This footage, and its lively voice over, is what I believe to be the first appearance of the Men in Black (MIBs) on camera. The MIBs of course are the sinister, omniscient silencers who show up to question UFO witnesses and intimidate them into keeping quiet about their sighting, made famous by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the big budget film series. [For the record, John Lundberg has just told me that a third MIB film is due this year, so it's possible that this footage is viral advertising for that.]
I didn’t get a chance to talk too much about MIBs in Mirage Men, though they’re one of the more entertaining ephemeral elements of the UFO lore and a great example of a smart prank that went viral. They’re a demonisation of the real military interviewers (themselves, I suspect, occasionally members of the intelligence community disguised as Air Force or Navy employees) who would sometimes show up to ask UFO witnesses about what they had seen, and indeed advise them to keep silent about it, especially if the interviewee was already in the military.
From its origins in Gray Barker’s 1950s flying saucer books like They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers, the MIB lore was developed by his friends and co-authors John Mothman Prophecies Keel and Jim Saucer Smear Moseley, who enjoyed pranking each other as much as they did other UFO enthusiasts. [Note that Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are named 'J' and 'K' in the MIB films, for John Keel].
For those who aren’t familiar with the MIBs origins in Gray Barker’s imagination, here’s a good, personal overview of the story: Gray Barker: My Friend, the Myth-Maker.
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Tagged men in black
Saucer Country is a new comic book series written by Paul Cornell, drawn by Ryan Kelly and published by Vertigo.
Arcadia Alvarado, the leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States, says she was “abducted by aliens.”As the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico, she’s dealing with immigration, budget cuts and an alcoholic ex. She’s about to toss her hat into the ring as a candidate for President in the most volatile political climate ever. But then…a lonely road and a nightmarish encounter have left her with terrible, half-glimpsed memories… SAUCER COUNTRY is a dark thriller that blends UFO lore and alien abduction with political intrigue, all set in the hauntingly beautiful Southwest.
The first issue has already been getting rave reviews in the comic press and the series looks set to be a sophisticated and enjoyable take on the UFO mythology. With so much rich material to play with, this could really be a fun, wild ride. Writes Cornell:
To know a country, know its mythology. And this is the only modern American mythology.
I’ve also been thrilled to spot this on Paul’s blog:
I should also take this opportunity to once again thank Mark Pilkington, whose fantastic book Mirage Men is one of the few sane works about UFO mythology. Mark is one of the major influences on Saucer Country.
Shucks! I’ll hope to have a cameo appearance in a future issue!
Here’s a video of a presentation I gave for Dr David Luke’s ‘Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness’ lecture series at London’s October Gallery in February 2011. The talk incorporates and expands upon some of the ideas outlined in Mirage Men.
In this audio-visual presentation Mark shows how military and intelligence operators have shaped and exploited beliefs in UFOs, ghosts, monsters, vampires, and elements from folklore and conspiracy theory to create an armoury of supernatural weapons of mass deception capable of manipulating consciousness on a grand scale. The inspiration for these toys, tools and techniques has come from a range of sources including fiction, cinema, stage magic, advertising and occultism and has, for many of its intended and unintended targets, altered their very perception and understanding of the world around us.
David is putting together an anthology based around this long-running series, to be published in the near future by my own Strange Attractor Press.
[Video by Gyrus]
…in addition to being disturbed by the realization that Janus was reading his mind, he was even more disturbed by the fact that this extraordinary man ‘knew all Britain’s top-secret nuclear secrets’…. [Horsley was convinced that] they come from another planet somewhere in the universe but not in our galaxy. They are benign, not aggressive and, like us, are explorers.
Nick Redfern on the strange case of RAF Air Marshal Sir Peter Horsley and his visitor from Outer Space, Mr Janus. Was it a high-concept prank, a test of Horsley’s sanity, or of his loyalty to Crown and Country? Or was Mr Janus really who he claimed to be?
Read all about it here
In a topical variant of the super-weapon myth discussed in Mirage Men, an Iranian scientist with a background in nuclear reactor technology claims that the US RQ-170 drone, allegedly brought down over Iran on 4 December 2011, was captured using his own ‘advanced space technology’.
It’s unclear whether Mehran Tavakoli Kashe’s technology also informed the Iranian flying saucer programme, but the engineer is adamant that there is no space technology in the world to compete with his own.
One for the very interesting if true dept, from Inexplicata:
Mexico’s NOTIMEX news agency published an interesting news item yesterday: a statement by Spanish UFO researcher / novelist J.J. Benítez suggesting that former Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet’s estancia was visited by a UFO on September 6, 1986.
The object hovered over the property and was seen by “the General and all of the Police forces,” said Benitez…“A day before the coup attempt against General Pinochet, a UFO hovered over his estate and was seen by all the Police forces, his entire escort, the Carabineros – everyone, both inside and out. Weapons were drawn and bedlam ensued.”
The next day
…a commando raid by elements of the FPMR group (Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez) ambushed the dictator’s motorcade as it traveled through the Cajón del Maipo region outside the capital city of Santiago. Five escorts were killed during the attack, and Pinochet himself sustained injuries.
What did the UFO look like?
Was it a portent of the changes to come?
A warning from the Mirage Men?
A Soviet drone sent to sow fear and confusion before the FPMR strike?
Or is it a plotline for a new novel from Benítez?