Friday, November 4, 2022

Men in Black

Author: CBow

When you hear “Men in Black,” you might think of Will Smith in the movie Men in Black. Some think of the Men in Black as a “secret” government agency, but most think of UFO’s (Unidentified Flying Objects.)Most people don’t even believe that Men in Black nor UFOs exist. The first story that launched conspiracies about the Men in Black dates back to June 27, 1947, involving a man named Harold Dahl. Dahl was out gathering logs, when he saw “six donut-shaped obstacles hovering” (Justin Sablich) over him in his boat. Sooner than later, one of the obstacles fell, scattering debris and water, killing Dahls dog. The next morning after the ordeal, Dahl was visited by a Man in Black who told Dahl not to speak of what he had witnessed, or else bad things would happen. The mysterious man was able to tell him what exactly had happened, frightening Dahl, which enticed him to tell others. He reached out to a magazine editor, who then reached out to a pilot named Kenneth Arnold, who had also experienced a UFO sighting. In July of 1947, “two Army A-2 Intelligence officers came to investigate.” (Sablich) The next day, when the officers were leaving, their plane crashed, killing both of them. Was this just a coincidence? Or did it have something to do with the Men in Black?

Albert K. Bender was the man who really kicked the Men in Black Conspiracy into full gear. He was a ufologist and conducted multiple counts of paranormal research. Because of his love for paranormal activity, he formed the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB). In November of 1952, Bender was at a local movie theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut, when he noticed a “strange man with glowing eyes observing him.” (Bielawa). Bender also noticed that there was an increasingly worsening stench of burning sulfur filling his attic. In July of 1953, he was paid a visit by three men in black suits. According to Bender, they communicated telepathically with him, demanding him to stop all UFO work and research. In October of 1953, the last issue from the IFSB Space Review
 was published, including a cryptic message and warning of those who are engaged in “saucer work to be very cautious” (Bielawa). The IFSB was shut down by Bender, obeying the Men in Black that had threatened him.

Bender’s story attracted a UFO Magazine Publisher, Gray Barker. According to multiple sources, Barker was not considered the most factual reporter on UFO phenomena, as he was a “gifted writer with a gentle, understated sense of humor” (Radford). Barker wrote the book, “They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers"
 and included Bender's story inside. The book elaborated upon the Men in Black and UFO conspiracy. For some it expanded their belief of the Men in Black existence, and for some it was just a goofy, fictional, book. After this book was released, more and more people started encountering the Men in Black.

So, what could be a possible explanation behind the Men in Black? Are they really a result of paranormal activity, or do they have nothing to do with aliens at all? It has been reported that many people have experienced the Men in Black when experiencing sleep paralysis. According to Spencer Heathcliff Peters, sleep paralysis
 “can be described as an inability to move or speak for several seconds after waking up from sleep.” Some say that when they have seen a Man in Black, they saw a black, shadowy figure. When some people experience sleep paralysis, they have also reported seeing a black, shadowy figure. In the 1970s, a survey was conducted by David F. Rudiak that studied the correlation between Men in Black sightings and sleep paralysis. The study concluded that there was no correlation between MIB sightings and sleep paralysis. Rudiak also found that since there was a large amount of people that had never seen a UFO but had an experience with Men in Black, most “alien abductions” are most likely sleep paralysis episodes.  

Other resources suggest that the Men in Black aren’t, have never been, and never will be real. According to Steve Rose, “the UFO community is a textbook case of a gullible group susceptible to manipulation. Having spent too long watching the skies and the X-Files, it's implied, they'll readily swallow whatever snippet of "evidence" suits their grand theory.” Rose claims that movies and documentaries about UFO/paranormal activity are clearly fictionalized and made to feed into the imagination of ufologists. Rose states, “Rather than covering up the existence of aliens, could it be that the real conspiracy has been persuading us to believe in them?” Roses theory is that the Men in Black phenomenon/paranormal activity is not real, but the government wants us to think that they are. But why? Is there something that we don’t know that we should? Are movies just a coverup of something that’s really out there? Or are we just a bunch of paranoid weirdos? I guess we might not know until we see a UFO for ourselves.

Works Cited: 

Bielawa, Michael J., “Bridgeport’s UFO Legacy: Men in Black and the Albert K. Bender Story” Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Library.

Peters, Heathcliff Spencer. “Men in Black: Shadow Figures and UFOs throughout History.” Astral Citizens, Astral Citizens, 29 Sept. 2022,

Rose, Steve. “The real Men in Black, Hollywood and the great UFO cover-up”. The Guardian, Guardian News & Media, 14 Aug. 2014,

Sablich, Justin. “The UFO Sightings That Launched 'Men in Black' Mythology.”, A&E Television Networks, 23 Aug. 2018,

“Who is the Hat Man? The Real-Life Nightmare Shared By Thousands.”, Photograph, 20 Aug. 2020,

Links for further research : 

Geers, Jacob. “9 Freaky Encounters with the Real 'Men in Black' That'll Seriously Give You the Creeps.” Thought Catalog, The Thought & Expression Company, LLC., 13 Sept. 2021, This source explores different accounts of witnesses of the MIB.  

“List of reported UFO sightings” Wikipedia, MediaWiki, 7 Oct. 2022, This source provides multiple alien sightings, including the time they were reported as well as where they were reported.

“Real Men in Black Sightings Caught on Camera.” Slapped Ham, 10 Apr. 2019, This source provides pictures of the Men in Black as well as strange personal experiences of those who have encountered the MIB 

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