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Lair of the Beasts: Monsters & the Men in Black

Mothman & the MIB

By Nick Redfern     May 21, 2011


Monsters and the Men in Black.
© N/A

 

For decades - or perhaps even for centuries, some firmly believe - the infamous Men in Black have been elusive, predatory, fear-inducing figures that have hovered with disturbing regularity upon the enigmatic fringes of the subject of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), coldly nurturing, and carefully weaving, their very own unique brand of horror and intimidation of a definitively other-world variety.
 
The preferred tools of terror of the MIB are outright menace, far less than thinly-veiled threats, and overwhelming, emotionless intimidation. And they are relentless when it comes to following their one and only agenda - that is, to forever silence witnesses to, and investigators of, UFO encounters. Unfortunately, it has to be admitted, they have been highly successful in achieving their unsettling goal, too.
 
Indeed, and without any shadow of doubt whatsoever, the long and winding history of UFO studies is absolutely littered with fraught, frightened and emotionally-shattered figures that have been forever menaced into silence by the Men in Black, and who, as a result, have firmly distanced themselves from the UFO controversy, vowing never, ever to return to the fold.
 
But what’s far less well known is the fact that the Men in Black have a deep and lasting link to the subjects of Cryptozoology and strange creatures – as my brand new book, The Real Men in Black, demonstrates.
 
There can surely be very few people reading this article who have not at least heard of the legend of Mothman – a creature that haunted the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and its surrounding areas, between November 1966 and December 1967. The diabolical exploits of the beast were chronicled in the 2002 hit Hollywood movie that starred Richard Gere: The Mothman Prophecies, named after the book of the same title written by the previously-referred-to John Keel.
 
A devil-like, winged monster sporting a pair of glowing, red eyes, Mothman came hurtling out of nowhere. And, some say, its presence culminated in high tragedy, doom and death when Point Pleasant’s Silver Bridge collapsed killing dozens. The manifestation of Mothman also coincided with the spine-tingling appearance of significantly more than a few dreaded MIB in and around Point Pleasant, too.
 
It was throughout this entire, fraught period – from when Mothman first appeared, to the time of death and disaster on the cold, wintery, Ohio River – that the Men in Black dutifully delivered their calling-cards adorned with the words paranoia and fear. Many of those same MIB cases were either chronicled by, or actually involved, a woman named Mary Hyre, a journalist based in Point Pleasant.
 
In early January 1967, for example, Hyre – who, at the time, was working as the Point Pleasant correspondent for the Athens, West Virginia-based Messenger newspaper - received her very own, and typically absurd and unsettling, visit from a Man in Black. The new stranger in town wore his black hair in a bowl-style, was less than five-feet in height, possessed a pair of weirdly hypnotic eyes, and had curiously thick soles on his shoes. Notably, the late Jim Keith, who wrote his very own book on the Men in Black, pointed out that: “Thick shoe souls are a recurring detail in many MIB encounters."
 
 
Crazier still: the odd, little man seemed strangely entranced by Hyre’s ballpoint-pen. When Hyre told him he was welcome to keep it, his only response was a bone-chilling, cackle-like laugh, and he charged out of the door at high speed, duly vanishing into the cold, dark night as mysteriously as he had first arrived.
 
Beyond any shadow of doubt the strangest encounter occurred in late 1967, when a pair of MIB, looking like identical twins, and dressed in black overcoats, turned up at the offices of the newspaper and began making confounding conversation of the flying saucer variety.
 
One of the Men in Black noted, blankly, that there had recently been a lot of UFO activity in the area; a statement with which Hyre concurred. Then a barrage of questions began: had anyone asked Hyre not to publish the details of such activity?
 
Hyre assured the pair that, no, there had been no hush-up attempts by anyone. And, the MIB wanted to know, what would Hyre’s response be if someone did warn her not to print such tales?
 
Her forthright reply was concise and clear: “I’d tell them to go to Hell." Perhaps this dark duo interpreted Hyre’s words quite literally. After glancing back at the mounting workload on her desk for a moment, Hyre looked up again and both MIB were utterly gone.
 
The Men in Black, it seems, are as intimately linked with mystery animals and strange creatures as they are UFOs and Flying Saucers…
 
Nick Redfern’s new book, The Real Men in Black, is published by New Page Books.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
Wyldstaar 5/21/2011 3:34:08 PM

As someone who believes in the existence of extra-terrestrial life, I've found that some of the books, tv programs and movies on alien life and related subjects such as the MIB have a nasty habit of pandering to their audience.  The media that present the subject in a clear and unbiased manner are few and far between, sadly.  The ones that depict a biased perspective are usually easy to spot, fortunately.  They use phrases such as, "without any shadow of doubt whatsoever" repeatedly.  They also describe familiar reference points in a overblown manner, like, "the 2002 hit Hollywood movie that starred Richard Gere: The Mothman Prophecies."  The movie in question made a paltry $55 million worldwide.  That's barely enough to make back the budget after the cost of tv commercials, magazine and newspaper ads is calculated.  The mention of the film version of The Mothman Prophecies in a plug for a book about the Men in Black seems especially pointless, since they only appear in the novel and not the movie adaptation.

