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Alien Abduction, Whitley Strieber…

April 13, 2009

I just received my copy of Communion by Whitley Strieber. I read this book a while ago, but misplaced it over time and decided to purchase another copy. In between the great feasts we’ve been having over the holiday weekend, I’ve been giving my mind a heaping portion of Strieber’s bizarre experiences with alien abduction.

I don’t know what to think of Whitley in 2009, but in 1987, he seemed to have a healthier dose of skepticism about his own experiences. While intense, unusual and somewhat unbelievable, he remains ambiguous throughout the book, not sure if his encounters with the strange night time entities were fabrications of his mind, or actual beings, out there. I appreciated this skeptical outlook in the book. To me, it helps keep my mind grounded while I go through his frightening trips. It also makes things weirder: If he’s crazy, how can he be so clear and present, skeptical? If he’s a liar – well, it doesn’t seem disingenuous. Not one bit. His writing style may be dramatic at certain points, but he was a fiction author, before and after writing Communion. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and consider he may very well believe, or want to believe a lot of what he is describing.

To go into the analysis more heavily, I’d like to explore his accounts in detail. During his hypnosis, Strieber and his psychologist work carefully to explore 1) strange memories which seem to “mask” hidden traumatic encounters and 2) missing time. During his hypnosis, the experience begins with something odd, sounding even schizophrenic – He is standing by the window, sees a meteor or a spark – and feels it is there for him to see, like a special message. He tells his wife, he thinks someone is coming to see him after witnessing that light in the sky. This reminds me very much of the type of experiences schizophrenics have; the experiences are often personal. Yet, Strieber appears to have no other symptoms of schizophrenia. Strange.

The actual abduction experiences often begin with him in bed, paralyzed, and unable to move. In one account, he awakens to an intense sense of presence in the room, and seeing multiple beings surrounding his bed. He is unable to move or shake his wife at first. His dog is sleeping on the ground, seemingly unaware of the intruders. He looks to his wife, then back to the intruders, they are moving closer every time he turns his head. He refers to them as “blue babies” – strange, mushroom colored beings with circular mouths, dark blue robes and rounder, thicker bodies than the grays. He can’t move through any of this. He just watches, and begins to hear voices command him: Your wife won’t wake up.

This to me sounds like a classic sleep paralysis, which has been studied quite thoroughly since the time this book was written. Even still, Strieber eventually recalls shaking his wife, and even running downstairs, seeing the “female gray” standing in his living room. Can a night terror turn into sleep-walking, or more like a walking-nightmare? He also remembers that a glass bottle explodes in the kitchen, with no trace of water inside, but glass everywhere. This, his wife Anne confirms. Although, neither of them remember seeing any creatures in the room. This was all confirmed after hypnosis. His son screams, he remembers picking him up and holding him, and Anne finally waking up, running to the kitchen to see them.

So, what happened exactly? Did something strange actually occur? Or was it a night terror that Strieber fought himself out of? If so, why did his son seem terrified too?

The ambiguity here is somewhat frustrating. It starts out like classic-sleep paralysis, defies many of the criteria for that, and becomes something …odd.

Since the time this book was written, authors have attempted to explain this bizarre experience. One such writer is Daniel Pinchbeck. Author of “2012” and “Breaking Open the Head,” Daniel has his own theories as to what the experiences may entail, and they don’t quite fit into the classical scientific paradigm, or the contemporary Strieber’s faith in the reality of extra-terrestrials.

Pinchbeck sees a world right beneath our own: of spirit, energy, and higher dimensions. Aspects of consciousness we don’t have access to in every-day life. This is the world of the shamans: an ecology not just of the physical, but metaphysical. Spiritual ecospheres, some parasitic, some not. To Pinchbeck, the Grays are a re-invention, and evolution of an ancient, Earth-based phenomenon: trolls, cave spirits and fairies. Why is this the case? Well, if you look at the abduction experience, it very much resembles a lot of the ancient myths and folklore, right down to the smell and look of the spaceships. Dark, grimy, cave-like. What do the mythical creatures do? The same thing the grays do – steal people away in the night, take them to their cave, perform sexual and physical “experiments” (though in ancient times it was not seen as experiments or tests, just as… well, them taking you and prodding you with painful objects).

