Tag: Gray Barker

The UFO Sightings That Launched ‘Men in Black’ Mythology

by Justin Sablich                    July 20, 2018                    (history.com)

• On June 27, 1947, Harold Dahl was boating on the Puget Sound near the eastern shore of Washington’s Maury Island when he saw six donut-shaped objects hovering about a half a mile above his boat. Suddenly, one of them fell nearly 1,500 feet raining metallic debris, some of which hit Dahl’s son, Charles, on his arm, as well as the family dog who didn’t survive. Dahl was able to take some pictures of the UFO with his camera which he later showed to his supervisor, Fred Crisman. A skeptical Crisman went back to the scene to look for himself and saw a strange aircraft with his own eyes.

• The following morning, Dahl was visited by a man in a black suit. At a local diner the man was able to recount in extraordinary detail what Dahl had just experienced. “What I have said is proof to you that I know a great deal more about this experience of yours than you will want to believe,” the man said, according to author Gray Barker’s 1956 book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. Dahl was told not to speak of the incident, or else bad things would happen.

• Dahl and Crisman called Kenneth Arnold, a pilot who had his own UFO encounter on June 24, 1947 near Mt. Rainier, Washington, three days after the Maury Island incident. This touched off the ‘flying saucer’ sensation.

• The mention of the man in the black suit would evolve into a key obsession for UFO enthusiasts and spread into American popular culture, thanks to a comic-book series and a blockbuster movie trilogy on the ‘Men in Black’. MIBs typically show up to muzzle witnesses of paranormal phenomena. They almost always wear black suits and hats with dark sunglasses, drive black cars and arrive in groups of two or three. Sometimes the MIB will have supernatural features like glowing eyes and strange complexions.

• Dahl and Crisman reached out to a Chicago magazine in an attempt to sell their story. The magazine editor contacted Arnold, hoping he could help verify their account. Arnold summoned two Army A-2 Intelligence officers to aid in the investigation of Dahl and Crisman’s claim. Afterward, the intelligence officers left aboard a B-25 plane. The plane caught fire and crashed, killing both officers.

• In 1956, author Grey Barker wrote a book on the Maury Island incident and mentioned that, just as a man in a black suit met with Harold Dahl after the incident, three men in black suits also met with another UFO enthusiast named Albert K. Bender in 1953. This sparked the ‘Men In Black’ lore. Barker described Bender’s visitors as, “Three men in black suits with threatening expressions on their faces. Three men who walk in on you and make certain demands. Three men who know that you know what the saucers really are!”

• In 1962, Bender wrote his own book and described the MIB as follows: “They floated about a foot off the floor… They looked like clergymen, but wore hats similar to Homburg style. The faces were not clearly discernible, for the hats partly hid and shaded them… The eyes of all three figures suddenly lit up like flashlight bulbs… They seemed to burn into my very soul as the pains above my eyes became almost unbearable.” But Barker’s motives were questioned. UFO researcher Robert Sheaffer corresponded with Barker and found that Barker “did not take the MIB… very seriously.”

• Nevertheless, countless MIB encounters have been reported over the past 60 years, not to mention books and motion pictures on the topic.

 

It’s possible that the story of the Men in Black, the mysterious figures that would become the subject of fascination in UFO conspiracy circles and eventually break into mainstream popular culture, can be traced back to one day: June 27, 1947. It’s quite possible that it all started with a man, a boy and a dog on a boat.

               Harold Dahl

As the story goes, Harold Dahl was on a conservation mission on the Puget Sound near the eastern shore of Washington’s Maury Island, gathering logs, when he saw six donut-shaped obstacles hovering about a half a mile above his boat. Before long, one of them fell nearly 1,500 feet, followed by raining, metallic debris, some of which hit Dahl’s son, Charles, on his arm, as well as the family dog, who didn’t survive the ordeal. Dahl was able to take some pictures of the aircraft with his camera, which he later showed to his supervisor, Fred Crisman. A skeptical Crisman went back to the scene to look for himself and saw a strange aircraft with his own eyes.

The following morning, Dahl was visited by a man in a black suit. They end up at a local diner, where the man was able to recount in extraordinary detail what Dahl had just experienced. “What I have said is proof to you that I know a great deal more about this experience of yours than you will want to believe,” the man said, according to author Gray Barker’s 1956 book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers.

Dahl was told not to speak of the incident. If he did, bad things would happen.

The supposed events of Maury Island have continued to fuel conspiracy theories to this day, even though a U.S. government investigation deemed it a hoax after Dahl and Crimson later admitted as much. In particular, the mention of the man in the black suit would evolve into a key obsession for UFO enthusiasts and spread into American popular culture, thanks to a comic-book series and a blockbuster movie trilogy.

                    Kenneth Arnold

In all of their different incarnations, the Men in Black (MIB) usually have one main purpose: to muzzle witnesses of strange, paranormal phenomena. They almost always wear black suits and hats with dark sunglasses, drive black cars and arrive in groups of two or three. Some describe them as one would an FBI agent, while others recall the MIB as having strange appearances, sometimes with supernatural features like glowing eyes and strange complexions.

So how did we get from Harold Dahl to Will Smith?

“The transformation of the story from a first press report to a folkloric tale to a comic book and now to a film illustrates how the myth is transformed,” wrote Phil Patton in The New York Times around the time the first Men in Black movie was released in 1997. “That process is not unlike the children’s game of ‘telephone’ or what the literary critic Harold Bloom calls ‘innovation by misinterpretation.’ ”

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Copyright © 2018 Exopolitics Institute News Service. All Rights Reserved.