Creepy Clown Sightings

“You realize a clown is just a transvestite that doesn’t stop?” – Patton Oswalt

“I don’t remember killing anyone. I could have done it without knowing it. I’m not sure if I did it.” – John Wayne Gacy

“If you’re the fucking…oh, God, the cops…and if you’re the fucking cops, go fuck yourselves. Because you’re full of shit.” – David Friedman, AKA Silly Billy

“Want a balloon?” – Pennywise the Dancing Clown


Clowns have a bad rep. Maybe it’s because the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi was beaten and forced into clowning by his brutish father. Perhaps it’s because of that Jerry Lewis film no one has seen. Or the Peter Straub story “Something About a Death, Something About a Fire”, in which Bobo the clown entertains the souls of circus-goers who don’t recall burning to death in a big top conflagration.


It’s because clowns are creepy as hell. We all know this. The only exceptions are tramp clowns and mimes – they’re hellishly annoying rather than sinister. And now that literally no one on the planet enjoys maudlin hobo antics or invisible boxes anymore, it’s little wonder the clown industry bemoaned the imminent death of clowning two years ago.

But then the evil clowns started to appear.

Actually, they first showed up in 2013, in the English village of Northampton. That autumn, a clown clearly modeled after Pennywise was photographed all over the place, usually with a fistful of helium balloons. A “Spot Northampton’s Clown” group popped up on Facebook, and locals began clown-hunting with cameras.
The Northampton Clown finally granted an interview to the local Chronicle and Echo, in which he explained that he was just trying to amuse people, and was later outed as university student Alex Powell. It was Powell’s buddy, Luke Ubanski, who started the Facebook group.

northampton clown

The Northampton Clown

The next evil clown surfaced in Wasco, California in 2014. This guy (or group of guys) was much spookier, because he/they wore masks. But he seemed pretty harmless. He posted pics on Twitter and Instagram, encouraging people to find him. Despite rumours of break-ins in the neighbourhoods where he was photographed, the Wasco clown was never officially linked to any crime. He has not been identified, though an anonymous man claims the Clown was an art project created by himself and his wife.

wasco clown

The Wasco Clown

Wasco copycats soon surfaced in Bakersfield. There were rumours that one clown was armed with an axe at Golden Valley High School, though the principal assured local media the incident was a hoax. Another, unarmed, clown was arrested for chasing teenagers. “We will make arrests on this,” Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joseph Grubbs vowed. “We want this to stop.”

These evil clowns are indisputably real, flesh-and-blood people with too much time on their hands. They were photographed, filmed, and even arrested. But what are we to make of the clowns that are never found, the clowns that seem to exist somewhere between everyday reality and the fathomless depths of the subconscious?

This has happened. In the spring of 1981, school districts in and around Boston were suddenly besieged by reports of clowns trying to lure kids into black vans. Children in the Massachusetts towns of Brookline, Jamaica Park and Cambridge reported being menaced by such clowns. Daniel O’Connell, a counselor for the Boston Public School District, issued a district-wide clown warning to teachers and parents. Cops began pulling over any male driver in full-face makeup.

The initial wave of sightings that occurred around the Lawrence Elementary School in Brookline involved highly detailed description of the clown car. It was an older-model brown van with one busted headlight, no hubcabs, and a metal ladder affixed to the side.

Weird thing is, no one over the age of about 7 ever saw that van or the clown. Eventually, the police decided that these were probably bogus clowns created by overly-imaginative kids. Which is even spookier than real clowns, when you think about it.

But what are we to make of the sightings that occurred later on, throughout the summer of ’81? The clown panic spread from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, then abruptly leapt over to the Midwest. In Kansas City, numerous children saw a black-faced clown wielding a large knife or a sword. He often drove a yellow van, which was seen by at least one adult. Again, the descriptions were highly detailed; the clown wore a black shirt imprinted with a “devil face” and trousers with candy cane designs on the sides. He was spotted near half a dozen schools in Missouri before disappearing forever.
In Pittsburgh, a clown duo was said to be following children. Then a man in a pink rabbit costume began appearing, notably in Allegheny Cemetery.

