When he published Communion in 1987, Whitley Strieber transformed himself from a well-established horror writer into the world's most famous UFO contactee/abductee. The author of such popular novels as The Wolfen (1978) and The Hunger (1981), both of which were made into successful motion pictures, Strieber startled readers and researchers alike when he wrote a first-person account of his encounters with the "visitors" and detailed his abduction experiences.
According to Strieber, on December 26, 1985, he underwent the first of a series of close encounter experiences with alien beings that he would go on to describe in his books Communion, Transformation (1988), and Confirmation (1998). As millions of readers followed his accounts of extraordinary occurrences, Strieber went on to tell of being abducted in his childhood, undergoing physical examinations at the hands of the "visitors," and suggesting mind control and government involvement in the UFO mystery.
Reflecting upon his encounters in his "journal" on his website (Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country, 12/15/2001), he wrote that he had struggled through his ordeal with "genuine knowledge and good questions" and had seen "an absolute terror" change within a few years to a "sublime journey" on which he was still embarked. The visitors, Strieber observed
Strieber has stated that he believes the evidence of the UFO, if properly examined by science, may provide humankind with "wonderful new discoveries and information." But, he adds in his position statement in The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia (2001), to accept such evidence also means that it is necessary to face the facts that "there may really be aliens here—aliens who are creating an extraordinary theater in the sky while at the same time entering the personal lives of many people in extremely bizarre ways."