he found that the same strange man was sitting directly behind them. He was staring at Bender with anger in his eyes. After this he got up and headed home from the theater as he was thoroughly unsettled. For the next few months strange things would continue to happen. Then came the day the MIB contacted him.
Bender decided to develop a “Contact day” with his followers and fellow members of the IFSB and the ufo community. He felt that contact could be made telepathically with the occupants of the UFOs if the whole of the group would set aside a specific time to all stop and continually repeat a memorized mantra directed towards the UFOs. he put out a bulletin in the space review asking all to join him on a specific day and time to do this. You can find the mantra online and oddly enough it was also the basis of a pop song that was ultimately made a hit song by the Carpenters. At any rate on the designated contact day at 6pmhe laid down in his quiet attic and started repeating the mantra. The third time he repeated the words he felt the temperature in the room drop and he developed a terrible headache. The headache was followed by a terrible sulfur smell. He says shortly after this he passed out. Next thing he knew there were flashing blue lights and his headache was worse. All of a sudden the headache was gone and he found himself floating above his own body. He was having an out of body experience! He began to hear a distinct voice. The voice stated:
“we have been watching you, and your activities. Please be advised to discontinue delving into the mysteries of the universe. We will make an appearance if you disobey.”
Where did this voice come from? This did not seem to be the response from an e.t. he was looking for. Bender mentally asked why whoever the voice was coming from was not friendly to him as he meant them no harm. The voice responded:
“We have a special assignment and we must not be disturbed by your people!”
The entity left Bender with the following remark:
“ We are among you and know your every move. Be advised we are here on your earth.”
After this he opened his eyes and was back in his body. In that moment he could have sworn he saw a figure dressed all in blck in the corner of the room. As he gathered himself he saw nothing though. Was it just a crazy dream, maybe but there was something about this incident he couldn't shake no matter what he did. Over the next few days he became physically ill and could not sleep. It was as if something was sucking his lifesource out of him. He wrote everything down and locked it in his safe until he could figure out what to do.He eventually decided to publish the incident in The Space Review. He went to get the letter he had written detailing his incident from the safe but it was gone! There was that same strange sulfur smell emanating from the safe ! He couldn't figure out what was going on, but he would soon get his answer! A week or so later he had the same sort of incident he had before. He saw the blue flashing lights and ended up floating above his body again. This time though he was more aware and could look around the room. As he did he saw three figures dressed all in black wearing fedoras emerged from the darkness. One of them spoke to him and said the following:
“You have dedicated yourself to the solution of the strange problem of unidentified objects in your atmosphere. Your interest is deep and sincere, and you have devoted many hours to it. We also know that such interest and determination may lead to something that could bring you harm. We also know that you are a very good contact for us on your planet earth. You are an average person and we know that anything we tell you will not be believed by anyone you might tell. You are not a person of great renown on your planet , therefore we have nothing to fear at present. We have a purposefor being here and we will be here for some time yet. We must not be disturbed in our ultimate goal. As you see us here we are not in our natural form. We have found it necessary to take on the form of your people while we are here. This is mainly used as a means of returning here without being detected by anyone. We have made numerous contacts on earth with craft and at present we have craft hidden on your planet. We have gone to great extremes at times to frighten off your earths people and it has resulted in their deaths. We Have also found it necessary to carry off earth people to use their bodies to disguise our own! We wish to keep in touch with you and tell you many things as one day you will write about this and we are certain no one will believe you, but you will be much wiser than anyone else on your panet. You will know what is out there in space and you will know what the future holds for your mankind. You will see all three of us again, but we will not tell you our names as they mean nothing to you. Refer to us as numbers 1,2,and 3. We will answer according to number. We will leave you with a small piece of metal similar to your coins. It is to be kept in a secure place of your own. We wish to have you come with us at a time to be announced soon. “
Bender then woke up and found himself clutching a strange piece of cold metal. This made it hard for Bender to believe that this was just a sort of dream.
