“TRUE MIB ENCOUNTERS”, “WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO FELINE MONSTER” and more TRUE terrors! #WeirdDarkness
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Listen to ““TRUE MIB ENCOUNTERS”, “WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO FELINE MONSTER” and more TRUE terrors! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: On Sept. 6, 1949, Howard Unruh killed 13 people in 12 minutes. If he’d had enough bullets, he later said, he would have “killed a thousand.” (America’s First Mass Shooting) *** I’ll share an account of a large dragon reportedly living about forty miles south of London, England. (The Dragon of St. Leonard’s Forest) *** Boxer John “Chicken” Devine ended up spending more time in the brig than in the ring – and thus began his career of crime. (A Boxer’s Life of Crime) *** A battle-hardened marine camping with his fellow soldiers is engulfed in fear at a terrifying figure in the nighttime brush. (The Man With No Face) *** You might think sightings of the infamous “Men In Black” or M.I.B. might be rare. You’d be wrong – I’ll share a long, very long, list of actual reports of people seeing and interacting with the strange men in black. (True MIB Encounters) *** Agnes Bowker claimed she had given birth, not to a human baby – but to a feline creature. Insane? Yes – but she had witnesses to confirm it was the truth. (The Curious Case of Agnes Bowker’s Cat)
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE…
TRANSCRIPT of this episode (bottom of blog post): https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6205
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“The Curious Case of Agnes Bowker’s Cat” by Kimberly Lin: https://tinyurl.com/ycechcl5
“America’s First Mass Shooting” by Katie Serena: https://tinyurl.com/yb8pty5z
“The Dragon of St. Leonard’s Forest” from AnomalyInfo.com: https://tinyurl.com/y93a9eqm
“A Boxer’s Life of Crime” by Paul Drexler: https://tinyurl.com/ybd6ay4g
“The Man With No Face” submitted anonymously to GhostsNGhouls.com: https://tinyurl.com/yddc84xb
“True MIB Encounters” by Gareth J. Medway: https://tinyurl.com/yak6l6r3
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I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use. If I somehow overlooked doing that for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I’ll rectify it the show notes as quickly as possible.
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Find out how to escape eternal darkness at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
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In 1569 during Elizabethan England, a young servant by the name of Agnes Bowker claimed in court that she gave birth to a cat or some form of a monster. She even produced the cat-like creature. Amazingly, credible witnesses testified in support of Agnes’ story during the many hours of testimonies. Numerous individuals painstakingly investigated the ordeal. Meanwhile, officials and aristocrats tried to figure out what to do. The story of Agnes Bowker’s cat was spreading like wildfire and became a huge sensation all way the up to the privy council of Queen Elizabeth. Why did Agnes claim to have had a cat-monster as a baby, and why did people take it so seriously that it required investigation and court hearings?
…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
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Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
While you’re listening, you might want to check out the Weird Darkness website. At WeirdDarkness.com you can find transcripts of the episodes, paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, the Weird Darkness store, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. And if you are an artist and find inspiration through the podcast, you can submit your work to the Weirdos Art Gallery. You can find all of that at WeirdDarkness.com.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
On Sept. 6, 1949, Howard Unruh killed 13 people in 12 minutes. If he’d had enough bullets, he later said, he would have “killed a thousand.”
I’ll share an account of a large dragon reportedly living about forty miles south of London, England.
Boxer John “Chicken” Devine ended up spending more time in the brig than in the ring – and thus began his career of crime.
A battle-hardened marine camping with his fellow soldiers is engulfed in fear at a terrifying figure in the nighttime brush.
You might think sightings of the infamous “Men In Black” or M.I.B. might be rare. You’d be wrong – I’ll share a long, very long, list of actual reports of people seeing and interacting with the strange men in black.
Agnes Bowker claimed she had given birth, not to a human baby – but to a feline creature. Insane? Yes – but she had witnesses to confirm it was the truth.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
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THE CURIOUS CASE OF AGNES BOWKER’S CAT-LIKE
Agnes Bowker was the daughter of a butcher named Henry Bowker, who lived in Harborough. Although Mr. Bowker had passed away, her mother was still alive. Agnes was 27 years old and worked as a house servant in Leicestershire, England. In 1598, she became pregnant out of wedlock, which, at that time, was a shameful and scandalous situation. On January 22, 1569, Agnes testified in archdeacon’s court that she gave birth to a cat or monster.
Interestingly, this was not so outlandish, as in the late 1500s, superstitions ran rampant, and many people believed in things like black magic and witchcraft. Some of the countryfolks theorized that Agnes’s “child” may have been a sign or warning about terrible things to come.
Indeed, Agnes made many wild and incoherent claims. Her story changed often. She admitted to having had sexual relations on multiple occasions with a servant boy, Randal Dowley. However, she insisted that it was something else that fathered the creature. At one point, she claimed that a cat came to her and had sex with her six or seven times. Then another one of her tales reported that it was a bear or a dog or something that changed shapes.
Agnes added to her story that she once worked for a schoolmaster, Hugh Brady. Supposedly, he sexually abused and raped her a number of times. In the course of their “relations”, he told her that she needed to marry the devil and give herself wholly to him. She said that Brady told her he would send something to her that, indeed, came to her in the form of a man who later appeared to her as a ‘greyhound and a cat.’
The midwives and other mothers of the town who were supposedly present at the birth gave testimonies that suggested some truth about Agnes Bowker’s cat. Her first midwife, Margaret Roos, testified that when she examined Agnes, she noticed something in her body, “[…]besides the natural course thereof.” She claimed that she couldn’t tell what it was inside Agnes, but, nonetheless, it “pricked her.”
The second midwife, Elizabeth Harrison, tended to Agnes at the time of her labor. She claimed that a creature came to Agnes sometimes in the form of a bear, sometimes as a dog, and sometimes as a man. Harrison also indicated that Agnes had told her that she met a Dutch woman while she walked the countryside, and the woman told Agnes that she would give birth to a Mooncalf (some monstrous creature or aborted calf).
None of the wives present for Agnes’ birth actually saw the ‘monster’ come out of her body.
The situation was unusual enough that a group of local men took Agnes Bowker’s cat and performed a rough autopsy. They cut the cat’s body open and found bacon and straw in the gut of the cat but nothing unusual or monstrous. The men reported to the townsfolk that instead of being a supernatural entity, it was a normal cat, albeit skinned and dead.
The men also presented evidence that Agnes had attempted to borrow a cat from a neighbor. Unfortunately, that neighbor’s cat mysteriously went missing.
Later, the tale had spread by word of mouth, and eventually, the Archdeacon’s Commissary, Anthony Anderson, decided to conduct a full investigation. This was probably partially out of curiosity. But it also could have been an attempt to stop the spread of the story, which was blanketing the surrounding areas. After questioning witnesses and Agnes herself and analyzing the rapidly decaying cat, he declared the animal to be a normal cat. He wrote that the cat, “…containeth the full length, thickness, and bigness of the same . . . measured by a pair of compasses.”
He even went so far as to do a post-mortem procedure on another cat and outlined the stark similarities to Agnes’s cat. Others were also not fooled. In February 1569, he “passed on a drawing of the cat, the results of the examination of the cat and another cat as comparison, and full transcripts of testimonies. This package of information was then passed to William Cecil, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State, who shared it with Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London in August 1569.” Anderson also passed on his opinion of the situation. “It appeareth plainly to be a counterfeit matter; but yet we cannot extort confessions of the manner of doings.” (The Tudor Society).
Elizabethan England was highly religious and conservative. The community was divided between Catholics and Protestants and there were strong beliefs that the devil was very much at work amongst them. Bad things happened to women who became pregnant out of wedlock. During court testimonies, Agnes revealed that she had tried to kill herself. This is not surprising, for a woman in her circumstance did not have many options.
Thus, people speculate that Agnes fabulated stories to try to cover up the truth. Her tales did have a common thread. In each, she was almost always the victim of someone or something else. Perhaps this allowed her to avoid the shame and to receive the care and attention that she did. Had she told the truth, she probably would have lost her employment and found it difficult to ever obtain another job.
Although her stories were inconsistent at best, they were not all that far-fetched for an ultra superstitious society. This is likely the reason officials gave Agnes Bowker’s cat story a great deal of attention, court time, and investigative manpower.
Agnes undoubtedly was pregnant. Testimonies indicated that Agnes lied to Joan Dunmow when she told her that she had her baby and that her baby was in the care of a nurse. She also claimed that she gave birth to a stillborn baby. So, what really happened to her real baby? There are two lines of thought. Some people think she committed infanticide. The others believed Agnes really did have a monster cat baby as a portent – something terrible to come as a result of the evil sins the Tudors had committed.
Nobody knows whatever happened to Agnes. Either she was very simple-minded and gave a genuinely confounding story or she played herself off as a victim so convincingly that she suffered few consequences. Nonetheless, her curious story, so bizarre and remarkable in nature, has survived 450 years.
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AMERICA’S FIRST MASS SHOOTING
In recent decades, the United States has become a world leader in gun violence — particularly mass shootings. Sadly, it seems like every few months that one troubled person will take out their anger or hatred on a large group of people and do so with a gun.
But when did this begin? Murder has been a part of the human experience since the beginning, and gun violence is nothing new, but when exactly did this large-scale practice of “mass shootings” begin, at least in the U.S.?
While there may be no easy answer, some believe it all started with a man named Howard Unruh. On Sept. 6, 1949, Howard Unruh walked through his hometown of Camden, N.J. and fatally shot 13 people in just 12 minutes. It quickly became known as the “Walk of Death,” and it may also very well be the first mass shooting in American history.
Many experts believe Howard Unruh — born in Camden on Jan. 21, 1921 — had always shown signs of being disturbed, all the way back to his early childhood. A psychiatric evaluation performed after the shooting showed he’d had a “rather prolonged” period of toilet training as a child, and hadn’t walked or talked until he was 16 months old. At the time, his late-blooming didn’t strike anyone as being odd, though post-arrest evaluations seized on these details.
But aside from his delayed maturity, Howard Unruh hadn’t displayed any significantly unusual behaviors. His parents separated when he was young, and he and his younger brother James were raised by their mother Freda afterward. His school records showed that he was shy and had ambitions to work for the government.
After high school, Unruh joined the Army and was deployed to serve in the European Theater of World War II. Certain incidents from his time there would likewise later be looked back upon as signs of his being disturbed.
While his commanders reported that Howard Unruh was a competent soldier and a good marksman, it was his personal behavior that worried others. While in combat, Unruh kept a diary in which he recorded every German soldier he killed. He would note the time, date, and circumstance, and describe the aftermath (and the body) in incredible, gory detail.
James would later recall that after returning from the war, his brother was never the same. Indeed, after coming home in 1945, Howard Unruh spent four miserable years living with his mother in Camden, slowly turning into an even more disturbed and psychotic young man.
During the four years between leaving the Army in 1945 and his “Walk of Death” in 1949, Howard Unruh spent his time keeping track of every perceived personal affront made against him — and thinking up ways to make the offenders pay.
Two persistent sources of perceived affronts were neighbors Maurice and Rose Cohen, who owned the pharmacy below Unruh’s home and whose backyard abutted his. They’d squabbled over a gate he’d put up between their yards, Rose had yelled at Unruh about the volume of his music, and Maurice had reportedly called the indeed homosexual Unruh a “queer.”
For this, and plenty of other affronts both real and imagined, Howard Unruh was about to get his revenge.
On the evening of Sept. 5, 1949, Howard Unruh put himself to sleep the same way he had every night for the past four years: by running through the laundry list of people – mostly his neighbors – who he felt had offended him, and all of the ways he could make them pay.
He was particularly angry that night because when he’d arrived home, he’d noticed that the garden gate he’d recently installed between his yard and the Cohen’s had been broken. For Unruh, who had slowly been becoming unhinged, this was the final straw. Tomorrow, he would do what he’d been dreaming of for years – get revenge on all those who had upset him.
The next morning, Sept. 6, Unruh awoke to breakfast being prepared by his mother, as usual. And, as usual, the two squabbled over a small matter. However, this particular squabble appeared to have escalated, as Unruh’s mother stormed out of the home she shared with her son and left for a neighbor’s house at around 9:10.
Ten minutes later, Howard Unruh emerged from the house armed with a German Luger P08, a 9mm pistol he’d purchased in Philadelphia for less than $40.
First on his kill list was a local shoemaker named John Pilarchik, who he shot and killed instantly. Next, Unruh walked over to the local barbershop, where proprietor Clark Hoover was cutting the hair of a six-year-old boy named Orris Smith, who sat atop an old carousel horse as Hoover worked while the boy’s mother sat nearby. Unruh shot the boy first, then Hoover. He ignored the mother.
Back on the street, Unruh shot seemingly aimlessly at a boy in a window, who managed to avoid the shot. Then, Unruh turned his attention to a tavern across the street, into which he fired multiple shots though he himself didn’t actually go inside. Witnesses would later recall Unruh walking carelessly through the street, almost meandering, with a stoic look on his face as he fired shots into the bar. Shockingly, no one in the tavern was hurt.
After the tavern, Howard Unruh headed to the local drugstore, the workplace of perhaps his most sought-after targets, Maurice Cohen and his wife, Rose. While he was on his way to the drugstore, a bystander accidentally walked into Unruh. Unruh shot him without a second thought.