In his Fortean tome Mysterious America (1983), cryptozoologist and self-proclaimed suicide expert Loren Coleman analyzed the clown panic of ’81 and coined the term “phantom clowns” to describe it. While he doesn’t dismiss the notion that some of the clowns were imaginary, he finds it baffling that clown panic managed to jump from state to state with little help from major media outlets or law enforcement. Each community that experienced clown infestations was unaware of the clowns appearing in other states, Coleman contends.
This seems to leave out a lot of possibilities. Isn’t it feasible that contagion was spread across state lines by teachers, parents, and students? Even in a pre-Internet age, word travels quickly when high strangeness is happening.

Others have pointed to events in the late ’70s and early ’80s that might have helped sparked clown panic, including the Atlanta child murders and the excavation of Gacy’s crawlspace. There was also the high-profile disappearance of little Etan Patz.

It’s easy to look back on the clown panic and blame it on everything from B movies to Shriners.
The thing is, though, the phantom clowns never really went away. And they’re not always phantoms.

Many of the bogus Satanic ritual abuse cases of the ’80s involved sadistic child molesters dressed as clowns. The infamous McMartin Preschool case in Manhattan Beach, California, included a few references to clowns, possibly because the daycare had a free-standing cabinet painted to look like a clownface.


The McMartin Preschool before it was demolished

Throughout the late ’80s, parents in the village of Oude Pekele, in the Netherlands, became convinced that youngsters were being scooped up and subjected to monstrous tortures by people in vans. Many of these phantoms wore clown costumes.
In spite of multiple investigations and intensive questioning by psychiatrists, not one suspected child molester was ever identified in Oude Pekele. The children of the town weren’t even out of their parents’ sight long enough for such things to occur. No adult ever saw a clown trolling the streets in a van.

Clowns were also mentioned in the Fells Acre daycare abuse case that began in 1984, resulting in the convictions of an entire family, including elderly Violet Amirault. There is evidence that a pediatric nurse involved in the case pressured the kids to talk about abuse. From the Fells Acre Wikipedia entry: “The children repeatedly told interviewers, including [nurse Susan] Kelley, that nothing happened to them, that there were no secret rooms, and there was no clown. However, the questioning continued and eventually the children claimed all these things happened…At one point, an interviewer told a child that the child’s friend had already testified that the clown had them take their clothes off. The girl being interviewed denied this happened, at which point the interviewer said that she believed what the child’s friend told her.”

Those who continue to believe in the reality of Satanic ritual abuse in spite of the dearth of evidence still insist that the perps must have worn costumes to confuse and discredit their child victims. Note, however, that no costumes were discovered in any of these cases.

Fortean researcher Paul Meehan claims that around 1990, his daughter’s public school in Queens, New York, issued a notice about a clown hassling students. This would have been the first full-blown clown panic since the mid-’80s, when a few communities experienced brief outbreaks. In ’86, a newsletter sent to teachers and parents darkly warned that kids who encountered clowns in vans could end up on milk cartons. Never mind that there still hasn’t been a single case of an adult in clown costume abducting a child. Remember, Gacy’s victims were older teens that he lured with promises of construction work, not balloons.

In the summer of 1991, schools in South Orange, New Jersey, Chicago, and other cities were gripped by rumours that a clown called Homey – after Damon Wayans’ character on In Living Color – was driving around in a van, trying to kidnap children.
One boy claimed he had been shot at by a clown toting an Uzi and brandishing a machete. He was able to escape by hurling his backpack at the fiend. This kid ultimately confessed to making up the entire story (duh).
Hundreds of schoolkids were affected by the Homey rumours, yet there wasn’t a single documented sighting other than the fake Uzi Clown.

In the summer of 1994, the D.C. area was plagued by phantom clown sightings at the same time as Pasadena, California.

In 1995, the most sinister clowns yet were said to be terrorizing Honduras. According to rumours, clowns were riding around in ambulances and cars, scooping up children who were never seen again. No actual clown sightings or abduction attempts were documented, though.

In 2000, Fitchburg, Wisconsin was beset by another black-faced clown. From the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison (June 20, 2000): A man dressed in a complete clown costume and holding three helium balloons tried to lure children into woods near the King James Court apartments, at about 12:30 PM Monday, Fitchburg Police said.”

In 2008, a clown with teardrops painted on his cheeks was seen by children in Chicago. He reportedly attempted to lure them into an old van with broken windows. As in the ’81 cases, no adult glimpsed the clown and no children were actually harmed.

