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Alchemists and the Men in Black
Alchemists were concerned with the Philosopher's stone, which converted base metals to gold. They also had a philosophy of personal transformation and Jung and others read most of the alchemical manuals as coded references to this process.
However there is some evidence suggesting a way of transmuting lead into gold had been discovered.
In the Journal of the Alchemical Society (London) [vol.1 part 4, April1913] GAJournal of the Alchemical Society (London) [vol.1 part 4, April1913]. Gaston De Mengel describes three cases where he cannot convince himself fraud was involved, though he seems well aware of the prevalence of charlatanism in this area.
In each case the alchemist was a reputable citizen (though given the way bankers and other respectable pillars of society engineered the 2008 recession this is perhaps not a meaningful recommendation), performed the transmutation themselves and was surprised it works. Also they considered the possibility they had been deceived.
An abbreviated account of De Mengel's article appeared in Issue 55 of Fortean Times.
Alchemists change lead into gold
In several cases an alchemist was given the means to effect the transmutation of lead to gold by a stranger, and had done it themselves. T
here was, apparently no attempt by the strangers to follow up and ask a price for the secret, which rules out any conventional fraud, and I am not aware of any of these alchemists becoming rich suddenly, as might have been expected if they had discovered the secret but wanted to keep it to themselves, perhaps for fear of the church.
Helvetius was visited by two strangers, suggesting a group of people who know the secret.
The question I asked myself was why the demonstration of the stone's power was given? Why was the secret not revealed? And who were the strangers?
The devil and the Men in Black
In medieval times there were reports of people being approached by a mysterious stranger dressed in black and offered benefits or invitations to a sabbat. The stranger was usually taken to be the devil, though the reason for his behavour is unclear:.
In modern times those who saw a UFO tended to be visited by mysterious “Men in Black” who behaved like non-physical beings. These sightings are less common nowadays, and would seem to be projections from the unconscious mind. They also appear to have little intelligence, which fits the role they often adopt, of low level government agents.
Some mysterious strangers appeared after the Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax of 1987 posing as social workers.
Bogus Social Workers
After the Satanic Ritual Abuse fiasco of the late 1980s where the UK Social Services were infiltrated by Rabid Christian Fundamentalists, who duped gullible colleagues into a belief in widespread Satanic Ritual Abuse there was an epidemic of BogusSocial workers calling on families with children and demanding to examine the children. Some of these appear to have been real people, as in this case from 2009 , but a few appear to be updated versions of the Men in Black and as far as I know no one has been prosecuted., but they seem to be more than urban legends.
Strangers gave Helvetius and others samples of the Philosopher's Stone, a Man in Black would give medieval travellers good things, sometimes with a sting in the tail, the Men in Black tried to scare UFO contactees and Bogus Social Workers appeared after a moral panic. And Phantom clowns have been reported for a long time
Are these figures projection of our fears and hopes, is there a secret society of ghosts and magicians dedicated to this sort of confusion? Why show transmutation is possible? If as has been suggested, a parallel society of sorcerers exists, why would they bother with normal society and advertise their existence
Unless contrary evidence turns up It seems reasonable to assume these figures are manifestations from the unconscious. But then where did the gold the alchemists produced originate? Unlike the case of the Mince Pie Martians who left a witness with mince pies of uncertain origin, or the pancakes one UFO inhabitant handed over to a witness, the gold could not have been produced and refined n a fit of absent mindedness