Werewolf Radar: Men in Blecch by Nate Balding | Art by Caitlyn Grabenstein

The Standoff by Caitlyn Grabenstein aka Cult.Class

Werewolf Radar: Men in Blecch

By Nate Balding

Art by Caitlyn Grabenstein aka Cult.Class

Published Issue 110, February 2023

// Werewolf Radar Debrief 00ZXYYPINGO

Month of February, Willennium calendar year 23 //

The Men in Black continue to harass our agents in the field, trying to hide the alien truths with brute force. Despite cinematic representation they are neither oddly paternal nor anachronistically Fresh. By all indications they typically stand over 6 feet tall in skinny, pale bodies with features heavily manicured by lipstick. Most of the encounters were not Robert Smith.

Research into their origin in the hopes that we might find a vulnerability continues without concrete development. What we know:

1953 — Albert K. Bender, publisher of Space Review and founder of the International Flying Saucer Bureau is visited by three men in black suits. They spoke through thoughts and handed him a metal disc that made him feel like he was being transported to space. Had he waited two more minutes, he’d have been visited by the men in houndstooth with a fedora that made him feel like an asshole ordering a drink with ingredients nobody has. Score one for the Men in Black.

1962 — Bender publishes Flying Saucers and the Three Men which accounts for follow-up visits in ‘53 from MIBs who, eschewing the formality of a front door, came floating through his attic walls with enervating powers that made him pass out before implanting the idea that he should stop his UFO research. Yes, it sounds like admittance to opioids, but remember that at the time that was just “enjoying jazz.”

1967 — A Minnesotan woman who’d witnessed a UFO was visited multiple times by a MIB of interminable gastric distress calling himself “Major Richard French.” While he made no specific queries he did continually show up claiming to have an upset stomach to which his host, in the most midwestern bit of hospitality, offered him several meals of Jell-O. To his massive discredit as a guest, Major French refused to eat, seemingly unable to comprehend it as food at all. Perhaps to evade what this potentially non-human investigative entity thought was some form of psychomagnotheric slime he attempted to drink the Jell-O, spilling it full-form off of his face and into his lap. And, yes, this is the plot to the long-lost pilot of the BBC Three children’s program Pudding Spud, but it’s also enough to determine that someone is, in fact, an undercover snoop trying to hide evidence of aliens.

1967 — That whole Mothman ordeal (technically too erotic to put into print here but Google mothman statue and see if that silver ass doesn’t do stuff for you)

1976 — Hypnotherapist Dr. Herbert Hopkins, having recently regressed an abductee, receives an evening phone call from the New Jersey UFO Research Organization, a thing that — it turns out — does not exist. Hopkins free-wheels it and invites the person on the other end of the line over. Why not? Worst case scenario: They’re wearing a lizard as an epaulet and have a “casual” amount of hallucinogens.

Worser case scenario: As Hopkins hangs up the phone there are footsteps on the porch. The voice from the other end was already there and making a slow, terrifying approach. Didn’t even bring the lizard. He was nearly skeletal; tall and pasty pale, features marred. Dressed in all black with makeup outrageously defining his mouth. I’d refer you to the Robert Smith joke from earlier but I think this guy was, let’s say, a bit more fit.

The Man in Black demands a couple of coins from Hopkins, who produces them, at which point the MIB crushes them into his fist then opens it, coin-dust drifting. It was rad enough that teenagers in a 10 block radius all said, “Whoaaaaaa fuck!” in unison.

Hopkins was told to destroy all the recordings he had of his hypno sessions with the abductee and did so.

Then it’s pretty quiet for awhile.

Extrapolations ongoing:

2025 — Pedro Pascal stars in the Disney+ series Man in Black. Ostensibly a Star Wars-based Johnny Cash story, it turns into an actually cursed set beset by creeping Slendermen. Disney finally let’s someone hang dong.

2028 — The balalaika briefly becomes the new banjo. Kids with shoulder lizards and old vans are fucking stoked.

2031 — Jell-O releases a flavor called “Reverse Peach.” It’s got anti-grav features for spilly types.

2031 — {NOTHING}


Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to werewolfradarpod@gmail.com or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.

Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.

Caitlyn Grabenstein, a.k.a. Cult Class, is a collage artist, sketch artist, and designer out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She started doing art at a very young age and has pursued it in different forms throughout her life. While working in the music industry and running her own charitable business, BANDADE, she began creating websites, ultimately hosting more than 50 charitable shows with over 60 different artists including Imagine Dragons, Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, Ingrid Michaelson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Alabama Shakes, Florence Welch and more. During this time, Caitlyn started collaging out of necessity to create concert posters. She fell in love with the process and began collaging regularly. Caitlyn now runs her own design business, CLG Design Co.. Her work can be found in buildings around Philadelphia. Caitlyn’s pieces have been commissioned by individuals, musicians, businesses, and real estate companies from Chile to Germany to Los Angeles. Check out more of her art on Instagram.

Check out Nate’s January Werewolf Radar install, Werewolf Radar:A Hazy Shade of Geamhradh, and Caitlyn’s Buddies, or head to our Explore section to see more of their work.