In the autumn of 1987, Whitley Strieber received a letter at his cabin from a man he didn’t know, despite the fact that he had jealously guarded his address for many years. The return address was in Dallas. The letter-writer included a phone number, also in Dallas, so Strieber called him.
The man proceeded to reel out a long, involved story about the visitors’ purpose on Earth. In this tale, the gray aliens are more or less evil, predatory invaders who abduct humans to reap genetic material. Their natural enemies are the tall, Nordic-looking blonde humanoids often reported by abductees. The grays and the Nordics, he explained, are at war with one another. Many previous civilizations did battle with the visitors and did not come out the other side. The gray “soul infectors” invade so slowly, in such incremental advances, that no one realizes what is happening until it is too late. Meanwhile, the government is frantically trying to cover up the presence of aliens, knowing that if people begin to accept them as real, they will have a green light to complete their invasion of the planet. Abductees like Strieber are making things easier for the wicked grays, he implied, and Strieber has an obligation to switch sides in the battle. “We have a war to win, here,” he said, “and you’ve ended up on the frontline.”
At first, Strieber found the whole thing far too simplistic. It sounded more like a sci-fi movie plot or a reflection of Cold War mentality than a real scenario. Why would an entire race of beings be “good”, and another “bad”? Admittedly, this was a view he adopted early in his visitor experiences, but by the fall of 1987 he saw the visitors as a far more subtle presence. He even detected a deep morality in many of their actions. Gradually, though, he came around to the view that there may be some sort of conflict or strain between the different visitors. He suspects that his cabin in New York was situated in a neutral zone.
After about forty minutes of one-sided conversation, the man on the other end of the phone was irate with Strieber’s refusal to accept his claims at face value, and the call ended on a bitter note.
This could easily have been passed off as communications from a conspiracy-minded crank, but Strieber was unsettled by the man’s persistence. He had acquired a mailing address that wasn’t easy to get, and over the phone he had been both angry and fanatical. There was the possibility he could be dangerous. So, Strieber set out to track him down. He hired a private detective, who learned that the Dallas address and phone number were located at the same mail drop in the back room of a Dallas copy shop. All mail and incoming calls were forwarded to another location, which turned out to be another mail drop. The phone number attached to this one forwarded all calls to a Department of Defense exchange in Colorado. Ultimately, the numbers were traced to a physicist who lived on the evocatively named Lost Angel Road in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.
Strieber phoned him, and though he didn’t sound at all like the man who told him about the war, he did provide some additional details: Several households in the Boulder area were “under pressure” from the Noridics, part of a turf war between the Nordics and the grays. Strieber was never able to determine exactly what role this scientist played in the whole affair. The man hinted that he was an alien-human hybrid, and a photograph Strieber obtained did portray a very peculiar-looking man with deep-set eyes. In 1989, he would encounter this man in Denver under very unusual circumstances…but we’ll save that for another day.
In 1988, fifty homes on and near Lost Angel Road were engulfed in flame. The physicist’s house was one of those destroyed in the fire. From information gleaned from other sources, Strieber learned that this fire may have had some connection to the turf war between the Nordics and the grays.
Strieber incorporated the mysterious man on Lost Angel Road and the war between Nordics and grays into his novel The Grays.