4 min read

Life, Afterlife and a New World

by Whitley Strieber

I published my first book what seems, in my life, to have been just a heartbeat ago, but it was actually in 1979. It was called the Wolfen, about brilliant wolves who had human beings as their prey. This was followed by a novel called the Hunger, and both became films.

Over the next few years, I published Warday, Nature’s End and many others, including Superstorm, the name of which has become the way we describe one of the most ominous aspects of climate change.

 In 1985, I had an extremely strange experience that appeared to be a very intense contact with aliens. It started with me waking up not in my bed in the middle of the night, but in a small room full of bizarre creatures. Naturally, I assumed that I was having a nightmare, but when I tried to wake myself up from it, my surroundings only became more vivid.

Over the next few months, I explored one medical explanation after another, until finally I was left with no choice: in some way, what had happened to me had been a real, physical experience.

I had received physical injuries severe enough to require medical treatment, but had simply been unwilling to come to grips with the idea that something as seemingly absurd as an alien abduction could be real.

And yet, whatever they were, I was forced to conclude that the event had really happened.

At first, I was terrified, but my curiosity got the better of me and I began going out into the woods at night by myself to announce my presence and my willingness to form some sort of relationship.

I was absolutely terrified, but I simply could not turn away from something so extraordinary.

It was not six weeks later that they began returning to the little cabin we had in upstate New York where the original event had started.

I began writing about them, and when I did that, the exchanges became more frequent. Finally, my wife and I started inviting friends up to meet them, and this happened again and again. Former astronaut Brian O’Leary had a brief encounter with them. Old friends Annie Gottlieb and Jacques Sandulescu had a very strange experience of running feet and huge lights hanging over the house. Lorie Barnes and Raven Dana had encounters, as did reporter Ed Conroy, who wrote about my life in his book Report on Communion.

My contacts continued until the mid nineties. I wrote two more books about them, Transformation and Breakthrough, and then, around 1995, ten years after they had started, they began to become fewer and fewer. In the first decade of the new century, there were few encounters.

Then, on August 11, 2015, my beloved wife Anne died. Among other things, she was an expert on the afterlife, and had had a near death experience in 2004. An hour and a half after her death in the early evening, I was sitting in the living room awash in grief when the phone rang.

It was an old friend who said, “Whitley, I just had the strangest experience. I heard Anne say as clear as could be to call you. Is she alright?” I told her, “Belle, Anne died this evening.”

That was the first of a number of such calls. Then I remembered something: back in the early nineties, we were receiving tens of thousand of letters about Communion and Anne, who was a fast reader, was reading them all. She came out of her office one afternoon and said, “Whitley, what we think of as alien contact has something to do with what we call death.” She was referring to the fact that so many of the letters described encounters with the “visitors” and beloved friends of the witnesses at the same time.

This happened at our cabin to witness Lorie Barnes, who encountered her long-dead brother as big as life while out walking, only to participate a few hours later in a multiple witness encounter with what appeared to be an alien in the cabin where it was seen by her, another friend called Raven Dana, and others.

About a week after Anne passed on I remembered a pact we had made. If it was possible to communicate with the living, the first of us to die would go first to friends, not to the other one, because we would both have assumed it was our imagination.

I realized that Anne was trying to communicate with me, and when I did, our relationship came back to life in a whole new way. With Anne on one side of the veil and me on the other, we wrote a book call the Afterlife Revolution.

For me, an entirely new way of life began in those incredible months after her passing. Like so many other people, I was living the experience of meeting my own beloved wife with the visitors.

This developed into an entirely new experience of reality and a new way of being, which led, in turn to my latest book, A New World, which is about forming an entirely new kind of relationship with the visitors (I still don’t know what they are) and our dead, who, as I have to my great joy discovered, are not dead at all.


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