As UFO sightings increase, so does the harassment of witnesses – by the sinister Men In Black.
Albert Bender, director of the International Flying Saucer Bureau, an amateur organization based in Connecticut, USA, once claimed to have discovered the secret behind UFOs. But unfortunately, the rest of the world is still none the wiser – for Bender was prevented from passing on his discovery to the world by three sinister visitors: three men dressed in black, known as ‘the silencers’.
It had been Bender’s intention to publish his findings in his own journal, Space Review. But before committing himself finally, he felt he ought to try his ideas out on a colleague. He therefore mailed his report. A few days later, the men came.
Bender was lying down in his bedroom, overtaken by a sudden spell of dizziness, when he noticed three shadowy figures in the room. Gradually, they became clearer. All were dressed in black clothes. “They looked like clergymen, but wore hats similar to Homburg style. The faces were not clearly discernible, for the hats partly hid and shaded them. Feelings of fear left me… The eyes of all three figures suddenly lit up like flashlight bulbs, and all these were focussed upon me. They seemed to burn into my very soul as the pains above my eyes became almost unbearable. It was then I sensed that they were conveying a message to me by telelathy.” Bender’s visitors confirmed that he had been right in his speculations as to the true nature of the UFOs – one of them was actually carrying Bender’s report, and provided additional information. This so terrified him that he was only too willing to go along with their demand that he close down his organisation, cease publication of his journal at once, and refrain from telling the truth to anyone ‘on his honour as an American citizen.’
But did Bender really expect anyone to believe his story? His friends and colleagues were certainly baffled by it. One of them, Gray Barker, even published a sensational book, ‘They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers’; and Bender himself supplied an even stranger account in his ‘Flying Saucers and the Three Men’ some years later, in response to persistent demands for an explanation of what had occurred from former colleagues.
He told an extraordinary story, involving extraterrestrial spaceships with bases in Antarctica, that reads like the far-fetched contactee dream-stuff; and it has even been suggested that the implausibility of Bender’s story was specifically designed in order to throw serious UFO investigators off the track.
However, believable or not, Bender’s original account of the visit of the three strangers is of crucial interest to UFO investigators, for the story has been parelleled by many similar reports, frequently from people unlikely to have heard of Bender and his experiences. UFO percipients and investigators are apparently also liable to be visited by men in black (MIBs); and although most reports are from the United States, similar claims have come from Sweden and Italy, Britain and Mexico. Like the UFO phenomenon itself, MIBs span three decades, and perhaps had precursors in earlier centuries.
Like Bender’s story, most later reports not only contain implausible details, but are also inherently illogical: in virtually every case, there seems on the face of it more reason to disbelieve that to believe. But this does not eliminate the mystery – it simply requires us to study it in a different light. For whether or not these things actually happened, the fact remains that they were reported; and why should so many people, independently and often reluctantly, report such strange and sinister visitations? What is more, why is it that the accounts are so mimilar, echoeng and in turn helping to confirm a persistent pattern that, if nothing else, has become one of the most powerful folk myths of our time?
The archetypal MIB report runs something like this: shortly after a UFO sighting, the subject – he may be a witness, he may be an investigator on the case – receives a visit. Often it occurs so soon after the incident itself that no official report or media publication has taken place: in short, the visitors should not, by any normal channels, have gained access to the information they clearly possess – names, addresses, and details of the incident, as well as those involved.
The victim is nearly always alone at the time of the visit, usually in his own home. The visitors, usually three in number, arrive in a large, black car. In America, it is most often a prestigious Cadillac, but seldon a recent model. Though old in date, however, it is likely to be immaculate in appearance and condition, inside and out, even having that unmistakable ‘new car’ smell. If the subject notes the registration number and checks it, it is invariably found to be a non-existent number.
The visitors themselves are almost always men: only very rarely is one a woman, In appearance, they conform pretty closely to the stereotyped image of a CIA or secret service man. They wear dark suits, dark hats, dark ties, dark shoes and socks, but white shirts: and witnesses very often remark on their clean, immaculate turn- out, all the clothes looking as though just purchased.
The visitors’ faces are frequently discribed as ‘vaguely foreign’, most often ‘oriental’, and slanted eyes have been specified in many accounts. If not dark-skinned, the men are likely to be very heavily tanned. Sometimes there are bizarre touches: in one case, for instance, a man in black appeared to be wering bright lipstick! The MIBs are generally unsmiling and expressionless, their movements stiff and awkward. Their general demeanour is formal, cold, sinister, even menacing, and there is no warmth or friendliness shown, even if no outright hostility either. Witnesses often hint that they felt their visitors were not human at all.
