From the first few months after his startling recollection of the ordeal related in his book Communion
, to the beginning of 1999, Whitley Strieber has been subjected to a battery of psychological and polygraphic tests. The result: he's telling the truth. Whereas the body of professional documentation presented here represents only a portion of the tests Strieber underwent, they support his continuing assertion that he was not suffering from either a physical or mental disorder at the time of the experiences, nor was he merely lying about them.
The test results include an EEG and MRI done in 1986 and 1987, polygraph ("lie detector") tests performed in New York and London, and two psychological analyses from different doctors. The most recent of these was done in January of 1999. These original documents are published here for the first time
(click on each image to view an enlargement).
The EEG: Testing for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
This is a report on the test that Whitley took for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
(TLE) in December of 1986. This disease causes vivid hallucinations, and could conceivably have been an explanation for his experiences. However, the test showed no evidence of the disease. An aggressive methodology was used that included inserting leads into Whitley's sinuses.
An important symptom of TLE is revealed in an EEG as "spike discharges" at the location of the brain's temporal lobe, particularly during sleep. The test states that "no... abnormalities or epileptiform discharges" were found, and that the EEG result is "normal", including during sleep.
The veracity or even the existance of this test has come under question, particularly from very vocal debunkers like Phillip Klass. Klass could not conceive of this test having been done in early December, while still being mentioned in Communion
, published the following January1
The MRI: Other brain abnormalities ruled out
scan of March 1988 showed unknown bright objects in his brain. Such objects appear in a small percentage of MRI scans of the brain, and in large numbers can be associated with diseases like muscular dystrophy. However, Whitley's were believed to be medically insignificant, and he has never suffered any symptoms of neuromuscular disorder.
Both the EEG and the MRI were suggested by Dr. Donald Klein, the psychiatrist with whom Strieber first began therapy for the symptoms arising as a result of his experiences. The tests were carried out by neurologists. It was Dr. Klein who had raised the issue of TLE, and who has affirmed that all neurological tests came back negative, indicating no abnormalities. Indeed, Dr. Klein has asserted that it would be "foolish" to ascribe the reported experiences to TLE, or any other abnormality, including psychosis2
Nat Laurendi's Polygraph Tests