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Women In Black: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious M.I.B. Paperback – July 1, 2016
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About the Author
Nick Redfern is the author of 36 books on UFOs, lake-monsters, the Roswell UFO crash, zombies, and Hollywood scandal, including Men in Black; Chupacabra Road Trip; The Bigfoot Book; and Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind. Nick has appeared on many TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC’s Out of This World; the SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive; the History Channel’s Monster Quest, America’s Book of Secrets, Ancient Aliens and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural; and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He can be contacted at: http://nickredfernfortean.blogspot.com
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In his book, Redfern mentions and describes a number of parallels between modern UFO cases and older ghost or fairy stories. Both the “aliens” and the fairy abduct humans, breed “hybrids”, have a weird fascination with human reproduction, seem to like coins and other insignificant items, and act in ways the human observer considers baffling or awkward. The aliens/demons frequently appear as humanoids with unnaturally pale skins and old fashioned black dresses. The notorious Men in Black (MIBs) can't be secret government agents. They are paranormal entities. As indicated by the title, “Women in Black” concentrates on encounters with bizarre and terrifying females acting out the usual MIB script: knocking on doors, terrifying UFO witnesses, behaving strangely, etc. Naturally, the author calls them WIBs.
Redfern points out that there are parallels between the UFO-related MIBs and WIBs on the one hand, and other bizarre phenomena on the other. In Britain, Phantom Social Workers trying to kidnap children have been reported. Some of them were weird women dressed in strange black clothes. Many female ghosts dress in black. The MIBs and WIBs also harass paranormal investigators who aren't into UFOs, including a British subject who was looking for King Arthur's tomb in the vicinity of Glastonbury! The parallels are so striking that it's obvious we are dealing with the same phenomenon, and that it isn't necessarily UFO/alien related.
“Women in Black” contains some information I haven't encountered before. It seems that Truman Bethurum's classical contactee case involving extraterrestrial extraordinaire Aura Rhanes wasn't entirely benign. On two occasions, Rhanes acted in a hostile manner and was dressed in black! It also turns out that Albert Bender, the man who almost singlehandedly started the MIB craze, had a fascination with the dark and occult already before his MIB encounter. As a child, Bender had been attacked by a black-clad witch with a fascination with coins…
Sometimes, Redfern is too much of a true believer for my tender skeptical tastes, as when he accepts two controversial film sequences as evidence for “time travel”, including the black-clad woman seen in a newly discovered clip associated with Charlie Chaplin's “The Circus”. The woman supposedly speaks in a mobile phone (which wasn't invented until decades later), but I think a second look clearly reveals that she does no such thing (the clip is called “Chaplins Time Traveler” and has almost 7 million views on Youtube). That being said, I must say that the evidence for something very strange going on is quite strong. How can people in different cultures and at different places experience pretty much the same paranormal phenomena, down to details, even when they are unaware of the folklore surrounding the fairy (which most UFO witnesses and even ufologists seem to be)? The pattern needs to be explained! At the very least, we're dealing with some kind of a deep seated archetypal fears, seared into our collective unconscious…
My main objection to the book is that it feels badly organized, being essentially a long string of weird and chilly events, not always in chronological order. The synthesis I attempted in this review should really have been done by the author. But, as I already said, those who like Keel's, Vallée's and perhaps even Charles Fort's musings, may nevertheless find “Women in Black: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious MIBs” within their paranormal parameters.
The premise is simple. Strange "men" and "women," some more visibly nonhuman than others, have not only appeared to folks witnessing or researching the paranormal, they have materialized to follow an unknowable agenda. These creatures have a long and twisted history. They might be from "distant" realms that we can never understand or perhaps are closer to us than the hairs on the back of our neck.
Take the case of Denise Stoner. All she wanted to do was take her mother to J. C. Penny's on Christmas Eve to pick up a couple of last minute stocking stuffers. They were in line at the cashier when the glass doors opened and two very tall, very thin women entered the store, pushing an umbrella-style stroller. All Mom could say was, "What is wrong with that baby?" That did not matter. In a few moments, weird women and babe were "gone like they had never been there."
Maybe Denise and Mom had overactive imaginations and a case of holiday jitters.
In Denise's own words, "When we exited the mall, my Mom had already stepped off the curb to locate my car. I was stopped by three men who were leaning on the brick wall by the door. Wearing black suits, black hats, white shirts, sunglasses. Short in stature... One of them said, 'you will not discuss what happened inside that store, do not talk about it to anyone; do you understand?' I did not answer, stepped off the curb as I felt I was in danger, and called after Mom. Just after I stepped off the curb, I turned back to discover these men were gone and there was nowhere for them to go..."
Denise felt that "we had been shown something in the store that wasn't normal and we were talking about it as we left to see if we were imagining things when I met these men."
How convenient. It makes me wonder about what is happenstance and what is staged.
Did you know that there are reports of these WIB hissing when agitated?
This book is not important for the questions that it answers. It is important for the answers that it questions.
Redfern writes, "When paranormal activity occurs, when UFOs intrude upon the lives of petrified people, and when researchers of all things paranormal get too close to the truth for their own good, the WIB are ready to strike. They dwell within darkness, they surface when the landscape is black and shadowy, and they spread terror and negativity wherever they walk. Or, on occasion, silently glide. They are the Women in Black. Fear them. Keep away from them. And never, ever, let them in."
WOMEN IN BLACK: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious M.I.B. belongs on your bookshelf or in your digital library. I highly recommend it.
As a final note and my salute to synchronicity, I must confess that the first cinematic experience that had any profound effect on my young mind occurred around the time that I was in the first grade. It was a black-and-white 1954 British science-fiction film shown on American television. It was entitled "Devil Girl from Mars." In 2001, while watching "History's Mysteries: The True Story of the Philadelphia Experiment," an episode that displayed my research "talents," I was surprised to see that the documentary company used the flying saucer from that same obscure sci-fi flick to illustrate the UFO angle. Redfern devotes several paragraphs to Nyah, my "Devil Girl from Mars."
Dennis W. Carroll denniswcarroll.com ©