Exploring Our Super Natural World: An Interview with Whitley Strieber

I’m still not ready to accept the alien-hypothesis as the answer…there’s something going on here that’s extremely strange.
— Whitley Strieber, Interview Extract
Whitley Strieber. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Whitley Strieber. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Whitley Strieber is the go-to guy when it comes to all things strange and alien, a household name in the world of the paranormal. Though oftentimes ridiculed for his out-of-this-world stories and experiences, he remains 100% true to his goal and constantly strives to spread the word about his paranormal encounters. He is what every UFOlogist, psychonaut, contactee, and psychic medium should aspire to be: unafraid to tell their story.

Relentless and unapologetic in his mission, he always remains impressively calm and succinct in his delivery, answering questions concisely, rationally, and without decorative elaboration. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world of attention-seekers and frauds. Of course, that is not say we believe Mr. Strieber completely and unquestioningly, and I’m certain that that’s not on his agenda either – the great thing about this guy is that he wants you to question, to deliberate, and to never accept something as absolute truth until there is proof as such (if ever). And so we encourage you, too, to listen to what Whitley has to say.

I have an ethical and moral obligation to report it as accurately as I know how, without drawing conclusions […]. I am going to transmit what I perceived without further comment.
— Whitley Strieber, Interview Extract

Whitley published the first of his Communion series of books in 1987, reaching the number one position on the New York Times Best Seller list (non-fiction), with more than 2 million copies collectively sold; the book was subsequently turned into a movie, starring Christopher Walken, back in 1989.

Strieber recently lost his wife, Anne, back in 2015 - needless to say a tragic event, we are delighted to hear that Anne is still with him, and in even direct communication; though perhaps strange and unbelievable to many, it remains truly inspiring to hear of his connection, even posthumously, with his wife. One of his stories concerning Anne is particularly revelatory, suggesting a powerful connection between deep meditation and spiritual encounters. Indeed, it appears that intensive meditation elevates you into a certain energetic frequency that allows you to communicate/make yourself available to other-dimensional beings. Again, this obviously sounds extraordinarily strange and miraculous, but a little bit of listening and a little bit of reading will surely get you up to speed.

Mr. Strieber gives us a brief overview of his initial encounters with otherworldly entities (typically known as “aliens,” though not the term Strieber prefers to use), first recounted in Communion. We also talk to him about his most recent endeavors, most notably his ground-breaking book, Super Natural: A New Vision Of The Unexplained, co-authored by Jeffrey Kripal (Professor at Rice University, Texas). This book is undoubtedly a revolutionary piece of work in its field: dissecting the world of the strange and extraordinary, it proceeds rationally and systematically, leaving nothing to the imagination. Let it be clear, Strieber does not prescribe any particular worldview or belief – he merely encourages us to listen, believe, and subsequently decide for ourselves.

Foreground: "The Super Natural" by Strieber and Kripal.  Background: "Communion" by Whitley Strieber.

Foreground: "The Super Natural" by Strieber and Kripal.
 Background: "Communion" by Whitley Strieber.

So, a little about Strieber and Kripal’s new book, Super Natural – as a brief introduction, it would probably be best to explain the nature of the book by breaking down its title. Note that Super and Natural are evidently written as separate words, a rather subtle though purposeful move. “Supernatural” entails the general paranormal as we know it, stories such as strange lights in the sky, spirit and ghost-like beings, mysterious monsters and other creatures, even burning bushes in the desert and strange voices on the road to Damascus; on the other hand, “super natural” makes it a point to highlight that what we’re describing is indeed natural. That is to say, Kripal and Strieber describe and discuss various events and experiences, describing them as they are (without elaboration or speculation), and though they may certainly be “super,” in the sense that they are unexpected and do not fit in with our current frame-of-knowledge, they are nevertheless part of our natural world, and should hence not be classed as anything otherwise. Everything we experience is, de facto, natural, though we may not know how yet.

The book is written in a format reminiscient of a Hegelian Dialectic (though Kripal and Strieber don’t debate/argue so much as develop upon each other’s points) - chapters alternate between the two authors, continuously analyzing and bouncing ideas off each other, providing for a very thorough read.

What I find most valuable about this book, however, is its phenomenological approach to the subject-matter. We see Strieber and Kripal analysing the various “paranormal” experiences for exactly what they are (stating, describing, breaking them down), as opposed to what they believe them to be – unusual and groundbreaking in the world of the supernatural. Over-enthusiastic speculation seems to all-too-frequently take the place of calm and collected reasoning. 

When you’re with a person like that, you don’t think of it as an alien at all; I didn’t. It’s more like being with a very strange-looking human being.
— Whitley Strieber, Interview Extract

When I first heard about Whitley, or, more accurately, had heard about what others were saying about him, I commenced my journey from an admittedly skeptical viewpoint. I’m glad to conclude that Whitley has proven himself otherwise, and truly believe that he has provided us with some of the most useful research to date.

It’s difficult to write about Whitley Strieber at times, because, in a way, he does not see himself as a stereotypical “alien abductee” or “contactee,” so it’s challenging to categorize him under a heading as such – he’s not your usual “believer,” making him all the more believable. In that sense, we urge you all the more to explore his works, his website, and this interview: make up your mind for yourself.

Be sure to check out Mr. Strieber's author page, as well as his regularly updated show page/blog.

Spread The Word & Spread The Love

Posted on May 14, 2016 and filed under SUM2.