The case of Dr Hopkins
Location: Old Orchard Beach, ME
Dr. Herbert Hopkins, a 58 year old doctor and hypnotist, was acting as consultant on an alleged UFO teleportation case in Maine. One evening, when his wife and children had gone out leaving him alone, the telephone rang and a man identifying himself as vice president of the New Jersey UFO Research Organization asked if he might visit Dr. Hopkins that evening to discuss certain details of the case. The Dr. agreed. At the time, it seemed the natural thing to do. He went to the back door to switch on the light so that his visitor would be able to find his way from the parking lot, but while he was there, he noticed the man already climbing the porch steps. I saw no car, and even if he did have a car, he could not have possibly gotten to my house that quickly from any phone, Hopkins later commented in delayed astonishment.
The doctor found himself acting out of character: allowing a person into his house while he was alone, despite a history of crime in the area, failing to inquire as to his name, but nevertheless listening without any fear at all. His dog reacted differently, as the man entered, the dog barked and, uncharacteristically, hid in the closet with his tail between his legs. He wore a white shirt and white gloves, but his trousers, jacket, tie, shoes, and derby were all black. He appeared not to fill out his sleeves or trousers. The crease on his pants remained razor sharp even at the knees, when he sat down. As he took off his hat, it became apparent that he lacked both hair and eyebrows. His small nose and small ears were set low, his chin receded, and his face was deathly white, except for a vivid read gash of a mouth. In the course of their conversation, he happened to brush his lips with his grey suede gloves, and the doctor was astonished to see that his lips were smeared and that the gloves were stained with lipstick!
It was only afterwards, however, that Dr. Hopkins reflected further on the strangeness of his visitor’s appearance and behavior.
Apparently satisfied with the information gathered from Hopkins, the MIB changed the subject. He informed Hopkins that there were two coins in Hopkins’ pocket (which was correct) and asked him to remove one. Hopkins complied and held the coin, a shiny new penny, in the palm of his hand. The MIB told Hopkins to watch the coin closely. After a few moments the coin took on a silvery appearance and then appeared to be going out of focus. It then began to fade and, eventually, disappeared altogether. The MIB informed Hopkins that the coin would never be seen on this plane again. He then inquired as to whether Hopkins was familiar with alleged UFO abductee Barney Hill. Hopkins replied that he had heard of Hill, but was under the impression that he had died in the not too distant past. The MIB informed Hopkins that was correct. Barney didn’t have a heart, said the MIB, just like you no longer have a coin. It should be noted that Barney Hill actually died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The MIB then gently suggested that Hopkins destroy any material he had related to the Stephens case.
At this point, his speech started to slow down. Rising slowly and unsteadily to his feet, he said, very slowly, My energy is running low, must go now, goodbye. Clinging to the railing, he climbed down the stairs, first one foot on a step, then bringing the other down next to it, rather than going one foot after another like a healthy person.
Dr Hopkins saw a bright light shining up the driveway, brighter than an automobile headlight, and bluish white in color, although no light had been present when he had arrived. Rushing to the kitchen window, the doctor looked out to watch him, but the light was gone. He ran out onto the front porch, but saw no car leaving. Not only that, but the stranger walked in the diametrically opposite direction to the way he had arrived, not towards the driveway, but towards an impenetrable hedge. The doctor went out onto the front porch to watch for him, but he never turned up.
Not surprisingly, he was so scared that he willingly complied with his visitor’s instruction, Hopkins sat down at the kitchen table to digest what he had just experienced, but before doing so he pulled his revolver out of a drawer, just to be on the safe side. It didn’t take him long to decide what he had to do. He went into the other room, gathered all the material from the Stephens case, demagnetized the tapes, cut them up into thousands of pieces and then, for good measure, burned them along with some other documents related to the case. Subsequently, curious incidents continued to occur both in Dr. Hopkin’s household and in that of his eldest son. He presumed that there was some link with the extraordinary visit, but he never heard from his visitor again. As for the New Jersey UFO Research Organization, no such institution exists.
When the rest of family eventually returned, they went out with a light to examine the driveway. The only marks they found were what looked like a small caterpillar tractor tread about 4″ wide and 18″ long. The driveway was so narrow, it would have been impossible for any automobile’s tire to get into the center, where the marks were. They were also too deep and distinct for a motorcycle’s. Also, of course, they were too short. By morning they were gone, although no one had used the driveway in the interval.
Not long after, Hopkins began experiencing trouble with his own telephone. He often picked it up to find the line dead or filled with his static, and his patients began to complain that when they called he either didn’t answer his phone or that they would get a voice falsely claiming that his number was out of service. On those occasions when a connection was successfully made, it was often mysteriously broken in the middle of a conversation. The local phone company determined that Hopkins’ phone line was definitely being tampered with, but were at a loss to explain how or by whom.
The concrete nature of the phenomenon was accepted by the United States Air Force, who were concerned that persons passing themselves off as USAF personnel should be visiting UFO witnesses. In February 1967, Colonel George P. Freeman, Pentagon spokesman for the USAF’s Project Blue Book, told UFO investigator John Keel in the course of an interview:
Mysterious men dressed in Air Force uniforms or bearing impressive credentials from government agencies have been silencing UFO witnesses. We have checked a number of these cases, and these men are not connected with the Air Force in any way. We haven’t been able to find out anything about these men. By posing as Air Force officers and government agents, they are committing a federal offense. We would sure like to catch one. Unfortunately the trail is always too cold by the time we hear about these cases. But we are still trying.
