Nick Redfern: The Real Men In Black

Nick was on the show again to talk about his new book, The Real Men In Black. The MIB have been a ufological bugaboo for over 50 years now, and the myth has changed little since it was introduced by ufologist Albert Bender in the mid 1950s. Are they real or imaginary? Nick says yes.

For the first 15 minutes we actually discussed the problems that authors face with publishers, self publishing, and selling ideas. We then dove into our subject with an examination of Bender and some little-known parts of his story, including Nick’s ideas about Bender’s psychological state during his MIB visitations. We continued with a few well-known and not a few less well-known encounters with Ufology’s shadowy silencers.

For most of the last hour of the program we discussed theories about where the MIB might come from, how they are perceived and how these two issues interact in legend and reality. At the end of the show I played a segment from a rare recording of Albert Bender describing his experiences.

The drawing above is Bender’s depiction of the entities which he said scared him right out of his UFO studies.

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11 Responses to Nick Redfern: The Real Men In Black

  1. Great conversation, you guys. I’m particularly fascinated with this idea that some of the weirdest MIBs might be collective manifestations that might depend on our belief in them in order to continue existing. It resonates with some of the things Whitley Strieber has written about in trying to explain the seemingly stubborn refusal of the governments to acknowledge the reality of UFOs.

    Also, like I wrote at the Mysterious Universe webpage, I do wonder if the late John Keel’s über-cynic attitude against UFOs and Forteana during his last years might have not been devised as a defense mechanism, to keep the weird forces that haunted him during the writing of Mothman Prophecies at bay.

    PS: What’s the title of Nick’s book that’s coming out in December? ‘How the Grays stole Xmas’? 😉

    PPS: I LOLd at the end of the interview when Greg mentioned that his battery was running out, confirming my long-held suspicions that HE is an MIB 😛

    • Greg says:


      I don’t know if we need to believe in the MIB to make them exist, but we do need to believe in them to make them exist for us. Subtle difference there if you get my meaning.

      Keel may have been frustrated with the lack of answers and the cults of belief and the cynical response may have been based on those feelings as well as those you describe, I think.

      Nick’s the MIB, not me.
      Unless I need to be.

  2. Kandinsky says:

    Nick’s interviews are usually interesting and especially so when the interviewer allows some drift in the conversation. Other times, he must get pissed off with recounting the same anecdote for the same question.

    The Bennett MIB encounter got a laugh! That damn account has been on my mind for weeks now and I couldn’t conjure enough details to nail it.

    Those Mad Gassers sound similar to some of the accounts in Bramley’s book where he describes black-clothed strangers spraying stuff during the plague.

    The off-topic drift into the Philip exercise was interesting. I agree it’s like a no-go area nexus where crypto, paranormal and ufology all dance on a pin with human consciousness…maybe something else too? Reading the 4th part of Fisher’s ‘Hungry Ghosts’ points to a commonality with the deceptions of apparitions like MIBs, deceptive UFO encounters and away into Contactees and channelers. With Philip, there’s a suggestion of some form of intelligence trying to present itself in a way that appeals to the observers/participants/percipients. Not smart enough to convince the wary, but motivated by something enough to try.

    Like Parsons et al in Nick’s Dark Events, or Fisher, going down the path of actively studying that end of the phenomena is liable to be a negative experience. It could be human consciousness having an abstract conversation with itself, madness or something else.

    • Greg says:

      Insightful comments. Sounds like what’s going on in my mind a lot of the time! I do remember there was a story about someone having found out who the Mad Gasser was, which turned out to be a deranged local young man from a privileged home.

  3. Sagacious says:

    The whole episode was great. But the segment of Albert K. Bender was uber-cool! I do believe he was a mad man…

  4. Alien Photos says:

    Perhaps Greg was remembering seeing one or all three of the ‘Thunderbird’ pictures found at the link below:

  5. Alien Photos says:

    Re: “If there is a universal mind, must it be sane?”

    It actually comes from pg. 156 of Damon Knight’s biography, ‘Charles Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained’:

    “Is there a polarity of madness, and do certain kinds of irrational states attract irrational happenings, not related to them except in being irrational?

    If there is a universal mind, must it be sane?”

  6. James says:

    Great show… have never been very interested in the MIB, but this really held my attention. I’ll have to read the book

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