This book will probably do quite well with it's target audience. The main reason there are more biased books out there than neutral ones is that the biased ones sell better.

NickRedfern 5/23/2011 5:48:22 AM

Wyldstaar:

You say of my book: "This book will probably do quite well with it's target audience. The main reason there are more biased books out there than neutral ones is that the biased ones sell better."

The book isn't biased. It includes some MIB cases which I believe are absolutely genuine. It also has an entire chapter on MIB cases which are clearly hoaxes, an entire chapter where the witnesses were clearly fantasy prone and mentally ill, and one where the MIB were nothing of the sort, and just the result of mistaken identity.

The book certainly takes the stance that the Men in Black are real (hence the title of my book), but it's hardly biased to the idea that the MIB are government agents as per the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones. In fact, I conclude in the book that - a few cases aside - the MIB are definitely NOT government agents. But they are a real phenomenon. 

Wyldstaar 5/24/2011 4:10:53 PM

Interesting.  You've chosen to completely ignore almost my entire post, and instead focused on the last two sentences. 

If the book isn't neutral, then the article you've written doesn't reflect that.  You describe events and instances as factual, yet provide no verifiable evidence.  You state there is no doubt about subjects which are so doubtful that most people don't believe in them.  And again with the pointless movie reference...

NickRedfern 5/25/2011 8:16:06 AM

Wyldstaar:

What the hell does it matter if I reference the fact that a movie was made on the subject of the book I'm referencing (The Mothman Prophecies)? I gave people an Intro to the Mothman background/story, and then pointed out that the tales of its exploits could be found in Keel's book and in the film of the same name. What's the problem with informing people of where they can find out more about Mothman - if they want to?

Yes, I do relate in the article data suggesting the MIB are real and based upon facts not hearsay. I expand upon that deeply in the book. I don't apologize for that, because of the data I uncovered that leads to me conclude they are real.

In the very same way that I deeply expand in the book why certain classic cases were hoaxes, misidentification, and the result of mental illness/psychological issues. Re the latter: I'm not talking about those types of lunatics and nut-jobs who have to check 45 times that they have unplugged the iron or locked the front-door, but far deeper issues that actually have a bearing on the MIB phenomenon.

But, here's the important thing: I have uncovered files that clearly show some British MIB reports can be traced back to the British Royal Air Force's Provost & Security Services. I have these files (officially declassified via the Freedom of Information Act) in the book. Same with certain US files identifying some MIB as being US Intel in origin. That's what makes me state so firmly in the article my opinion that the MIB phenomenon is a real one. 

But, do I think there are utterly unverifiable, undocumented, friend of a friend cases, or mistaken identity, or hoaxing when it comes to the MIB? Of course I do. I absolutely know such cases exist.

And, if there was any agenda on my part just to portray the MIB as ALL being  real, I would hardly have in my book entire, separate chapters on how hoaxing, mental illness, and mistaken-identity have played massively profound roles in nurturing and confusing the real aspect of the MIB phenomenon!

kendo7 5/30/2011 11:47:48 AM

Nick, as a fellow Dallasite, I may be proventially biased in your favor.  The thing I find most incredible about you is your prolific output.  I am mystified by your ability to thoroughly research so many subjects.

You know as well as anyone that most people are "belivers", rendering research and facts moot.  With a through knowledge of facts, "belief" becomes irrelevant.  Believers chose their comfortable paradigm, whether they be "positive believers" or negative believers".  Nothing will disuade them, not even objective facts.  Wyldstaar appears to fit in thet catagory of "negative belief".  Do not waste time debating a "beliver". 

As a lawyer, I have great appreciation for verifiable, credible witness testimony.  It alone can determine life or death.  That's pretty important.  So many psudo-scientifically oriented people hide behind "scientific" fact as the sole determiner of truth.  The world does not function in a purely "scientistic" manner.  I wait for someone to give me a scientific definition of "love", and "scientific, reproducible, laboratory verification of it's reality.  Incidentally, I am also a geophysicist.  My hobby is physics - yes, quantum physics.  I am a great respector of the objective scientific approach.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. C. J. Jung is, when asked by an intervieser if he "believed in God", Dr. Jung answered, "No.  I know God".  His personal experiences and detailed scientific research provided him with clear, unequivocable evidence, facts.  No need for "belief", either positive or negative.

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