Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Early MIB?

In a fascinating new post at his Twilight Language blog, Loren Coleman asks:

"Was one of the earliest 'men in black' fictional tales, about three MIBs, published five years before the turn of the 20th century?"

He continues:

"Perhaps so. This is a significant book written about three men in a secret organization in pursuit of a man 'with spectacles' who possesses a vanished Roman coin denoting important mystic symbolism."

And, for the whole story - which is undeniably essential reading for anyone and everyone with an interest in the MIB mystery - click right here.

It's interesting to note that coins turn up (and sometimes subsequently vanish) in more than a few MIB-themed sagas, including this one from the 1950s and this from the 1970s.


  1. It's indeed puzzling that Machen's story centers around a coin. Once again cons become present in MIB accounts, like the last story you wrote about them for Mysterious Universe, and the tale of the 'teleported' coin you included in Contactees.

    Incidentally Nick, I think it would be interesting if you did a little research about the enigmatic figure of Fulcanelli. I don't know if you've studied something about this subject, but the book Le Mystere des Cathedrales caused quite an uproar in the Parisian esoteric groups after WWI.

    The uproar was rekindled after the publication of Morning of the Magicians, in which Jacques Bergier mentioned his encounter with a man he identified as Fulcanelli, who warned him about the dangers in Nuclear research and how easy it was to unleash incredible amounts of energy by the geometric arrangements of pure elements.

    Now, as a Fortean, I find it particularly fascinating how this warning about Nuclear power by a figure considered by many to be an Alchemist master preceded all the similar admonitions imparted by the Space Brothers during the Contactee era. And Bergier's enigmatic visitor has a certain MIB disposition, don't you think? One wonders if Alchemists in pursuit of the Great Work were occasionally the recipients of scary encounters with dark-clothed figures;)

  2. RPJ:

    It's interesting you bring up alchemists, as Brad Steiger discussed this with me for my "The Real Men in Black" book.

    Here's Brad's words, as reproduced in TRMIB:

    "Many of the great alchemists – a subject I’m fascinated by – were seeking to find angels that they could command. Magic is seen as an unapproved ritual when it’s to bring profit to oneself, but they were seeking to command these entities to bring them forth the secret to turn base-metals into precious metals. I have found a number of instances where alchemists were visited by a gentleman in black, a prosperous burgher in black, who appeared in the laboratory and demonstrated certain things to them. Some are benevolent and some are more sinister."

    Also, one of the characters in Machen's book lived in Notting Hill, an area of London where Colin Bennett lived and where he had a 1980s MIB encounter, also in my book.

    And, interesting too that Machen joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as Aleister Crowley did likewise. Crowley, for some time, lived in Boleskine House at Loch Ness. Loch Ness was the site of a MIB encounter involving Ted Holiday in 1973 (see TRMIB).

    1. But Alchemy's real secret was not about turning lead into gold —that was the distraction for the greedy and the fool.

      The true goal of the Great Work was to transform the alchemist himself. To transmutate his matter from mortal to immortal, and essentially make of the Alchemist god-like.

      I couldn't stop thinking about all this after watching that fantastic climatic scene between Hulk and Loki. I thought "here it is the man-turned-god through the process of Alchemy, vanquishing the old gods that kept men subjugated in ancient past." ;)

    2. Hulk and Loki? Is this The Avengers? I have to say that comic-books were never my thing. I did read a few as a kid (Spiderman), but never took it further. I saw the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton, and the first Spiderman with Toby whatsisname, but comic-books and sci-fi, not my thing! Horror, yes!

    3. Once again I recommend you give Avengers a chance, Nick ;)

      I was never a comic fan, truth be told. To me the stories were centered about making the superheroes look cool during their endless fights. It was with Watchmen, Marvels and Kingdom Come that my attitude changed. I became interested in the superhero as an archetype, and the influence it has molding our culture.

    4. Yeah, I see what you are saying, but superhero stuff has never been my thing, at all. I suppose I dont relate to it as some do.

      Same with scifi. I know I watched the original Star Trek as a kid, because I vaguely remember a few of the originals with William Shatner, but can honestly say I never watched any of the other ST series, or Babylon, or Battlestar Galactica or any of those programs.

      Actually, people sometimes find it surprising when they learn I have a total lack of interest in sci fi and superhero stuff. Not sure why though!

      And they are sometimes appalled to learn I like American Idol, Big Brother, Survivor, America's Got Talent etc LOL.

      I can watch those types of things all night (and do!), but not laser guns, the Enterprise etc LOL.

    5. Wha?!

      Are you honestly telling me you'd rather watch American Idol at home than going to see Prometheus? o_0

    6. Yeah, LOL. I haven't been to the cinema since 2004, when I went to see the remake of Dawn of the Dead, which I thought was excellent.

      I'm hardly a movie junkie though.

      Its funny that a lot of people have a perception of me that is very different to reality.

      Scifi, comic-books, etc dont interest me in the slightest. I never go to the movies. I never (but this is something quite a few people have assumed I do) go to author functions (cocktail parties full of people standing around with crappy drinks and food on sticks, massaging their egos etc - I hate that sort of stuff), etc etc.

      I hate arty events, utterly hate them. I went to one once years ago here in Dallas and just wanted to beat up all these loudmouth poets and writers complaining about how "their work" and "their art" needed to be brought to the world's attention because of its great importance, etc etc.

      And who the hell would want to see the unveiling of some new statue or painting etc? Boring, arty crap again.

      I'd much rather sit at home and watch the football (that's soccer of course!), Family Guy, or horror films.

      I ought to do a "Day in the Life of Nick Redfern" post to set the record straight! LOL

    7. "I ought to do a "Day in the Life of Nick Redfern" post to set the record straight! LOL"

      LOL Looking forward to it ;)

  3. I've read a bit on Fulcanelli, but not much. But will do!

    1. Blair Mckenzie Blake wrote a fantastic essay about Fulcanelli for the last publishing of Darklore. It would be a good place to start :)