Anomalous Figures and Fortean Events
A discussion on the Men in Black and other anomalous figures (perhaps Indrid Cold or others in the milieu of Fortean events) could lead to worthwhile insights, even if the poster is incredulous. This could also include of discussion of Charles Fort/Forteanism as a whole: what are the implications of seeing weird events that conflict with your entire reality, something appearing from the wrong time or the wrong world? It could be the presence of a man thoroughly distinct from his surroundings, or a being that displays little to no humanity in its features. There are events of this nature that can be extended to objects rather than entities, but that can be discussed at a later time.
This discussion is different from one about extraterrestrials or UFOs proper: a discussion of Fortean events might eventually end up introducing these topics, but there is an ambiguity at the heart of the explanation. From the borrowed words of Fort himself, the anomalous issues could be the product of "phantoms in a super-mind in dreaming state". In paraphrase, the insane universal mind that dreams us produces, sometimes, figures that do not yet cohere with our own understanding, let alone the data and taxonomies of science. The phantom returns back into the shadows, and the dream progresses without fault.
This thread is not specifically centered on the subject of the elusive MiB, but I'll use it as an example for anomalous figures. These figures tend to be detached from the environment in some way, being confused at common customs expected of a person, and other times behaving in erratic ways (i.e., twitching, sudden movements, physical sluggishness). The people encountering these figures will intuit that this is unfamiliar territory, that there is something highly irregular about the person they're interacting with and may attempt to leave the scene. Some are shaken up at the occurrence, others are simply dumbfounded at what they have seen.

I had first found out about the true depictions of the MiB inside two different books: one is The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel, and the other is Nicholas Redfern's The Real Men in Black. Unlike the image conjured up in our heads of efficient government operators, the actual experiences are bizarre and unlike anything you'd expect from a fed knocking on your door. They will act in a certain way that suggests they are employed by the government — being dressed in a suit, perhaps having credentials, and giving commands to stop researching X event — but the similarities stop there. One weird aspect described by Redfern is the problem of odor: those who encounter an MiB reflect on the odiousness of the figure, provoking "paralysis of the legs" and burning lips for the victim. This hearkens back to traditional accounts of a man meeting a demonic entity, where the man is met with an atmosphere of sulfur. Other times, as in Keel's accounts, they appear out-of-time, wearing "cheap looking, ill-fitting black suit[s], slightly out of fashion". Another strange characteristic is that some of the figures described by Keel appear to be Oriental (lol), "with either pointed features or Oriental countenances, dusky skin (not Negroid), and unusually long fingers". One final note, not as general as the others, is that sometimes they "do not know how to handle the implements" of a fork and knife, as if the MiB have never used them once in their life.

Now that I have brought out some of the features in the original MiB accounts, it might be time to wrap up the post and open to discussion. Are there any Fortean events similar to this that you are aware of/willing to share? Or even personal experiences of your own? I personally have not had experiences of this kind, but would be willing to hear more about them.
It seems like the men in black phenomena has some underlying concept beneath a shifting ephemeral context.

Devils in the christian religion are not always phrased as against the system, but rather sometimes as necessary evil component of the system. If the government takes over a role as the divine all-seer judge in the functionally secular collective mind, the feds might fit as duplicitous servants of the all-powerful. Someone else might want to reassess how common this doctrine is.

Some MiB traits could be the old traits put through a new filter or two.

sulphurous devil beast with horns -> very foreign, smells bad, uncultured, long fingers.
"I'm le devil imp here is a contract proposing actions and consequences" -> "I'm le glownigger implying that your actions have consequences"

paralysis obviously brings to mind sleep paralysis. sidenote, you can just "telepathically attack" sleep paralysis demons and they will fuck off. Seems like more people should have tried that.

I'm lost on the suits details. It seems very consistent with having scavenged clothes while operating on insufficient expertise in the aesthetic appeal and cultural context. Otherwise it is just another indicator of deception, foreignness and low status. Same for burning lips, what the heck does that mean?

