|Author Whitley Strieber|
I flipped through it a little and wondered what it was all about. I recall being both curious and skeptical, thinking it might be a publicity stunt by a well established horror author.
I had an odd impression about the illustration on the cover. My initial reaction to that face was, “that’s not quite right.” As an illustrator, I felt like I needed to revise it, like a police sketch artist erasing and redrawing some details to better match the descriptions of a witness. This was in contrast to the consistent reports of people saying that the cover was an instantaneous trigger, as if that face was eerily familiar. Many abductees know precisely when and where they were when they first saw that image, the moment is seared into their psyche. Whitley has even wondered if the cover image was somehow meant to be a trigger of sorts, as if its placement on that cover was intentionally orchestrated by the visitors themselves.
I didn't actually read the book until the summer of 1992.
|Grace Church, on the NE corner of Broadway and 10th Street|
I used to sleep out under the stars at a beautiful site near the Gunks, a rock climbing area near New Paltz New York. This would have been during the summers of late 80's through the early 90's. I later found out that Whitley's cabin was no more than two miles from the hidden spot where I would lie on the ground.I wrote a blog post about this, HERE.
At the time of the events documented in Communion, Whitley and Anne lived in the city on Laguardia near Houston. At that same time, my apartment was just across Houston on Sullivan between Spring and Broome. This was quite close, probably around a quarter of a mile away.
I got the book out of the Jackson Hole Library back when it was still a little log cabin, and read it in just a few days. It was a hot summer and I sat outside in the shade to read, leaning against the little trailer home I was renting. I was deeply impressed. This would have been 1992, six years after its publication. I later sent him a handwritten letter, one of nearly a quarter of a million that he received with descriptions of personal experiences.
I read Communion less than six months before waking to see five gray aliens out my bedroom window. This book and its ideas were intertwined with a sort of death and rebirth of how I saw reality. This new chapter of my life wasn’t anything I chose, it was thrust upon me. In many ways this has been a lonely journey on a dark path, yet if I had any road map at all, it was Communion.
In my years years of digging in to my own experiences, I've been reaching out and going to conferences. I've met Whitley and Anne a few times, and have spoken with them at length. This includes a few interviews, him on my show, and me on his. He has also been extremely supportive of my book.
Nick Redfern posted an excellent essay on the 30th anniversary of this important book, linked HERE.