Some MIBs proffer evidence of identity; indeed, they sometimes appear in US Air Force or other uniforms. They may also produce identity cards; but since most people would not know a genuine CIA or other ‘secret’ service identity card if they saw one, this of course proves nothing at all. If they give names, however, these are invariably found to be false.
The interview is sometimes an interrogation, sometimes simply a warning. Either way, the visitors, even though they are asking questions, are clearly very well-informed, with access to restricted information. They speak with perfect, sometimes too perfect, intonation and phrasing, and their language is apt to be reminiscent of the conventional villains of crime films.
The sinister visits almost invariably conclude with a warning not to tell anybody about the incident, if the subject is a UFO percipient, or to abandon the investigation, if he is an investigator. Violence is frequently threatened, too. And the MIBs depart as suddenly as they came.
Most well-informed UFO enthusiasts, if asked to describe a typical MIB visit, would give some such account. However, a comparative examination of reports indicates that such ‘perfect’ MIB visits seldom occur in practice. Study of 32 of the more reliable cases on file reveals that many details diverge quite markedly from the archetypal story: there were, for instance, no visitors at all in four cases, only subsequent telephone calls; and, of the remainder, only five involved three men, two involved four, five involved two, while in the rest there was mention only of a single visitor.
Although the appearance and behaviour of the visitors does seem generally to conform to the prototype, it ranges from the entirely natural to the totally bizarre. The car, despite the fact that in America it is by far the commonest means of transportation, is in fact mentioned in only one-third of the reports; and as for the picturesque details – the Cadillac, the antiquated model, the immaculate condition – these are, in practice, very much the exception. Of 22 American reports, only nine even include mention of a car; and of these, only three were Cadillacs, while only two were specified as black and only two as out-of-date models.
On the other hand, such archetypal details tend to be more conspicuous in less reliable cases, particularly those in which investigators, rather than UFO percipients, are involved. The case that comes closest to the archetype is that of Robert Richardson, of Toledo, Ohio, who in July 1967 informed the Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation (APRO) that he had collided with a UFO while driving at night. Coming round a bend, he had been confronted by a strange object blocking the road. Unable to halt in time, he had hit it, though not very hard. Immediately on impact, the UFO vanished. Police who accompanied Richardson to the scene could find only his own skid marks as evidence; but on a later visit, Richardson himself found a small lump of metal which might have come from the UFO.
Three days later, at 11 pm, two men in their twenties appeared at Richardson’s home and questioned him for about 10 minutes. They did not identify themselves, and Richardson – to his own subsequent surprise – did not ask who they were. They were not unfriendly, gave no warnings, and just asked questions. He noted that they left in a black 1953 Cadillac. The number, when checked, was found not yet to have been issued.
A week later, Richardson received a second visit, from two different men, who arrived in a current model Dodge. They wore black suits and were dark-complectioned. Although one spoke perfect English, the second had an accent, and Richardson felt there was something vaguely foreign about them. At first, they seemed to be trying to persuade him that he had not hit anything at all; but then they asked for the piece of metal. When he told them it had gone for analysis, they threatened him: “If you want your wife to stay as pretty as she is, then you’d better get the metal back”. The existence of the metal was known only to Richardson and his wife, and to two senior members of APRO. Seemingly, the only way the strangers could have learned of its existence would be by tapping either his or APRO’s telephone. There was no clear connection between the two pairs of visitors; but what both had in common was access to information that was not freely and publicly available. Perhaps it is this that is the key to the MIB mystery.
THE MAN WHO SHOT A HUMANOID
One inclement evening in November 1961, Paul Miller and three companions were returning home to Minot, North Dakota, after a hunting trip when what they could only describe as ‘a luminous silo’ landed in a nearby field. At first they thought it was a plane crashing, but had to revise their opinion when the ‘plane’ abruptly vanished. As the hunters drove off, the object reappeared and two humanoids emerged from it. Miller panicked and fired at one of the creatures, apparently wounding it. The other hunters immediately fled.
On their way back to Minot, all of them experienced a blackout and ‘lost’ three hours. Terrified, they decided not to report the incident to anyone. Yet the next morning, when Miller reported to work (in an Air Force office), three men in black arrived. They said they were government officials – but showed no credentials – and remarked unpleasantly that they hoped Miller was ‘telling the truth’ about the UFO. How did they know about it? ‘We have a report,’ they said vaguely.