But were the impostors referred to by Colonel Freeman, and Dr Hopkin’s strange visitor similar in kind? UFO sightings, like sensational crimes, attract a number of mentally unstable persons, who are quite capable of posing as authorized officials in order to gain access to witnesses; and it could be that some supposed MIBs are simply psuedo investigators of this sort.
One particularly curious recurrent feature of MIB reports is the ineptitude of the visitors. Time and again, they are described as incompetent. And if they are impersonating human beings, they certainly do not do it very well, arousing their victims suspicions by improbable behaviour, by the way they look or talk, and by their ignorance as much as their knowledge. But, of course, it could be that the only ones who are spotted as impostors are those who are no good at their job, and so there may be many more MIB cases that we never learn about simply because the visitors successfully convince their victims that there is nothing to be suspicious about, or that they should keep quiet about the visit.
A common feature of a great many MIB visits is indeed the instruction to a witness not to say anything about the visit, and to cease all activity concerning the case. Clearly, we know of these cases only because such instructions have been disobeyed. One Canadian UFO witness was told by a mysterious visitor in 1976 to stop repeating his story and not to go further into his case, or he would be visited by three men in black. I said: What’s that supposed to mean? Well, he said, I could make it hot for you… it might cost you certain injury. A year earlier, Mexican witness Carlos de los Santos had been stopped on his way to a television interview by two large black limousines. One of the occupants, dressed in a black suit and ‘Scandanavian’ in appearance, told him: Look, boy, if you value your life and your family’s too, don’t talk any more about this sighting of yours.
However, there is no reliable instance of such threats ever having been carried out, though a good many witnesses have gone ahead and defied their warnings. Indeed, sinister though the MIBs may be, they are notable for their lack of actual violence. The worst that can be said of them is that they frequently harass witnesses with untimely visits and telephone calls, or simply disturb them with their very presence.
While, for the victim, it is just as well that the threats of violence are not followed through, this is for the investigator one more disconcerting aspect of the phenomenon, for violence, if it resulted in physical action, would at least help in establishing the reality of the phenomenon. Instead, it remains a fact that most of the evidence is purely hearsay in character and often not of the highest quality. Cases as well attested as that of Dr. Hopkins are unfortunately in the minority. Another problem area is the dismaying lack of precision about many of the reports. Popular American writer Brad Steiger alleged that hundreds of ufologists, contactees and chance percipients of UFOs claim to have been visited by ominous strangers, usually three, and usually dressed in black, but he cites only a few actual instances. Similarly, John Keel, an expert on unexplained phenomena, claimed that, on a number of occasions, he actually saw phantom Cadillacs, complete with rather sinister Oriental looking passengers in black suits, but for a trained reporter, he showed a curious reluctance to persue these sightings or to give chapter and verse in such an important matter. Such loose assertions are valueless as evidence. All they do is contribute to the myth.
On 24 September 1976, only a few days after Dr. Herbert Hopkin’s terrifying visit from a MIB, his daughter-in-law Maureen received a telephone call from a man who claimed to know her husband John, and who asked if he and a companion could come and visit them.
John met the man at a local fast-food restaurant, and brought him home with his companion, a woman. Both appeared to be in their mid-thirties, and wore couriously old-fashioned clothes. The woman looked particularly odd; when she stood up, it seemed that there was something wrong with the way that her legs joined her hips. Both strangers walked with very short steps, leaning forward as though frightened of falling.
They sat awkwardly together on a sofa while the man asked a number of detailed personal questions. Did John and Maureen watch television much? What did they read? And what did they talk about? All the while, the man was pawing and fondling his female companion, asking John if this was all right and whether he was doing it correctly.
John left the room for a moment, and the man tried to persuade Maureen to sit next to him. He also asked her how she was made, and whether she had any nude photographs.
Shortly afterwards, the woman stood up and announced that she wanted to leave. The man also stood, but made no move to go. He was between the woman and the door, and it seemed that the only way she could get to the door was by walking in a straight line, directly through him. Finally the woman turned to John and asked: Please move him, I can’t move him myself. Then, suddenly, the man left, followed by the woman, both walking in straight lines. They did not even say goodbye.
more strange Men In Black mysteries
1947: Harold Dahl reported seeing a group of UFOs while he was on a boat in Washington’s Puget Sound. Soon after, he said, he was approached by a black-suited individual who threatened him and his family if he ever talked again about the UFO sighting.
1967: Robert Richardson was driving his car at night in Toledo, Ohio, when he hit something, which, he claimed, then vanished. He found a piece of metal that he believed originated from the mysterious thing he hit. A few days later, two men, wearing black hats and sunglasses and driving a black 1953 Cadillac, visited Richardson at his home at 11 p.m. to ask questions. A week later, two other men arrived, dressed in black suits, and asked Richardson to turn over the metal to them. When he informed them he had sent it for analysis, he said, they threatened to harm his wife if he didn’t get it back. He never heard from them again.