After this incident Bender seemingly went from a man hellbent of proving the existence of UFOs to a man who wanted nothing to do with them! His colleagues noticed this change and everyone thought it was strange to say the least. All Bender would tell everyone was that he was visited by three men of authority who convinced him it would be best to shut down the IFSB. Without giving any other explanation or reason, Bender tendered his resignation as head of the IFSB. Author Grey Barker wrote a book about Benders experiences and the last days of the IFSB titled “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers”. It was Barker who was the first to put forth the theory that there was a secret organization actively trying to silence those who had experienced anything having to do with UFOs. As Barker continued to dig into what had happened to Bender, he became convinced that the government knew much more than was ever let on. He even became convinced that the government may have cut some kind of deal with ETs. He placed the blame so to speak for these theories on the shoulders of Dwight D Eisenhower! This timeline is interesting to conspiracy theorists because at this time, eisenhower was in the middle of his first term as president and if you keep up with your alien conspiracy theories like we do, you'd know that it is claimed that Eisenhower signed an official treaty with an extraterrestrial civilization at this exact time! Barker was one of the first to bring this theory out to the mainstream.
While this may all seem crazy just maybe it's not as crazy as you might think! After Barker started talking about his theories and Eisenhower, he would soon get his own visit from the MIB!! According to Barker a man dressed all in black showed up at his door with one of Barkers brand new business cards demanding to know what the card was all about. The card identified Barker as chief investigator for the now defunct IFSB. After Barker gave the man his explanation, the man told him that this card was found on a man that was admitted to a local hospital. The man had no identification on him, only the business card. The man claimed he was following the business card as a lead to find out who the man was. Barker told the man he did not know the john doe. The man in black seemed to accept this answer and left his office. It dawned on Barked that it would be virtually impossible for an unknown man to have his business card as they had only been printed a couple days earlier and he had not given but a few out. This made it hard for Barker to swallow the excuse the man gave to be there.
At this time even though the US branch of the IFSB was shut down, the Australian and British branches had chosen to forge ahead. The director of the Australian branch, Edgar Gerald, would be the next to experience the MIB. Soon after Bender resigned, Gerald began to see a black Cadillac routinely parked outside of his office. Soon he would see the car more often with a strange pair of men dressed all in black sitting inside. It seemed everytime he looked out of his window, these men were staring back at him. He began to receive strange phone calls shortly after the car started showing up. He knew that the two were connected. He then started experiencing harassment in the form of..well...poltergeist activity! He would hear strange unexplained knocking sounds in and around his home. Household items began to disappear and reappear in strange places. This strangeness continued for the next few weeks until it entered into the realm of physical violence. Gerald was pushed down the stairs by an unseen force. This occurred in public at a popular department store.
After this incident Gerald became a believer in the fact there was a campaign to silence those that sought to expose information about UFOs and resigned his post at he Australian branch of theIFSB. Bender and Gerald had frequent conversation and it is thought that Bender let Gerald in on more of his secrets than anyone else. This led many to speculate that the MIB went after the next man up in the chain of knowledge. While Barker had changed his mind on the validity of Benders claims of the more paranormal aspects of his story, he still believed the MIB to be just a strange branch of the US government. But many would speculate that Geralds experience thousands of miles away would lend credit to the theory that the agency was more than just something from this planet.
So are the MIB simply humans working for the government? Aliens masquerading as humans? Humans masquerading as aliens? To those who have experienced these men and women, that is one of the most frustrating questions.