‘They seemed to know everthing about me; where I worked, my name, everthing else,’ Miller said. They also asked questions about his experiences as if they already knew the answers. Miller did not dare tell his story for several years.
AGENTS OF THE DARK
From ‘The Unexplained’ No. 39.
Rarely – if ever – do the threats of the mysterious Men In Black, following a close encounter, come to anything. So what could be the purpose behind their visits?
In September 1976, Dr Herbert Hopkins, a 58 year-old doctor and hypnotist, was acting as consultant on an alleged UFO teleportation case in Maine, USA. One evening, when his wife and children had gone out leaving him alone, the telephone rang and a man identifying himself as vice-president of the New Jersey UFO Research Organisation asked if he might visit Dr Hopkins that evening to discuss certain details of the case. Dr Hopkins agreed; at the time, it seemed the natural thing to do. He went to the back door to switch on the light so that his visitor would be able to find his way from the parking lot, but while he was there, he noticed the man already climbing the porch steps. “I saw no car, and even if he did have a car, he could not have possibly gotten to my house that quickly from any phone,” Hopkins later commented in delayed astonishment.
At the time, Dr Hopkins felt no particular surprise as he admitted his visitor, The man was dressed in a black suit, with black hat, tie and shoes, and a white shirt, “I thought, he looks like an undertaker,” Hopkins later said. His clothes were immaculate – suit unwrinkled, trousers sharply creased. When he took off his hat, he revealed himself as completely hairless, not only bald but without eyebrows or eyelashes. His skin was dead white, his lips bright red. In the course of their conversation, he happened to brush his lips with his grey suede gloves, and the doctor was astonished to see that his lips were smeared and that the gloves were stained with lipstick!
It was only afterwards, however, that Dr Hopkins reflected further on the strangeness of his visitor’s appearance and behaviour. Particularly odd was the fact that his visitor stated that his host had two coins in his pocket. It was indeed the case. He then asked the doctor to put one of the coins in his hand and to watch the coin, not himself. As Hopkins watched, the coin seemed to go out of focus, and then gradually vanished. “Neither you nor anyone else on this plane will ever see that coin again,” the visitor told him. After talking a little while longer on general UFO topics, Dr Hopkins suddenly noticed that the visitor’s speech was slowing down. The man then rose unsteadily to his feet and said, very slowly; “My energy is running low – must go now – goodbye.” He walked falteringly to the door and descended the outside steps uncertainly, one at a time. Dr Hopkins saw a bright light shining in the driveway, bluish-white and distinctly brighter than a normal car lamp. At the time, however, he assumed it mt be the stranger’s car, although he neither saw nor heard it.
Later, when Dr Hopkins family had returned, they examined the driveway and found marks that could not have been made by a car because they were in the centre of the driveway, where the wheels could not have been. But the next day, although the driveway had not been used in the meantime, the marks had vanished.
Dr Hopkins was very much shaken by the visit, particularly when he reflected on the extraordinary character of the stranger’s conduct. Not surprisingly, he was so scared that he willingly complied wdith his visitor’s instruction, which was to erase the tapes of the hypnotic sessions he was conductiog with regard to his current case, and to have nothing further to do with the investigation. Subsequently, curious incidents continued to occur both in Dr Hopkin’s household and in that of his eldest son. He presumed that there was some link with the extraordinary visit, but he never heard from his visitor again. As for the New Jersey UFO Research Organisation, no such institution exists.
Dr Hopkins’ account is probably the most detailed we have of a MIB (Man in Black) visit, and confronts us with the problem at its most bizarre. First we must ask ourselves if a trained and respected doctor whould invent so strange a tale, and if so, with what conceivable motive? Alternatively, could the entire episode have been a delusion, despite the tracks seen by other members of his family? Could the truth lie somewhere between reality and imagination? Could a real visitor, albeit an impostor making a false identity claim, have visited the doctor for some unknown reason of his own, somehow acting as a trigger for the doctor to invent a whole set of weird features?
In fact, what seems the LEAST likely explanation is that the whole incident took place in the doctor’s imagination. When his wife and children came home, they found him severely shaken, with the house lights blazing, and seated at a table on which lay a gun. They confirmed the marks on the driveway and a series of disturbances to the telepnone that seemed to commence immediately after the visit. So it would seem that some real event occurred, although its nature remains mystifying.
