Whitley Strieber was born on June 13, 1945, in San Antonio, Texas. Though primarily an author
of fiction, his widest acclaim and notoriety have come from his insistence that he has been abducted
by extraterrestrials on multiple occasions. He calls these aliens the "grays", and is responsible
for the proliferation of the stereotypical slender, gray-skinned creatures with the eerie large, dark
eyes in popular culture. His book Communion was made into a movie that starred Christopher Walken.
In a 1995 interview with Joshua Shapiro, Whitley Strieber describes in detail some aspects of the
abduction experience. He claims that individuals who are abducted multiple times often become telepathic,
because the aliens can help to remedy an "organic quality of our skulls" that dampens telepathy. He
predictably believes that there is a government cover-up of UFOs visiting Earth. Yet surprisingly, Mr.
Strieber does not take seriously many accounts of abduction that are recalled by hypnotized individuals. He does not just believe any old UFO
story that comes along.
Mr. Strieber, like other individuals who make extraordinary claims, is revered as a courageous hero
by some, and a raving lunatic by others. Robert Sheaffer, a member of the Bay Area Skeptics, claims
that Strieber acted very oddly during the taping of a daytime television show called "People are Talking"
in 1988. Apparently, Strieber was accusing the author of questioning his sanity before he'd even said
anything. Strieber also railed against skeptical groups such as CSICOP, insisting that they had a
"religion of disbelief".
I wrote Mr. Strieber an e-mail after hearing him announce his address on the Art Bell show. This
was in 1999, while I was working at NASA. (I admit that part of me hoped my "nasa.gov" e-mail address
would inspire him to take notice of my message.) Well, much to my surprise, Whitley Strieber answered
my e-mail within only a few days. I had asked him, "Do you really expect people to believe what you say?
If so, why? And do you have any evidence to convince the scientific community?"
Mr. Strieber's reply was that no, he didn't expect everyone to believe him. He said that the reason
for writing his books and making public appearances was to lend support to those who had undergone
similar experiences. It truly seems as if the guy thinks he WAS abducted, and he doesn't care who
believes him and who doesn't. This goes against the behavior supposedly engaged in by Strieber in 1988;
so either Mr. Sheaffer is something of a sensationalist, or Whitley has mellowed since 1988. Personally, I think he is consumed with an elaborate fantasy of his own making. I'd love for aliens to be real, but I just haven't seen the evidence yet. In the words of Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof."
A complete list of Whitley Strieber's published works appears below.
1. Communion (1987)
2. Transformation (1988)
3. The Secret School: Preparation for Contact (1997)
The Wolfen (1978)
The Hunger (1980)
Black Magic (1982)
The Night Church (1983)
Warday (1984) (with James Kunetka)
Wolf of Shadows (1985)
Cat Magic (1986)
Nature's End (1986)
The Wild (1991)
Unholy Fire (1992)
The Forbidden Zone (1993)
Evenings with Demons (1997)
The Last Vampire (2001)
Lilith's Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life (2002)
War Day and the Journey Onward (1984)
Soulmaker: True Stories from the Far Side of the Psyche (1992)
Whitley Strieber's Aliens (1998)
Speculative Reality #5 (2001)
Speculative Reality #6 (2002)
UFO Briefing Document (1984)
The Coming Global Superstorm (1987)
The Communion Letters (1997)
Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us (1998)
Casebook: Alien Implants (2000)
Dark Object: The World's Only Government-Documented Ufo Crash (2001)
Anthologies containing stories by Whitley Strieber:
Cutting Edge (1978)
Lord John Ten (1980)
A Treasury of American Horror Stories (1985)
Hallowe'en Horrors (1986)
Masters of Darkness 2 (1986)
Blood Thirst: 100 Years of Vampire Fiction (1987)
Prime Evil (1988)
Borderlands 3 (1993)
The Hunger (excerpt) (1981)
The Nixon Mask (1986)
Pain (1986) World Fantasy (nominee)
The Pool (1988)
The White Moths (1988)
Horror Story (1993)
I Walk the Night (1994)
The Open Doors (1997)