"You think he's telling the truth, or just trying to make money?"
I didn't have a good answer. I said something like, "I don't know, I'll see what he has to say." After all these years, I'd say he wasn't out to just make money. He'd have made more if he had never said anything about UFOs or aliens. But it came to define his life and his book was a big influence on mine.
I don't believe in aliens any more than Mr. Strieber does. The Star Trek idea of high-tech aliens exploring the galaxy falls apart from a realization of the sheer enormity of the cosmos. As Mr. Strieber notes in Solving the Communion Enigma, even light-speed is slow when trying to get around the Milky Way. And as Jacques Vallee says, the "aliens from another planet" hypothesis is just not strange enough to explain the UFO phenomena as described by the experiencers.
So what's happening? What are UFOs and alien abductions?
Having spent many years reading about the phenomena (and related phenomena), having some experiences myself, and hearing others talk of their experiences, I believe it's real. But what it is, has to do with our perception of reality, and that includes our perceptions about death. Many UFO anecdotes include dead people as well as "aliens." In fact, there are strong similarities between UFO stories and Near Death Experiences. Kenneth Ring explored those connections in his book, The Omega Project.
When I was a child in the 1960s, the United States was undergoing a major "UFO flap." That is, there were a lot of sightings. While there was skepticism, there was not the stigma and high ridicule showered on experiencers that there is now. UFO sightings were reported in the newspapers and magazines, and they were discussed on television. Today, if they are not mentioned in the context of sheer fiction, they are dismissed with contempt. But back then, they grabbed my interest and hold it to this day. In the 1980s, Whitley Strieber was one of the few voices that spoke of the UFO phenomena and so I followed what he had to say, even when he was ridiculed.
Recently, Mr. Strieber published a sequel to Communion called, Solving the Communion Enigma. I received a copy as a birthday present and have read and reread it. I have just published a review of it on the GoodReads website (www.goodreads.com/review/show/369346685).
It's not easy to read Whitley Strieber, and I've read his work for many years now. He challenges our perceptions of reality and dares us to truely think "outside the box." That's not easy to do and it can be frightening. To this day, I have trouble thinking so large, though I very much strive to do so. I challenge you to do the same.
In Solving the Communion Enigma, Mr. Strieber says: "There is something here among us that acts in an intelligent manner, but not in ways that we might act."
I believe that seeing that "something," let alone engaging with it, is a matter of perception. Perceiving in such a manner requires letting go of cherished delusions and daring to see things as they are. And realizing that even if we were to see reality without filters, we might not understand it, or even want it.
That's the price of truth.