Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Robert Goerman Reviews My Book, "Men in Black"
Robert Goerman, a long-time observer - and investigator - of the Men in Black mystery, reviews my latest book on the subject...
Fate Forum Book Reviews
MEN IN BLACK: Personal Stories & Eerie Adventures
By Nick Redfern
Lisa Hagan Books
September 3, 2015
(Reviewed by Robert Goerman)
Back in the nineteen-sixties, I had the naiveté to create the Excalibur Commission, a working group of teens assembled to collect anecdotes about personal encounters with those mysterious Men in Black. I still have the original October 1967 issue of SAGA magazine featuring John Keel's "UFO AGENTS -- The Mysterious Men in Black." This groundbreaking article introduced the "Silence Group" to the average person.
In January of 1967, Colonel George P. Freeman, Pentagon spokesman for Project Blue Book, the Air Force investigation into reports of Unidentified Flying Objects, revealed that our government seemed concerned over increasing reports that persons unknown passing themselves off as USAF personnel or bearing credentials from various official agencies were coercing UFO witnesses into silence, sometimes confiscating photographs and every trace of physical evidence. On March 1, 1967, Lieutenant General Hewitt T. Wheless, USAF, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, sent a memo to all commands concerning these impersonations of Air Force officers.
In the meantime, privately printed newsletters from UFO research groups everywhere documented MIB encounters.
It was during my early years of research that I remember visiting a casual female acquaintance at her home in the Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania when her young brother came rushing in to announce that men in dark suits were sitting in a shiny black Cadillac at the end of the long driveway, just watching the house. The father immediately left to confront these strangers. The smartly dressed intruders waited until the last moment to back onto the deserted country lane and depart. No one in that family had ever heard of the Men in Black.
For many reasons, I am convinced that Men in Black exist. Families have endured grueling visits by these mystery men. Some witnesses are harassed more than once. Victims speak of being unable to react normally until after their "guests" leave.
MEN IN BLACK: Personal Stories & Eerie Adventures is a collection of thirty-one contributions from the personal files of Nick Redfern. In his own words: "It's fair to say that my latest book on the Men in Black is somewhat of a radical departure for me, in the sense that I have specifically let the witnesses and the theorists -- certainly, the most important people when it comes to trying to understand the nature of the MIB phenomenon -- tell their own stories, solely in their own words."
Some of the names are quite familiar: Rich Reynolds, Brad Steiger, David Weatherly, Jason Offutt, and Micah Hanks. This reviewer had the distinct honor of being contributor number thirteen. Then my colleague Nick Redfern introduces us to total strangers.
To quote Manfred Mann's Earth Band: "But mama, that's where the fun is."
It is here that we get into the gritty business of men and women meeting nonhumans. Witnesses become "enchanted." Consciousness is altered. Minds struggle to make sense of nonsense. MIB can look odd or retro, sometimes with whiter than white skin that looks artificial, sometimes with olive complexion and dark eyes, sometimes as bony as a cadaver, but always exuding, if not malice, then, at least, indifference to human beings. Look away for one second and they are gone. Never vanishing in plain sight, but disappearing just the same. Men in Black control each encounter.
One might say that the writing and the chapters are uneven. That happens when thirty-one different people (not all of them polished and professional authors) "tell their own stories, solely in their own words." Some essays may interest and impress you. Others, not so much. Each story is important to the person who wrote it. Our failure to understand these events in no way negates their validity.
What if the MIB visit you? Will you be cunning and insist they pose for a snapshot? Or will you be a "deer in headlights" and spend your tomorrows wondering why?