The Cohens saw Unruh coming but weren’t quick enough. Cohen’s wife, Rose, who had been hiding in a closet, was shot several times. Cohen’s mother, Minnie, who had been attempting to call the police, was also shot. Finally, Unruh shot Maurice, who had attempted to escape onto the roof. The shot propelled Maurice off the roof and onto the pavement below.
Still, though, Howard Unruh wasn’t finished. He shot a passerby in a car who had slowed down at the sight of Cohen’s body on the street. He then turned around and shot at another car, killing the driver and one of the two passengers.
Finally, he made his way to the tailor shop in search of his final two victims. Unfortunately, the tailor wasn’t home, so Unruh settled for shooting his wife. Then, in what he would admit was his only mistake that day, Unruh shot at what he thought was a shadow but turned out to be a two-year-old child playing with a toy.
By the end of the Walk of Death — a mere 12 minutes from start to finish — Howard Unruh had killed 12 people and injured four. One of the injured would later die from his wounds, bringing the death toll of what may have been American history’s first mass shooting to 13.
Following the unintentional killing of the two-year-old child and knowing police had been alerted and were on their way, Howard Unruh ran back to his home and barricaded himself in.
By then, the police had surrounded the area and were intent on bringing Unruh in alive. At the time, there was little police protocol in place for such an incident. Should they enter the home? Should they wait for him to come out? Should they simply open fire?
Across town, while the police plotted their next move, local newspaper editor Philip Buxton, who had heard of the commotion, got an idea. Looking up Unruh’s phone number in the phonebook, he simply called the man. And to his surprise, Howard Unruh answered. Buxton recorded the transcription of the call:
“Is this Howard?”
“Yes … what’s the last name of the party you want?”
(Pause) “What’s the last name of the party you want?”
“Unruh. I’m a friend, and I want to know what they’re doing to you.”
“They’re not doing a damned thing to me, but I’m doing plenty to them.”
(In a soothing, reassuring voice) “How many have you killed?”
“I don’t know yet, because I haven’t counted them … (pause) but it looks like a pretty good score.”
“Why are you killing people?”
“I don’t know. I can’t answer that yet, I’m too busy.”
[At this point, Buxton heard gunfire in or near the Unruh home]
“I’ll have to talk to you later … a couple of friends are coming to get me” … (voice trails off).
It was then that police decided what to do. Crawling up to the roof, police dropped teargas into Unruh’s home through a window. Shortly after, he expressed his intent to surrender. As he walked out, the police patted him down and cuffed him. One asked him just what he’d been thinking.
“What’s the matter with you?” he demanded. “You a psycho?”
“I am no psycho,” Howard Unruh replied. “I have a good mind.”
A police investigation followed Howard Unruh’s arrest, though it was hardly necessary. He confessed immediately and took full responsibility for the shootings. He gave the police a detailed description of what had happened, and police noted the same careless, stoic attitude witnesses had reported seeing in Unruh as he shot up the tavern.
At that point during the interview just after the arrest, one of the police officers noticed blood pooling on the floor under Unruh’s chair. Sometime during the day – Unruh wasn’t quite sure when – he’d been shot in the leg. He was taken to the hospital, though the bullet couldn’t be recovered. Instead, he was patched up and shipped off to the psychiatric unit at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.
Over the course of his stay, dozens of psychiatrists attempted to figure out what drove him to kill, though none were entirely successful. The farthest they got was getting Unruh to admit that what he’d done was wrong.
“Murder’s a sin,” he told them. “And I should get the chair.”
But, alas, Unruh would never truly answer for that sin. In 2009, Howard Unruh died in the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital — his last words were reportedly “I’d have killed a thousand if I had enough bullets” — never having stood trial for what may have been the first modern mass shooting in American history.
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I’ll share an account of a large dragon reportedly living about forty miles south of London, England.
Boxer John “Chicken” Devine ended up spending more time in the brig than in the ring – and thus began his career of crime.
A battle-hardened marine camping with his fellow soldiers is engulfed in fear at a terrifying figure in the nighttime brush.
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
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This week, April 22 thru April 24, everything in the Weird Darkness store is on sale. And even better, all profits from merchandise sales for this month will be donated to a charity helping those most in need due to the Coronavirus. So in that spirit, I’ve added some crazy and cool designs to the Weird Darkness store with themes like social distancing, quarantine birthdays, healthcare workers, 2020 graduates, and a lot more. My personal favorites are the parody shirts – one is a riff on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another is themed like Batman The Animated Series, plus a design specifically for Weirdo family members – I call it “Social Distancing Bigfoot”. Again, all money I receive for merchandise sales this month, April 2020, is going to a Covid-19 charity – and if you’re in the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group you can even help me choose which charity that will be! You can make a purchase anytime, but if you want to save a little money and still help out those in need at the same time, be sure to shop this Wednesday thru Friday, April 22nd thru Friday, April 24th! T-shirts starting at just 13-bucks, and everything in the store up to 35% off! Visit the STORE page at WeirdDarkness.com to check it out!
Our next Weirdo Watch Party is this Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time. These are really becoming popular and more and more Weirdos are joining in for the fun! This time, horror host The Bone Jangler will be presenting the horror flick “The Black Sleep” from 1956, starring Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine! Four of the biggest names in classic horror cinema all in one film! Join me this coming Saturday, April 25th at EerieLateNight.com. It’s absolutely FREE to watch the movie, we can all watch the movie together online, and hang out with other Weirdo family members in the chat room as we make snarky and snide remarks about the film. Plus, at most Weirdo Watch Parties, the horror host of the evening usually jumps into the chatroom with us! The Weirdo Watch Party gets bigger every time we do it! It’s fun and at the same time it supports the undead creative horror hosts who still entertain us with old scary movies! So be sure to set a reminder on your phone, your smart home device, put it on your online calendar, whatever you have to do so you don’t miss it! Join me and the Weirdo family this Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time – that’s 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain at EerieLateNight.com. It’s absolutely free to watch the movie! That’s EerieLateNight.com. And if you’d like to see a trailer for the movie “The Black Sleep” I have it posted on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com!
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DRAGON IN FOREST
In 1614, a pamphlet was published in London, England, with the rather alarming news that a large serpent or dragon was apparently living in St. Leonard’s Forest near Horsham (about forty miles south of London). The pamphlet, entitled “True and Wonderfull,” begins with an admission that some stories printed in pamphlets previously had been false, but states that hopefully the readers would understand that this pamphlet was not one of those. It then talked a bit about some known attributes of serpents in general, and some brief mentions of historical accounts of strange serpents and/or dragons… then the pamphlet moved on to its primary topic: the strange reptile then inhabiting St. Leonard’s Forest.
There was a spot in the forest near a Connie-Warren (rabbit warren) of about three to four square miles in which the creature roamed, which encompassed a place called Faygate. The animal was also seen within half a mile of Horsham at one point.
The animal was about nine feet long, with a thick middle and thinner neck and tail; it had two odd bumps on its back that were thought to be the start of a pair of wings. It was believed to have legs, and it was observed to be able to move about as fast as a running man… but it was also known to leave a slimy trail where it went, and this slime smelled powerfully noxious.
The creature’s neck was estimated to be 1 elle long (about 45 inches), and had a ring of white scales around it. The scales on its back were “blackish,” and what little had been seen of its belly seemed to red. The creature would lift its head straight up on its long neck to scan about whenever it was disturbed.
The observations had to have been made at a great distance, however, as the pamphlet states the serpent/dragon could spit its poison “about four Rodde from him,” and a ‘rod’ is a unit of measure equal to about sixteen and a half feet; so the beast is estimated to be able to project its poison up to about 64 feet! An unnamed man and woman had been walking in the forest and had apparently gotten too close to the creature, for their bodies were found in the forest poisoned and greatly swollen. In addition, one man decided he would kill the serpent/dragon by setting his two large mastiffs on it… and both died in the attempt, and the man strategically retreated. Neither the bodies of the people or the bodies of the dogs were preyed upon, so it was assumed that the beast was mainly eating the rabbits in the warren it was staying near.
The pamphlet then ends with the names of two men who claimed to be witnesses to the creature.
Is this a true report of an odd creature?
Contrary to common belief, most reports of claimed actual dragons often noted these creatures were unusually poisonous, which the account above nicely reflects.
On the other hand, no further report of this beast was ever made that I can find; and though the author stated it was a true and currently living beast, the pamphlet was published in London… forty miles away from where the animal was possibly living. This distance was such that transportation of the day would largely prevent most of the pamphlet’s readers from being able to trot off to check on the veracity of the report, if they were inclined to do so at their own risk.
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Never in the history of nicknames has there been a more misleading one than John “Chicken” Devine.” Born in Waterford, Ireland, Devine was a living embodiment of the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” mascot. He began his fighting career by attacking his shipmates while still a sailor in 1863, earning time in the brig.
By 1865, Devine gave up the seagoing life and began working as a runner for James “Shanghai” Kelly, San Francisco’s legendary crimp. Crimping, or “Shanghaiing” — kidnapping sailors and selling them to ship captains — was the economic engine that powered the Barbary Coast. It was a team sport: Runners would lure or strong-arm sailors into the boarding houses or saloons owned by the crimps. The sailor would then be rendered unconscious, through drugs or violence, and sold to ship captains. Devine’s expertise with blackjacks and brass knuckles made him indispensable to Kelly, and he soon became Kelly’s top runner.
Devine received his nickname when a boxing manager called him a “Shanghai Chicken” in reference to the bird’s legendary pugnacity. The name stuck, and Devine became known as “The Chicken.” He won his first two fights, but after being knocked unconscious in a fight that lasted 106 rounds, Devine retired from the ring.
Devine’s capacity for alcohol and mayhem were legendary. Between 1865 and 1871, he was a one-man crime wave. He was arrested 79 times — 30 times for drunkenness — but spent only two years in jail. He had friends in both high and low places. His friends in high places got the charges reduced, while his friends in low places made the witnesses disappear.
Devine’s luck changed on June 13, 1868. He was drinking with Johnny Nyland, another runner, when they learned of Shanghai Kelly’s death in Peru. After drinking many toasts to their former employer, the two decided to honor him by attacking sailors. With guns and knives, they invaded a boarding house on Broadway and Front Street, chased the sailors into the street.
Nyland stole a huge carving knife as a war prize.
Then they decided to visit Billy Maitland’s saloon and boarding house. Nyland charged into the saloon waving the knife, while Devine fired his pistol at the bartenders.
Maitland, a huge man and a tough fighter, heard the commotion and came down the stairs. He took the carving knife from Nyland and kicked him into the street. As Devine came toward him holding a gun, Maitland chopped down with the knife and completely severed Devine’s hand. Devine later replaced his hand with a hook, which he used to great advantage when fighting.
Devine’s friends gave him $800 to set up a cigar stand, but he quickly squandered the money and returned to crime. He was arrested 28 times in 1869, including twice for beating Mary Dolan, his common-law wife, with whom he had a son. As his drinking got worse, his criminal reputation suffered.
In February 1871, he was convicted of stealing three pigs feet and was sent to jail for one month. Later in the year, he fatally wounded August Kamp, a young German to whom he owed $20. Before he died, Kamp identified Devine as his attacker.
Devine denied the charges. “If they convict me, they will murder a man who is as innocent as a babe unborn,” he said. The jury disagreed. He was convicted and sentenced to death. In jail awaiting his appeal, Devine tried twice to escape, but was foiled by alert guards.
The Chicken’s crimes and career proved a boon to newspaper circulation. In a three-page article in the San Francisco Call, subheaded “Pictures from the Life of an Utterly Depraved Man,” the summary reads: “The writer of this piece has sought, for the record, a single good action performed by “The Chicken” while in this city, but his labors have been in vain.”
On May 16, 1873, Devine’s hanging was covered with all the solemnity of a coronation. Eight thousand people stood in the streets outside the jail. Inside the prison, it was standing room only.
Every aspect of the execution — his last night, what he ate for his last meal, his attire — were all covered in great detail. “He was dressed in a dark speckled cloth suit with black slippers, white stockings, white shirt and collar and a narrow black silk necktie.”
Finally, at one o’clock, John “Chicken” Devine, whose career was “an almost unmatched career of crime,” stepped into space and met his maker.
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MAN WITH NO FACE
While serving in the Philippine Marine Corps, I was deployed in the south of the country, to a place that has seen countless battles. I was initially assigned administrative work at our battalion HQ but was rotated to a company that was often on patrol. It was on one of these patrols that I saw something that still weakens my knees even to this day.
We often received intelligence report of enemy sighting. This time my squad was ordered to verify the report. As is often the case, the patrol took 3 days of humping in the bush following any leads and updated reports. It was the second day of our patrol when intelligence came in saying that the enemy has moved out and is possibly en route to another island. We were ordered to report back to company HQ. As it was already evening when the report was received, our squad leader decided to pass the night in the bush and move out early. We were setting perimeter when one of us spotted a faint figure moving slowly at about 70 yards away. With only our squad leader having a night vision goggle, the location was pointed out to him. He had difficulty locating the figure through the NVG. So he sent two fire teams downrange. I was in one of the fire teams.
