High Strangeness: August 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Men in Black are really bad at their jobs

I've been a bit out of the UFO loop lately, for a variety of reasons, but I'm back to talk about a very important issue in UFOlogy that is not getting any attention at all as far as I can see.

I was listening to a UFO podcast the other day and the subject of the Men in Black came up. It got me thinking about the best MIB stories I've read and heard about over the years. My all-time favorite is the story of the insidious smiling MIB named Indrid Cold featured in John Keel's book The Mothman Prophecies.

The book that exposed the Men in Black as posers.

But as I was thinking about the dreaded Mr. Cold, something occurred to me. Like the other Men in Black, Indrid Cold's job is, apparently, to isolate people -- usually people who have recently seen UFOs -- and scare the living crap out of them. The message that the MIB deliver to these hapless UFO witnesses is a simple one: don't tell anyone what you saw, or else.

It makes for a good campfire story, for sure, but there's a small flaw. If the Men in Black were any good at their harassment, their threats would have been effective, and as a result we would have no idea they exist.

Think about it. The MIBs' only job is to scare UFO witnesses so much that they won't tell anyone about their experience. But once the MIBs issue their warnings, they have become part of the experience that the witness is not supposed to tell anyone about; ergo, we know that the MIBs exist (at least within the framework of the story), because they are part of the warning. But because we know that the MIBs exist, we also know that they have utterly failed at their one and only job, because someone obviously ignored the warning and told someone else what they saw.

Of course we know John Keel told a lot of people what he saw and the MIB sure let him have it. Oh, wait, actually they didn't. They tried to scare him for awhile with weird phone messages, but in the end Indrid Cold and his gang just seem to have packed up and moved on. They even let Keel get his book published, which was, considering their mission, a pretty serious blunder (Of course, they made up for it by letting the book be turned into a movie, because the movie seriously sucked).

So there you have it. I'm calling out the Men in Black as colossal, stupendous failures. Even if some part of me wants to believe they're really evil geniuses.