16 Days Until Christmas
17 Days Until Abduction
On the night of May 24, 1989, Whitley Strieber and his wife went to bed in their cabin in upstate New York, burglar alarm fully armed and the gate that led to their driveway locked. At 3:15 AM, Whitley was woken by the sound of car tires on the gravel driveway. He listened intently, trying to figure out what was going on, and soon heard the garage door slide open. This should have triggered an alarm, but it didn’t. Then, bizarrely, he heard a man in the back yard say, “Condition red.” A moment later, two people rushed into the bedroom from the hallway and moved quickly to the bed. Strieber is careful to stress that they were not visitors, but fully human people of normal appearance, a man and a woman. The man was bearded. The woman was young, with long, straight hair. Both were dressed all in black. A third, shadowy figure in the hallway might have been a visitor.
Strieber was somehow rendered unable to move or speak, just as he often was during encounters with the visitors. The young woman pushed his eyes closed. Then someone sat on the bed beside him and positioned his limp body so that his head was in the person’s lap, and began doing something to the exterior of his left ear. Then he heard crashing noises coming from the nearby woods, and a bright light briefly illuminated the room.
The next thing he knew, it was morning. Anne Strieber had slept undisturbed throughout the night. The alarm system was still armed, but the garage door was open and the gate was still locked. He knew from experience that local police wouldn’t be interested in investigating the matter; he had already dealt with a series of break-ins that were never taken seriously.
That afternoon, Strieber felt a pain on the outside of his left ear, which was slightly red and swollen at the top. There was now a tiny, hard lump in that part of his ear, beneath the skin of the pinna. Strieber had heard other abductees talk of implants, tiny objects inserted under their skin by the visitors. Was this one of them? If so, how could he find out? The first few doctors he consulted didn’t think it was anything serious enough to warrant removal, so for the next several years Streiber simply watched and waited. Once in a while, he would hear unusual noises or tones, and the tip of his left ear would get very hot.
He had already begun to experience something like auditory hallucinations long before the ear “implant” was inserted. In ’87 and ’88, as recounted in Transformation, he occasionally heard spoken commands from an unseen source. No one else heard these commands. Once, as he walked along a New York City street with his wife and son, the voice rebuked him for eating an ice cream cone.
On October 9, 1997, Strieber went to a San Antonio GP to have the object in his ear removed. The doctor uncovered a white, oval object within the cartilage of his ear, but when he tried to grasp it, it slipped deeper into the tissue, almost burrowing its way down to his earlobe. Extraction would have necessitated the removal of cartilage, so the doctor decided to leave the thing in place. A few days after the surgery, the object somehow relocated itself from the earlobe back to the pinna. To this day, it remains in Strieber’s ear. He is able to turn it “on” and “off” at will, and says it has enabled him to master the art of astral travel to other planets. In his astral body, he claims, he once participated in an underground rebellion on a planet devastated by nuclear war, to no avail; that planet is dead now, and will likely remain so for millions of years.