Then, of course, there were actual clowns committing actual crimes. In Ontario, former clown Linda Beaudoin has been leading a largely one-woman campaign for legislation that would require children’s entertainers to be licensed. She attended the child porn trial of Randy Miller, AKA Honker the Clown, in 2011.

In October 2014, creepy clown sightings were reported all across the U.S., likely as a result of the Wasco Clown and possibly the character “Twisty the Clown” on the fourth season of the anthology series American Horror Story.

Real clowns were growing extremely annoyed with evil clowns by this point. The president of Clowns of America International, Glenn Kohlberger, responded to Twisty with a firm position statement: “We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear.'”

twisty the clown

Twisty the Clown, portrayed by John Carroll Lynch

At the same time, more than a dozen teenagers wearing clown costumes were arrested for harassing pedestrians in southern France. This was just one of many “clown malefique” incidents occurring throughout France, where dressing up as clowns and terrorizing strangers with axes, knives and other weapons practically became a sport.
It began in the northern part of the country, with school sightings eerily similar to the ’81 clown panic in the States. Soon, however, the clowns were getting aggressive. In Besançon, a man was injured trying to defend himself from a chainsaw-wielding clown, while in Montpellier a clown with an iron bar chased down and beat a man. One village got so fed up with asshole clowns that it banned clown costumes for a month. In other areas, anti-clown vigilante groups – “chasseurs de clown” – were formed. Things got so heated that in late October, the Police Nationale warned that “anyone, regardless of whether they are an aggressive clown or a clown-hunter, found with a weapon in public thoroughfares will be arrested.”

Think about this for a minute. The French have a demonstrably high tolerance for clowning. France has more mimes per capita than any other nation, with zero mime-related homicides (well, except for that one time a mime killed a child-fan for uttering his stage name in public).
So if even the French are fed up, clowns have become a problem.
The frustration is not limited to France. Alex Powell claims he received hundreds of death threats during his run as the Northampton Clown, and (as we’ll see) South Carolinians are getting close to the snapping point.

In October 2015, Hillview School for Girls in Tonbridge, Kent, was at the centre of a clown infestation. Clowns in vans were also sighted on St. John’s Road in Tunbridge Wells that month, and one fuzzy photo was snapped. Police and teachers issued warnings to schoolchildren to go straight home from school, even though these particular clowns weren’t doing anything. They simply wandered around in clown masks. One was identified as an 18-year-old girl.

Now, in 2016, we are in the grips of another clown wave. Wisconsin was hit again in August, by a “dirty clown” roaming Green Bay with black balloons. This turned out to be the work of one Adam Krause, who wanted to draw attention to his short film about a creepy clown.

green bay clown

The Green Bay Clown

Also in August, parents living in the Fleetwood Manor Apartments in Greenville, South Carolina, began complaining to police that people in clown costumes have attempted to entice children into a nearby wooded area. Kids aren’t the only ones seeing them this time.
The Greenville sightings began on August 19, when Donna Arnold’s son told her he had encountered a gang of clowns in the woods, “whispering and making strange noises.” She later saw them herself, beaming green laser-lights.
The kids say some of the clowns carry knives and chains, and try to tempt them with fistfuls of cash or candy.
As panic climbs, the apartment managers are encouraging residents to monitor their children at all times and keep them out of the woods. The problem is, the clowns aren’t restricting themselves to wooded areas. They have been seen loitering around basketball courts and dumpsters, too. And they have been spotted near at least three other Greenville apartment complexes.

Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller has declared that clowns will be arrested, since South Carolina law forbids concealing your identity in public.

There is speculation that the clowns are part of a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming Rob Zombie killer-clown flick 31, but that’s doubtful. Impersonating child molesters in the woods isn’t going to sell movie tickets.

Numerous media outlets are taking a skeptical approach to the Greenville Clowns. The Atlantic (which has been oddly at the forefront of recent clown panics) suggests there simply aren’t any. It’s true that in the two weeks since the first clown was spotted, only one guy has managed to snap a single blurry photo (below). That’s sketchy. However, France’s clowns malefique have finally proven that phantom clowns aren’t always phantoms. Sometimes, they’re just jerks with makeup.

greenville clown

Alleged Greenville clown photo

The South Carolina clown infestation is troubling. The residents of Fleetwood Manor are working-class people living in an economically depressed area at a time of deep social unease. Undoubtedly, some of them are armed. There are already reports of people firing into the woods to spook the clowns.

