Is there photographic evidence of the real Men in Black (MIB)? I get asked this question a lot. The short answer is quite possibly yes…but it’s very, very, very rare. Perhaps even rarer than a clear photo of everybody’s favorite furry humanoid—Bigfoot.
That being said, of the few examples of MIB caught on camera that do exist (or are considered more authentic than others), the backstories behind them are just as important. They allow us some additional insight into the MIB’s strange world and how they may operate. Yet these instances of catching the MIB on camera are still quite far and few in between.
And, fewer than most people on the Internet would have you believe.
I encourage readers to challenge the anomalous footage found on sites like YouTube and Reddit. A great deal of what is posted and re-posted on these sites is either hoaxed, misidentified, or vastly misconstrued. When people send me links to them, I will more often than not reject it, provided there is nothing to follow up on.
A photo or video devoid of witness names, precise dates and times, and exact locations is nothing more than a news headline without the actual story to accompany it. How can we learn or even begin to understand the significance of these events if we have nothing else to go off of?
Although we live at a time where news is shared at a breakneck pace, we must exercise great caution and take the time to digest and thoroughly investigate a lead, or else the hard lesson of haste will embarrass us time and again.
That being said, here are three pieces of photographic evidence that many consider to be “the best” in terms of possible MIB caught on camera and their brief backstories. You decide.
The Timothy Beckley & Jim Moseley Photo (Jersey City, NJ, 1968)
Perhaps the most legendary photo of an apparent MIB was taken by some equally legendary investigators—Timothy Beckley and Jim Moseley in 1968. Moseley left a lasting impression on the field of ufology with his numerous publications and Beckley’s ongoing list of authored books on several subjects is quite impressive.
But back in 1968, the two men began receiving calls from Mary Robertson, the wife of prominent ufologist and secretary of the National UFO Conference, John (Jack) Robertson. For four days, while Jack was at his day job, Mary noticed a shadowy individual hanging in the doorway of the building next door keeping a close watch on those going in and out of their building. The man was dressed in classic MIB attire—a dark suit, black hat, and sunglasses—and just standing there very rigidly.
According to Nick Redfern’s book, “The Real Men in Black,” he made mention that the Robertson’s were quite concerned about this odd individual. Not just because of his ominous presence but considering that they had additional things take place upon seeing him. Things like strange clicks on their telephone and further suspicions that someone had gone through Jack’s UFO files as well.
I found it equally fascinating when Redfern pointed out that the same thing had taken place with Albert Bender (one of the original sources of strangeness connected to the MIB in the early 1950s). Mary was also a regular user of Ouija boards similar to how Bender was connected to vast amounts of occult practices as well.
Mary had phoned Beckley and Moseley countless times about the situation before they decided to take an unannounced trip over to the neighborhood in an attempt to catch the MIB in action.
Sure enough, as they approached the building, standing in the recessed part of the building was the black-clad individual, just as Mary had described. As Moseley drove down the street, Beckley took a pic of the MIB. He then took a second pic of the vehicle that the guy had presumably arrived in—a classic black Cadillac, to which most MIB of that time had been seen driving.
Since there was no place to park on that street, Moseley and Beckley drove further down and around the corner to find a spot. But after they rushed back to where the MIB had been standing, both the MIB and his vehicle were completely gone. And from that point on, the man was never seen there again.
So was this a true MIB or something perhaps more mundane? Even though the two photographs are authentic, it seems that Moseley had an entirely different take on who this man in black really was…
“The only thing that kind of made sense to me was that he was a look-out for a bookie joint, or some illegal operation. But the point is, to me anyway—not to Tim, I know—it had absolutely nothing to do with the Robertsons or with flying saucers. He might have seen Tim taking his picture out of the car, and if he was doing something illegal that’s why he left.”Redfern, Nick. “Photographic Evidence.” The Real Men in Black. New Page Books/The Career Press, 2011, pg. 66.
In a quick conversation that I had with Beckley about the photo of the vehicle, in particular, he agrees that this doesn’t really prove that it belonged to the MIB. Although it is a little strange, perhaps coincidental, that neither the man nor the vehicle was there when he and Moseley returned to the scene moments later.
