by Michael Lindemann
CNI News - March 21, 1996
Whitley Strieber, author of "Communion" and several other books describing his own experience of contact with "the visitors," now says he has been trained and prepared since childhood for a time of dramatic upheaval and change that is soon to come.
Strieber shared his latest views at the Gulf Breeze UFO Conference, presented by Project Awareness during the weekend of March 15-17 in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Also speaking at the conference were Dr. John Mack, Roswell expert Stanton Friedman, psychologist Edith Fiore, philosophy professor Dr. Michael Grosso, theologian Dr. Barry Downing, and ISCNI president Michael Lindemann.
Reading from the manuscript of his soon-to-be published book, "The Secret School," Strieber said he has recently realized that during the summer he was nine years old, he went day after day on his bike to a wooded area near his home in San Antonio, Texas, where he and other children met with the alien beings he calls the visitors. Until recently, all Strieber could remember was that he had a strange feeling about that place. Now, with the help of researcher Ed Conroy, he has located the exact spot where these childhood meetings apparently took place, as well as several other people who remember taking part. It is this series of childhood encounters that Strieber calls "the secret school."
Strieber has now joined the ranks of those who believe the earth and the human race are headed into a time of unprecedented upheaval and transformation. Using an astrological image, he said, "Pisces, the fish, is about to leap into the air, Aquarius. When the fish leaves the water, it has a whole new view of reality, but it also has only a few minutes to live -- unless it learns to breath in a new way." Strieber thinks human beings will face a similar challenge very soon.
Though not specific about what the coming changes will be like, Strieber said the recent discoveries of incoming comets might indicate why the changes take place. He said he is convinced that a major comet or asteroid impact occurred about 12,000 years ago and wiped out virtually all of human civilization existing near the sea coasts at that time. Recent finds in archeology, reported in such books as "Fingerprints of the Gods" by Graham Hancock, suggest that very advanced human civilizations might have existed at the end of the last ice age, some 10 to 12 thousand years ago -- yet some cataclysm not only destroyed these civilizations, but also became the source of many of the creation (or re-creation) myths found around the world.
Such a natural cataclysm could happen again, Strieber says, and soon. He suggests that the aftermath would be a radically different time for humanity. He says it is not clear that the human race will survive such a cataclysm, because modern civilization is so hostile to the environment. Our survival, he says, depends on restoring an intimate and cooperative human relationship with the earth. He says this is why the visitors often emphasize environmental awareness in their interactions with abductees.
Strieber's new book, "The Secret School," will be published later this year.
On another note, Strieber applauded the work of Dr. Roger Lier, who recently removed several "implants" from abductees (previously reported in CNI News). Strieber says he has decided to have his whole body scanned for implants and to have Lier remove any that are found. Strieber says he will then oversee the laboratory testing of such implants to make sure they are handled properly and the results are reliable. He said he suspects he does have implants, and his one concern in undergoing their removal is the possibility that this might change, or even end, his relationship with the visitors. He emphasized that he does not want that to happen.
Several other speakers at the conference shared their views on the nature of "the visitors" and the possibility of strange times ahead.
Dr. Barry Downing, pastor of a Presbyterian church in New York and author of "The Bible and Flying Saucers," said his years of research show that "angels" of the Bible are in many ways similar to "aliens" of today. He said he believes the "pillar of cloud and fire" that led Moses out of Egypt and through the wilderness was a flying saucer. Similarly, the prophet Elijah was taken up in a flying saucer ("chariot of fire") and not returned, while St. Paul was abducted on the road to Damascus but brought back after getting his instructions to spread the story of Jesus. Even Jesus' own bodily ascension into the sky was a stroke of alien technology, Downing said.
In all these and other events described in the Bible, the character of God and his "angels" is NOT unambiguously loving and kind, but is more like "tough love," using force and even terror at times to make people understand truth or behave better. Downing said this seems to be the same modus operandi of today's "visitors," who seem at times neither gentle nor kind, but who nonetheless seem interested in assisting or instructing human beings for a time of impending change.
Dr. John Mack, whose difficulties with Harvard University over his 1994 book "Abduction" now seem over, says he is writing a new book that will examine abduction events in other cultures. He showed videotape of several interviews he conducted recently in Africa. In one, a well-educated tribal shaman named Credo Mutwa told Mack about being abducted and physically "raped" by a female alien as a young man. Mutwa said it was a terrifying and humiliating experience. His description of the alien was similar to the "grey" type most often reported in the United States. Mutwa said he knows of other African people who have had similar experiences.
Mack also showed video interviews of three schoolgirls in Zimbabwe. These girls and several dozen other gradeschool children reportedly witnessed a daytime landing of a UFO near their schoolyard in 1994. Each of the girls said they saw one object land and several smaller objects hover nearby. They said that a small "being" got out of the landed object. They could tell this being was not human. The girls expressed a wide range of emotions when telling of these events. They all said they felt fearful and perplexed over what they witnessed. They also said the "strange being" seemed sad or concerned. The girls all said that this event had something to do with human mistreatment of the environment, although they could not say precisely why they thought this.
Philosopher Michael Grosso, author of the recent book "The Millennium Myth," says he has spent years tracking and comparing paranormal incidents of a prophetic nature in many parts of the world. These events include near-death experiences, Marian apparitions, angelic encounters and alien abductions. He is not sure how many of these events actually occur in the normal physical world, but he does feel they are "real." Some may occur in another realm; following author Kenneth Ring, Grosso used the term "imaginal" to connote this "real but not physical" realm.
Grosso said there is no question that such events are now on the rise. Among the most impressive to him are so-called Marian apparitions, which sometimes involve thousands of witnesses and feature extraordinary paranormal occurrences such as dramatic lights in the sky, unusual floral odors, and of course the visible apparition itself. He acknowledged that these events, as well as abductions and other types of encounters, frequently emphasize coming catastrophes. He said that his research indicates this was also the case one thousand years ago, when the coming "millennium" aroused widespread anticipation of calamity, even the end of the world.
Grosso was noncommittal on whether or not people should take the current prophecies of doom seriously. They are part and parcel of "the millennium myth," he said; but myth itself is mysterious and powerful, influencing human thought and behavior in ways we do not entirely understand.
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