Cynthia Appleton was a british housewife with no previous interest in the paranormal. Her tale began on November 16 1957. She walked into her living room and felt an immense feeling of oppression. Cynthia watched as an intense illumination filled her home. She then experienced the phenomena of missing time. She looked at her clock and noticed it was an hour later than she remembered yet she had no memory of what had transpired in that hour. Had she been daydreaming for an hour? She didn't know how else to explain it but two days later she experienced another incident. As she went upstairs to check on her sleeping child, she stopped to admire the strange color the sky had become. At that time she felt the same feeling she felt two days earlier. She then heard a strange high pitched humming sound that seemed to come from everywhere all at once. The sound intensified and it felt like it was vibrating through her body. She said the vibration became so intense she felt as if her body would be torn apart. Then, just as quickly as it started, then phenomena ended. She then noticed a haze swirling around the room until it started to pixelate. All of a sudden a holographic projection snapped in to focus of a strange man. The man was described as nordic looking and wearing a spacesuit which would resemble those of the Apollo missions even though the Apollo missions were years away. Cynthia was terrified but the being repeatedly told her to not be afraid in her own head. And after a minute she found she was calm and not afraid. The being informed Cynthia that it came from a planet called Gharnasvarn. The man then drew a holographic screen out of thin air to show her pictures of his planet and people. Shortly after this incident the man would return with two others, notas a holographic projection, but in a black Cadillac. The three showed up and when Cynthia answered the door she saw them dressed in all black attire. The nordic looking visitor was now there in person and dressed in full MIB garb right down to the fedora! From February to August of 1958 there were frequent visits that took on a more decidedly MIB feel to them. During the course of one visit, one of the men told her he'd been hurt and showed Cynthia his finger which appeared to be badly burned. He asked Cynthia for only a glass of warm water. She brought him the water and he proceeded to dip his finger into the bowl then squeeze some sort of gel on his skin and it was instantly healed. The trio then left the house. Cynthia then noticed that the man had left a piece of skin in the bowl of water. She gathered the piece of skin and the artifact was sent for testing. The skin was deemed not to be human but it closely resembled that of a pig. Later , when it was found that human and pig DNA were very similar, some would speculate that the skin was actually grown in a lab. The skin tissue contained proteins similar to those used to grow skin in petri dishes. This led to speculation that the MIB are not natural born human beings but clones grown in a lab!! That's a crazy ass tale to say the least!
If you are into aliens and spacemen you undoubtedly know the story of the Solway Firth spaceman. But what a lot of people don't know ist that the Solway Firth incident also spawned a MIB meeting!
On May 24, 1964 Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumberland, took three pictures of his daughter on a trip to Burgh Marsh. There was nobody else in the area except two old women sitting in a parked car at the far end of the marsh. When he went to get the pictures the clerk who gave him his photos back made a remark about how the pictures were great but that it was a shame that one of the best ones was ruined by the man in the background wearing a spacesuit . He pulled out the pictures and was shocked to see that what the clerk had said was indeed true. He saw the picture of his daughter with what truly looked like a man in a space suit right behind her looking right at the camera. Jim was confused and alarmed so he went to the police station to see if they could clear this up. The police were baffled as well. The photo was sent to a lab where it was determined that the photo did not contain any double exposure or any kind of a superimposed photo. The man in the image was indeed there in real life when the picture was taken. Theories began to pour in. Many claimed that the individual was not detectable by the human eye because it was popping in out of dimensional space so fast that it was only detectable by the split second timing of Jims camera shutter. After the story gained traction and speculation ran wild, the MIB made a visit. Later that summer they received a phone call from a man saying he had some questions about the photo and was interested in investigating the incident. Jim was interested in getting to the bottom of the incident and agreed to talk to the man. A couple days later a black car pulled up to Jim's house and two men dressed all in black came to the door. They were polite at first but as the conversation went on the men seemed to become irritated and were demanding that jim get into their car and take them to the spot where the incident happened. He agreed and got into the car with the men. When they got to the spot the MIB started grilling Jim about every detail of the day. They even asked about seemingly menial details such as exact weather conditions and even what wildlife was present at the time of the photo. They seemed to be specifically interested in the behavior of any cows and sheep at the scene. The men then essentially accused Jim of lying when they started to continuously ask him who the man in the photo really was. The men repeatedly demanded to know where the man he collaborated with on the photo was. When Jim answered that he had no idea who or what the man was, the men eventually looked at one another and just shrugged and the men turned and walked back to the car. Jim watched as the men got into the, dumbfounded at what had just transpired, and realized the men were about to leave him. He shouted after the men and jogged towards the car but the two men just took off at a high rate of speed leaving Jim there by himself. Jim then had to walk several miles back home by himself.