Even though the shadowy individual never returned to Jersey City after that, there is an additional anecdote included in Redfern’s “The Real Men in Black.” He notes that in June of that same year, the main players in the ongoing MIB saga (the Robertsons, Beckley, Moseley, Allen Greenfield, and Gray Barker) were all having lunch together at the Wild Board Inn in Cleveland, OH. All was well until Mary Robertson noticed two odd characters sitting at a nearby table. The two men seemed to fit the bill of these MIB as they intently watched the crew. But as soon as Mary took note, they left in an instant and disappeared.
The Allen Greenfield Photo (Charleston, WV, 1969)
You may remember Allen Greenfield from Hellier Season 2: Episode 7. That episode briefly sheds some light on who Greenfield is along with his research into and association with occultism. But back in June of 1969, he had a strange confrontation with an apparent MIB at the National UFO Conference in Charleston, WV.
According to Nick Redfern’s book “The Real Men in Black,” Greenfield claims that he spotted a peculiar individual dressed in all black with dark clip-on prescription glasses roaming about the convention. It seems that Greenfield was the only one that noticed him while others didn’t seem to pay any attention.
Later, while Greenfield and a bunch of conference attendees were at the restaurant across the street, the same individual hovered around their lunch table. According to Greenfield’s description…
“…he was kind of held together very loosely, very pale and putty-like in appearance, with a mechanical-sounding voice, and stiff movements.”Redfern, Nick. “Photographic Evidence.” The Real Men in Black. New Page Books/The Career Press, 2011, pg. 69.
At that point, Greenfield decided to find out what the man’s deal was thinking he was just messing with them. As he confronted him, the man walked away stiffly in that familiar robotic manner that most other MIB seems to exhibit. Greenfield followed in hot pursuit taking his camera with him to snap a pic of this guy.
Outside of the restaurant, he stood right in front of the man and asked him who he was to which the man replied that he was a “Man in Black in training.”
Greenfield then quickly snapped a photo of the man on the otherwise empty streets of Charleston. But when the man went around the corner to leave, Greenfield followed him only to discover that the man had completely vanished out of sight! According to his account…
“And I would say the amount of time involved was barely two seconds; I was right behind him, literally right behind him. I didn’t expect him to be gone; I expected him to be running or walking down the street. I have no idea how to explain that, and I didn’t see any place where he could have dodged into a doorway.”Redfern, Nick. “Photographic Evidence.” The Real Men in Black. New Page Books/The Career Press, 2011, pg. 70.
NOTE: I have also seen this photo circulating around the Internet with the incorrect caption saying it was taken in Charlottesville instead of Charleston. Here is a newspaper clipping from the June 11, 1969 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail to prove that the event did, in fact, take place in Charleston and not Charlottesville.
The Niagara Falls Video (Ontario, Canada, 2009)
When I first heard about this case as it was unfolding, I reached out to the founder of the Aerial Phenomenon Investigations (API) team who confirmed that yes this was in fact, a very real case. The API team had first published the accompanying surveillance footage, which quickly went viral after Coast to Coast AM and Buzzfeed got wind of it.
What the video footage shows are two characters who fit the classic stereotype of the MIB entering the lobby of the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel next to Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada on May 10, 2009. Even though the hotel’s manager had taken the day off, the two MIB who came looking for him proceeded to harass his employees and weird them out instead.
When the hotel manager returned the next day, the employees shared their encounters with him as well as the security camera footage to back up their accounts.
Here is the video footage of the incident along with an excerpt from the original interview with the hotel manager.
It wasn’t until several years later when working on my own book, “The Spectrum” that I got in touch with the original investigator of this case—Marsha Barnhart. She had initially interviewed the primary witnesses at that time and found the case to be a lot more significant than what was originally implied in that official API case report.
“They were just, one exactly same to the other. They were identical.”Excerpt of the original testimony from the hotel bellman, courtesy of Marsha Barnhart.
When I spoke with Marsha, I discovered that there were additional angles in this case that hadn’t been explored or disclosed in that official API report. In my opinion, those details are perhaps just as important as the MIB event itself and contain information, which took place long before it.
To provide a quick summary, I learned that the hotel manager had experienced extensive paranormal activity following his sightings of two black triangles in the region the year prior. This activity included a ghostly visitation of sorts, along with poltergeist-like occurrences in his home for months leading up to the MIB visit.