By Gareth J. Medway
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.
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.
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.
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, &c.
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, 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.
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, 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 from Space, 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, 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, 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, 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. 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 Times 156, 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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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