The figure was quite visible even with only the moon illuminating the otherwise pitch black surroundings. As we slowly approached and at around 50 yards, the figure seemed to me to be gliding rather than moving and I thought it was strange. Closing in at around 20 yards, we saw that the figure was not only gliding, it was actually floating, about two feet off the ground. It was gliding erratically sometimes passing close to our crouched bodies. By this time I was really scared, my heart was beating so fast I thought it would pop out of my chest. What made it worse was that we all saw it.
The figure was dressed like a normal living person but he had no face. The best I can describe it is as if the face was ‘erased.’ Its skin was very pale, as if drained of blood. It seemed to have bullet holes across its chest. At one point it stopped gliding. I looked through my rifle scope and I had the fright of my life when I saw it looking back at me with its featureless face. Every hair in my body stood and I had to fight the urge to run and scream like a girl. Suddenly the figure just vanished in front of us. I think every one of us was too scared to move. We were eventually ordered to withdraw and return to the perimeter. How I didn’t soil my trousers is beyond me.
We reported to our squad leader what we saw and he said he believed us. He ordered us to prepare to move out as he radioed for transport. Everyone was quiet in the truck on the way back to company HQ, no one spoke a word. We later found out that each of use who were sent downrange had the same experience of being looked at by whatever it was. Our squad leader ordered us to keep the experience to ourselves. I was silent about this until I got out of the military.
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When Weird Darkness returns, reports of Men In Black have been reported now for almost 100 years – and it appears the sightings are more than occasional. The MIB reports are up next.
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The following list cannot be complete, but it does I think include all of the well-known cases, and many little-known ones. Obviously, nearly every entry should include the word ‘allegedly’ or ‘supposedly’, but I have generally omitted them as they would get too repetitive, though their presence should be assumed. References are to the particular editions of books that I have consulted – for clarification, John Keel’s Visitors from Space is the 1976 British edition of the work better known by its original title of The Mothman Prophecies.
1924: John Cole, a newsman in West Virginia, visited the site of an ‘airplane’ crash in Braxton County, and was told by a man in a suit “with high cheekbones, slant eyes, dark skin”, that no-one was hurt and no crime had been committed. He picked up “a little thingamijig on the ground”, and took it home. About 3 a.m. he had a knock on the door. An army officer with the same foreign appearance demanded, and received, the return of “the metal thingamajig.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.148-50.
1947. 22 June: Harold Dahl was visited at 7 a.m. by a man dressed in black, who drove him in a black Buick sedan to a café where he told him about his sighting of six ‘doughnut’ shaped objects the day before near to Tacoma, Washington State, in such detail that he could have been there; and said that if “he loved his family he would keep quiet about the matter.” Wilkins, Flying Saucers on the Attack, pp.51-62 ; Randles, MIB, pp.30-31; and several others. Dahl was later questioned by two Air Force intelligence officers, Frank Brown and William Davidson; when they set off by air to return to their base, the plane crashed and they were killed. Two days later Kenneth Arnold, who had also investigated the affair, was flying home when his engine cut out and he was forced to crashland. It has become common for writers to say that Dahl admitted that the story was a hoax, but an August 1947 teletype from the Seattle FBI Special Agent George Wilson to J. Edgar Hoover stated that: “Please be advised that Dahl did not admit to Brown that his story was a hoax but only stated that if questioned by authorities he was going to say it was a hoax because he did not want any further trouble over the matter.” Keith, Casebook, p.46.
1950? : An unnamed Presbyterian minister and his young son, visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, became lost in “a labyrinth of corridors”, and found themselves in a room where there was a large glass case containing small humanoid bodies. The father was instantly grabbed by several men and forced to sign papers before being allowed to leave. The son told this story to Shern Larsen of the Center for UFO Studies in about 1974. Stringfield, Situation Red, p.190.
1951: Several naval officers and crew in a motor launch near Key West saw a cigar shaped object hovering over the water. A fighter plane appeared and the object flew off, vanishing in seconds. As soon as the launch docked, they were surrounded by men in dark suits who held them for hours, questioning them in a way that “seemed more aimed at discrediting” them than anything else. The only source for this story is an anonymous letter in a Miami paper. Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.151-52.
1952 (?) Summer: Gianpietro Monguzzi, who had taken some photos (nowadays usually dismissed as fakes) of a flying saucer in the Italian Alps, “claimed he was visited by ‘an American secret agent’ disguised as an Italian ski mountain policeman, who interrogated him through a long night, apparently trying to get him to repudiate his story of having seen a disk-shaped object land on a glacier.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.151.
1952, 30 July: Carlo Rossi, who was fishing near Vico, Italy, at the site where he had seen an airborne disc on the 24th, was approached by a tall thin man who asked him about flying saucers, offered him a gold-tipped cigarette, and when it made him ill threw it into the water, then walked off. “Fearing that someone was trying to silence him, Rossi went to the Public Prosecutor’s office in the town of Lucca and swore out a statement of his UFO encounter.” Randles, MIB, pp.143-44; Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.151 (after Jacques Vallee).
1952, Late August: Sonny Desvergers of Florida received ‘anonymous threatening telephone calls’ at work, saying that he must not talk about his UFO encounter, and was followed about by a black automobile. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.104. Karl T. Pflock, in Evans & Stacy, UFOs 1947-1997, p.48.
1952, September: Following sightings of a ten-foot tall monster in West Virginia by `Kathleen May and some teenagers on 12th, and by the Snitowski family on 13th, “two men appeared in Braxton County posing as peddlers. They systematically visited the homes of most of the witnesses, showing little interest in selling pots and pans but anxious to talk about the sightings for hours.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.122.
1952, October: Lyman H. Streeter, who had been receiving strange beeps on his radio which he believed to messages from flying saucers, was visited by ‘Mr Clark’, who claimed to be from the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and told him that “In the interests of national security” he must not talk about this. Williamson, The Saucers Speak, pp.133-39.
1953, 22 July: A mystery car drew up outside the home of the president of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau, who had been suffering poltergeist happenings, at 3 a.m., and remained there until after 6.30 a.m. Barker, They Knew Too Much, pp.162-62; Bender, Flying Saucers, p.65.
1953, 16 September: Albert Bender, founder of the International Flying Saucer Bureau, told Gray Barker in a letter, “do not accept any more memberships until after the October issue of Space Review is in your hands.” About the same time Bender told August Roberts that “three men had visited him, and in effect shut him up completely as far as saucer investigation is concerned!” On 4 October Roberts and Dominick C. Lucchesi interviewed Barker, who said that the three men wore “Dark clothes and black hats”, but his usual response to questions was: “I can’t answer that,” e.g. “Q. Do the saucers come from Venus as stated in Adamski’s book? A. I can’t answer that. Q. Do they come from Mars? A. I can’t answer that.” The final (15 October) issue of Space Review contained the statement: “The mystery of the flying saucers is no longer a mystery. The source is already known, but any information about this is being withheld by orders from a higher source.” Barker, They Knew Too Much, pp.109-110, 114, 138. In 1962 Bender would relate that three men with glowing eyes had materialised in his bedroom: “All of them were dressed in black clothes. They looked like clergymen, but wore hats similar to Homburg style.” Later he was teleported to a secret Antarctic saucer base. They told him that they were from another star system, they had merely assumed human bodies, being hideous monsters in reality, and were here to extract a chemical from our seawater. Once they had finished this mission Bender would be free to tell his story, as he duly did. Bender, Flying Saucers, pp.74.
Late 1953?: Contactee George Adamski wrote that “I was visited by three men …who direly threatened me, demanding certain papers I had, for one thing. Some of these I gave him, and was promised their return, but this promise was never kept …I did not give him some of my important papers. There is no denying that I was frightened. Before they left I was told to stop talking or they would come after me, lock me up and throw the key away.” Keith, Casebook, pp.113-14.
1954?: Maureen Abbot was waiting for a Bakerloo Line underground train in London late at night when she saw a large black panther run along the tracks. Two days later, she was visited at her home by a government official who advised her, as they sat and drank cups of tea, not to talk about the experience. Redfern, Keep Out!, p.102
1954, Easter: Three men who photographed a UFO over the Nullarbor Plain had their film confiscated by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO); one was later visited by a purported ASIO agent who ordered silence and “frightened the living **** out of me.” Randles, MIB, pp.56-57.
Late 1954: ‘Marion Keech’ (Dorothy Martin), who had been communicating with aliens by automatic writing, was visited by two men, one an ‘ordinary human being’, the other ‘very strange’. The former did all of the talking. He said: “I am of this planet, but he is not.” For half an hour he told her that she should not publicise her information, as “The time is not right now”. Later, she was visited by five young men, who told her “that what I said was all false and mixed up. And they told me that they were in contact with outer space too and all the writings I had were wrong”. Vallee, UFOs, pp.72-73.
1955: Twenty workmen were repairing the outside of a factory in southern New Jersey, which was engaged in classified work for the navy, when they saw a gigantic circular object descend and hover over the car park for several minutes. As they were about to clock out, a man in civilian clothes herded them into a meeting room, where he flourished a sheaf of papers, saying: “We want you all to sign an oath of secrecy promising not to tell about what you saw today. Those of you who don’t want to sign needn’t come in to work tomorrow – or ever again.” Everyone signed. John Keel stated that this story “is more folklore than fact. The story has circulated by word of mouth for years, but no one has even pinned down any of the original witnesses, if they exist.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.151-52.
1957, 7 July: Luciano Galli of Rome was walking from his home to work after lunch when a black Fiat pulled up and a man with piercing jet-black eyes spoke to him and invited him to come with him. They drove to Croara Ridge outside of Rome, where a saucer shaped craft was waiting. He was taken for a ride into space. Keel, UFOs, pp.201-2.
1955, July: Edward Mootz was working on the soil by a peach tree in Cincinnati on the 22nd when a red spray fell from the sky, and looking up he saw a red and green object like a pear standing on end. The tree was dead the next day, and it was taken away by three men who said they were from Air Force Intelligence. Two weeks later he saw a black Chrysler Imperial park nearby and three men train a camera on his home. When he challenged them, in broken English they said they were taking pictures of the local industry, and then quickly departed. Stringfield, Situation Red, pp.187-89.
1957, November: Olden Moore watched a circular machine land near Montville, Ohio, on 6th, a few days later the local sheriff drove to his house with men in air force uniforms, they took him to the field where he had seen the UFO, a helicopter was waiting there, he was flown to an airport and put on a plane to Washington, where he was imprisoned for three days, and two officers tried to get him to admit he had seen nothing but a ‘fireball’. Finally he was flown back to Ohio, but later neither the sheriff nor the Air Force would back his story. Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.155-56.
1958, February: A man from Gharnasvarn, who had previously materialised in her living room, turned up at the front door of Cynthia Appleton, Aston, Birmingham, wearing a black suit, departing in a large black car with tinted windows; he visited her several more times in the next six months. Randles, MIB, pp.61-65.
1960, August: Ray Hawks saw a ‘wobbling grey disc’ whilst running a tractor outside of Boulder, Colorado. A few days later he found a helicopter at the same spot with three men in Air Force uniform, who told him: “We want you to tell the newspapers that the saucer will be back on August 20”. Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.154-55.
1961, September: W. D. Clendenon, who was corresponding with George Adamski, was visited by “a short man in a tan topcoat”, who said he was engaged in a political survey to see whether people in the area had voted Republican, and “he felt the strong impulse to invite the man in”. “His skin was smooth as though he had never shaved I his life. His skin reminded me of a baby’s skin. When he smiled, his teeth were prefect and very white. The color of his skin was brown, like an Indian; his hair was dark and trimmed in a business-like manner. He looked almost too perfect and it bothered me.” After the man left, Clendenon got the urge to go into the backyard, where he saw “a brilliant white ball of light”, which later became clear and looked “identical in every way with the Scout Ship photographed by Adamski”. Keith, Casebook, pp.64-65.
1961, November: ‘Paul Miller’, one of four men who had seen a UFO land in North Dakota (but not reported it) was called out from work and introduced to two (three?) strangers, who asked to be taken to his home, where they examined the clothing he had worn the night before, especially his boots, then left without any further word. Hynek, The UFO Experience, pp.183-84; Keel, The Cosmic Question, pp.152-53; Evans, ‘Men in Black’, p.32; Keith, Casebook, p.66.
1963: Li Jing-Yang, a security guard in Yangquan, Shansi Province, China, saw an object like two plates sealed together hovering in the sky. The next day he was approached by a strange man dressed in black who warned him not to talk about the sighting. Randles, MIB, p.145.
1964, Late June: Jim Templeton of Carlisle, Cumberland, visited by ‘Number 9’ and ‘Number 11’ who “investigated these things”, concerning his photograph of an unseen man in a spacesuit taken on 24 May. They drove him to the site in a black Jaguar car, “very shiny as if new”, and then left him there to walk home. Randles, MIB, pp.80-82.
1965, August: Rex Heflin of Santa Ana, California, who had taken four Polaroid photographs of a flying disc, was advised by a Marine Corps investigator “not to talk about his sighting”, as did more than one telephone caller. He was then visited by a man purportedly from the North American Air Defense (NORAD), who asked to borrow his prints, but never returned them, and NORAD later denied any knowledge of the matter. Condon, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, pp.448-49.