On august 3rd 1965 Rex Hefflin was running the road as a California highway inspector. He was concerned that a tree had fallen in front of a railway crossing sign. Hefflin was afraid people would not slow down and use caution so he radioed to dispatch to have them send a tree removal crew. When he tried to send his message he realized the airwaves were dead. He had thought this was a temporary issue so he tried again. Just then he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to look he saw an unidentified object moving across the sky in his direction. It was very close to him yet it made no sound. He estimated that this floating skyscraper, as he called it, was about 150 ft. in length. He quickly snapped three photos of the craft before it left his field of vision. Many say these photos were the best detailed close up photos of a UFO ever taken. The pictures showed detailed closeups of complex machinery on the bottom of the craft as well as a searchlight shining down onto the road. All of these things would have been pretty hard to hoax back in 65.
Hefflin himself was actually not that impressed with the photos as he thought that what he had seen was just some as yet unknown military or government craft. His friends however did not share this view and convinced Hefflin to take the photos to the papers. Once the photos were out for all to see Hefflins life began to change. Soon he was being bombarded by UFO researchers asking what he'd seen. Then he had to deal with officials from local military bases asking to examine the pictures. After seeing the pictures the military officials handed them back to Hefflin, but this would not be the last “government official” Hefflin would encounter. Soon after the military brass examined the photos, Hefflin was approached by a man claiming to be from the North American Air Defense Command or NORAD. The man was dressed typically of the MIB and flashed some sort of official lookin badge. The man claimed he needed to borrow the pictures for study. Since the other military officials had returned them, he didn't hesitate to loan them to the man. After several weeks of no contact or word on when he would get his pictures back, he contacted NORAD. When he called though, he was guaranteed no representative of theirs had visited Hefflin. They told him that in fact they were not responsible for the evaluation of UFOs and therefore would have no need to collect pictures of UFOS. Hefflin then realized the man who took his photos was an imposter. But who was he and where was he from? Since this incident , through the freedom of information act, there have been several memos uncovered that showed that the US government was just as confused and interested in the MIB tale and were actively seeking to unmask the imposter. So much so that an official memo from the Air Force was titled Impersonation Of Air Force Officers. This memo showed that the Air Force did not know who this person was and that they were concerned that he passed himself off as a NORAD official. The memo mentions Heflins encounter and another subsequent incident involving a man dressed in fatigues intimidating civilians and even police officers that had witnessed a UFO. The imposter informed them that they did not see what they thought they saw and that they should not speak of the incident. They did not know the identity of these imposters. The memo implored any Air Force personnel that witness this type of activity or hear others talk about it, to send all reports to the Office of Special Investigation, or the OSI.
That same year the University of Colorado began the conden report led by Edward Conden. It sought to investigate the best information from the Air Force's own investigations of UFOs, project Bluebook. Hefflin’s UFO sighting and subsequent meeting with the MIB would be one of many subjects in the conden report. In fact one investigator who was charged with interviewing Hefflin, says that his incident was one of the top in the report. Oddly enough the MIB seemed to take notice of the new attention as well. In the middle of the Conden investigation the MIB paid Hefflin a second visit. This time they pulled up in a pitch black vehicle, then two men in Air Force uniforms got out. The two men immediately began hounding him about recent UFO sightings in the are and also oddly brought up people missing in UFO incidents at the Bermuda Triangle. The two men entered his home and Hefflin could feel a strange charge in the air and his radio started crackling and popping. Hefflin says that while the two men did not directly threaten him, he recalls that their whole demeanor was threatening. And while they continually discussed UFO incidents that were not directly related to him, he says they became increasingly agitated and angry. As they went on, Hefflin could not get a word in. He insisted on knowing the full name and ranks of the men in his house. He was actually surprised when the two men divulged to him that info. When he contacted the Air Force they could find nobody matching the names and ranks the two men had given.
