Visitations From the Men in Black

Human? Alien? Or a figment of imagination?


The mysterious Men in Black tend to offer little explanation for their appearance, leaving a trail of doubt and confusion in their path, and people who have encountered them often report having felt intimidated and harassed.

The term Men in Black (MIBs) refers to individuals that often show up to question UFO witnesses and witnesses of other strange phenomenon. Usually in groups of three, they are dressed almost entirely in black, often wearing sunglasses. They are usually male, but in some cases have had an equal number of female counterparts. Sometimes they claim to be working within a certain agency of the federal government such as the CIA. 

These mysterious figures have gained renown in American pop culture and folklore, and a popular trilogy of feature films, Men in Black, staring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, was conceived in 1997. Additionally, Men in Black were often featured in the 1990’s Fox show The X-Files. One comedic episode, “Jose Chung’s from Outer Space” (’95–‘96), guest-starred former wrestler Jesse Ventura and Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek as MIBs. 

The term “Men in Black,” is believed to have been coined by author and investigator John Keel, who is probably best known for his investigative work in UFOs and paranormal activity, and for his book, The Mothman Prophesies (1975). In 1967, Keel wrote an article for Saga magazine titled “UFO Agents of Terror,” in which he describes his investigation into these figures that would hence come to be known as “Men in Black,” according to The Telegraph.

Documented Visitations

One of the first documented MIB cases involved publisher of the flying saucer publication Space Review Albert K. Bender, who in October 1953, abruptly ended his magazine publication. In 1963, he spoke in his autobiography about how he was intimidated into halting all publications by visitors wearing all black, according to an account on ufoevidence.org, a site dedicated to the scientific study of the extraterrestrial. 

A more modern potential MIB sighting involves actor and UFO and paranormal researcher Dan Aykroyd, who recounted his MIB story in the documentary Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs: While he was in New York City preparing a show for the SciFi Channel on UFOs and the paranormal, titled Out There, he was having a cellphone conversation with Brittany Spears and saw a black sedan with potential MIBs inside. One MIB stood outside the car staring at Aykroyd, and another gave Aykroyd an unpleasant glance from the back seat. Aykroyd looked away for a brief moment, and when he looked back, the sedan had disappeared. 

“I turned back a half-second later and it was gone. And that car did not go past me, it did not take a U-turn. … That car vanished,” said Aykroyd.

Aykroyd was informed later that day that his show was to be canceled, leaving many ufologists to ponder whether or not MIB influence led to that outcome.

Merely A Figment?

Due to the odd nature of these figures, there are many theories regarding their origins. Many ufologists believe these beings to be actual government agents, while others believe them to be extraterrestrials themselves. Some skeptics believe that they are just the unconscious manifestation of American paranoia.

Researcher Peter Rojcevicz, who had a close encounter with a potential MIB himself while researching UFOs, has a different understanding. He believes that the MIB phenomenon has been a part of our culture and folklore since the beginning of history, and that MIBs are a modern form of the fairies and angels that were seen by peoples of the past. In a nutshell, he believes that we mentally create these beings—or an image of them—in order to help us cement our concept of reality. The antithetical nature they represent helps us to understand reality as we see it, according to Rojcewicz’s lecture, “Beware the Physical in the Material: Imaginalia, Folk Belief and the Eclipse of the Literal.”

Whatever the reality may be, these beings often leave their contacts stunned and in fear. They are virtually synonymous with UFOs and have influenced our pop culture through stories, documentation, and movies. Perhaps someday we will have a clear understanding of the Men in Black.


  • HeyJude

    I watched Dan Aykroyd’s program Unplugged…really fascinating. I had no idea he was such a serious researcher/investigator before that. He had some pretty heavy stuff in the shows that were made but never aired, and he was dead serious about why they were never allowed to see the light of day.
    It’s incredible to me how any reports relating to people having these experiences, whether with MIB or UFO sightings are consistantly attributed to “mentally imagining”. Independent witnesses from every walk of life, and in countries all over the world have made these reports. It is more crazy to believe everyone just happens to make up the same imaginary events than it is to believe that their are people whose job it is to keep a lid on anything of this nature.
    But this is how the lid is kept on anything….character assasination and riducule is usually enought to keep anyone from talking. As long as the topic is always officially deemed fringe, mental disorder, character flaw, unreliable crazy witnesses no one wants to touch it.

    • don

      That was up until the grown up internet. Nowadays, all a MIB has to do to assure silence is to inform the witness that they must link to their Facebook account before they are allowed to comment on the incident. Much more efficient, less messier.

      • eyelashviper

        Careful there, they are now on to you…

      • undsoweiter

        Who’s that standing behind you!?!

      • HeyJude

        LOL! That would work too! I’m usually in serious mode about my UFO’s (eyewitness) ….but that was funny. :-)

    • rg9rts

      You should talk to any professional airline pilot. You have foofighters from WW2 that was the name for UFO’s back then.

      • HeyJude

        Ahhh, the foo fighters are legend! Rg, lest you think I’m kookier than you already know…I am actually scheduled to be interviewed tomorrow night by a serious researcher and data base archivist (He has published his work, doing very well.) I’ve done my own research (informally) for the last 25 years since my own sighting….there is so much information and documentation, I think most people are completely unaware how big this is. I’m very vocal about it, know that many will laugh, but you get a tough skin when you know what you saw.

        • rg9rts

          Tell him you are thinking of going to Pine Bush for further research. No kidding it is the local hot spot in Orange County New York

  • rg9rts

    Why do they look like they all work for Christie?

  • don

    Wait a minute. Isn’t that the crane they hung Brody on in the background?

  • Gin1234

    I feel like I’ve wandered into the Twilight Zone.

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