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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Paranoia to Its Proper Place, July 24, 2011
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This review is from: The Real Men In Black: Evidence, Famous Cases, and True Stories of These Mysterious Men and their Connection to UFO Phenomena (Paperback)
Since the 1997 film Men in Black, the MIB have largely, in the public consciousness, been seen as being as the movie portrays them--secretive cosmic cops, for want of a better term. However, those who have an interest in both UFO lore and paranormal history know them to be quite something else. They have appeared throughout paranormal history as sinister, confusing, and intimidating. Redfern's book, while far from definitive, brings back the paranoia about the Men in Black, restoring them to their proper place.

The book is divided into two parts: Cases and Theories. The paranoid among us will have the most fun with the first section, which gives a good overview of some well-known cases as well as updating the lore to bring more recent cases (even into this century) to light. While it's true that the reader can sometimes (not always) deduce plausible, less conspiracy/paranormal-minded explanations for some of these (in particular a case in London in Chapter 10, which Redfern spends quite a bit of time discussing), they all prove fascinating.

Theories, on the other hand, is where much of the value of the book lies. Most books or articles on the MIB take one theory for their existence (or lack thereof) and run with it. Redfern, to his credit, supplies us with many of the available theories, making certain to state that all or none of them could be responsible for the phenomenon.

In addition, the extensive bibliography he includes will help the true armchair researcher to delve more deeply into these mysteries, should he or she desire.

One problem with books on Fortean phenomena has always been that the more formal academics tend to write books that are largely pedantic, and offer little to draw the neophyte in. On the other side of the spectrum, the more sensational writers pepper their text with exclamation points, italics, and questions that remain unconsidered in the rest of the text. Redfern's book balances the two--the research is solid, and while he sometimes veers towards the sensational, he reigns it in quite well. Redfern's writing here is largely informal, and reminds one of chatting with a friend who happens to have deep knowledge of a subject.

Great paranoid fun with a solid dose of critical thought. Recommended.
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Location: Rawlins, WY, USA

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