The concrete nature of the phenomenon was accepted by the United States Air Force, who were concerned that persons passing themselves off as USAF personnel should be visiting UFO witnesses. In February 1967, Colonel George P. Freeman, Pentagon spokesman for the USAF’s Project Blue Book, told UFO investigator John Keel in the course of an interview: “Mysterious men dressed in Air Force uniforms or bearing impressive credentials from government agencies have been silencing UFO witnesses. We have checked a number of these cases, and these men are not connected with the Air Force in any way. We haven’t been able to find out anything about these men. By posing as Air Force officers and government agents, they are committing a federal offence. We would sure like to catch one. Unfortunately the trail is always too cold by the time we hear about these cases. But we are still trying.”
But were the impostors referred to by Colonel Freeman, and Dr Hopkin’s strange visitor similar in kind? UFO sightings, like sensational crimes, attract a number of mentally unstable persons, who are quie capable of posing as authorised officials in order to gain access to witnesses; and it could be that some supposed MIBs are simply psuedo-investigators of this sort.
One particularly curious recurrent feature of MIB reports is the ineptitude of the visitors. Time and again, they are described as incompetent; and if they are impersonating human beings, they certainly do not do it very well, arousing their victims’ suspicions by improbable behaviour, by the way they look or talk, and by their ignorance as much as their knowledge. But, of course, it could be that the only ones who are spotted as impostors are those who are no good at their job, and so there may be many more MIB cases that we never learn about simply because the visitors successfully convince their victims that there is nothing to be suspicious about, or that they should keep quiet about the visit.
A common feature of a great many MIB visits is indeed the instruction to a witness not to say anything about the visit, and to cease all activity concerning the case. (Clearly, we know of these cases only because such instructions have been disobeyed.) One Canadian UFO witness was told by a mysterious visitor in 1976 to stop repeating his story and not to go further into his case, or he would be visited by three men in black. “I said, ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘ I could make it hot for you… it might cost you certain injury.” A year earlier, Mexican witness Carlos de los Santos had been stopped on his way to a television interview by two large black limousines. One of the occupants – dressed in a black suit and ‘Scandanavian’ in appearance – told him: “Look, boy, if you value your life and your family’s too, don’t talk any more about this sighting of yours.”
However, there is no reliable instance of such threats ever having been carried out, though a good many witnesses have gome ahead and defied their warnings. Indeed, sinister though the MIBs may be, they are notable for their lack of actual violence. The worst that can be said of them is that they frequently harass witnesses with untimely visits and telephone calls, or simply disturb them with their very presence.
While, for the victim, it is just as well that the threats of violence are not followed through, this is for the investigator one more disconcerting aspect of the pnenomenon – for violence, if it resulted in physical action, would at least help in establishing the reality of the phenomenon. Instead, it remains a fact that most of the evidence is purely hearsay in character and often not of the highest quality; cases as well-attested as that of Dr. Herbert Hopkins are unfortunately in the minority.
Another problem area is the dismaying lack of precision about many of the reports. Popular American writer Brad Steiger alleged that hundreds of ufologists, contactees and chance percipients of UFOs claim to have been visited by ominous strangers – usually three, and usually dressed in black; but he cites only a few actual instances. Similarly, John Keel, an expert on unexplained phenomena, claimed that, on a number of occasions, he actually saw phantom Cadillacs, complete with rather sinister Oriental- looking passengers in black suits; but for a trained reporter, he showed a curious reluctance to persue these sightings or to give chapter and verse in such an important matter. Such loose assertions are valueless as evidence; all they do is contribute to the myth.
And so we come back once again to the possibility that there is nothing more to the phenomenon than myth. Should we perhaps write off the whole business as delusion, the creation of imaginative folk whose personal obsessions take on this particular shape because it reflects one or other of the prevalent cultural preoccupations of out time? At one end of the scale, we find contactee Woodrow Derenberger insisting that the “two men dressed entirely in black” who tried to silence him were emissaries of the Mafia; while at the other, there is theorist David Tansley, who suggested that they are psychic entities, representatives of the dark forces, seeking to prevent the spread of true knowledge. More matter-of-factly, Dominick Lucchesi claimed that they emanated from some unknown civilisation, possibly underground, in a remote area of Earth – the Amazon, the Gobi Desert or the Himalayas.
