“A New World” by Whitley Strieber; Introduction by Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D.; Walker & Collier, Inc., 2019
By Ed Conroy CORRESPONDENT
San Antonio native Whitley Strieber and his stories of encounters with extraordinary beings—and their vehicles that reportedly defy the laws of gravity—are deeply interwoven into the fabric of the Alamo City’s social and spiritual life.
His stories of attending classes with other local children in a nocturnal “secret school” in the Olmos Basin, not to mention the accounts of anomalous events in Terrell Hills and Alamo Heights I received from interviews with his childhood friends and others, have grown to become the stuff of local, national and indeed international legend.
Now, after more than three decades of what he calls his contact, conversation and communion with the beings he simply refers to as his visitors, Whitley Strieber has skillfully written the most deeply insightful and powerfully provocative book of his extensive literary career.
In the thirteen captivating chapters of succinctly structured narrative, Strieber eloquently explains the most essential lessons he has learned from his continuous efforts to communicate with and understand his visitors, impelled by a great sense of urgency about the fate of humanity, and the Earth.
“A New World” is arguably the most well-informed, authoritative and readable book yet written with the intention of making accessible the mysteries of the UFO phenomenon for the benefit of humanity and our beloved planet in these perilous times.
In it, Strieber shares keys to how he has opened locked doors in his own spiritual and creative life. He states he recognizes many of the statements he makes are difficult to accept, but Strieber invites his readers not to believe, but to question and consider, as he does.
For example, he explains his meditative method for making conscious contact with his visitors; describes his experiences of seeing, during a visit to the reservation of the Lakota Sioux, the landscape of another world apparently parallel to our own; recounts the story of his anomalous ear “implant,” through which he has written a novel with, he believes, direct input from his late wife, Anne; and relays insights on the nature of his visitors’ relationship with time and, he asserts, their desire to communicate and interact with humans.
He also reflects on the predatory nature of his visitors, a theme going back to his early novels “The Hunger” and “The Wolfen,” reflecting on the now well-established record of mysterious animal mutilations and their significance for the human soul.
Our best defense in establishing contact, he assets—drawing examples from many religious traditions but especially from the soul science of ancient Egypt—is to develop a strong soul, through exercising compassion, and living a truthful, blameless life.
“A New World” is essential reading for anyone who nourishes the hope we can evolve as a species into a state where we are stronger, more conscious human beings able to overcome the challenges—as Strieber states he also hopes—which threaten our survival, through receiving beneficial knowledge via the visitors.
Strieber remains true to the methodology of radical questioning he initially adopted in writing his 1987 narrative book “Communion: A True Story,” which ascended to the summit of the New York Times’ non-fiction bestseller list in May, 1987, the same month the Express-News published my initial profile of him. It is a method he has continued to employ in many related works of both non-fiction and fiction since then.
Much has changed over the past 33 years in relation to the UFO phenomenon, especially in terms of media coverage and the attitudes of many top military, intelligence and other leaders, as well as the work of pioneering scholars of religion and scientists.
The excellent reporting of Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, who have produced several excellent articles since 2017 for the New York Times, has created an opening for discourse about this matter in many media outlets. Their groundbreaking articles on federal funding for private research into the UFO phenomenon plus on confirmed sightings by US Navy pilots of extraordinary vehicles—accompanied by officially released video—now gone viral online, worldwide.
I refer as well to the new initiatives led by such scholars as Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D., the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Rice University and Diana Walsh Pasulka, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at UNC Wilmington to undertake serious studies of paranormal phenomena in the context of rigorous academic discourse.
Kripal’s brilliant introduction to “A New World” is at once a ringing endorsement of the vital importance of the kinds of questions Strieber asks and a stinging indictment of the materialist worldviews that still dominate academic discourse in our day.
In “A New World” Strieber argues that scientists, if able to establish communication with the visitors, could also make significant advances in materials science and physics if able to receive adequate federal and other funding to study the anomalous materials now being recovered from a site in the American Southwest where shards of an apparently crashed anomalous vehicle are strewn about the land.
Given the apparently increased interest in the UFO phenomenon by military organizations around the world, Strieber strongly warns that humanity will be making a big mistake if we see the visitors and their vehicles as threat and attack them with our weaponry. It would be a war, he says, we would never win.
In this book, Strieber effectively balances his narrative between the “real world” social and political implications of regarding UFOs and the visitors as real, and the inner, indeed spiritual dimensions and demands of contact.
“A New World” will be an enduring testament to Strieber’s own transformation through sustained communication with his visitors.
It is evident he has consciously realized they are indeed the sources of all his literary inspiration, having learned to touch them, face to face, mind to mind, turning his initial horror into pure amazement, inspiration and awe.
Ed Conroy is the author of “Report on Communion: An Independent Investigation of and Commentary on Whitley Strieber’s ‘Communion,’” (Morrow, 1989; Avon 1990)