Alien abductions have become an increasingly prominent part of the UFO scene in the last few decades. For the most part they happen to ordinary people who have nothing which obviously distinguishes them from the others around them. These people are sometimes traumatised by the experience, left with a profound feeling of helplessness. If they pluck up the courage to tell anyone about it, they are usually met with mockery and disbelief. Often, as a result, they simply retreat into silence. One victim, though, happened to be a more skilful communicator than most: he was Whitley Strieber, best-selling author.
Whitley Strieber – Alien Abduction-
Strieber first made a name for himself in the early 80s with a string of successful novels, some of which were made into films. You may have heard of or even seen The Wolfen or The Hunger. In 1985, while staying with his family at a cabin in the countryside, Strieber experienced something extraordinary. Initially, he felt only certain bodily aches and recalled events through a mist-like haze of memory. He remembered something about a strange light outside in the middle of the night and seeing his bedroom door swing open while he and his wife lay in bed. His reaction to these things was peculiarly passive. He just noted them but did nothing in response. Over time, however, he found that behaviour was altering in unusual ways. He became increasingly anxious and began to act oddly.
Pondering his new, unhappy state, Strieber searched his mind for an explanation. Then the memories of what had happened to him started to come back to him, first in a trickle, then a flood. He recalled being carried out of his bedroom by a “good army” of small beings and being taken onto some craft. There, the beings, typical alien “Greys” with small, humanoid bodies, large crania and inscrutable insect-like eyes, communicated with him, both vocally and telepathically, and probed him with their scientific instruments.
Strieber was understandably shocked by what he remembered. Questioning his own sanity, and on the verge of committing suicide, he decided to seek help.
Exploring his own life history with his therapists and on his own, Strieber came to recognise that his experience with the “visitors”, as he preferred to call them, long predated the incidents in the Autumn of 1985. He recalled numerous strange episodes from his childhood which, on reflection, seemed to have involved similar kinds of contact. Often his memory of the incidents was blurred or even concealed beneath a “screen memory”. The screen memories were what Strieber consciously recalled about the incident but he found that they were superficial only. Typically, on careful reflection, the screen memories would evaporate – they made no sense, containing inherent impossibilities of time or place or action. He concluded, in the end, that he had been singled out for special attention by these “visitors” throughout his entire life.
Whitley Strieber – Communion-
Strieber wrote about his experiences in the book Communion. It became a best-seller and a Hollywood film was based upon it. The book describes the fascinating intellectual journey which Strieber underwent as he explored the history of the contact phenomenon and attempted to come to terms with his own experience – which seemed to him to be utterly fantastic and even ludicrous, yet at the same time painfully real.
Interestingly, he originally planned to call the book “Body Terror” to express the rawness of the fear he felt when subjected to the experience. As he lay in bed one night, however, with his wife asleep beside him, she began to talk in her sleep. In a deep voice, utterly unlike the one she usually spoke in, she said: “The book must not frighten people. You should call it Communion because that’s what it’s about.” The voice resembled that of the female alien who had spoken to him during his experiences.
Whitley Strieber’s encounter experience is one of the most significant in the history of the UFO subject. It turned him from a sceptic into a believer and, in his book Communion, he has given us a full account of the process of transformation. His speculations on the underlying nature of the phenomenon are fascinating to read.