It is the early summer of 1989. A total of seventeen people are at Whitley Strieber’s upstate New York cabin. In the hallway facing two downstairs bedrooms is a low light video camera, set to run all night. In one bedroom is Raven Dana, in the other Lorie Barnes. Both Raven and Lorie have been invited to come to the cabin by Anne Strieber. Based on her reading of many accounts of close encounter, she is reasonably sure that both of them have had experiences similar to Whitley’s.

Jeff Kripal is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University and the author of the introduction to Whitley Strieber’s upcoming book "Solving the Communion Enigma." Here, he tells us about the new mythical figures of our age, the superheroes, supervillians and ‘dangerous strangers’ that populate our imaginations and–in the form of apparent aliens and ‘others’ of all kinds–our lives.

There have been a remarkable series of UFO sightings in and around Kansas City since April. Of course, they have been debunked by the media because of a flight of small aircraft that took wing during the week of October 10. However, that’s hardly the whole story. Listen as Linda Moulton Howe interviews Margie Kay about an account by a retired police officer who had an extensive close encounter of the third kind in his back yard on April 5, 2011 at three in the morning.