1965 September: William McCoy and Robert Goode, policemen on patrol in Brazoria County, Texas, saw “a great rectangular glob of purple light”. Then, “Low-flying light planes, apparently unmarked, flew back and forth over the area of the sighting for the next two days. Shortly after the incident, two strangers turned up at the sheriff’s office looking for Deputy Goode. They tracked the officer down in a local restaurant and immediately proceeded to describe in detail what the UFO looked like – even before Goode had an opportunity to tell them. Then they suggested that if he should encounter a similar machine in the future, he should cooperate with its occupants and keep any conversations with them to himself. The identities of these two mystery men have never been determined.” Keel, Operation Trojan Horse, p.254.
1965, December: An official at an industrial plant reported a glowing object to the state police. A few hours later two ‘military officers’ turned up, questioned him, and warned him “Don’t talk about this matter to anyone.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.153 (after Frank Edwards).
1966, April: A man claiming to represent “a government agency so secret that he couldn’t give its name” appeared in a school in Norwalk, Connecticut, and grilled two twelve-year-old boys for two hours about a disc-shaped object that had pursued them at ground level. Keith, Casebook, p.76.
1966 (?): An Ohio farmer saw a glowing circular object land in his fields; next morning a black limousine pulled up, and a man in an air force uniform told him to forget what he had seen. He was a little fellow “with a face like a Chinaman or a Jap.” Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.153.
1966, September: UFO investigator Steve Yankee, working night shift at a paper mill, visited at three a.m. by two men in black, who asked him about the Jessup-Allende case. After they left the room, he looked down the corridor and saw they had vanished, but there was “a sense of dissipated energy” ten feet from the door. Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, pp.206-7.
1966 (?): An unnamed UFO lecturer was called upon in his study by a man claiming to be Carlos Miguel Allende, who warned him to discontinue his research or “wind up a ‘suicide’ like Dr. Jessup.” Steiger and Whritenour, New UFO Breakthrough, p.72.
1966 (?): “An interesting report of ‘three women in black’ was given by one correspondent, who had received his strange visitation after observing a large, gray disk in the sky over his suburban residence.” (No more details given.) Steiger and Whritenour, New UFO Breakthrough, p.76.
1966, October: George Smyth of Elizabeth, New Jersey, went to visit two teenagers who had seen a mysterious green entity. The boys were surrounded by a crowd. He noticed two men emerging from a large black car, leaving a third behind the wheel. They had a slight slant to their eyes. Later, when Saucer News investigators went to visit one of the lads, Smyth noticed the same black car parked nearby, and the same two men get out and watch the house while the interview was going on. Two weeks later he received a phone call telling him to give up UFO investigation. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, p.41.
1966, 11 October: Several witnesses to a glowing object over the Wanaque Reservoir, New Jersey, including a policeman with an unlisted phone number, received phone calls, before they had reported to anyone, warning them to keep quiet. Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.157. Later, several witnesses were gathered in a High School auditorium by an Air Force officer who derided them about the sighting. No-one could remember his name, and afterwards the Air Force denied all knowledge of the case. Science and Mechanics, The Official Guide to UFOs, pp.99-101.
1966, Mid-November: A man who had seen a UFO near Parkersburg, West Virginia, on 2 November, and not reported it, was visited by ‘a scientist from Ohio’, who “told us it would be better if we forgot the whole thing.”. Keel, Visitors fromSpace, p.50.
1966, Mid-November: After Woodrow Derenberger of Mineral Wells had met Mr. Cold, supposedly from Lanulos in the galaxy of Ganymede, on 2 November. “… two salesmen visited Mineral Wells and went from house to house with their wares. They weren’t very interested in making sales. At one house they offered bibles. At another, hardware. At a third they were ‘Mormon missionaries from Salem, Oregon’ (a UFO wave was taking place in Salem at that time). One man was tall, blond, and looked like a Scandinavian. His partner was short and slight, with pointed features and a dark olive complexion. They asked questions about Woody and were particularly interested in opinions on the validity of his alleged contact.” Keel, Visitors from Space, p.56.
1966, Late: Gray Barker, whilst investigating Mothman near Point Pleasant, found on a note on his door: “ABANDON YOUR RESEARCH OR YOU WILL BE REGRET. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.” Loren Coleman, ‘The Mothman death list’, Fortean Times 187, September 2004.
1966-67 (?): Ivan Sanderson, whilst writing Uninvited Visitors, noticed a car that kept driving past his rural home in New Jersey, noted the license plate, and was informed that no such car existed. He was then visited by two men in Air Force uniforms who asked about his book. They refused to show him identification, so he ordered them out of his house at gunpoint. The local Air Force base commander denied knowing about them, and said he should report them to the police for impersonating Air Force officers. He was plagued by strange electronic noises over his phone for a long time afterwards. Keith, Casebook, p.76.
1966-67 (?): West Virginia: “Black limousines halted in front of hill homes and deeply tanned ‘census takers’ inquired about the number of children living with the families. Always the children. In several instances, the occupants of the big black cars merely asked for a glass of water … A blond woman in her thirties, well-groomed, with a soft southern accent, visited people in Ohio and West Virginia whom [John Keel] had interviewed. She introduced herself as ‘John Keel’s secretary’, thus winning instant admission. The clipboard she carried held a complicated form filled with personal questions about the witnesses’ health, income, the type of cars they owned, their general family background, and some fairly sophisticated questions about their UFO sightings.” Keel had no secretary. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.83.
1967, Early January: Mary Hyre, who was reporting on Mothman for a local paper, and would later run UFO stories, was visited in her Point Pleasant, West Virginia, office by a very small black-haired man with ‘hypnotic’ eyes in a thin short sleeved shirt and shoes with very thick soles. Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.84-85.
1967, 9 January: The Christiansen family of Wildwood, New Jersey, who had seen a UFO on 22 November 1966, were interviewed by “the strangest looking man I’ve ever seen”, wearing a thin black coat, who introduced himself as ‘Tiny’ from the ‘Missing Heirs Bureau’. He spoke in a high, ‘tinny’ voice, in clipped words and phrases like a computer, “as if he were reciting everything from memory.” His black trousers were too short, and “they could see a long thick green wire attached to the inside of his leg, it came up out of his socks and disappeared under his trousers.” John Keel commented that he had not heard of this feature in other MIB cases: “Was Tiny wearing electric socks? Or was he a wired android operated by remote control?” He departed in a black 1963 Cadillac. Sanderson, Uninvited Visitors, pp.160-61; Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.85-89.
1967, 7 February: Robert A. Stiff of Saucer Scoop received the first of thirteen threatening phone calls, beginning: “I would suggest you drop your investigation into certain so-called UFO reports.” Steiger and Whritenour, New UFO Breakthrough, p.21.
1967, 22 February: Mothman witness Connie Carpenter was stopped by a man in a black 1949 Buick who attempted to abduct her. Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.94-95.
1967, Early (?): Contactee Woodrow Derenberger was visited in the appliance store where he worked by two men with olive complexions in black suits who warned him “to forget all about what you’ve seen.” He thought that they must be from the Mafia. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.105.
1967, Spring (?): Carroll Wayne Watts of Texas, who had encountered a landed saucer on 31 March, and on subsequent occasions taken photos of it, failed a lie detector test. He later told Robert Loftin of the University of Colorado that, driving to Amarillo to take the test, he stopped to help a woman driver in apparent distress, when he was knocked down from behind, and two men in dark business suits told him that if he passed the test he would be shot. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.34-38; Keith, Casebook, pp.79-82.
1967, March: Shane Kurz, in her last year at Westmoreland High in New York State, was walking to school when she was approached by a short man with slanted eyes and a slight oriental accent. He knew her name, and asked her peculiar questions, such as “What is volleyball and basketball?” He offered to take her for a car ride in her lunch hour. She ended the conversation with the words “It was nice meeting you”, took three steps away, then turned around again, but the man had vanished, which she considered impossible. A month later, in a nearby store she noticed an albino man in a long black overcoat, who kept staring at her. The following year she saw a UFO and came to believe that she had been abducted. Holzer, The Ufonauts, pp.217-19.
1967, Early April: A farmer north of Gallipolis, Ohio, saw a “big red and white glowing thing” sitting in a field near his barn, which left a thirty foot circle of scorched earth. A circuit box in the barn burnt out. Next day two men supposedly from the electrical company turned up and “fussed around with the transformer on the pole by the road”; they did not have an electrical truck, just a panel truck; “They was foreigners … Japs or something …they weren’t very friendly … [dressed in] ordinary overalls … They had on funny shoes with very thick rubber soles.” A week later he received a telephone call that sounded like a neighbour, who warned him about “a crazy man … with a beard”. Ten minutes later John Keel (bearded, unusual in that part of the country) turned up, and he ordered him off. Later, the neighbour told him that he had not made that call. Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.141-42.
1967, Early April: A woman who lived near the summit of Mount Misery on Long Island, where there had been many UFO sightings, was visited by four men with ‘high cheekbones and very red faces’ who said “my land belonged to their tribe”. They had no car so must have walked up the muddy hill, but their shoes were spotlessly clean. The same week a woman with ‘striking white hair’, claiming to represent a local newspaper, asked her a number of personal questions about her family background. The newspaper denied employing anyone of that description. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.180.
1967, 5 May: Mary Hyre saw the little man who had visited her in January on the streets of Point Pleasant. When he saw her he ran off and leaped into a black car driven by a very large man. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.159.
1967, May: Mrs. Ralph Butler of Owatonna, Minnesota, who had seen UFOs and heard strange voices on her CB radio, visited by ‘Major Richard French’, who had a pointed face and long hair, and said he was interested in CB and UFOs. She offered him some ‘Jello’ (jelly), and he tried to drink it out of the bowl. Keel, UFOs, p.185.
1967, 17 May: Following a UFO encounter on Mount Misery, ‘Jane’ received a phone call telling her to go to a local library and get a book on Indian history, and turn to page forty-two. She did so, finding the place deserted except for a female librarian. The words of page forty-two turned into a message from ‘them’. Later, she started to see the librarian wherever she went. It proved that her name was Lia and that she came from another planet; after she sucked out the contents of an egg from Jane’s refrigerator it was suspected that she was really a reptile. This woman also introduced her to ‘Apol’, who drove a black Cadillac. Keel, Visitors from Space, p.182.
1967: A young family man from Belpre, Ohio, had some interesting UFO sightings. Shortly afterwards he had a brief encounter with two black-garbed Oriental-looking men. They appeared confused or drunk and seemed to have difficulty walking. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, p.152.
1967 (?): “On a number of occasions I actually saw the phantom Cadillacs as advertised, complete with sinister-looking passengers in black suits. On Long Island, following the directions given me in an anonymous phone call, I pursued one of these cars down a dead-end road where it seemingly vanished into thin air (there were no side roads or turn-offs).” Keel, The Cosmic Question, p.147.
1967, 21 June: Jaye P. Paro, a radio broadcaster with WBAB at Babylon, Long Island, who had reported on local UFO sightings, and interviewed ‘Princess Moon Owl’, who said she was from the asteroid Ceres, was abducted by a black Cadillac which had “flashing lights on the dashboard. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. It felt like they were hypnotizing me.” They stopped at an isolated crossroads where “the men asked her questions which didn’t make any sense to her. Finally they returned her to the spot where they had picked her up.” Keel, Visitors from Space, p.189.
1967, 16 July: Following an encounter with a brilliant blue-white source of light on a road between Maumee and Whitehouse, Robert Richardson of Toledo, Ohio, found a piece of metal which he believed had come from the UFO. The next day he was visited by two men who did not give their names, and asked questions about the incident. They departed in a black 1953 Cadillac with licence number 8577-D, but when he checked with police they told him that this number had not yet been issued. Lorenzon, UFOs over the Americas, pp.42-3. Lorenzen, Coral & Jim, UFOs over the Americas, Signet Books, New York, 1968.
1967, 11-17 July: UFO investigator Robert Easley of Defiance, Ohio, was followed by a man in a black sedan with no license plates as he drove to the scene of a sighting. On the 15th the car drove past as he talked of UFOs with his girl friend on the front porch. When they got off the subject the car left, but when they got back on it about an hour later, the same car came back again, as if the driver could read their minds. On the 17th, checking another report, the same man followed him. He also received 12 phone calls of a beeping sound for about 15 seconds, followed by silence. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, p.15.
1967, July: Robert Richardson of Toledo, Ohio, drove around a bend at night and found a strange object blocking the road: unable to halt in time, he hit it, and it vanished. Three days later two men visited his home at 11 p.m. and questioned him for about 10 minutes. They left in a black 1953 Cadillac whose number was found not to have been issued. A week later he was visited by two different men, in black suits, who drove a current model Dodge. Evans, ‘Men in Black’, p.33.
1967, Summer: A man in a black suit with a pointed chin, ‘thyroid eyes’ and ‘long, tapering fingers’ went into Max’s Kansas City, New York, and ordered ‘food’, being apparently unable to read the menu, and not knowing how to use a knife and fork. He told a waitress he was from ‘another world’. Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.23-24.
1967, 18 September: One of several students at Highlands University, Colorado, who had seen a UFO the night before, received a phone call threatening his life if he talked. He told this to a fellow student, who a week later, in company with a campus police officer, saw a blood red object. Two days later he too received a phone call late at night telling him to forget what he had seen. The next day a man in the street told him about the sighting, “and even added information that confirmed some of my own research on Atlantis”, and told him to keep his mouth shut. A few days later a black car with tinted windows, with a license plate showing nothing but three X’s, nearly ran him over. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.16-17.