How long will it take for someone to fire on a suspected clown? Will the folks of Greenville become the next “chasseurs de clown“?


Further Reading:

Juggalo gangs

Scary Clowns Are Terrorizing France“, The Atlantic

“Cotton Candy Autopsy: Deconstructing Psycho-Killer Clowns” chapter in The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink by Mark Dery

“The Phantom Clown Panic” chapter in The Martians Have Landed!: A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes by Robert Bartholemew and Benjamin Radford



Alien Abduction Advent Calendar: School

1 Day Until Abduction


Once, when Anne Strieber asked her husband what our planet means to the visitors, Whitley Strieber instinctively replied, “The earth is a school.” This is recounted in Communion, his first book about his experiences with the visitors. But in a 1995 book, The Secret School, he described in detail a literal school the visitors held in the Olmos Basin of San Antonio when he was a child. In his memories, he and several other children (none of whom he recognized) would wander into the Basin by themselves in the dead of night and congregate in a wooden structure hidden in the woods. The female visitor Strieber thinks of as the “Ancient One” would lead the lessons.

Strieber believes he was a pupil at this secret school from the ages of 9 to 12 (1954-1957), but had no conscious memories of it until after he began remembering his December 26, 1985 abduction. He just sensed, from the age of 13, that he had lost significant parts of his childhood.
When he saw the Ancient One again in 1957, during a family abduction from a moving train, he felt calm and happy in her presence. But when he saw her again as an adult, he felt only abject terror. His recovered memories of these incidents, vague at first, gradually solidified into a complete, if mysterious, picture of what happened in the Basin. He can’t recall word-for-word what was told to him by the visitors, though. He recalls the lessons in the shape of concepts or childhood experiences, and in The Secret School he is deliberately vague about them, leaving ample room for flexibility and interpretation. The lessons involve:

  • the mystery of Mars (Is Mars a ruined planet, once home to beings like ourselves? If so, what can the end of Mars as a life-sustaining planet  tell us about our own relationship to Earth?)
  • “angels” (there are people among us who offer invaluable wisdom, solace, and charity – even if they seem quite ordinary in every way)
  • time travel (time is not as immutable as we sometimes think it is, and we may master it to better ourselves)
  • shamanism (the shaman’s symbolic journey from life to death holds lessons for all of humanity)
  • fear (our dread of the unknown holds us back from fully experiencing and learning; it must be overcome)
  • the creation of Earth is something we don’t fully understand yet (the visitors explained to young Strieber that it involved meteor collisions, hinting that the seeds of life may have traveled to our planet from elsewhere in the universe)
  • history (an understanding of what humans have done throughout our history and how their choices impacted future events will help us to evolve; that history is much richer and stranger than we currently know, involving highly advanced civilizations that were lost in cataclysms).
  • the future (time travel is not the only way to predict future changes; our sciences can also aid us in determining where we are heading)

    In other words: All of life on Earth is a school, and we are the pupils.
    Happiest Holidays to you.


Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 23: December 23, 1986

2 Days Until Christmas
3 Days Until Abduction


The two cats owned by Whitley Strieber in the late ’80s both showed strong responses to the presence of the visitors, though the Burmese cat known as Sadie was more relaxed about them. During the Nine Knocks, they both hissed and behaved defensively before running away to hide, and Sadie remained in hiding for a full day. After that, she became very alert whenever the visitors seemed to be near, but didn’t have the same kind of fear reaction.

On December 23, 1986 – almost exactly one year after his first remembered abduction – Strieber again felt that floating, tingling sensation that signaled the presence of visitors. The female visitor he calls the Ancient One was in the bedroom of his cabin, a silent yet commanding presence. Without expressing any instructions with thought or word, she propelled him out of the room and down the stairs.
Strieber thought he was prepared this time; he had placed a camera and a camcorder within easy reach in his bedroom. When he grabbed for them, however, his hands simply refused to respond to his will. They drifted away from the devices of their own accord. He found himself empty-handed in the living room.
Strieber decided that if he couldn’t take a camera with him, he could take a living witness: Sadie. She was crouched on the back of the sofa, watching him, and as he and the visitor walked by he simply scooped her up and held on to her tightly as they passed through the front door into the wintry night. He would watch the cat carefully, he thought to himself, and if she behaved normally, that would be an indication that the visitors could be a projection of his own mind rather than an objective reality.