These entities do not seem benevolent, but parasitic. The preyed upon negativity, dark energies, or in other words, Pinchbeck sees them as representing our planets “shadow” consciousness, our unconscious self. In terms of an eco-sphere, these beings are likened to the bacteria living in our intestines, living in the dark, grimy areas, feeding off metaphysical decay. Our fear, our trembling. Strangely, Whitley even describes points where the visitors forced him to eat rotten food – including a rotting pomegranate. He remembers vomiting it up, being given something like a pill, and then force-fed the pomegranate again. This all seems violent, forceful, as if they are forcing abductees to go through a transformation, but is it a benevolent one?

Pinchbeck doesn’t believe it’s mere psychology at work – these entities are real. They exist in realms that can only be accessed through dreams or visions, as the shamans are well acquainted with, and the best times that every-day folk can access these, of course, are in dream-like states. That is why, he argues, they occur during night-terrors. They attempt to do “something” to our spiritual bodies, and the more we believe in them, even out of fear, the more they become a reality. In other words, the host is giving what the parasite needs, so the parasite grows.

A telling tale in Strieber’s book that may actually confirm this is his own confirmation: throughout his experiences, the terror had not truly dimmed. He remained terrified during every experience. There was no “remembrance” of the past encounters. Instead, it was like a recurring nightmare in which you live through, once again, without knowing it happened before. This to me, at least, seems like something a parasitic entity would do, if it wanted to feast off of your fears.

Strieber also brings up similar points, even in 1987. He likens his experiences to old folklore tales, and raises the idea that these entities may have been here since time immemorial.

That’s all for now folks. Thanks for listening and stay tuned!


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  1. Billy McFarland permalink


    I’m currently residing on Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks), Alaska. I literally just had some form of a night terror/alien experience about an hour ago. My experience is as follows:

    I wasn’t quite sleep & wasn’t quite awake. It was some strange sort of state in between. Like some sort of day dreaming state, while being aware of it, not being able to free myself from it’s grasp.

    I was in some sort of military barracks it seemed. All the beds were lined up in rows, the room was dark and no one seemed at first to be inside. As I was walking closer and deeper into the room my feeling of fear and impending doom was beginning to increase at a rapid rate. Then the beds have turned into some kind of tubes that had aliens inside. I don’t know if they were awake, or some others were just watching me, but I felt the presence and felt it or them watching me. At this moment I realized I need to get out of this dream-like state, and tried to wake myself up.

    Usually it works, but this was the only time that it had not. as they kept getting closer, the fear reached new levels. I began to scream loudly in the dream, but it would not leak into conscious reality. I struggled and just felt my paralyzed sleeping body, until it seemed the next wave of fear propelled my ability to awake further.

    I woke up, while hallucinating alien-like items in my room, but they seemed to have no form and were slowly disappearing. My scream of terror manifested itself in a weak mumble and grunt.

    I immediately got out and searched google, and found your website.

  2. Anna permalink

    I’m about halfway through Communion (but before I started it I read Streiber’s “2012 – the War for Souls” and “The Key”) and all along I have been thinking, “this sounds just like sleep paralysis” (I have had numerous sleep paralysis/night terror episodes in my life and I have seen interviews of other sufferers and they always start out the same way for all of us – just like Streiber’s, and while they are terrifying and there is always an element of someone else being in the room with you – never once did I think it was alien abduction and I still don’t). I also thought as I was reading that “Streiber must be schizo” – his first major time loss (the missing weeks in France, Italy and Spain) was during his college years when schizophrenia usually comes on. Mix Schizophrenia with sleep paralysis and it sounds exactly what is going on with Mr. Streiber.

  3. Steve permalink

    I’m playfully wrestling on the bed with my wife. I suddenly wake up to realize that I was dreaming. I look up and see a white, light-emitting silhouette of a 4′ creature walking (or gliding) away from the bed. My immediate reaction was that I had somehow been violated. The creature stopped and turned toward me. I threw up my right hand in an attempt to ward it off. It touched the palm of my hand, and I suddenly lost consciousness. I woke up again, and it was gone. My previous state of mind may have been hypnopompic, but the coincidence and logic seemed real enough. Stephen King once wrote that “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us. And sometimes, they win.”

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