Nick Redfern January 25, 2022
Today, it’s time for a chilling and eerie story that takes us way back to the night of Saturday, September 11, 1976. That was the decidedly ill-fated evening upon which the Orchard Beach, Maine, home of a certain Dr. Herbert Hopkins was darkened by a nightmarish Man in Black. I should stress, however, that the M.I.B. that Hopkins met with was definitely not of the “secret agent” type of the U.S. government. Not at all. This guy was most definitely not an agent of any government. Everything about him was weird and unsettling. In fact, he didn’t even seem to be completely human. Yes, really. Vampire-like scarcely begins to describe the terrible thing that chose to descend on Hopkins’ home on that fraught night. When Hopkins opened the front-door, he was confronted by a pale-faced, skinny, bald ghoul. It was a creature that was dressed in black, that had dark and hostility-filled eyes, and sported the typical Fedora hat that the Men in Black are known for.
The M.I.B. made it very clear, and extremely quickly, that if Hopkins knew what was good for him he would immediately cease all of his then-current research into the life and experiences of a reported alien abductee: a man named David Stephens, who, at the time, lived in nearby Oxford. Hopkins, frozen to the bone, didn’t need telling twice. Just for good measure, the undeniably malevolent M.I.B. – in definitive monotone fashion – told Hopkins to take out of the right pocket of his pants one of the two coins that was in there and hold it in the open palm of his hand. Hopkins didn’t even think to wonder how the M.I.B. knew the coins were there; he just did as he was told. The Men in Black are good at telling people what to do and what not to do.
(Nick Redfern) M.I.B.: Lipstick and Threats
With a detectable threat in his almost robotic voice, the Man in Black practically ordered Hopkins to keep his eyes locked on the coin, which he did. To Hopkins’ complete amazement and horror, something terrifying happened: the coin quickly transmuted. It turned blue in color; it shimmered slightly – as if in a mini heat-haze – and then, in a second or so, it became 100 percent vaporous. After a few more moments the vapor was gone. The M.I.B. implied to Hopkins that he could do exactly the same thing to Hopkins’ heart. Hopkins got the message. Quickly, too. The Man in Black shuffled his curious way to the front-door of the Hopkins home and vanished – as in literally – into the chilled, dark night. Hopkins’ Man in Black sounds like one of the strange and enigmatic characters that, hundreds of years ago, turned up late at night, dressed in black, and who threatened early alchemists to leave the matter alone. And, on this very same point, there is one important thing I have left out until now, something which further amplifies the connection between Herbert Hopkins’ MIB and the alchemists of old.
(Nick Redfern) The creepiest M.I.B. of all
According to Hopkins, at one point the man touched his finger to his lips – deliberately, for effect, it seems. Although the man’s face and hands were utterly white, his lips were bright red. When the M.I.B. removed his finger from his lips, Hopkins could see it was stained red. This led Hopkins to suspect that the man, was wearing lipstick. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that, way back in the 17th century, one Wenzel Seiler’s exposure to the domain of alchemy occurred when he ran his finger across a large, oak table in the monastery in which he worked, and found it coated in a bright red substance. It was, supposedly, the enigmatic Philosopher’s Stone, suggested Hopkins; the “key” to opening the “door” behind which the secrets of alchemy are said to be held. It was almost as if Herbert Hopkins’ Man in Black was playing some very strange mind-game with Hopkins, ones in which he dropped more than a few clues to his – the M.I.B.’s – linkage to alchemy, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the skillful transmutation of coins. What’s also intriguing is that there was a very brief amount of poltergeist activity in the home. Precisely what had happened, and how and why, was not resolved. There’s no doubt, however, that the matter of poltergeist activity in the doctor’s home made things even weirder.
The weirdest M.I.B. case of all? I have no hesitation in saying “Yes!”