By Nick Redfern
There can surely be very few stranger experiences for the researcher of Fortean and paranormal phenomena than when those same phenomena decide to turn the tables and focus their attentions upon the aforementioned researcher. And there is, perhaps, no better example of this than in relation to the mystery of the Men in Black – whose shadowy and creepy activities seem to have consistently targeted UFO witnesses and investigators alike. Including, just maybe, me. Read on…
On last Saturday night’s Coast to Coast show I was interviewed on that very subject: the Men in Black mystery. It was a 3-hour-long episode (1AM to 4AM) in which I discussed with the host of the show, John B. Wells, the many and varied complexities of the legend of the Men in Black.
During the course of the show, we covered a great deal of ground, such as: (A) the saga of Albert Bender (arguably, the one man more than any other who kick-started the MIB mystery), (B) Gray Barker’s significant part in the controversy (largely thanks to his classic 1956 book, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers), (C) the MIB-Mothman connection detailed by John Keel in The Mothman Prophecies and by the aforementioned Barker in The Silver Bridge (the latter being a book I particularly recommend), (D) the many and varied theories for who – or what – the Men in Black might be, (E) modern day encounters with the MIB, and much more.
But, there was something else too…
Normally, whenever I do a radio show, it goes ahead without a hitch or a glitch. But, not when I’m talking about the MIB. On many occasions now, when that subject surfaces, we seem to encounter endless telephone interference – which is, as many will be acutely aware, an absolutely staple part of MIB lore.
As anyone who has read the work of Keel will know, cases abound where people immersed in the conundrum of the Men in Black have encountered all manner of very bizarre telephone interference, such as hearing strange voices ranting in bizarre or foreign languages, as well as equally weird electronic noises, clicks, and bleeps. And, very often, in the night hours and early mornings when the world is transformed into a very different and mysterious place.
And, indeed, it might be said that last weekend’s Coast to Coast show was just the latest addition to this odd and clearly ongoing situation.
On no less than four occasions during the course of the show, the landline dropped, forcing the producers to call me back. But, the phone didn’t ring out at my end on any of those call-back occasions. So then they tried my cell phone. Which was fine, as I always have that handy for use as an emergency back-up. Well, it was okay for a while. That is, until the cell started dropping and we had to then use another land line.
So, all in all, no less than three phones for one interview – a significant portion of which was focused on the very issue of the Men in Black and telephone interference!
If this had happened only once or twice during the course of my MIB-themed research and interviews, I would put it all down to glitches in the phone connection and nothing else whatsoever. But, as listeners to some of my previous shows on the MIB may know, this happens frequently – even to the point of where I now pretty much anticipate it occurring! One particularly memorable example occurred last year while I was doing Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland show, right at the exact time we were discussing – yep, you guessed right – the MIB and phone-based freakishness.
So, what on earth (or, very possibly, completely off it…) is going on? Of course, the eye-rolling skeptic or smug, know-it-all debunker would very possibly say that because I have extensively written and spoken about the association between the MIB and telephones, I am simply noting every time such a weird event occurs – and then I’m placing more significance on such matters than I should be. Well, I disagree with those smug eye-rollers!
I very rarely get any phone problems when I’m doing radio. So, why should I get far more while doing MIB-based broadcasts? And, more importantly, why should the interference actually occur – as it has on more than a few times – exactly (and I do mean exactly) when I’m talking about that very issue of phone foul-ups?!
Tricksters from beyond the veil? A warning from the stars? Shadowy visitors trying to provoke menace, anxiety and silence? If so, they’re doing a pretty bad job of it, as all that this makes me want to do is tell everyone, and spread the data far and wide. But Ufology has had (and still does have) its weak souls for who such potential, perceived threats just might work.
As for me, I have a message for E.T.: Don’t phone home. Or, at least, quit phoning (or interfering with) my phone! And, while you’re at it, get a life!
There, if that doesn’t guarantee me a face to face visit from the MIB, then nothing will…