Men in black
| The woo is out there|
|Aliens did it...|
|...and ran away|
“”We straight don't exist, no names and no fingerprints
Saw somethin' strange, watch your back
The men in black (often abbreviated to MIB) feature in ufological conspiracy theories and were most popular in the 1950s with few appearances since. They are said to be mysterious people, dressed in black, who claim to represent an arm of the state (in America, typically the FBI, CIA or the Air Force). They are said to intimidate UFO witnesses into silence, according to witnesses. They have been written about by ufologists ever since Albert Bender's 1953 book Flying Saucers and the Three Men described such a visit, apparently as he was about to discover "the truth" about UFOs.
The space junta
In the works of John A Keel, the MIB ride black Cadillacs, have bizarre personal habits and sometimes an "olive-green" complexion. This is sometimes attributed to the possibility that the MIB are actually mechanical or alien in nature, rather than human. Keel has also suggested that the paranormal phenomenon responsible for the MIB may also be responsible for older accounts of encounters with demons or witches. Actual explanations for what the MIB encounters actually were are few and far between as the phenomenon hasn't received a great deal of skeptical attention, primarily because the reported encounters with MIB are so few. The probable explanation is that it was all a hoax, developed as a joke in the 1960s by UFO magazine publisher Gray Barker, author of such works as They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. The hoax explanation is based on a confession by Barker's collaborator John C. Sherwood in 1998, supposedly prompted by the recent release of the film Men in Black the previous year.
The paranormal aspect to the MIB myth is now largely forgotten and limited to pop culture references where they are portrayed quite differently from the original reports of the 1950s and 1960s — primarily they are portrayed as secretive government agents. Science fiction such as Men in Black and The Matrix are the most prominent examples that feature characters based more on the concept of MIB than the actual MIB personas reported, although the MIB in the game Deus Ex do have unsettling, robotic voices.
The British band The Stranglers began to associate themselves with men in black phenomenon around 1979–1981, culminating in the concept album The Gospel According to The Meninblack. They reputedly blamed a number of calamitous incidents in their career on the malign influence of the men in black; however a more likely explanation may have been the band's copious drug use and general antisocial behavior to all in the music industry around them. For example, they blamed the MIB for the termination of their recording contract by their US label, A&M. Others contend this was actually because, when A&M sent them proposed artwork for a new compilation album, the band telexed back saying "Dear A&M, please get fucked. Love, The Stranglers."
- Full song!
- Not to be confused with those also sharply dressed who work for financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund to visit countries that have received
a hand to the throattheir help, and check the conditions imposed by them are being fulfilled.
- Gray Barker: My Friend, the Myth-Maker, Skeptical Inquirer