Book of the Month, April: Communion

“And we will all go down the labyrinth to meet whatever awaits us there.”

Peter Jennings once hosted a documentary news special entitled, UFOs: Seeing Is Believing.  It is one of the best ever produced on the subject (Peter Jennings was involved, so you could expect nothing less than stellar).  I happened to see an interview Jennings did to promote the special.  When asked if he believed in UFOs, he said he did, but he did not know who was driving them.

I know, and have known, a lot of people who have seen some strange things.  I’ve seen some things, myself, I can’t explain.  I have never seen a UFO, though, and only I have one friend who claims to have seen an unidentified flying object.  He is a clear-minded, level-headed man not easy to scare or to jump to conclusions.  He related the story to me of when he was a kid and was playing in the backyard of his home one evening, during the summer, and, just before dark as the sun was setting, a triangular craft passed over his house.  It was large and dotted with lights.

I do not doubt what he saw.  Much like Jennings, I do not know if the pilots were human or not.

In October and December of 1985, author Whitley Strieber was visited by beings.  These beings were not human, and they performed procedures, possibly experimental research, on him, his wife and young son.  Strange things happened around their secluded cabin, and he had physical reactions to something, but was unsure what.  He had only vague recollections of this, and other incidents from his childhood and throughout his life, and he thought they were dreams or hallucinations.  For a time, he thought he was going insane.

Strieber went to therapy. He researched his unknown psychosis. He learned he was not crazy, and he learned he was not alone in the problems he faced.

Under hypnosis, half-remembered instances and suppressed memories came forth in vivid detail.  His wife could remember very little, a fog still clouded her mind.  Their son never underwent hypnosis, but would often relate strange dreams Strieber knew were more than the nighttime mind at work.

Communion is Strieber’s factual account of what happened to him and how he managed the aftermath.  It offers more questions than it does answers, and the author himself fully admits he doesn’t know the answers or what is really going on.  He doesn’t pretend to know the motivations of the inhuman beings, he just knows what happened to him and others brave enough to share their stories (some anonymously for fear of ridicule).

Strieber remains skeptic and subjective throughout.  He doesn’t call the beings aliens, he refers to them as the Visitors, because they may not be extraterrestrial at all.  Did they come from a parallel dimension?  Are they an intelligence of this reality?  Are they the basis of the ancient gods and goddesses?  Do they willingly suppress the knowledge of their existence?  Are they preparing us for their entrance onto the world stage?

Whether or not you believe Whitley Strieber doesn’t matter.  Communion is more than a tale of UFOs and it’s best summarized by the words of Arthur C. Clarke– “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”