Even if there were nothing physics-level new and it were all psychological fuckery it would still be interesting to consider the mechanisms whereby hallucinations follow patterns and persuade multiple people of a consistent episode. That there could be something like a template beneath the layer of culture is Jungian.

Maybe the role is to herd people who have too much open-mindedness and mania/agency away from schemes that may disrupt their own tribe. The MiB.exe part of a person's brain might trigger if they believe they are on the cusp of doing something devastating to the powers that be- whether or not the thing they are doing is of any actual importance, the evolutionary point is to protect the individual and society from their eccentricities. Phrasing it as a subhuman/foreign character could be useful for redirecting malice away from their own countrymen, or it could just be a good way to make the person disengage and relocate away from the MiB's location so that it doesn't need to expend such a plausibility/hallucination budget in an extended interaction. I mean, presumably there is a limit to how much your brain can make you hallucinate or ignore even if you are a bit crazy.

I've heard you can make people see "ghost" illusions if you make their eyeballs resonate with a sound. If this works you could probe ghost hallucinations in different social/environmental contexts to see if there is a particular trigger for e.g. MiB experiences instead.
(07-02-2023, 03:39 PM)Guest Wrote: ...
Forgot to reply to this post, apologies. I believe the burning lips described in Redfern's book is supposed to be related to the scents. Whenever arranging what to place within the initial post, I saw they were tied together in the same description: the overbearing pungent odor and the physical effects after the fact. If we're to suppose that the MiB in question was a physical entity and not a psychological apparition, then our discussion would then revolve around the mystery of why such scents pose risk to human subjects. We needn't reduce ourselves to just this, though. However, the deboonking attempt could be something akin to a tactile hallucination, where there is a false sensation of pain around the lip area in the same timeline of events after meeting the MiB. This would then involve a confluence of hallucinations, all in different categories: visual in the case of the apparition, olfactory in the case of the sulfuric atmosphere, then tactile in the presence of pain.

Due to my inexperience dealing with Jung and the Jungian approach, I have not considered applying it to the apparition figure. One inquiry that falls outside of the Jungian framework could be the bicameral mind theory, where figures such as the ones described above and others are the awakening of the bicameral brain; it is transient, but still can recur given the circumstances. It is notable that hallucinations were mentioned earlier, because in frontal lope epilepsy, this can happen to the epileptic. Usually, too, the hallucinations can be dissimilar to the experience of a schizophrenic, where there can be olfactory or gustatory ones (rather than the auditory and visual ones that are typical of the mentally ill). John Keel discusses the problem of epilepsy in The Eighth Tower, if memory serves correct, and Jacques Vallee may have as well. Though Keel does not discount the visions due to this, he does recognize that those with it are more able to experience an odd meeting with unreality, and he attempts to argue that it has some historic validity in explaining how certain people experience a vision often. Perhaps the alteration of the brain, by lesions or worse, can invoke the resurrection of an ancient bicameral mind, at least for a time.

With all this said, I still have trouble with a full material explanation. There is a proper degree of mystery involved when such events occur to a person: where did they come from, what is their purpose for being here? Even the ultraterrestrial theory of Keel & Vallee can result in an unsatisfactory reaction, where you still wonder if such an explanation can really give a universal description for all these events. The contemplation of the strange beings we meet, even in something benign as sleep paralysis, is terra incognita for us; it renders us speechless.

For those dissuaded by the exclusive focus on MiB entities, and no other figures of similar perplexity, I will eventually return to the thread with other examples — it could be an incident related to cryptids or aliens (assuming this does not cut into discussion on other threads). There is a chance that a second discussion in this thread might loop back into similar topics as the first, but perhaps the change of subject-matter will be a stimulus to discussion.
I am resurrecting my thread not with a detailed account of a Fortean figure, but an account that ends up implying the existence of one. This is kinda popular, so I am not treading new ground here. Just wanted to post it here:

[Image: a81l6y.webp]

This is a depiction of what occurred near the Guarapiranga Reservoir in Brazil, where a middle-aged man was found dead by a young schoolboy. You can find the crime scene photos of his body online.