But there is one feature that is common to virtually all MIB reports, and that perhaps contains the key to the problem. This is the possession, by the MIBs, of information that they should not have been able to come by – information that was restricted, not released to the press, known perhaps to a few investigators and officials but not to the public, and sometimes not even to them. The one person who does possess that knowledge is always the person visited, In other words, the MIBs and their victims share knowledge that perhaps nobody else possesses. Add to this the fact that, in almost every case, the MIBs appear to the witness when he or she is alone – in Dr Hopkin’s case, for example, the visitor took care to call when his wife and children were away from home, and established this fact by telephone beforehand – and the implication has to be that some kind of paranormal link connects the MIBs and the persons they visit.
TRUTH – OR PARANOIA?
To this must be added other features of the phenomenon that are not easily reconciled with everday reality. Where are the notorious black cars, for instance, when they are not visiting witnesses? Where are they garaged or serviced? Do they never get involved in breakdowns or accidents? Can it be that they materialise from some other plane of existence when they are needed?
These are only a few of the questions raised by the MIB phenomenon. What complicates the matter is that MIB cases lie along a continuous spectrum ranging from the easily believable to the totally incredible. At one extreme are visits during which nothing really bizarre occurs, the only anomalous feature being, perhaps, that the visitor makes a false identity claim, or has unaccountable access to private information. At the other extreme are cases in which the only explanation would seem to be that the witness has succumbed to paranoia. In “The Truth About the Men In Black”, UFO investigator Ramona Clark tells of an unnamed investigator who was confronted by three MIBs on 3 July 1969. “On the window of the car in which they were riding was the symbol connected with them and their visitations. This symbol had a profound psychological impact upon this man. I have never encountered such absolute fear in a human being.”
The first meeting was followed by continual harassment. There were mysterious telephone calls, and the man’s house was searched. He began to hear voices and to see strange shapes. “Black Cadillacs roamed the street in front of his home, and followed him everwhere he went. Once he and his family were almost forced into an accident by an oncoming Cadillac. Nightmares concerning MIBs plagued his sleep. It became impossible for him to rest, his work suffered and he was scared of losing his job.”
Was it all in his mind? One is tempted to think so. But a friend confirmed that, while they talked, there was a strange-looking man walking back and forth in front of the house. The man was tall, seemed about 55 years old – and was dressed entirely in black.
The Odd Couple.
On 24 September 1976 – only a few days after Dr. Herbert Hopkin’s terrifying visit from a MIB – his daughter-in-law Maureen received a telephone call from a man who claimed to know her husband John, and who asked if he and a companion could come and visit them.
John met the man at a local fast-food restaurant, and brought him home with his companion, a woman. Both appeared to be in their mid-thirties, and wore couriously old-fashioned clothes. The woman looked particularly odd; when she stood up, it seemed that there was something wrong with the way that her legs joined her hips. Both strangers walked with very short steps, leaning forward as though frightened of falling.
They sat awkwardly together on a sofa while the man asked a number of detailed personal questions. Did John and Maureen watch television much? What did they read? And what did they talk about? All the while, the man was pawing and fondling his female companion, asking John if this was all right and whether he was doing it correctly.
John left the room for a moment, and the man tried to persuade Maureen to sit next to him. He also asked her “how she was made”, and whether she had any nude photographs.
Shortly afterwards, the woman stood up and announced that she wanted to leave. The man also stood, but made no move to go. He was between the woman and the door, and it seemed that the only way she could get to the door was by walking in a straight line, directly through him. Finally the woman turned to John and asked: “Please move him; I can’t move him myself.” Then, suddenly, the man left, followed by the woman, both walking in straight lines. They did not even say goodbye.
Excerpts from “Alien Intelligence” by Stuart Holroyd.
Everest House, 1979, ISBN 0-89696-040-4.
Since the start of the modern era of reported UFO activity, which is generally considered as dating from the 1947 sighting by American businessman and amateur pilot, Kenneth Arnold, many people who have claimed sightings of UFOs or contact experiences with their occupants have reported subsequent visits from rather sinister gentlemen whose behavior has been distinctly odd. These reports have emanated from different countries and from individuals quite unaware that their experiences were not unique, and they have details in common that add up to a rather convincing case for the reality of the visitors.