The next phase of this incident is a blank to Strieber. One moment he was watching the Ancient One latch his screen door behind them; the next, he was in an ordinary-looking office furnished with a desk and bookshelves lined with English-language books. These included novels from the ’40s and ’50s, one of Bruce Catton’s books on the Civil War, Kafka (one of Strieber’s favourite authors), and You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe.
In addition to the Ancient One, three other visitors were in the room with him. One, seated behind the desk, wore a cheap black toupee on his head. He also wore ’40s-style clothing: A green shirt, khaki trousers, wide belt. One of the visitors in the room was a very tall “Nordic”, clad in a tan jumpsuit of the sort favoured by the visitors, with many pockets and flaps all over it. The fourth “visitor” in the room could actually have been a human woman. She was of average height and unexceptional appearance, wearing a blue jump suit beneath a full apron. The Nordic gazed at Strieber with what he thought was affectionate pity, while the woman seemed wary.
Strieber was still clutching Sadie. The visitor at the desk asked him, “Why did you bring the cat?” Strieber explained that he was “reality-testing”, but this only baffled the visitors. So he explained that as members of his family, the cats were free to travel anywhere he traveled.
The visitor in plaid didn’t comment on Strieber’s reasoning. He said only that the cat would have to be put to sleep temporarily. The woman removed some sort of brass instrument from a case she was holding and pressed it against the cat’s leg, causing her to lose consciousness instantly. Then the visitor in plaid asked Strieber, “What can we do to help you?” This query was remarkably similar to the first thing the visitors said to him during his abduction of the previous December: “How can we help you to stop screaming?”
Strieber replied, “You could help me to fear you less.” In the year since his first remembered encounter with the visitors, he had worked hard to combat the instinctive terror he felt at the thought of being taken again; he truly craved some sort of communion, a relationship. The visitors replied in unison, telepathically, that they would try to help him with his fear, but it would be very difficult.
The Ancient One then led him into another room, and he was floated out of the UFO to the deck of his cabin, still holding his unconscious cat. He walked to his son’s bedroom and draped the limp cat on the bed, followed by the Ancient One. She trailed him all the way upstairs to his bedroom, but would not allow Strieber to approach her.

Sadie slept throughout the following day without stirring at all. After that, she behaved differently; sleeping more frequently, spacing out for long periods of time. It was many months before she returned to her normal self.

Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 24: The Master of the Key

1 Day Until Christmas
2 Days Until Abduction


In May of 1998, Strieber went on a month-long book tour to promote Confirmation, his fifth book about his encounters with the visitors. The tour ended on June 6. Strieber returned to his Montreal hotel room that evening, had a room service meal, and went to bed.
At about 2:30 AM, he was woken by a knock on his door. Unaware of the time, he assumed it was a waiter coming to collect his dinner dishes, and let the man enter his room. It didn’t take him long to realize he was not a hotel staffer. White-haired, of average height and weight, he wore a gray turtleneck and gray slacks. Without introducing or explaining himself in any way, he launched into a stream of chatter that revealed his detailed, “insider” knowledge about everything from the afterlife to future technology. Strieber listened with fascination, and soon their interaction took the form of a Q&A, with Strieber asking any question that came to mind and the man answering without hesitation. Strieber is convinced that no mere mortal could have accessed his room that night,and has come to regard this verbose mystery man as “The Master of the Key”.

The man had many intriguing things to say. He started off by informing Strieber that mankind is trapped on Earth. We were supposed to have mastered the art of off-planet travel by now, but the Holocaust destroyed some of our best and most innovative minds; the mother and the father of the man who was going to “unlock the secret of gravity” both died in the camps. Because of this, we are chained to a dying planet that will not sustain our ever-swelling numbers much longer. The Master pointedly referred to humans as “your species”. He casually revealed that he knew everything about Strieber by mentioning his “childhood games with Mike”.
Many of the things he said appear self-contradictory, vague in a New Agey way, or just plain crazy. Other statements seem to confirm or expand upon Strieber’s own deeply-cherished beliefs, which leads any able-minded reader to wonder just how objectively real this encounter was.
Other insights offered by the MOTK:

  • The Biblical story of Eden and the Fall is an allegory for the destruction of a previous civilization, a great “Eden” of the ancient past. In earlier books, like The Secret School, Strieber has expressed a fascination with ruined, mythological civilizations. Funny that the MOTK should mention them, and place them in the Biblical context that Strieber himself had already chosen (that the Bible is largely allegorical, not literal).
  • God will not include mankind in his/its plan until we become “friends of God”. “God wants companions, not supplicants,” he said. Moments later he contradicted this by declaring we must surrender ourselves to God. To surrender, we have to “return to the forest”. When Strieber pointed out that six billion humans can’t survive in the forest, the MOTK calmly agreed that this is impossible, but offered no further explanation. Strieber’s concerns about overpopulation, which have been with him since the early ’80s or earlier, are justified by these warnings.
  • The goal of individuals should be to develop “elemental bodies” or “radiant bodies” by learning to consciously focus our energies. If we fail to develop this skill before death, our energy will simply be absorbed into the universe. If we master the ability to focus, we will remain conscious and ascend to the next level of being. Meditation is the primary tool of ascension. This is very much in keeping with Strieber’s lifelong practice of meditation.
  • Our souls are “easily detectable by your science as it exists now”.
  • The visitors issued some kind of threat to the U.S. government as a “test”. Because the government responded with secrecy and denial, we have all failed that test; only total openness will allow us to pass and advance to the next level. Official secrecy is the “greatest present evil”, and must be opposed. This is the central theme of Strieber’s novel Majestic, in which the U.S. government fails us by covering up the Roswell UFO crash and hiding the presence of aliens. Strieber has been calling for full UFO disclosure for years.
  • Though he implies that most people do not become “radiant bodies” and simply evaporate into the fabric of the universe upon death, he also said that the dead are living side-by-side with us, clinging to what they remember. Others are reincarnated.
  • Melted polar ice will cause the North Atlantic Current to fail, resulting in another ice age. This notion also appeared in an article by William H. Calvin published in the January 1998 Atlantic Monthly, and formed the basis of the book Strieber wrote with Art Bell in 1999, The Coming Global Superstorm (which in turn inspired the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow).

The Key is easily Strieber’s most disturbing book. The MOTK’s insights are  sometimes self-contradictory, suspiciously similar to the content of Strieber’s own writings, and quite bleak. If meditation is the one and only  key to salvation, then most people will be doomed; the mentally challenged and the emotionally disturbed, children, the senile, people with brain damage may not be able to meditate on any meaningful level.
The Master of the Key seems to hold out hope that some people will, with tremendous effort and will, achieve “ascension” – consciousness after death. But most of us are simply trapped on a dying planet without the faintest chance of escape. Strieber sees his message as one of hope…a key…but could it truly unlock any doors?

Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 22: Time Slips

3 Days Until Christmas
4 Days Until Abduction


Whitley and Anne Strieber have had several odd experiences that they think of as “time slips”, or time travel. They occurred spontaneously, with little to no warning, and remain as enigmatic as anything else related to the visitor phenomenon. They aren’t necessarily instances of time travel; they could be time superimposition, glimpses of a parallel world, shared hallucinations, to name just a few of the possibilities. But “time slip” is as convenient a term as any.

The first, and most notable, of these time-slip events happened sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s. Strieber was driving one of his young son’s friends from his cabin near Pine Bluff, New York to a diner on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey. They had made this trip many times before, as the boy often stayed with the Striebers and was usually driven back to New York City by his father. The diner was their meeting place. To reach it, Strieber took a certain exit ramp, then backtracked several hundred yards. In this part of New Jersey, Route 17 is lined with strip malls and fast food joints, so the scenery was mundane and very familiar to Strieber and his son’s friend.

On this occasion, a cloudy day, Strieber and the boy spotted the father’s vehicle in the parking lot of the diner as they drove past it on their way to the exit ramp. But when Strieber took what he thought was the right exit, he found himself on an entirely unfamiliar highway. Unlike 17, it was deserted and eerily quiet – not a vehicle or business in sight. Tall concrete walls flanked either side of this highway for a short distance.
They ended up on a silent residential street shadowed by a canopy of trees. Just like the strange highway, this place was devoid of life. Not one resident was walking the dog or tending to the large, immaculate lawns. Weirdly, the day had become sunny in a matter of seconds.
The houses were the spookiest part. Single-story and boxlike, made of tan stone, two of the dwellings had enormous snake designs carved into their facades.
Strieber and the boy became deeply uneasy. They reached another exit leading to an ordinary, busy highway. But instead of Route 17, it was Route 80, an estimated twenty-minute drive from the diner. They had been in the serpent house neighborhood only for about five minutes.