Quote:In the autopsy report, it was mentioned that the eyes were extracted and the eyelids were cut away, the tongue had been removed, the left ear had been sliced off, lips and flesh around the mandibles and neck had been excised and a significant piece of jawbone was missing.

Examining the whole body they found that armpits each have been punctured by a single hole of 1.5 inches in diameter, similar holes were found on the legs and arms when it was discovered that flesh including entire muscles had been extracted. These apertures were all uniform in terms of size and the way they had been inflicted and there were two holes on opposite sides of the body such as located in the armpits and limbs, they were found to be symmetrically aligned with each other.

When the forensics attempted to inspect the victims’ internal organs they were shocked to find that these have been removed too. Kidney, liver, large and small intestine, pancreas all were missing and the chest and stomach had shrunken inwards as a result. However, there was no incision in the abdomen besides another hole, where the navel should have been similar in size to others.

Forensics concluded that the organs along with the organ tissues had been sucked out via these holes with some suction mechanism, A complete unnatural method of extraction, It is also believed that the mechanism used for the victim was beyond the technical expertise of man. Victim’s colon was also taken out leaving a huge hole near the rectum.

All the cuts on his body, holes were made with the help of surgical blades and with technology which was beyond human expertise. All wounds showed a lack of bleeding which means blood was extracted at the same time of incisions because the wounds themselves have been cauterized.

There is often, in tandem with other topics in UFOlogy like the personal experiences of contactees, mention of cattle + human mutilation. Even when outside the territory of extraterrestrial or paranormal explanations, there is infrequent mention of this in certain conspiracy circles, most of which is explained through government operations of some kind. To what cause it may have served, if there was government involvement, is naturally up for debate.

What makes circumstances like these unique, compared to ones previously mentioned above, is that it is a strongly physical incident (not unlike certain UFO events which had resulted in death by radiation exposure). Unlike the Reservoir mutilation, the Fortean event is plagued with the perceptual: phantom figures that creep from the edges of unreality over to the real, haunting the observer for a time, then returning back to the crevices. Responses to this kind call into question the mental state of the observer, mostly within the confines of abnormal mental activity. Oftentimes, both the physical and the perceptual have a mutual element of malevolence, where everything is geared to harm the victim or send them into deep despair. Mutilations like these could then be considered a more intense version of the same visual anomaly.
You could certainly do a depth psychology/Jungian analysis of these cases, if you were interested. To start with, we would say that these paranormal "investigators" who encounter the MiB are really attempting a psychic transformation into a higher state of consciousness. Their conscious understanding of the world is clearly very parochial and limited, so they are attempting to expand it through the discovery of some "forbidden knowledge" or gnosis that will, presumably, make everything make sense. Thus, this would be placed within the tradition of alchemy or witchcraft, and the appearance of the MiB would be akin to summoning a demon or ancient spirit, where they appear as autonomous entities because the investigators are unconscious of what they are doing. 

In relation to what you say in the OP:

(07-02-2023, 12:28 PM)JohnTrent Wrote: a discussion of Fortean events might eventually end up introducing these topics, but there is an ambiguity at the heart of the explanation. From the borrowed words of Fort himself, the anomalous issues could be the product of "phantoms in a super-mind in dreaming state". In paraphrase, the insane universal mind that dreams us produces, sometimes, figures that do not yet cohere with our own understanding, let alone the data and taxonomies of science. The phantom returns back into the shadows, and the dream progresses without fault.

