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.”

Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 20: Airport

5 Days Until Christmas
6 Days Until Abduction

In 1989, two “Nordics” appeared in Whitley Strieber’s home (though humanoid and blonde, the Nordics share many characteristics with Strieber’s more alien-looking visitors, and have been reported by contactees and abductees since the 1950s).
They asked him if there was anything they could do for him, and without thinking he responded,”You could show me one of your children.” Perhaps he wanted to see evidence that the visitors reproduce and rear their young just as we do, or wished to understand their family dynamics. It was a tall order, and he didn’t really expect the Nordics to oblige him.

Some time later, Strieber was waiting at the baggage check-in at the Denver airport (not the current one that is reputed to be an alien base and/or a headquarters for the Illuminati). He watched three people join the line behind him, and was astonished to recognize one of them as the mysterious physicist from Boulder, another a female “gray”, and the third a boy roughly six years of age who stood an astonishing five and a half feet tall. The gray visitor was crudely disguised by latex and makeup (one wonders how she managed to hide her elongated, four-fingered hands) .
The trio carried golf clubs, as though destined for an ordinary vacation. No one other than Strieber paid any attention to them until the man and the boy began to play pattycake, speeding up the game until their hands were visible only as a blur. This brought a round of applause from onlookers.
Then the tall child left the line and walked towards a wall, simply vanishing before he reached it. Aside from Strieber, no one appeared to notice his disappearing act. Was the boy heading to Gate 7 1/2, I wonder?

Strieber believes this odd, not-so-little boy was a human-alien hybrid, presented in response to his request of the Nordics.

Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 19: Bookstore

6 Days Until Christmas
7 Days Until Abduction

Given the eerie, otherworldly appearance of Whitley Strieber’s visitors, it seems supremely unlikely that such beings could blend into an everyday urban setting without causing alarm to everyone who saw them. But according to a book editor, that’s exactly what happened on a cold winter day in 1987. His story, as told to Strieber, appears in Transformation.

Bruce Lee (yes, really) was a senior editor with Morrow, which published Communion in January 1987. One afternoon late in the month, Lee and his wife walked into a bookstore in Manhattan (revealed in Solving the Communion Enigma to have been the now-defunct Madison Avenue Bookshop). Lee wanted to check out the store’s Communion display, which was located five or six rows back from the front entrance. Satisfied, he showed the display to his wife, then wandered off to browse through the fiction shelves.
As Lee was looking at a novel, he saw two people enter the store and make a beeline for the Communion display. The first thing he noticed about this couple was that they both seemed rather short (no taller than five feet). The second thing he noticed was that even for a cold day, they were extraordinarily well-bundled; both had thick scarves wrapped around their faces and wore their hats low on their heads. They also wore large, dark sunglasses. The man and woman each grabbed a copy of Strieber’s book and paged rapidly through it, evidently speed-reading, exchanging comments as they did so. Curious, Lee moved closer to he couple and eavesdropped on their conversation. He heard them say things like, “He’s got that part wrong.”
After listening to this exchange for a while, Lee introduced himself to the couple and asked them what they found objectionable about the book. The man and woman gazed up at him wordlessly, and it was then he noticed their eyes were remarkably large and dark behind their sunglasses. Worse, they exuded an air of menace as they looked at him.
Lee wrote in a letter to Strieber, “I was brought up on a farm. I know what it is to look into the eyes of a mad dog.”
He backed away, found his wife, and urged her to leave the store with him immediately.

Strieber observed the same fierceness in the visitors on many occasions, but he has also sensed great humour, wisdom and love in their actions.