1967 October: Mrs. B. of Mamosa, San Luis Valley, Colorado, who had made a painting of a crescent UFO that she had seen, was visited by a man who told her: “I cannot read, but mention any book in any library and I will be able to tell you its contents.” He went on to say that humans waste too much time and energy on food “when it could all be so easily taken from the atmosphere.” He insisted on buying her painting, so she set a high price, to which he replied that he had no money. He departed in a car which had an Arizona registration; months later police said they could not trace the plates. Sutherly, UFO Mysteries, p.47.
1967, 11 October: Rex Heflin was again visited, this time by two men in air force uniforms, who arrived in a dark car with a peculiar violet glow coming from behind its darkened windows. They asked him what he knew about the Bermuda Triangle. Whilst they were there his FM radio emitted “several loud audible pops”. Condon, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, p.453.
1967, Thanksgiving Eve (22 November): George Smyth was threatened by a man from a black car with red upholstery, which drove off silently. He also had odd phone calls and was followed by a strange man. Around the same time a UFO witness, Mrs. Caporino of Jersey City, saw a black car with red upholstery park outside her house on three consecutive Fridays, each time two men got out and rang her bell, she was too frightened to answer the door. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.41-42.
1967, Christmas season: Peggy G., who had had two UFO sightings earlier that year, and later had a poltergeist in her home, worked in a department store in the afternoon. A guard employed there asked her to lunch, and “informed that he was a member of a secret organisation working on earth called the ‘Cosmic Brotherhood’”. When a co-worker mumbled that he was crazy the guard looked up and told him to get away, rays of light shooting from his eyes. Soon after he left his job and could not be traced. Later she had interference on her telephone, and saw two men stringing silver tape over the wires near her home. The police, when called, commented: “Oh, the silver tape again.” Beckley, The UFO Silencers,pp.17-19.
1967, 22 December: Mary Hyre, newswoman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, was visited by two men in black overcoats who asked her: “What would you do if someone did order you to stop writing about flying saucers?” Later the same day, ‘Jack Brown’, who like the other two looked oriental, came and asked her: “What – would – what would you do – of someone ordered – ordered you to stop – to stop printing UFO stories?” Brown later called upon Mothman witnesses Connie Carpenter and Linda Scarberry. Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.19-27.
1968, 29 January: Following a sighting of ‘a long dark body with dim red and yellow lights at both ends’, a woman who lived alone on Keats Island, British Columbia, was visited by two men in dark overalls who claimed to be employees of the hydroelectric company. They put up a stovepipe for her. One went on the roof, the man on the ground directed him and the other would answer ‘Yes, Master.’ Keel, Visitors from Space, p.179.
1968, February: UFO investigators patrolling the Mohawk River where a UFO had been sighted saw a red oval for themselves. Several days later one, Peter Stevens, was approached in a café by a strange man who talked about UFOs, then said: “People who look for UFOs should be very, very careful.” This was “followed by the usual pattern of phone calls and poltergeist activity in the Stevens’ household.” Beckley, The UFO Silencers, p.19.
1968, Mid-February: A friend of Brad Steiger who was doing some investigating for him, was given a piece of metal by a farmer who had seen it fall from a UFO. He returned to his hotel only to find two men waiting in his room for him, they demanded the metal with menaces. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.20-21. This is apparently the same incident as recounted by Warren Smith, who said it occurred “several years ago” in a 1976 book, who added that several people in the district, where there had been a UFO flap, had been visited by purported fertilizer salesmen who wanted to talk about the UFO sightings rather than selling fertilizer. The two men were called Jim and Tom, Jim kept smoking cigarettes, they refused to say from which government agency they came from. When he tried to pay his hotel bill the staff said that they had no record of his staying there. Smith, UFO Trek, pp.156-63.
1968, February: Tom Monteleone, a student from Adelphi, Maryland, was visited in a restaurant where he was working to support himself through college, by Vadig, whom he had met on 10 December 1967 when he came out of an egg-shaped object on a road near Washington. The next Sunday, after he returned home, Vadig came up to him in “a very old Buick … It looked brand-new. It even smelled brand-new.” He was driven to a remote spot in Maryland, where the egg-shaped object was waiting. He was flown to the planet Lanulos, where all the people were naked, and given a tour around. They then flew back to Earth and the black Buick returned him to his home. From the clock he found that all this had only taken two hours, though it had seemed much longer. Years later Monteleone claimed that the story was invented. Keel, Vistiors from Space, pp.174-76.
1968, 26 February: At 1 a.m. a man in Phoenix, Arizona, was woken by a knock on his door. “I saw a man standing in my room at some distance, wearing dark clothing … I couldn’t see his face … he was slender and not tall, perhaps five feet nine. He changed position a few times … and then he was gone.” Keith, Casebook, p.180.
1968, 4 April: ‘Bill’ and his wife encountered a silent red glowing UFO. That night they were visited in the hotel in Knoxville where Bill worked by a man dressed in black with jet black hair. When they told him that Martin Luther King had been shot at Memphis, he said: “Good! I hope he dies!” He remarked “Every man has his price”, and tested them by asking for how much money they would run naked across a highway. Keith, Casebook, p.181.
1968, Spring: An “Indian” in black clothes appeared in the middle of the night on a college campus in Minnesota following a series of UFO sightings. He behaved in a drunken fashion. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, p.152.
1968, 2 May: The woman from Keats Island, British Columbia, again encountered two men in dark overalls, the elder being the same, but the younger different. The following day a group of hydroelectric employees “assured me that yesterday’s men weren’t Hydro men, that somebody had been ‘pulling my leg’.” Keel, Visitors from Space, pp.179-80.
1968, Early May: George Smyth saw doppelgangers of John Keel, Gray Barker and James Moseley across the street from his house. A week later three men stepped out of a black Plymouth of 1960-62 vintage and West Virginia license plates, who claimed to be from Saucer News, and asked him to repeat what had happened to him. The magazine denied all knowledge. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.44-45.
1968, May: ‘Bill’, who had interviewed a contactee along with Brad Steiger, received a phone call detailing their movements, including where they had stayed and what they ate. (They had tried to keep their movements secret precisely because they had heard about the harassment of other UFO researchers.) A poltergeist entered his home, and twice ‘a smallish man cloaked in shimmering light’ materialised in his bedroom. Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, p.202.
1968, Late May: Mary, wife of UFO investigator John J. Robinson, noticed a large black car with red upholstery parked near her front door four mornings in a row, while a man in a dark suit looked piercingly at her. The next day she saw a doppelganger of Jim Moseley directing the traffic as she returned from shopping. On 18th Timothy Beckley and the real Jim Moseley came to visit, they noticed a black Cadillac parked in front of the closed factory next door, they took two photographs of a man standing in the factory door, and Mary identified him as the man who had stared at her. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.45-48.
1968, June: UFO researcher Thomas Wedemeyer of Jamestown, New York, was visited by ‘Major Smedley’ of the Air Force, the interrogation left him with a headache. There was no Major Smedley with the Air Force, but this man was found to have visited other UFO researchers. Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, p.200.
1968: A deputy police officer met three mysterious men in black suits. “They had an odd manner of speaking – as though they would inhale, then speak until they had expelled all their breath, then inhale again and begin to speak again. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, p.152.
1968, 5 July: ‘Captain Monroe’, claiming to be from the UFO Research Institute, Pittsburgh, visited a young man who had photographed a UFO with a polaroid camera, told him the pictures were faked, and that he should “keep his mouth shut or something unpleasant would happen to him.” Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, p.198.
1968, 13 July: Young investigator Dan O. was talking on phone to another Ufologist when their call was interrupted by a Mrs. Slago, who told Dan he should not inquire if aliens exist on Earth, as “Earth people do not understand…” then broke off. Asked to repeat her name, she said ‘Mrs. Nelson’. Beckley, The UFO Silencers, pp.153-54.
1968, 23 July: Martyn Johnson, an off-duty policeman, and his wife, saw mysterious lights over Sheffield. After reporting this to the Sheffield Morning Telegraph, he was called to his superintendent’s office, where he was interviewed by two men “dressed just like the spies on TV, in trench-coats and Trilby hats.” They tried to persuade him that he had seen only an aircraft or a helicopter, then said that he was “under oath and was sworn to secrecy for 25 years.” David Clarke and Andy Roberts, ‘The UFO Files’, Fortean Times 284, February 2012, pp.30-31.
1968, Summer: An unnamed journalist in an unstated location reported that several people had said men claiming to be Brad Steiger and John Keel had warned them not to talk about UFOs. When he tried to talk to a farmer’s wife, three short suntanned men in dark suits wearing dark glasses waved a copy of a magazine (with a UFO article?) and said that “Brad Steiger was warning all UFO sighters not to talk. Keel, Our Haunted Planet, pp.96-97.
1968 (?) Autumn?: An unnamed friend of Brad Steiger was approached in London by three men in black asking him about train times. Back in his hotel he saw the same men on a street corner looking up at his room. A day or so later one of them confronted him: “You are a friend of Brad Steiger. Tell him we shall visit him by Christmas.” Steiger related this to another friend who said that, if so, “send ‘em down to talk to me.” No sooner had Steiger left him than he had was visited by ‘the cadaver’, the thinnest man he had ever seen. He took down the man’s car registration, and learnt that there was no such car in Iowa. Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, pp.205-6.
1968, October: Brian Leathley-Andrews, a UFO investigator in Coventry, returned home to notice a man standing by the next-door garage. “His face was glowing orange and as I watched, the face changed to that of an old man before my eyes.” After this he started experiencing problems with his telephone, and getting threatening calls. He soon abandoned UFO investigation. Keith, Casebook, p.182.
1969: A ‘drunken Chinaman’ staggered into a newspaper office in New York State while a reporter was typing up a local UFO report. He was dressed in a black suit. After much wheezing, he managed to say, “Don’t print that story.” He staggered out, bumping into furniture. The reporter followed after him immediately but the street was completely deserted. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, p.152.
1969, 3 July: An unnamed UFO investigator was confronted by three Men in Black, “On the window of the car in which they were riding was the symbol connected with them and their visitations”. (No explanation as to what it was.) Subsequently he received mysterious telephone calls; his house was searched, and black Cadillacs followed him around. Evans, ‘Men in Black’, p.37.
1969, Autumn: A motorist in Massachusetts came across a UFO blocking the road. A man with ‘popping eyes’ and a red face who had difficulty breathing approached and asked for a lift to town. He wore a short black coat and “very shiny green trousers made out of some material I have never seen before.” After he got in the car the UFO took off and vanished. Asked where he came from, the man said: “You wouldn’t understand.” The motorist deposited him on Main Street, and thought of going to the police, but the man said; “Nobody is going to believe you so don’t bother.” The man staggered away. Keith, Casebook, pp.182-83.
1971, October (?): Two men ‘with the Ministry of Defence’ visited Jim Wilson, of the Eastern Midlands, and told him that “he might as well forget all about” the light he had seen in the sky in late August, because they had identified it as the Russian satellite Cosmos 408. (It was later proved that it was not.) Two men in a black Jaguar car took to parking by his house in the evening. Police discovered that its number plate was false. On 21 October officers approached the car to question the men, but suddenly it “melted away into nothingness”. Randles, MIB, pp.167-69.
1972. Late August: Peter Taylor of Manchester (he lived near the airport) was besieged by reporters over his sighting of a glowing object in the Pennines on the night of 16th-17th, but two ‘Ministry of Defence’ men arrived in a large black car, got rid of the reporters, asked him repeatedly about the opening of a T-shaped door in the object, and advised him not to talk. Randles, MIB, pp.106-7.
1972, October: Billy Doyle, taking an evening walk away from his job at a hotel near Eastbourne, saw a collection of glowing coloured lights. Two weeks later a ‘CID’ man interviewed him about it, and asked: “What would you say if I asked you not to report this?” Randles, MIB, p.111.
1973, October (?): ‘Gerry Armstrong’, who had had numerous UFO sightings, was served in a record shop in Newmarket Plaza, Jackson’s Point, Canada, by “the most beautiful girl I had ever seen”, in a long flowing black dress, with long black hair and “the blackest eyes I had ever seen.” She flung his change on the floor, and after he had picked it up she had vanished. Haisell, The Missing Seven Hours, p.111.
1973, 25 October: Stephen Pulaski, 22, and two ten-year-old boys, saw a red glowing UFO outside of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, heard screaming sound, noted a sulphurous smell, and then saw two Sasquatch-like apemen, between seven and eight feet tall. He fired his rifle and apparently hit one three times. The apemen retreated into the woods, and the UFO vanished. Later that day, when question by UFO researchers, he went into a trance in which he saw “a man in a black hat and cloak, carrying a sickle.” He said: “If man doesn’t straighten up, the end will come soon … There’s a man here now who can save the world.” Keith, Casebook, pp.183-84.
1973, 1 November: At the start of a UFO wave in New Hampshire, Florence Dow heard a thumping sound on her porch. “Looking out, she saw a man in a black coat and a wide-brimmed black hat, with what appeared to be a face covered with masking tape.” Keith, Casebook, p.184.
1973, December: ‘Mrs Verona’ of Devon, who had been abducted and raped by an alien on 16 October, received phone calls, then letters, then visits from two men, who described exactly what had happened, and warned her not to talk. They continued to visit for four years, until she did go to investigators. Randles, MIB, pp.112-17.