Later, after searching the area thoroughly, Strieber realized the bizarre neighborhood didn’t exist. Neither did the unfamiliar exit that had led him to Route 80. The boy and his father also searched for the street in vain.
Strieber feels that he and his son’s friend were spontaneously dropped into the future, or were given a brief tour of another world.

It was not Strieber’s first brush with the future. Shortly after his abduction of December 26, 1985, he began to recall long-buried memories of childhood encounters with the visitors, including receiving a series of nine lessons from the female visitor he calls the Ancient One in a “school” tucked away in the Olmos Basin of San Antonio.  In the summer of 1954, when he was nine years old, the visitors showed him a glimpse of the future in the form of images on a flat-screen TV.
On the screen he saw news footage of disasters that would occur years later, like the Malibu fire of 1993. Other disasters that were shown to him involved the environment, and Strieber says some of them worked their way out of his subconscious mind to take form in Nature’s End, the novel he wrote with James Kuntka in 1986.
In 1995, Strieber had a vision of America in the year 2036. The nation was in ruins, devastated by an atomic bomb set off by terrorists, and ruled by a military dictatorship.  Though Strieber acknowledges this may have been a dream, he suspects he was briefly given the ability to access  memories of his future self.

Whitley, Anne, and their friend Starfire Tor simultaneously experienced a time slip in a Hollywood theatre in 2010. This took place at the Magic Castle, a Victorian mansion where magic shows are staged.
After a show, Anne and Starfire entered a small restroom while Whitley waited outside. They were the only people in the restroom, and Whitley was in full view of the door. He says no one else entered the room while Starfire and his wife were inside. Anne left the restroom by herself and waited directly outside the door for Starfire; she, too, saw no one else enter. Yet when Starfire exited a stall seconds later, she literally ran into a woman who seemed to materialize out of nowhere. The woman seemed disoriented, and turned to leave. Anne was astonished to see this women walk out of the restroom ahead of Starfire.
Most people would classify this encounter as a ghost sighting, but Starfire Tor and the Striebers believed it was much like their other time slips. Somehow, two times became superimposed on one another.
Anne Strieber thinks the visitors themselves could be time travelers. Strieber believes that mastery of time, and time travel, is key to the visitor experience and the future of humanity.


Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 21: Hybrid Children

4 Days Until Christmas
5 Days Until Christmas

In abductee circles, it isn’t at all uncommon to hear someone say they have a child who could be a visitor-human hybrid. Women report gynecological procedures, vanishing pregnancies, and fetal abductions that occur during their time with the visitors. Some, like “Kathie Davis” (Debbie Jordan-Kauble) of Intruders fame, say they were actually shown fragile little children with very pale skin that appeared to be their own children.
Abduction researchers Budd Hopkins and the recently-disgraced historian David Jacobs concluded, after working with abductees, that the visitors are conducting a wide-scale genetic engineering program. Jacobs has become ragingly paranoid and irrational about “hybrids” who are supposedly living among us, manipulating our minds, and plotting a world takeover. On an episode of the History Channel program Weird or What?, Jacobs said he fears for his children and their children because hybrids may soon make this planet a “very different place.”
The notion of an alien breeding program has been seamlessly blended into sci-fi entertainment. For instance, Debbie Jordan-Kauble’s hybrid child, Emily, became a hybrid child named Emily on The X-Files. World takeover by aliens and the creation of hybrids were central to the show’s story arc.

Whitley Strieber, too, believes the visitors showed to him at least one baby that could have been a visitor-human hybrid, and wonders if it was his own. He now thinks the “anal probe” used by the visitors during his abduction of December 26, 1985 was an electroejaculation device that was used to extract semen from him.
The baby incident was a painful experience for him, and he has not written about in great detail. In Solving the Communion Enigma and in an online journal entry posted in 2009, he mentions that in 1988, the visitors placed an infant in his arms during an encounter at his cabin. “To this day,” he writes, “the sleeping face of this infant is burned into my soul, I can tell you, and in those days the memory was a raw, bleeding wound.”