I have completed Super Natural with my collaborator, Jeff Kripal, the Religion Chair at Rice University. It’s going to be published by Tarcher/Penguin in February of 2016.

Jeff is a religion scholar who specializes in modern myth. He is open-minded about the UFO lore, but like me, thinks of it in a much broader way than the usual aliens are here/not here argument. Personally, as the years have passed and I have become more and more deeply involved both in the culture of the the UFO community and in the actual experience of contact, I have become more and more sure that a whole lot of us are simply missing the point. What we have before us is a mystery that is as much inner as it is outer. Searching the skies, waiting for something to happen, anticipating disclosure–these are all passive approaches. They’re what the great majority of people do: they wait their lives away. For some years, also, a few people have been waiting in another way. They’ve been going out and trying to ‘call in’ UFOs using things like flashlights pointed at the sky and various forms of meditation which are not energetic meditation at all, but attempts to communicate via telepathy.

On the larger stage, the debate about UFOs is precisely the same debate that the ancient Greeks were engaged in about the supernatural: either these strange manifestations are imaginary or they are real.

There is another, better way of approaching the whole field of the unknown, and that is what Super Natural is about.

Since the beginning of history and no doubt before, human beings have been influenced in some way by light. A whole culture arose out of Moses vision of the burning bush. That culture was radically altered when Paul was startled by a flash of light on the road to Damascus. Mohammed was guided by a being of light in his cave. And nowadays, these plasmas or whatever they are seem to be everywhere, and just as there were angels, gods and demons associated with them in the past, there are apparent aliens to go with them now. I saw aliens during my contact experiences. Had it been a thousand years ago, I suppose that I would have seen angels and demons. Two thousand years ago, they would have been gods.

So what is all of this about and, above all, why is this enormously important player in human affairs not studied? It certainly can be. It’s a demonstrably real phenomenon, and there’s no point in pretending that it isn’t. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of people have had contact experiences over the years, and continue to have them to this day. So even if the phenomenon that generates the experiences can’t be studied directly, the witnesses can.

So why aren’t they? We have evolved useful techniques both in the academy and the sciences that will work for such study, and it is time to end the ancient debate and acknowledge the actual question: what is this presence that has had such an enormous influence on human history?

These are some of the questions explored in Super Natural. Tarcher/Penguin will be calling in the most important book on the supernatural since Charles Fort published the Book of the Damned in 1919. I hope that it is seen as that and its suggestion that we re-envision the supernatural and the paranormal is embraced. If we do that, it will lead to a fundamental change in the way we view and understand our world and along with it a much-needed expansion of our vision of ourselves and the universe in which we live.

Publisher’s Marketplace has just announced what promises to be a major new book from Whitley Strieber writing in collaboration with Jeffry J. Kripal, Chair of Religious Studies at Rice University in Houston. The Marketplace announcement reads: "Author of Communion Whitley Strieber and Chair of Religious Studies at Rice University Jeffrey Kripal’s THE SUPER NATURAL: A NEW VISION OF THE UNEXPLAINED, pitched as the most important book on the paranormal since Charles Fort’s 1919 THE BOOK OF THE DAMNED."

We asked Whitley for more information. He explained that he and Jeff, who have been friends and colleagues for about five years, have tried to step back from all the explanations for paranormal manifestations and look for a more objective and inclusive vision. He said, "Rather than explaining them or explaining them away, it’s time to get past all the explanations and admit the truth: there is something real happening, but we don’t understand it and never have. From that beginning, we can make a new start."

The book will be published by Tarcher/Penguin in February of 2016. Tarcher is also the publisher of the Key and Solving the Communion Enigma.