The idea is that, since these types of experiences occur repeatedly throughout history, they are of an archetypal nature, originating in a collective unconscious. Thus, once you become conscious of the nature of these entities as archetypal figures, you will dissolve their autonomy. Kind of similar to what the guest has said above:

Quote:sidenote, you can just "telepathically attack" sleep paralysis demons and they will fuck off. Seems like more people should have tried that. 

Though, personally I find Jungian analyses unsatisfying, as I don't believe the unconscious is collective or comprised of timeless archetypes. I feel like these experiences start as a molecular rupture at the level of an individual, before lapsing into a kind of paranoid schizophrenia induced by the nature of modern life. The dream-like nature of these figures seems to reflect this as well, i.e. being a combination of loosely related parts, clothes, smells, mannerisms etc., without any overarching contextual sense.
It is part of poison-testing unknown foodstuffs in survival situations to expose ever more intimately consumption-related surfaces of your body with increasing delay between tests. If some part of the foodstuff whole or mashed (or the organism of the foodstuff IIRC?) gives you swelling or pain in any less-dose-sensitive surface like your skin, facial skin, lips or tongue then you really should consider other options before putting it in your gut. So one could imagine that among people more accustomed to foraging the connection between inflamed lips and poison may be more intuitive than it was for the anon above.

Remote viewing seems to fit thematically into the neoforteana and an offhand remark from the LessWrong sphere (Yudkowsky IIRC) provides some theorizing that can be considered in a topical way. Consider this in the context of explaining how a subtle/latent system of magic or fate could coexist with much of contemporary physics. Paraphrasing, brackets are my comments

"Oh you don't believe that AI can be big and bad because it is stuck on a computer or the internet without tools to build things IRL? [or maybe it was about AI having world-changing good potential?] Well, there is no reason to presume that quantum random events are actually random, it could be md5 [it most assuredly wouldn't happen to be] of some other stuff [i think he meant other preceding quantum random events but it could be other stuff] for all we know. This means that an AI could potentially simulate chains of events or even the whole universe [shut up 'kowsky that is too much] without need to account for randomness."

the point being that anyone saying quantum random numbers are unpredictable is just assuming that there is no mystery to unravel. "Random" literally means "there is no logic here" when that has not been established. Yudkow would call that a "thought-stopping cliche". The alternative quantum theory is called "superdeterminism" which seems also to be a thought-directing misnomer: things can be random and without logic or could be sourced from uncaused spirits, while still being way more intricate than pick_random(True,False).

If true, some of the expectations one might have for secret magic ought to colored by the alleged tendencies of quantum stuff. Unless they are lying/misleading about that stuff too. In any case information-gathering superpowers seem more believable than say teleportation. I could justify that with scraped together pop sci knowledge but frankly someone else should make that call.

Weirder still when quanta magazine articles come out saying "quantum randomness is totally real. we ran some benchmarks, trust the math chud" when these sorts of benchmarks if I understand correctly all depend on some precarious definition of entropy. Complexity theory is relevant here. Ever seen the dilbert cartoon where there is a demon in accounting hell who gives out random numbers and he keeps saying "7"? "The issue with random numbers is that you can never tell." Any way that you try and resolve this is unprincipled if you think about it for a moment because an unbiased random source could create a stream of 7s and if you deny some subset of streams a sufficiently random then you will trust a biased randomness source as more random than true randomness some of the time. Testing for randomness is just this again from a slightly different perspective. If you are putting a hardware backdoor into a computer to manipulate the random numbers generated you can customize your attack to work in the blind spot of the standardized randomness benchmarks applied to such hardware. I didn't read the paper quanta mag announced but I bet dime to dollar that it takes the form of "hey, here is a randomness benchmark that looks kind of objective, here are some random numbers we pinkie promise we got from real quantum events, wow it looks like quantumness is randomness: proven for certain for the first time!"

It should be clear from my posting style that I dredge up things from memory and don't revisit all the sources for confirmation so you should consider this post in epistemological limbo until you confirm the chain of logic and sources yourself to whatever degree necessary for your purposes.

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