1974, 18 March: An intruder broke into a radio station in Paris, France-Inter, which had been broadcasting a series of interviews with UFO witnesses and theorists, and abstracted all of the untransmitted tapes, though leaving behind those which had already made it over the airwaves. The thief, whoever he was, can hardly have had any motive other than to prevent the remaining tapes from being heard by the public. Bourret, The Crack in the Universe, p.7.
1974, April: ‘Frank’ and ‘Kathy’ were driving in east Hancock County, Ohio, when they saw a fiery pulsating light. They told a few other people about it over their CB radio. At 2.45 a.m. they went to the Wigwam bar and restaurant, where a man rushed up and asked “What did you see in the sky?” He was bald, with fingers twice as long as normal. He denied having a CB, and asked how then he knew about said: “I … live … by … visions!” Keith, Casebook, pp.184-86.
1975: Argentine Ufologist Anton Ponce de Leon visited Sicuani where there were many UFO sightings, where he met “a reporter from the newspaper Ultima Hora, from Lima, Peru.” The reporter had photographed three UFOs in Capillani, Argentina. He sent them for developing, but on returning to his hotel found that “two gentleman in black and with hats” had trashed his room. Further harassment made him “extremely frightened”. Keith, Casebook, pp.94-95.
1975 (?): Two mysterious men in a black Cadillac attempted to confiscate from the Ohio state director for MUFON, Nils Pacquette, some metal samples that were allegedly from a UFO. He said that a check of the license number of their car revealed that that number had never been issued. Sheaffer, UFO Sightings, p.205, citing the National Enquirer, 23 September 1975.
1975, May: Carlos de los Santos Montiel, whose light plane had been buzzed by three discs on approach to Mexico City, was driving to a TV station to tell his story when two black limousines hemmed his car in. Four men got out and warned him not to talk. He went home again. In June he agreed to talk to Allen Hynek, but again he was warned off by one of the men dressed in black. Randles, MIB, pp.146-148.
1975, 4 July weekend: Serial abductee ‘Kathy Davis’ (Debbie Tomey), on holiday with her friend Nan and Nan’s family in Kentucky’s Rough River State Park, spoke to a man on CB. He then turned up with two other men, in a car which travelled without bouncing on a bumpy road full of potholes, though she had not said where they were and did not know how they found them. All were dressed in blue denim. When they first went into the cabin, it was late and the others would have been in bed, but they were up, yet “just still, you know, not moving, like they were hardly awake, and not saying anything.” One of the men did all the talking. Budd Hopkins suspected that they were aliens or hybrids. Hopkins, Intruders, 107-16.
1976, 3 February: ‘Shirley Greenfield’ of Pennine Ridges, near Bolton, Lancashire, was visited by two men in ‘smart black suits’, and interrogated by one of them, the ‘Commander’, about her UFO sighting of 23 January, and her subsequent purple rash. Randles, MIB, pp.8-19.
1976, Early (?): A couple in a small town in Minnesota where there had been a localised UFO flap since November 1975, were driving towards town when the man recalled that he had to make a phone call. As he pulled up at a booth a black Cadillac drew up, a man got out and pushed him away to get to the phone first. He drove off to a second phone, the black car appeared again, and the same individual again rushed out to get to the phone first. This then happened a third time. They chased the car and took its license plate, when it took off into the air and disappeared. Beckley, The UFO Silencers,p.105.
1976, 11 September: Dr Herbert Hopkins of Orchard Beach, Maine, who had hypnotically regressed a UFO witness, at home alone for the first evening in some time, was visited by a man in black with no hair or even eyelashes, who claimed to be from the non-existent New Jersey UFO Research Organisation, who made a coin dematerialise. Randles, MIB, pp.163-66. The abductee himself “said that a man in a black suit came to his trailer home and warned him not to speak of his experiences.” Imbrogno and Horrigan, Contact of the 5th Kind, p.17.
1976, 24 September: Herbert Hopkins’ daughter-in-law Maureen received a telephone call from a man who claimed to know her husband John. He and his female companion, who both wore old-fashioned clothes, met with John at a restaurant, and back at their home asked them many personal questions. Their behaviour exhibited many peculiarities. The man kept pawing and fondling the woman, asking John if he was doing it correctly. Hilary Evans, ‘Men in Black’, p.35.
1976, Late (?): When APRO researcher Dick Ruhl was getting evidence analysed from a supposed UFO landing site, he found himself being followed by a black Mustang with license plate UFO-35, driven by a man dressed totally in black. He also told a paper that he believed that the MIB were also monitoring his UFO lectures. Sheaffer, UFO Sightings, p.205, citing Massepequa (New York) Post, 11 November 1976.
1977: John Merron of Shepherd’s Bush, London, was reading John Keel’s Operation Trojan Horse while his father watched television. He remarked incredulously, “It says here that people get phone calls from flying saucers”. They both laughed at the idea. Two or three minutes later the telephone on the table besides him rang. He picked up the receiver and said ‘Hello’. A strangely metallic voice said: “This is the first one”, and rang off. In about 1990 Merron told me that he was still awaiting the second. Anomaly 5, June 1988, pp.32-33.
1977, 6 (or 7) June: Two men turned up at Ripperston Farm, where there had been many UFO sightings, one sat in the “flashy metallic-coloured car” while the other inspected the dairy equipment at the back of the farm. Both had “pointed chins, high foreheads and penetrating eyes.” Later they turned up at the Haven Fort Hotel, where the receptionist was puzzled that their car was silent on the gravel track. Randles, MIB, pp.118-20.
1977, 29 July: Joseph Randall, founder of the Ufology Society International, was driving between Golden and Radium in British Columbia, on the way home from work in the Glacier National Park to his mother’s place in Invermere. He encountered no other traffic after the Golden intersection. At about 10.45 p.m. a black pristine early model Cadillac crossed the highway ahead from east to west. He saw three men inside in black coats and hats. It left a cloud behind it. He stopped and realised that there was no intersecting road, so that this seemed to have been impossible. He did not encounter any other traffic until he reached the Radium intersection. Keith, Casebook, pp.193-95.
1978: Rick Moran, who had done a reinvestigation of Mothman and related stories in West Virginia, received various odd telephone calls, some of them threatening, saying that he should “drop my interest in UFOs”. When he turned up to be interviewed for Joel Martin’s talk show at WBAB on Long Island, which was to relate to the use of the defoliant Agent Orange in Vietnam, Martin told him that “he had been visited by a classic MIB, who had cautioned him about doing shows about UFOs.” Instead of the intended topic, they decided to go public. “Whenever a journalist feels he is in danger, the best advice is to put everything he knows before the public in the hope that, once it is public knowledge, there is no reason to threaten the source.” They had no subsequent problems. Rick Moran, ‘Point Pleasant Revisited’ Fortean Times156, March 2002, p.32.
1979, 4 August: Following some local UFO sightings, ‘Sarah’, fourteen, of Toronto, Canada, was unconscious for fifteen minutes after a sighting of ‘an arrowhead’. Under hypnosis, she not only recalled an abduction, but that a six foot tall man in a black suit with “slanted eyes, a grey-toned face, long fingernails on tapering fingers” had followed her into the school courtyard during lunch, and questioned her about her friends, who had also seen UFOs. Keith, Casebook, pp.195-97.
1979, 9 December: Following the Cergy-Pontoise abduction from a suburb of Paris, about 7 a.m. there was knock on the door, answered by Jean-Pierre Provost. There were three men: “One was of average height, very well dressed in dark green, almost black, black tie, white shirt and waistcoat to match his suit; he had a fringe of beard, black like his hair, and a moustache… The others were bigger than him, taller and more heavily built. Asked by the bearded man: “Are you one of the three?” he said, “Yes. “Good, in that case you can pass the word to your companions: you’ve already said too much. An accident will happen to you. And if you say more, it will be more serious than that…” Then they vanished. He saw them again on several other occasions, but the only time they spoke was in a tobacco shop, when they threatened him again. Under hypnosis, “Provost identified the men as coming from inside the Earth, and added that the bearded man had been real, but that his two companions had not been.” Keith, Casebook, pp.197-98.
Late 1970s: Place: ‘Te Kore’, pseudonymous rural district south of Auckland, New Zealand (presumably Pukekohe/Tuakau area). Source: Valerie Adams (1989) Heaven is a Place on Earth: Eight Years of my Life. Auckland, NZ: Collins. This book is a memoir of several years that Adams, a well-known NZ journalist, spent living in the NZ countryside with her husband Pat Booth, another high-profile journalist. Interpolated with Adam’s discussions of the NZ social and political events and personages of the period with which she and her husband were involved are discussions of her beliefs in New Age and paranormal phenomena such as reincarnation and UFOs. Shortly after moving to the area, Adams learns that the locals regularly see UFOs, and eventually has a couple of significant sighting experiences of her own: she interprets the UFOs in New Age terms as a symbol of higher consciousness, feeling that they exude ‘waves of love’. Adams also comes to consider the UFOs as the source of a pervasive humming noise that permeates the area at regular intervals, and for which no identifiable source can be found.
As specific dates are not given, Adams writes that “one winter’s day” her husband arrives home (commuting from his editorial job on an Auckland city newspaper) looking distressed and stating “I think I’ve been chased by extra-terrestrials on the way home”. Booth recounts being tailed “all the way down the motorway” from Auckland by a “big black van with black glass in the windows, and three men in black sitting in the front”, describing the van and men as “eerie” and as “so menacing I’ve never felt so terrified in my life”. However, when Booth turns off the motorway into the countryside, the van carries on and does not follow (pp 123-125).
Adams relates that Booth’s interpretation of the van as being driven by ‘extra-terrestrials’ is derived from the fact that both had previously read NZ pilot Bruce Cathie’s books on UFOs (presumably Harmonic 33 and Harmonic 695 at this date), which recount Cathie’s experiences of being stalked by MIB figures. In the conclusion to the book, Adams muses on the metaphysical meanings of her experiences in Te Kore (especially in relation to her belief that her time in the community is related to karma accrued in a past life). Her evaluation of the above incident is that “the men in black that Patrick and I were involved with was, I feel, a reflection of our own negativity at the time. We simply wouldn’t have a visit from them now, because we just don’t hold and accept such negativity in our consciousness” (p. 180). — Credit: Dean Ballinger
1980, Early: According to William Moore, APRO directors gave him a letter from Craig Weitzel, an Air Force cadet at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who had photographed a landed UFO and a silver-suited occupant. Back at base, he was approached by a man in a dark suit and shades who said his name was Huck, and wanted the UFO pictures, which he duly handed over. But when Moore interviewed Weitzel, he denied having taken any photographs of the UFO or having had a strange visitor. Pilkington, Mirage Men, p.119.
1980, 18 August: Charles Affleck, one of six members of the Swindon Centre for UFO Research (SCUFORI) found a note on his doorstep: “CEASE UFO STUDY”. In the weeks to come other members received similar missives, some in the mail with Swindon postmarks, and there were also peculiar threatening phone calls. They were eventually able to prove that the culprit was one of their own members. Martin Shipp, ‘Special – The Alien Amongst Us’, Probe Report, Vol.3 No.3, January 1983.
1980, September: ‘Beryl Hollins’ of Golborne, near Wigan in Lancashire, who had seen a UFO on 31 August, was telephoned by a supposed scientist from Jodrell Bank, who would not say how he obtained her number. He advised her not to associate with the ‘cranks’ in Ufology. Randles, MIB, pp.122-24.
1980, Mid-November: ‘Michael Elliot’, doing flying saucer research in a university library (U.S.A.), was approached by a very thin dark man in a black suit, who asked him about flying saucers, placed his hand on his shoulder and said: “Go well in your purpose.” After he had left the witness terrified, he noticed that there was no-one in the library, not even at the information desk. He forced himself to sit down again. When he left an hour later “There were two librarians behind each of the two desks!” Peter M. Rojcewicz, ‘Men in Black’, Fortean Times 50, Summer 1988, p.65.
1981, 6 August: David Ellis and his wife Caroline (pseudonyms?), who ran The Horseshoes public house outside Matlock, Derbyshire, and had had several recent UFO sightings, were visited at seven in the morning by two men in black with grey suede gloves, “like twins”, who were revealed to be hairless when they took off their hats, and apparently wore lipstick. They warned the couple to say nothing, made Caroline’s signet ring disappear, then drove off in a black Mercedes which had no number plate. The ring soon reappeared. Afterwards they received several telephone calls from a ‘somewhat metallic’ voice also warning them not to talk. Taylor, The Uninvited 2, pp.87-93, 105.
1981, 6 October: Grant Breiland and ‘N.B.’ of Vancouver, Canada, who had sighted a UFO from vantage points three miles apart, the former having taken a photograph, were visited by two strange men who intimidated them sufficiently that Breiland never released his picture, and N.B. would not co-operate with investigators. Randles, MIB, pp.126-29. Another version: Breiland saw two men who lacked fingernails at a K-Mart store. One asked him: “What is your name?” The other asked where he lived, and then, “What is your number?” Their lips did not move when they spoke. When they left he followed them. They walked across a muddy field and then vanished. No other people were in sight during the incident, though after the men vanished the place was populated again. Keith, Casebook, pp.199-200.
