If the book by Maloney was redolent of the 1960s, and that by Torres and Uriate was about a case from the 1960s (reviewed HERE), the latest contribution by ufology’s answer to Carlos Casteneda is redolent of the 1990s. In fact it looks very much as though it is some manuscript or WPS script from that time, taken down, tarted up a bit with some more recent references and sent in to the publisher.
It is full of the fringe ufolore of the 1990s, implants (Strieber has one, but his is introduced by mysterious humans and not the grey meanies), tales of childhood abuse on military bases (Whitley now has vague memories of this), complete with swipes at the False Memory Association, crop circles and their amazing messages, as well as animal mutilations and the like. There are also hints at the hybrids (not yet fully developed, that will come I presume), along with one new motif, the dead alongside the visitors/fairies. I remember predicting that this would be a coming motif back in the late 1980s, and indeed being told of some actual cases, by Bertrand Meheurst at a conference in Leeds in 1991.
If taken at face value, Strieber’s stories suggest he is having so many anomalous experiences that it is difficult to know how he has the time to eat his breakfast let alone write books. It is not surprising then that the more cynical among the UFO community suggest he is nothing more than a bandwagon jumper, leaping on one fashion after another. If this is the case, on this occasion not only has the bandwagon long departed, but has now crashed and is lying in a heap of twisted metal.
Perhaps there is another way of looking at Strieber, that as a trickster figure and that the Communion series are a form of postmodernist fiction, in which the novelist Whitley Strieber has created a fictional character of the same name (as he did in his post nuclear apocalyptic novel Warday) who is given many of the experiences reported in the UFO literature and in the many letters sent to him; this being a way to promote his spiritual and religious beliefs.
Perhaps in some sense he is all three and perhaps more, someone who has so blurred the realms of real life, dream and fiction that there are no boundaries at all between them. Perhaps his ‘real’ self is now completely taken over by a character of his own creation, a sort of online avatar in the head. – Peter Rogerson.