Next up we are gonna discuss John Keel. Keel was the first person to use the term Men In Black. Keels association with the men in black began on december 15th 1966. A group of West Virginia teens were hanging out in an area called the TNT area. Parked in the spot they were hanging out being typical teenagers when they spotted something in the rearview mirror. They saw an entity standing 7 ft tall. It had moth-like wings wrapped around its body and eyes that glowed red through the darkness. The driver slammed on the gas and took off, driving to the police station to report what they had seen. The deputy who took the report, while weary of entering such details into an official police report, knew these kids well and knew they were not the sort to make up stories for no reason. He could also tell that these kids were frightened out of their minds. The deputy offered to go back to the sight with the kids but their search turned up nothing. The next morning similar reports were popping up all over the area. The locals had also already come up with a name for the beast, you guessed it..they dubbed it..The Mothman! Keel became famous for reporting these incidents with the mothman. It was also while investigating and reporting on the Mothman that Keel came face to face with the MIB. Oddly enough before he would hear of the Men in black, Keel would get reports of a Woman n Black. The woman would show up at witnesses houses holding a clipboard and would introduce herself as an associate of keels and badger the witnesses about ufos and other paranormal happenings. Just like the MIB she seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of the witnesses' lives and would make them uneasy by revealing details of their health and lifestyle.
Several people wrote to Keel asking him to please stop sending his secretary around to question them. Keel informed them that he certainly had no secretary or anyone else working for him and that he was extremely confused by the situation. The experiences with this WIB were accompanied by the typical sightings of the black Cadillacs of the MIB which were seen roaming the streets at all hours of the day. Men dressed all in black would park the cars and get out and canvas the area. They claimed to be census takers, various types of federal employees, and social workers. One popular tactic of these MIB was to pound on someone's door only to ask for a glass of water, not to discuss the Mothman at all. As the sightings of the mothman became more frequent so did the MIB sightings and incidents. The MIB seemed to become increasingly hostile in their approach. One highschool student was even the target of a kidnapping by these MIB. She got away but later that evening a note slipped under her door that read “be careful girl, i can get you yet”. As the principal investigator of the mothman incidents, Keel became a target for the MIB as well. After leaving West Virginia, the MIB followed him back to New York. Keel often mentioned MIB types following him around Manhattan. He once received a phone call asking him to meet and discuss his work. When he went to Long island the MIB told him to end his inquest into the mothman or something bad would happen to him. Keel would eventually come into contact with an MIB who claimed his name was Apole. He tld Keel that he was trapped in time and forced to jump about from the past to the future. This another layer of the MIB enigma. Keel would later claim that he believed the MIB were a whole other level of entity from somewhere just beyond our perception. These beings he termed Ultra terrestrials. While searching to uncover the mystery of what was happening in West Virginia, keels seems to have deepened it more.
So we wanted to give you sort of the history...the beginnings of the MIB phenomena before we got too far gone. The previous timeline is essentially the beginnings of the MIB lore until they officially got their name. Since Keel coined the term and had his own crazy story with the MIB sightings and visits have continued to modern day. Next we have a couple more crazy tales of more recent MIB encounters!
Paul Miller was returning home after a hunting trip when they saw a “luminous” disc in the sky. The disc landed in an empty field, and two humanoids emerged from the craft. Miller fired his gun at them, and believed to have injured one, when he fled down a rural road in his car.
However, in that moment, he realized he had lost time. It was almost three hours later than when he first encountered the craft. He shrugged it off, and went back to his Air Force job the next day.
However, upon entering work, he was immediately confronted by three men in black suits. They told him that they “had his file.” Despite having told nobody about the event, the men said that they “knew all about it” and mentioned that the encounter would be best forgotten. Paul says:
They seemed to know everything about me; where I worked, my name, everything else,” Miller said. They also asked questions about his experiences as if they already knew the answers.
Miller, terrified, did not come forward about his experience until years later.
Danny Gordon was a radio personality who became interested in a flurry of Wythe County UFO sightings. Multiple people across the county claimed to have seen bizarre objects in the sky,