1980. 29 December: The night after UFOs had been seen near the U.S. Air Force base at Rendlesham, Suffolk, one of the witnesses, Larry Warren, received a telephone call ordering him to be in the parking lot in twenty minutes, “Or else”. There, two men in dark suits motioned him to get into a dark blue sedan, where an “eerie, green glow suddenly filled the vehicle”, and he lapsed into semi-consciousness. They took him to a secret underground facility beneath the base of which he had been unaware. He later found himself wandering around the base in a daze, and discovered that two days had passed. Redfern, Keep Out!, pp.44-47.
Early 1980s: Private investigators of UFO sightings in New York’s Hudson Valley were contacted by ‘James Madison’, reportedly of the National Security Agency (NSA), who wanted to obtain videotape footage shot by a witness. He said he wanted to forward the tape to Dr. Bruce Maccabee. The latter told Hynek and Imbrogno that he knew that Madison really was with the NSA. When they refused to turn over the tape, Madison told Imbrogno: “You know, Phil … the government has done away with people for a lot less.” Hansen, The Missing Times, pp.192-93, quoting J. Allen Hynek and Philip J. Imbrogno with Bob Pratt, Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings, Ballantine, New York, 1987, p.122.
1983, 14 February: Colin and Lynn Regan of Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire, who had recently seen a glowing UFO several times, were visited by two men calling themselves Frederick Gratton and George Edwards, who said that they were from the Ministry of Defence, and advised them not to talk about it for reasons of ‘national security’. On 19 February, after Colin had experienced ‘missing time’, they visited him again, and put him into a hypnotic trance, under which he recalled that he had been taken aboard a spaceship and made to have sex with an attractive female alien. Taylor, The Uninvited 3: The Abduction, pp.104-12, 141-46.
1984. 25 April: Gwen Freeman of Blairgowrie, Scotland, saw a group of strangers in ‘black Yiddish attire’ walk in single file up the path of a neighbour’s house and enter. Not long after they left again, but when she and her son called on the woman, she denied having received any visitors. Later that day Mrs Freeman saw a UFO. A week or so after, a man and a woman in dark old fashioned clothes called on her, and told her that she must not speak more of what she had seen “otherwise a great evil would befall” her.
1984, May: Marie, U.S. eastern seaboard, posted a sighting report to Jules Vaillancourt of MUFON. He never received it, but a man in a brown suit driving a grey Mercedes turned up with her form, claimed to be Vaillancourt, and asked her questions about the details. Randles, MIB, pp.131-32.
1984, December: ‘C.B.’, leaving her New York office at 11 p.m. after working overtime, saw three small globes of light that floated around her. On the way home she stopped at a deli to get cigarettes, and there was a new counter man of curious appearance, his skin “very pale with a yellowish cast” and large slanted eyes. He said: “It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can be very scary.” There was no-one else in the deli. When she returned the next day and asked about the new counter man, “one of the employees she was familiar with told her there was no new employee. He also said that he had manned the counter the previous night, and that she hadn’t come into the store.” Keith, Casebook, pp.200-202.
Early 1985: ‘Dan Seldin’ from near Cleveland, Ohio, woke up in bed to see three people dressed in black in his room. The experience was “totally realistic and yet dreamlike at the same time.” One was a woman with dark eyes and black hair, of whom he recalled, when hypnotised by Budd Hopkins, that “She looks evil, but she looks pretty, too.” She then had intercourse with him. Hopkins, Intruders, p.186.
1986, 26 January: About 7.30 pm Paul Rebek of Epping, New South Wales, received a visit from a man who said: “Hello sir, I am a representative of the Uranus Peanut Company. Would you like to sample my wares?” He bought some peanuts off him, and was told: “Thank you. The Council will remember you favourably. Good night.” He turned, but seemed to vanish after a few steps. Rebek thought it must have been “a spectral Man In Black.” Letters, Fortean Times 47, Autumn 1986, p.72.
1986, 10 July: UFO witness ‘Michael Lane’ of Bradford, on a paper round delivering the Bradford Star, was walking down Sticker Lane “when suddenly everything went quiet. There were no people about nor cars either. A large black shiny car, a bit like a Cadillac, drew up to the roadside to the left of me from behind as I was walking, and stopped.” A man in black shouted: “Forget everything you know about UFOs.” He saw it was a left hand drive car. After “the car drove noiselessly away”, when it was about 150 yards distance, “all normal background noise, people and traffic returned”, and “I also felt a tingling sensation all over, like pins and needles.” Martin Dagless, ‘Report of Men in Black phenomenon’, Anomaly 5, June 1988.
1987, February: Bruce Lee – not the Kung Fu star, but an editor at New York publishers Morrow – walking along Lexington Avenue with his wife on a Saturday, went into a bookshop to see how books he had edited were displayed. A short couple, bundled up against the cold so that even their faces could hardly be seen, picked up copies of Strieber’s abduction narrative Communion, a Morrow title, and flicked through them impossibly fast, saying things like: “Oh, he’s got this wrong”, and ,”Oh, he’s got that wrong.” Their accents were Upper East Side Jewish. Lee went up and asked what errors there might be in the book. The woman glared at him, and through her sunglasses he could see enormous dark eyes which reminded him of those of a rabid dog. He hastily left with his wife and they went off to a bar “and soaked his shock in Margaritas.” He concluded that they had been aliens, who had presumably learned to speak English from Upper East Side Jews. Schnabel, Dark White, p.169.
1987, May: Abductee Christa Tilton of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was out near Sedona, Arizona, when she was confronted with an old-fashioned black limo, ‘so shiny I could see my reflection in it’, one of two men inside said: “The time is all wrong”; as they drove off she tried to take a photograph, but nothing happened when she pressed the shutter. Randles, MIB, pp.133-34.
1988, 15 January: ‘Peter Spencer’, who had photographed a green alien on Ilkley Moor, visited by Jefferson and Davies, purportedly from the Ministry of Defence (who could not have known of the case), who asked him how his electric fire worked, and requested the negative, which he had lent to Peter Hough. When he told them this they left. Randles, MIB,pp.139-40.
1988: Maria, a Mexican woman married to an Englishman from Cheltenham, told me [GJM] that there were extraterrestrials living in Cheltenham. She knew about them because they had communicated with her by telepathy, and then one day she saw two of them walking down the street. They had no hair – they wore hats to hide the lack of it on their heads, but she could nevertheless see that they had no eyebrows. I think she said that they wore black coats. They nodded at her as they went past.
1988: A work party from the Universal Education Foundation, cleaning up the King Ranch, San Luis Valley, Colorado, which they had just purchased from Berle Lewis, found some looseleaf pages about UFO sightings by Nellie Lewis, whose horse ‘Lady’ (misnamed ‘Snippy’ in several news accounts), had supposedly been killed by a flying saucer in 1967. “A few minutes later, two men in the work party that I didn’t know left.” They had taken the pages with them. No-one else in the work party knew them either. O’Brien, The Mysterious Valley, pp.30-31.
1988, August: Margaret Harris and Margaret Wilson of Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, saw a bright yellow light while driving home from Christchurch, Wilson took several photographs, and back home telephoned the police. She was not surprised when a man claiming to be a ‘reporter’ called at her house and asked if he could take the film away to be developed. The story did appear in Southampton papers, but neither the man nor the film were seen again. Price, UFOs over Hampshire, pp.126-27.
Late 1980s: Frank Pattemore of Iverson Cottage, Somerset, who had suffered bizarre electrical problems in his home, requiring him to replace more than twenty light bulbs a week, was “visited by uncountable numbers of well-wishers and experts; spiritualists, dowsers, exorcists, ghost hunters, psychic researchers and men in dark suits who arrived unannounced, delved into brief-cases to produce maps and other documents but could not be traced on the contact telephone numbers which they left.” Bill Love, ‘Shock to the System’, Fortean Times 171, June 2003.
1990, June: McCleary, a farmer in Tipperary County, Ireland, found two crop circles in his oat fields; two more appeared later. The morning that the last appeared, a thin man dressed completely in black stepped out from behind a shed, he had something “dead” about him, and the clothes looked fifty years old. He asked about the circles. Keith, Casebook, pp.97-98.
1990, Late: New England Ufologists Philip Imbrogno and Marianne Horrigan found that some of their post was going astray, since witnesses would write asking why they had not responded to a previous letter, when this had not been received. Imbrogno then had a phone call from a man who identified himself as Major Andrews, the “Air Force representative to the FAA”, who wanted to know how many reports they had received in the New York area. He said that the Air Force was concerned about the increase of sightings in the area, since they did not want a “UFO scare on their hands”. He said that the Air Force was investigating the sightings, and asked Imbrogno if he would co-operate in an exchange of information. He agreed, and a few weeks later received a packet of reports from the Air Force, though they “did not contain earth-shattering information”. Imbrogno and Horrigan, Contact of the 5th Kind, pp.228-30.
1991, January: David Huggins gave a presentation at a UFO conference on his abduction experiences. The following day, an unknown man drove three times around Huggins’ block, stopping each time in front of his house.
1991, 2 February: Budd Hopkins received the first of a series of letters from Richard and Dan, who claimed to have witnessed the abduction of ‘Linda Cortile’ in November 1989. They initially said that they were police officers, but later that they were security guards with the United Nations. Hopkins, Witnessed, p.3.
1991, 29 April: ‘Linda Cortile’ told Hopkins that Richard and Dan had abducted her in a black Mercedes, and drove around questioning her for three hours. Hopkins, Witnessed, p.53.
1991, June: A helicopter hovered above the yard of abductee David Huggins in Wellington, New Jersey, the pilot snapping photos. Keith, Casebook, p.178.
1991, 15 October: ‘Linda Cortile’ told Hopkins she had again been abducted, this time by Dan in a red (Jaguar?) sports car. He had taken her to a beach house on Long Island. Hopkins, Witnessed, p.122.
1993: As Lincolnshire abductee Laura Bond walked her dog, a limousine with black side windows stopped by her. There were three men in black suits inside. Hough and Kalman, The Truth About Alien Abductions, pp.137-38.
1996: Michael ‘Drew’ Hartley, a freelance television producer from Brighouse, West Yorkshire, planned to make a programme about the legend that a monument at nearby Kirklees marks the grave of Robin Hood. As helpers he recruited two media students from Dewsbury College, and a young woman on the staff of Brighouse Library also offered her assistance. Quite suddenly, all three pulled out. When he questioned the students, both said that ‘someone’ had visited them late at night, and told them to have nothing to do with the Robin Hood film, or it would affect their future careers, and could have ‘even more serious’ consequences. The librarian sent a fax saying that she was busy with other commitments, but he never learnt her exact reasons, as she never spoke to him again. Hartley himself received a telephone call from a man with an Oxbridge accent who claimed to be from MI6. Though not threatening, Drew was puzzled at to how the caller seemed to know a lot about him. The film was never finished. Personal communication.
1996, January: A southern California ‘cover band’ took a break from a late night jam session for a smoke, when they all blacked out. They awoke ten minutes later, but the lead singer had vanished. He reappeared two days later with some scars. In the third week of February he was sitting on the porch when a black Cadillac pulled up, and three very pale, very bald men in black suits got out. “At first glance, they kind of looked Oriental, but a closer look let me know that they were not Oriental at all.” They said that they were with the FBI, and that he had to accompany them to their office to answer some questions. He hesitantly got in the car, which, though a ’78 model, “smelled brand new”. They drove him around for half an hour, warned him not to continue to talk about his alien abduction, and showed him a series of grisly pictures of mutilated bodies, which they said was “what happened to people who do not comply.” They also showed video footage of them killing people. When he was returned, his friends took down the license plate, but the police told them that no such plate was registered in California or with the FBI. The victim put the story on a computer bulletin board, anonymously out of fear. Keith, Casebook, p.202-3.
1996, May: Jim Keith interviewed David Huggins on the telephone, immediately following the conversation Huggins’ phone rang again, but there was silence on the other end. Keith, Casebook, p.178.
1996: 23 August: Jim Keith interviewed John Keel, afterwards Keith’s phone rang but there was silence on the line; he also later received a ‘breather’ call. Keith, Casebook, p.178.
1998 (?): Jerry Anderson (not the producer of Thunderbirds!) of UFO Monitors East Kent (UFOMEK), who was investigating the Burmarsh UFO incident of 8 March 1997, received a letter signed by Wing Commander A. W. Ward of the RAF. It read as if it were written by someone whose first language was not English, and ordered him to cease his investigations. He later discovered that this officer really existed, but when he wrote to him he received a reply, this time in fluent English, denying that he had written that letter. He was visited by people supposedly from the TV licensing authorities, who demanded to see his licence – they went away when he showed it, but this is extremely odd, since TV licensing men only visit homes that do not have licences. On 9 February 1999, he received a tape cassette in the mail, which proved to be a recording of a telephone conversation he had had with another researcher, Chris Rolfe, in January 1998. John Harney, Magonia Monthly Supplement 13, March 1999; UFO Magazine.
2000, October: Colin Perks, who had been trying to locate the grave of King Arthur, was visited by Miss Sarah Key, “the most beautiful woman he had ever met”, who wore “an expensive looking black suit.” She told him many intimate details of his research, which he thought it impossible for an outsider to know. She said that “she represented the interests of a number of people within the British Government and the ruling establishment”, who had been looking at occult matters since World War II, and knew that what he was doing was dangerous. If he did not cease, “you will receive another visitor.” He ignored this, and pressed on with his research, but he did get another visitor: not this time a government official, but ‘a gargoyle’ a seven-foot tall entity with leather wings, glowing red eyes, and fangs, which terrified him. Nick Redfern, ‘The Gargoyle of Glastonbury’, Fortean Times 187, September 2004.
