AKA Louis Whitley Strieber
Birthplace: San Antonio, TX
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Alien-abductee wrote Communion
Whitley Strieber is an American author known for his books on extraterrestrial abductions, including Communion: A True Story, Confirmation: The Hard Evidence Of Aliens Among Us?, and The Secret School: Preparation for Contact. Strieber is also famed for his contributions to the horror genre, especially The Wolfen and The Hunger. A number of Strieber's works have been made into major motion pictures, including The Day After Tomorrow. Strieber has worked in collaboration with radio personality Art Bell, both on their joint book, The Coming Global Superstorm, and on the webcast radio program Dreamland.
As a young man Streiber attended the University of Texas and the London School of Film Technique. He worked in the advertising industry in New York City, attaining the status of vice president. In 1977 he switched to freelance writing, and his first novel debuted in 1978. Entitled The Wolfen, it was the beginning of a lucrative career in the horror genre. The film version, released in 1981, starred Edward James Olmos, Albert Finney, and Gregory Hines. The Hunger emerged in 1982, appearing on film the following year with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon as the lovers of vampire queen Catherine Deneuve. Additional horror installments followed, with Strieber eventually branching out into tales of nuclear holocaust, for adult and youth audiences alike. This eventually morphed into apocalyptic tales with a more environmental spin, best typified in his 1994 hit The Day After Tomorrow, a big-budget film of which appeared in 2004.
Although these novels were popular enough to garner film treatments for many of them, Strieber's fame took a quantum leap with the publication of a new kind of horror tale, Communion: A True Story. The first of his UFO/abductees tales, the book was later made into a 1989 movie, with Christopher Walken starring as Strieber. Although the books have been embraced by many on the paranormal fringe as absolute fact, Strieber himself remains coy about the authenticity of his abduction. He talks about recalling events in vivid details, discusses recalling even more material under hypnosis (including a secret school he attended as a boy), and even claims to have corroborating witnesses in the form of boyhood friends, physicians and so forth. But when pressed about whether the encounters in his books "really happened" he says he is not sure. It would seem that Strieber is trying to establish himself as a kind of "objective observer" as he often speaks pejoratively of New Ager and UFO enthusiasts in an attempt to distance himself from the so-called "kooks" on the fringe.
The effort falls a bit flat however in light of the fact that Strieber cannot even seem to keep the story straight about his own accomplishments and experience. For example his 1986 novel Cat Magic was originally touted a joint project between Strieber and a Jonathan Barry, billed as a practicing witch and a consultant in the aerospace industry. A year later Strieber admitted Barry was merely his alter ego. There is no record of Strieber ever working in the aerospace industry, so that credential was apparently invented in order to sell books. Similarly in the first edition of The Hunger a biographical blurb claimed Strieber had worked "in fields as diverse as intelligence and filmmaking". Strieber later blamed the latter prevarication on his publisher. However it is Strieber himself who claims, in various interviews and articles, to have won a "Caldecott Award in 1985". This claim appears to be false.
It cannot be denied however that Strieber is a talented and influential writer. Since the publication of Strieber's Communion, and his follow-up books Transformation, Breakthrough, The Secret School, and Confirmation, a large number of people have come forward claiming to have experienced very similar experiences. To believers in UFOs and alien abductions, this similarity appears to be proof that something very real is going on. Indeed, interest in the phenomenon gathered enough steam that a notable Harvard psychiatrics professor, John Mack, made extensive studies of those claiming to have undergone abduction experiences. Strieber reportedly has a new book on the abductions, titled The Grays, due out in 2006.
Strieber's other recent endeavors include a series of books allegedly inspired by a mysterious visitor who appeared to Strieber in his Toronto hotel room in June of 1998. The teachings received from this individual, whom Strieber refers to as the "Master of the Key", inspired the self-published works The Key (2001) and The Path (2002), as well as another work co-authored with friend Art Bell, The Coming Global Superstorm (1999). As with the UFO related works, Strieber has vacillated as to whether the "Master of the Key" really exists.
Father: Karl Strieber
Mother: Kathleen Mary Drought
Wife: Anne Mattocks (m. 28-Nov-1970, one son)
Son: Whitley Strieber, Jr. ("Andrew")
High School: Central Catholic High School, San Antonio, TX (1963)
University: University of Texas
Conservatory: London School of Film Technique
Abducted by UFO 70's-80's (multiple)
Abducted by UFO 26-Dec-1985
Author of books:
The Wolfen (1978, novel)
The Hunger (1982, novel)
Black Magic (1982, novel)
The Night Church (1983, novel)
Warday and the Journey Onward (1984, novel, with James Kunetka)
Wolf of Shadows (1985, novel)
Communion (1985, purported nonfiction)
Nature's End: The Consequences of the Twentieth Century (1986, fiction, with James Kunetka)
Cat Magic (1986, novel)
Billy (1990, novel)
The Wild (1991, novel)
Unholy Fire (1992, novel)
The Forbidden Zone (1993, novel)
The Day After Tomorrow (1994, novel)
Breakthrough:The Next Step (1995)
The Secret School: Preparation for Contact (1997)
Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us (1998)
The Coming Global Superstorm (1999, with Art Bell)
The Key (2001)
The Last Vampire (2001, novel)
The Path (2002)
Lilith's Dream (2002, novel)
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