The men are generally described as dark or olive-skinned, rather oriental-looking, of short stature, and frail build, and are usually dressed in black, sometimes in ill-fitting or out-of-fashion clothes. There are generally two or three of them and they seem to travel in large black cars. Some people who have been visited by ‘men in black’ have noted the numbers on the cars’ license plates, but when poice have checked these they invariably found that they are non- existant as registered license numbers. Other people have reported that the visitors have appeared and vanished with unaccountable abruptness. They have used a variety of ruses to command a hearing, masquerading as government agents, journalists, military or air force personnel, or representatives of insurance companies, for example. Sometimes they simply ask a lot of questions, many of them puzzlingly irrelevant, and then go away, but sometimes they communicate quite unequivocal warnings of dire consequences if a person does not keep quiet about hiUFO experience. More than one investigator has been effectively silenced or intimidated by the sinister visitors. Some people believe that the world’s governments are in cahoots to suppress information on the subject, have spread the idea that the ‘men in black’ are CIA agents, but this hypothesis is difficult to maintain in view of the evidence for their world-wide appearances, the uniformity and peculiarity of their looks, and the strangeness of their conduct.
Excerpts from “Mysteries of Time & Space” by Brad Steiger
Prenntice-Hall, 1974, ISBN 0-113-609040-0
In September, 1953 Albert K. Bender had figured out parts of the origin of flying saucers, and sent his theory off to a “trusted friend”. Soon thereafter three men dressed in black appeared, with his letter in hand. They told him ‘the real story’, and he became ill. Bender, apparently to “save mankind”, kept the details to himself and gave up UFO research. Parts of this story were retold in Gray Barker’s “They knew too much about flying saucers” (1956) [without the part of ‘revealed truth’], and said that several other people (in Australia and New Zealand) had also been visited. Bender decided to tell all in his 1962 “Flying Saucers and the Three Men”, which (Steiger says) was disappointing, in that it didn’t tell much (that anyone wanted to know, anyway). Alien bases in Antartica (which Bender saw by Astral Projection), and so on. However, others continued to stick to the MIB story, saying that Bender had in fact been silenced. “Bender was a changed man after the MIB visited him. It was as if he had been lobotomized.” He suffered headaches that he said were caused by ‘them’.
Steiger says that “large numbers” of UFO-ologists have been harassed by *somebody*. A number of them had had photographs and negatives of UFO’s confiscated by people claiming “government affiliation” – “usually three, usually dressed in black”. [BTW, if you ever get a visit from MIB, what they’re asking you to do is a violation of search and seizure laws.]
In an issue of “Saucer Scoop” John Keel is quoted as saying that MIB are professional terrorists who go from place to place making sure that too much isn’t found out about the UFO phenominon.
Keel says that MIB victims appear to be subjected to “some sort of brainwashing technique that leaves him in a state of nausea, mental confusion, or even amnesia lasting for several days”. Keel goes on to charge that local police/FBI/etc. must be in on it, because they refuse to investigate MIB.
Col. George Freeman (Blue Book) was quoted by Steiger as being quoted by Keel as saying that MIB cases were investigated by Blue Book, and that they weren’t connected to the Air Force in any way. Steiger goes on to detail how four bogus USAF officers told witnesses in NJ that they “hadn’t seen a thing” in 1967, and that they shouldn’t tell anyone what they saw.
… Steiger goes on to give sketchy details of several other MIB visitations (though several are of encounters with a single man, not three), claiming to be NORAD officers, from the “UFO Research Institute”, and “a government agency so secret he couldn’t give its name”. Also, telephone and mail harassment and messages from TV’s and radios are mentioned. The MIB know where you’re going, where you’ve been, and what you’ve been doing, and will tell you such things to convince you to be quiet.
A comment on clothing: I’ve seen various things about the material the MIB supposedly wear — its made of a plastic-like substance, a rubbery substance, and in Steiger’s book the material is described by “Major Joseph Jenkins, Retired, Field Investigations Director for the UFO Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania” in 1968 as “reminding him of the quilted uniforms (by Korean/Chinese troops) in the Korean war”.
Continuing “Mysteries of Time and Space” (Sphere Books,paperback edition,published 1977 page 193.) Steiger writes:
In 1956 Gray Barker told the Bender story-minus the detailed revalations the men in black (MIB) had given Bender about the UFO enigma in “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers”. In the same volume he related that Edgar R Jarrold, organiser of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau, Harold H Fulton, head of Civilian Saucer Investigation of New Zealand, and Ufologist John H Stuart, also a New Zealander, had received visits from mysterious strangers in black and had subsequently disbanded their organisations and their research.