Timothy Beckley is a top name among UFO researchers. So is John Keel, author of the enduring "Our Haunted Planet," who provided the foreword for this timely work and appears within the text as well.
The subject of the men in black has been treated in certain circles as comic book subject matter to be dismissed from serious discussion. A prominent film was made that dealt with the men in black phenomenon in that manner.
What many investigative types will find refreshing is that "Mystery of the Men in Black: The UFO Silencers" by Timothy Beckley consists of numerous case histories with added commentary from either the researchers presenting the cases, or from the investigators themselves in those instances where they discuss a case study or studies.
The common thread is that the men in black, as the name implies, dress in black suits and wear black hats. They often wear dark glasses and are frequently seen traveling in black Cadillacs that often bear strange license plates, while some reveal none at all.
The men in black sometimes appear to be deeply tanned and are frequently described as possessing an Oriental look, bearing slant-like eyes. Their manner of speech also has been cited as strange to the point where they have difficulty pronouncing words. It is also said that many have trouble walking, and move in a strange, awkward manner.
While these have been commonly expressed characteristics, once one moves beyond appearance a variety of opinions exist of who they are and what they might represent. This disparity is fascinating to read about as the case histories unfold.
Early in the book we learn about the doppeldanger, or double, effect in which men in black seek to impersonate individuals who have claimed to experience UFO sightings, or, additionally, have claimed to have had contact with extraterrestrials arising from those encounters.
What we repeatedly learn from these revelations is that the men in black, as the title of "The UFO Silencers" indicates, seek to serve as "silencers" to prevent details of such purported accounts from being communicated. All kinds of trick tactics are employed to accomplish this purpose.
One of the most interesting encounters occurs when Brad Steiger, one of the most prominent names in the field, believes that a friend is attempting to pull a prank on him. The friend stated that Steiger and Keel were seeking to debunk a UFO sighting claim, which was not the case.
Since Steiger was then busy completing a book he refused to go, believing the friend was kidding him. Eventually the man turned up at Steiger's door in a rattled, frightened condition.
Another account involves a Maine doctor who had consulted with someone claiming to have had a UFO experience. This was followed by a strange man appearing at his door, anxious to talk about the UFO claim.
The doctor was astonished when the man left and appeared to vanish in thin air. He looked carefully and was unable to see the man at all after he stepped outside the house. The doctor became so shaken that he eventually purchased a gun.
While there is a common thread of men in black practicing intimidation and trickery in various ways, there are varying schools of thought on whether they are from another planet or, as Keel believes, could be from planet earth.
Some UFO researchers who hold devout religious beliefs contend that the men in black represent an evil Satan in a continuing battle with God and the forces of good. Dr. Frank Stranges, a Van Nuys, California minister, falls into this category and relates an encounter he and his wife had on a highway when a black Cadillac ran them off the road.
Dr. Stranges believe that he and his wife's lives were spared through a divine healing. He provides a regular candlelight prayer service as a means of fending off the dark forces and protecting oneself by allying with God.
In one New Jersey case investigators attempting to gain information into a man in black following a local resident involved with UFO studies snapped a picture of the man in black they were following. It appears in the book.
What is good about this book is that it provides accounts and presents varying viewpoints dealing with the men in black phenomenon.