Men in Black 3 is finally among us, and the exploits of those black-garbed secret agents of an equally secret agency - whose job it is to hide the truth about an alien presence on our world - are set to entertain cinema-goers just about here, there and everywhere.
Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, the movie will, just like its two predecessors, thrust these mysterious, dark-suited characters into the public domain and the minds of science fiction fans everywhere.
But, is the movie – and the attendant exploits of the Men in Black – only a piece of entertaining fiction? According to many, the answer is “No.” It’s a little known fact outside of the field of UFO research that the big-screen MIB are actually born out of very real encounters with genuine, shadowy figures who only dress in black and whose entire role in life seems to involve terrorizing witnesses to UFOs and aliens.
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 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.
Like true vampires from some strange, outer edge, the painfully-thin, white-faced and sunken-cheeked Men in Black appear from the murky darkness; they then roam the countryside provoking carnage, chaos, paranoia and fear in their notorious wake, before duly returning to that same shrouded realm of unsettling weirdness from which they originally oozed forth.
Very often reported traveling in groups of three, this definitive trinity of evil seemingly has the incredible ability to appear and vanish at will, and is often seen – in the United States - driving 1950s-style black Cadillac cars, and - in the British Isles - 1960s-era black Jaguars, both of which are almost always described as looking curiously brand new.
Despite the passing of the decades, and of the many and varied changes in fashions, the preferred mode of dress of these bone-chilling characters never, ever alters in the slightest, at all: it always consists of a well-preserved black suit, a black Fedora- or Homburg-style hat, black sunglasses, a black necktie, black socks and shoes, and a crisp, shining white shirt. Very little wonder, therefore, that they have been given the wholly notorious name with which they are, today, most famously – or perhaps infamously - associated.
But who, or far more likely, what, exactly, are the Men in Black? While some MIB are, without doubt, the all-seeing eyes of clandestine departments of at least several governments – including both the United States and the United Kingdom - the vast majority of these curious characters appear to be of a very different breed altogether.
According to numerous, fantastic witness testimony and countless case-studies secured since the early years of the 1950s, the real MIB may very possibly be alien entities themselves, carefully and secretly working to ensure that we never successfully uncover the sensational truth about their presence, or the long-term goal of their strange and unearthly agenda, upon our very own planet.
On the other hand, however, some students of MIB history, lore and legend suggest that these non-human creatures are utterly occult-based, supernatural beings that originate in, inhabit, and with disturbing regularity surface from, strange and enigmatic netherworlds very different to that of our own, personal 3-D reality.
On a very similar path, a variety of individuals suspect strongly that the real Men in Black are nothing less than definitive demons – the literal, deceptive minions of none other than the lord of the underworld: Satan himself. The intriguing fact that many of those that have been cursed by visits from the Men in Black have dabbled in occultism, with Ouija-Boards, and in devil-worship, is perceived as further evidence by some that the MIB may have origins that are far, far removed from the enigma-filled world of outer-space and highly-advanced extraterrestrials from the stars.
Meanwhile, there are those investigators of the UFO phenomenon who have put forth a truly fascinating, unique and near-revolutionary theory that has nothing whatsoever to do with aliens, flying saucers, or even the realm of the occult. It is a definitively jaw-dropping theory that posits the Men in Black may, incredibly, be time-travelers from humankind’s far-flung future. Their role, it has been suggested, may be to ensure that we remain forever in the dark about the shocking facts of what is really afoot: namely, that our “aliens” are actually us, albeit from a time centuries, or even thousands of years, from now.
Whatever their point – or points – of origin, however, there is one thing that we can say with complete confidence and certainty about the Men in Black: they are, most assuredly, amongst us, and there is absolutely nothing positive, warm or welcoming about their presence at all.
And, if your personal, particular areas of fascination are those relative to such conundrums as Flying Saucers, alien abductions, close encounters, the Roswell UFO crash of 1947, Area 51, UFOs, and a myriad of other, attendant puzzles, then that trio of mysterious, black-garbed men may very well one day be paying you a visit, too.
If, late on some dark, thunderous and chilled night, you are awoken from an uneasy slumber by a slow, deliberate and pounding knocking on your front-door, no matter how tempted you may be, do not open it – that is, unless you wish to disastrously allow into your life one of the most terrifying, soulless and definitively macabre creatures that has ever been unleashed upon us, the Human Race. Remember you have been duly warned. Beware, always, of the real Men in Black.
But, don’t let all the above put you off seeing Men in Black 3! After all, it’s only fiction, right? Maybe not…
Nick Redfern is the author of many books on paranormal subjects, including a full-length study of the MIB phenomenon titled The Real Men in Black (New Page Books, 2011).