2003, 10 January: The MoD’s ‘UFO desk’ received a call from a woman who said that in the small hours she and her mother had seen lights in the sky from their home in East Dulwich, south London, and feared this might be a terrorist attack. So she had called Peckham police who eventually sent a car around. In it were two policemen, and two men in space suits with dark glasses, who called themselves Mork and Mindy. These men told her not to look at the object because of possible radiation, and they carried a ‘transmitter’ (Geiger counter?) which kept clicking. As the woman’s eyes hurt from watching the lights, they offered to wash them out with a solution, though she declined. She was then told “not to talk to anyone about this and certainly not the press in case it caused panic.”
After they had asked the women for their birth signs, they left. When the MoD contacted the police, they naturally denied the Mork and Mindy story, saying that they had only sent two officers, without any radiation equipment, that the woman thought the lights were aliens, not terrorists, and that they themselves had been unable to see them. Later, the mother wrote a letter of complaint stating that they had discovered that Mork and Mindy was a TV sitcom about an alien, and that they had been trying “to make us look foolish”. Ministry of Defence report, quoted in David Clarke, ‘Britain’s X-Files’, Fortean Times 280, October 2011, p.29.
Men in Black reports would seem to admit of seven possible explanations:
1 – The whole story was fiction. I suspect that this accounts for the MIB events in Budd Hopkins’ book Witnessed.
2 – The witness hallucinated the encounter. An obvious possible example is Albert Bender’s claim that three men in black with glowing eyes materialised in his bedroom late at night.
3 – The MIB were Ufologists with peculiar agendas of their own. This proved to be the origin of the threatening messages received by SCUFORI members in 1980. Jim Moseley suggested that investigators from the Washington UFO group NICAP, who liked to give the impression that they were a government agency, would say to witnesses “don’t talk to anyone else about this” because they wanted the exclusive.
4 – The incident was a practical joke. This probably accounts for the ‘Mork and Mindy’ story. The Peckham police, if they were responsible for it, would hardly have admitted to the Ministry of Defence that they had been fooling around when they were supposed to be on duty (in an area with a high crime rate), hence their denial; and the usual exhortation “not to talk to anyone about this” may have been intended to cover up their own misbehaviour.
5 – The MIB were from the government. It can be objected that there have been several occasions when MIB have claimed to represent the Ministry of Defence, or the United States Air Force, but later the U.S.A.F. or the MoD have denied it. More than once, indeed, the Air Force have gone so far as to state that the MIB have committed a federal offence by impersonating military officers; whilst the MoD have said that they never investigate UFO cases in person, though they may interview witnesses by telephone. As against that, a careful reading of the books of Dame Stella Rimmington (former head of MI5) suggests that when MI5 agents have to identify themselves to the public, they say that they are from the Home Office, and no doubt the CIA has a parallel policy. It is possible, then, that MIB could indeed be from the government, though not the particular agency that they say they represent.
6 – The MIB are aliens secretly living on earth. In some instances the MIB themselves have stated this.
7 – The MIB are Ufonauts, but they come from another dimension rather than another planet. This was the view of John Keel.
Although the narrative about Albert Bender in Barker’s They Knew Too Much has been widely cited (e.g. by Brinsley Le Poer Trench, Secret of the Ages, Panther, 1979, pp.145-46), Bender’s own book has been little read and discussed. I guess that Ufologists supposed, from Barker’s book, that Bender had been silenced because he had uncovered ‘the truth’, and they all supposed that this truth corresponded to their own pet theories. But his narrative about hideous monsters extracting an element from our sea-water at a concealed Antarctic base did not match anyone’s pet theory, so that the book, if noticed at all, was denounced as a further part of the cover-up (e.g. by Rex Dutta, Flying Saucer Viewpoint,Pelham, 1970, p.51).
Some two-fifths of all MIB reports come from the three years 1966 to 1968, all but two of those in the United States. There must be some reason for this statistical anomaly, but I am not sure what. If possibilities (6) or (7), above, were correct, it could be that in 1966 a giant UFO landed secretly in North America and disgorged a number of Men in Black, returning to collect them again in 1968, but somehow I doubt it. More plausible is reporting bias: a major source for MIB reports are the books of John Keel, whose UFO investigations were mainly conducted in those years. Yet all of the instances reported by Brad Steiger, and many of those from Timothy Beckley, also come from the same period.
The geographical bias is blatant: there are 95 cases from the United States, 22 from the United Kingdom, four from Canada, three from Italy, three from Australia, two from France, and one from each of China, Argentina, Mexico, and the Irish Republic. To some extent this is again no doubt reporting bias, but of course it could also be cultural bias, that is, people in English speaking countries have often heard of MIB reports and therefore relate their own, whereas in other places they have not and do not.
Another problem is an obvious one: witnesses have frequently been told by MIB not to talk about what they have seen. It is a reasonable presumption that at least some witnesses have followed this advice, in which case there must be MIB (and UFO) incidents that have never been reported to anyone. But I can think of no way of even guessing what proportion of them remain unknown.
Sometimes, paranoia is incited by events that do have essentially mundane explanations. Another quotation from John Keel is pertinent:
“In the spring of 1967, following the publicity that attended Mothman and the UFOs, mobs of strangers descended on Point Pleasant. Cars filled with students from neighbouring colleges would arrive unannounced at the homes of witnesses named in newspaper accounts, often late at night, and expect to be welcomed. Mary Hyre and all the others were subjected to silly interviews by people who obviously didn’t have any notion of how to go about investigating anything. Some of these investigators were tactless and impolite, as only teenagers can be, to the point of being offensive. One by one the witnesses fell silent, refusing to talk to any more strangers, so newcomers saw a new mystery – someone had obviously ordered everyone in the Ohio valley to shut up.”
As John Rimmer observed in his review of Nick Redfern’s book, there is no standard pattern to reports of MIB, who are not always, for instance, said to be dressed in black. There are a few common themes, however: often they are said to be of oriental appearance, or completely hairless, or both. There are only three WIB cases known, and in one of these no details were given. It is interesting to note, however, that in both of the other two she was described by the witness as the ‘most beautiful’ woman or girl that he had ever seen. Whereas American MIB tend to drive black Cadillacs, Jenny Randles claimed that in Britain they are nearly always said to drive black Jaguars. Now, Jaguar cars are not common, and most of them are not black, but I have noticed that in London, when the police stop the traffic to make way for some VIP such as a visiting head of state, often they are in a convoy of black Jaguars. Some time ago, indeed, I saw the Queen go past in one, though her usual cars are a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley.
The foregoing is not intended to reach any definite conclusions. It is simply a concise attempt to lay out the claims that have been made, which, even if they are all fiction, ought to be of interest at least to students of modern folklore. Any comments would be welcome.
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There’s more Weird Darkness still to come, so keep listening!
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CHAMBER OF COMMENTS==========
We’ll step into the Chamber of Comments in just a moment, but before we do, I need to let you know what happened to me today – and why it affects you.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, and up until now I’ve been pretty much unscathed. But today I lost my biggest voiceover client, and my annual income has now been cut by over half. We separated as friends, no hard feelings, it’s just the failing economy we’re currently living in, and they can’t afford a professional voice artist right now due to the loss of income caused by the pandemic. So they have to cut where they can, and now I have a loss of income caused by the pandemic. We’re all affected. Before I go any further, I can tell you I am NOT going to stop podcasting, nor am I going to pull back on the amount of podcasting I do. I actually have some ideas on how to possibly fill in the giant gap that has just been left in my wallet. But in the meantime, with less than half of my income left, I do have to tighten my belt. That means, at least for now, I can’t afford to have prizes made and sent out. That means I need to pause the giveaways for Weird@Work and Post Share Saturday. I do hope to bring them back because I love giving stuff away – and I know most everyone likes to get free stuff. So my goal is to get back to doing giveaways as soon as I can. But if you notice I’m no longer promoting winning a t-shirt for sharing a post, or winning a prize pack for listening at work, now you know why. And a quick note of thanks to all of my patrons – if it weren’t for you, things would be a lot harder to deal with right now! So thank you!
And one more thing, this does NOT affect the fundraiser. I promised we’ll be donating to charity, and I’m not backing down on that. Everything sold in the Weird Darkness store this whole month will be donated to a charity helping those who are suffering due to the coronavirus epidemic. I’m affected, but I am not suffering. I am blessed more than 99% of this planet, I know that. There are people who can’t get food, and people whose loss of income has them swirling down into depression. THOSE people need help more than anyone, so the fundraiser is still on! If you’ve ever thought about buying Weird Darkness merchandise, please do it before the end of this month so that 100% of the profits go towards our fundraiser!
Now… let’s step into the Chamber of Comments….
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, tweets, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, join the Facebook Group, “Weird Darkness Weirdos” and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! Or drop me an email anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Review from Kayla McFarland): Long Live the Weird! “This podcast is great for creative types like me, an aspiring writer of fiction, but also offers a broad area of intersection between many things considered weird or scary by the “normal” crowd, among these, paranormal stories, aliens, cryptozoology, true crime, and mental illness. The way mental illness is stigmatized in this culture definitely puts it in the “weird” column for most people, and I admire the host and creator of this podcast for confronting and combatting this stigma. Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses are, most importantly, illnesses, and should not be buried, ignored or demonized, but should be treated and, if possible, cured, just like any other illness. When you normalize something, the fear and taboo starts to go away. I appreciate this host’s efforts to reduce the stigma around depression almost as much as I appreciate the variety of well-researched, well-narrated stories. I especially like the weekly creepypastas. Hoping this strain of weirdness goes on for a very long time.”
REPLY: Thanks, Kayla – I do plan to continue this for as long as I can – and I’ll just stop there with my comment, what you said yourself about depression knocks it out of the park!
(Review from LuckyStan7 in Canada): LOVE!!! “I’ve been listening to Weird Darkness for a few months now, the episode on Madame Lalaurie prompted the urge to review. I LOVE this podcast!!! The bible verse at the end is mildly annoying, but noticing the ‘additional thought’ after that balances it out – thank you for that more inclusive pull out of the darkness. It’s incredibly refreshing and uplifting. Keep up the delightful dark weirdness, and thank you for the attention to the real darkness that affects so many.” –LuckStang7
Facebook message from Sandra Payne: Hello I have been listen to your podcast for a while now. I really really enjoy it. All my life I’ve dealt with depression and thoughts of suicide. It’s hard to explain the actual physical pain of wanting to hurt yourself. And it’s hard to describe it to anyone else. I remember when I was 30 and I felt so hopeless, there was a story on the local news of a correctional officer getting assaulted at a prison near my town. And I thought there was my answer if I couldn’t take my own life I would go where maybe someone else would do it for me. Yeah, I know messed up thinking huh? Well anyway I went through the process training and all. Well 10 yrs later I was still around but no better off mentally. But I did work up the courage to try and get help. It happened when I saw my doctor. I don’t even remember why, but I broke down crying and told him I was depressed and all hoping he would give me meds or something… but he did nothing. Well I was like ok that did me no good. Well I had followup appointments twice after that and each time I would break down and cry. Finally on my last visit he had enough and was like what do you want me to do! Commit you? I was shocked and hurt at the same time. I remember being crushed and I wasn’t gonna ever ask for help again. So all these years I’ve had to learn to just deal with it. And it is the hardest thing in my life to do. But I do it. It’s so easy to be in the dark places. It takes a lot to be happy. I want to thank you for trying to help people especially now when the world is crazy. Stay safe and God Bless.
REPLY: Wow, Sandra. I don’t know how long ago this was that you spoke with your doctor, but regardless it seems like you need to find a different doctor. In fact, you can find one through iFred.org. They have counselors and doctors, and you can find one near you that actually understands depression. Please don’t give up, there are people who DO understand, because they are going through the same stuff you are. Come to think of it, a lot of them are in the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group – and if you post there about what you’re going through you’ll have a swarm of Weirdos crowding around you online to lift you up, and many of them can share their own experiences and maybe even give you some suggestions that worked for them. But I think it’s more important now for you to find a doctor to give you what you need so you can think clearly. So please go to iFred.org and check out what they have there. You might also want to download the 7 Cups mobile app, iFred recommends it and it’ll give you a network of people who are going through what you’re going through. I’m sorry you’re hurting, Sandra – and I hope and pray you find a solution soon!
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com.
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CREDITS AND FINAL THOUGHT==========
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Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com and I might use it in a future episode.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise), and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Curious Case of Agnes Bowker’s Cat” by Kimberly Lin for Historic Mysteries:
“America’s First Mass Shooting” by Katie Serena for All That’s Interesting:
“The Dragon of St. Leonard’s Forest” from Anomaly Info:
“A Boxer’s Life of Crime” by Paul Drexler for Crime Traveller:
“The Man With No Face” submitted anonymously to GhostsNGhouls.com:
“True MIB Encounters” by Gareth J. Medway for the Pelicanist:
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
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If you’d like a transcript of this episode, you’ll find a link in the show notes.
NOW THAT WE’RE COMING OUT OF THE DARK, I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH A LITTLE LIGHT: Proverbs 3:7-8 = Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
AND A FINAL THOUGHT: Distance yourself from negativity and great things will happen.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.