My last post took a look at US author Whitley Strieber's new book, 'Solving the Communion Enigma: What is to come." As I was very young when the book "Communion" came out, I thought I had better read it. I located a copy in a second hand book store, and have just read it in one session. As I would think that a number of younger blog readers will be in the same position as me; that is will not have heard of the book, let alone read it, I thought I would provide some context, for you, to his latest work.
My copy of "Communion" is dated 1988 and titled "Communion: A True Story: Encounters with the Unknown," published by Arrow Books, London. ISBN 0-09-053420-7. At this stage of his career, Strieber had already written and published a number of novels, namely "Wolf of Shadows;" "Catmagic;" "The Nightchurch;" "Black Magic;" "The Hunger" and "The Wolfen."
The pivotal event:
Anne and Whitley Strieber owned a cabin in upstate New York in the USA. It was a quiet and hidden location. On 26 Dec 1985 both were in bed by 10pm and asleep by 11pm. "I do not know the exact time - I abruptly found myself awake. I heard a peculiar whooshing, swirling noise coming from the living room downstairs...I noticed that one of the double doors leading into our bedroom was moving closed...Then I saw edging around it a compact figure...A few moments later, when it was close to the bed, I saw two dark holes for eyes and a black down-turning line of a mouth that later became an O...The next think I knew, the figure came rushing into the room. I recall only blackness after that, for an unknown period of time...My next conscious recollection is of being in motion. I was naked...The next thing I knew I was sitting in a small sort of depression in the woods...there was a small individual...on my right was another figure...The next thing I knew I was sitting in a messy round room...an extremely shiny, hair-thin needle ...they proposed to insert this into my brain...they had performed the proposed operation on my head...I had seen four different types of figures...I was being shown an enormous and extremely ugly object...They inserted this thing into my rectum...One of them took my right hand and made an incision on my forefinger...Abruptly my memories end. There isn't even blackness, just morning." (pp19-30.)
After this event, Strieber describes a change in personality which came over him. "I became mercurial, frantic with excitement about some idea one moment, in despair the next." (p.35.)
Science and the UFOs:
Strieber's brother had given him a book "Science and the UFOs" by Jenny Randles and Peter Warrington, which he then read. He came across reports of alien abductions. "They were talking about people who think they're taken aboard spaceships by aliens. And I seemed to be such a person." (p.40.)
Strieber contacted New York abduction researcher Budd Hopkins, met him and later underwent regression hypnosis, and retrieved further detailed memories of the events of 26 Dec 1985.
Second pivotal event:
Talking to Hopkins brought back another experience to Strieber. In this one, the Striebers were at their cabin, with Jacques Sandulescu and Annie Gottlieb. During the night he "...Startled awake and saw, to my horror, that there was a distinct blue light being cast on the living room ceiling...I watched this blue light slowly creep up the ceiling...I fell back to sleep...I was again wakened this time by a loud report...I was stunned to see that the entire house was surrounded by a glow that extended into the fog...the glow suddenly disappeared...The next morning little was said about the incident." (p.45.) Later Strieber questioned his wife; Sandulescu and Gottlieb about the event, and underwent regression hypnosis where more detailed memories of the event were recovered.
A lifetime of events:
In section four of the book, Strieber described a number of memories of unusual events which occurred to him between 1957 and 1984. They varied in content and details.
Following the examination of his memories, what were Strieber's thoughts on what he was experiencing? "I began this search by assuming that I was dealing either with a mental aberration or a visit "from another planet." If I had been asked I would have said that the nature of my experience indicated that the visitors hadn't been here too long and that I had been studied by a team of biologists and anthropologists." (p.223.) However, he speculated on six possibilities, which ranged from "from within us" to "a side effect of a natural phenomenon." (p.224.)
Strieber conducted a lot of research into aspects of UFOs, psychology and psychiatry looking for explanations for his experiences. Strieber had also studied and practiced meditation for many years, and also studied a number of esoteric subjects. "My historical survey has found that the core experience of seeing flying disks and small figures goes back a long, long time" (p.225.) "The central question remains. Is there anything real about all this?" (p.226.)
In trying to make sense of all the possibilities, Strieber does narrow down to some concrete thoughts, such as:
"It is also obvious from their secrecy that they want very much to hide." (p.235.)
"...their activities go far beyond a mere study of mankind. They are involved with us on very deep levels. Playing in the band of dream, weaving imagination and reality together until they begin to seem what they probably are - different aspects of a single continuum." (p.243.)
"Those who have seen the devices or their occupants are often convinced that they are extraterrestrial in origin." (p.289.)
"Looking back over my experience with the visitors, I cannot say that I felt inferior to them. On the contrary, the people I encountered did not seem superior as much as wiser, but also more simple and unformed as individuals. And they not only feared me, they seemed in awe of me." (p.290.)
"I would not be at all surprised if the visitors are real and are slowing coming into contact with us according to an agenda of their own devises, which proceeds as human understanding increases." (p.294.)
You can clearly see, in this 1988 work, the seeds of the ideas which Strieber expresses in his last work.