21 September 1988, San Fransisco

– Whitley Strieber, author of Transformation
– Robert Sheaffer, fellow of CSICOP (Committe for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), columnist for The Skeptical Inquirer

Note: Whitley Strieber, who had prior experience speaking on such programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Geraldo, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, arrived to discover the producers had failed to inform him (they claimed to have informed his publicist) that they had booked another guest onto the program to dispute his story. Mr. Strieber, visibly upset, honored his agreement to appear on the program despite the producer's breach of trust, but declined to allow his current book to be promoted by name. The opposing guest, self styled skeptic and amateur opera singer Robert Sheaffer, later made much ado about what he saw as Mr. Strieber's lack of hospitality.

ANNE FRASER: ...his real life close encounters with alien beings. And he detailed it all in a book called Communion. Well Whitley Strieber is back with us this morning, he says these encounters have intensified, and he's going to tell us all about them. With him on the set is Robert Sheaffer, who is a ufo skeptic who says "Whitley, where's the proof?" Let's welcome them both to People Are Talking.

ROSS MCGOWAN: Good morning, nice to meet you, nice to have you back Whitley. First time we talked to you we were talking about – I guess your first encounter was when, '85?

WHITLEY STRIEBER: Uh well – You're working on an assumption that these are encounters with extraterrestrials...

ROSS: Well let's talk about your –

WHITLEY: ...but neither of my books are about that. They are about some strange experiences which I am trying very much to keep in question.

ROSS: Ok, so you are saying maybe you don't believe in ufos?

WHITLEY: I don't know. That's what I've always been saying.

ROSS: What was the encounter that you have written about that you do have some question about?

WHITLEY: Well ok, the first thing that happened, happened on the night of December the 26th 1985, when I was very – had a very vivid experience of being taken out of my bedroom in the middle of the night by some small people in blue uniforms and ending up in a little round room with these two other things that had big black eyes.

{laughter from audience}

ROSS: We'll give you your chance...

WHITLEY: I'm here to be shot up so have fun.

ANN: Skepticism is good though.

WHITLEY: There's two kind of skepticism. There's healthy open minded skepticism and there's denial.

ANN: Well let's hope that we have healthy open minded skepticism.

WHITLEY: Let's hope so, right, because that's what's going to enable us to understand what it was all about.

ROSS: So you were, you believe, taken away by these people in blue uniforms, to..?

WHITLEY: This is what happened, what appeared to happen. And afterwards, there was a sufficient number of - first of all the memories were very strange and vivid at the beginning, and there were a couple of physical injuries that really worried me because I had, you know you don't think that a memory like that has anything to do with the physical world.

ANN: What were the injuries?

WHITLEY: Well there was a needle mark behind my ear, what appeared to be one. And I did remember these people putting a needle into my head. The odd and disturbing thing is that a recent brain scan I had in March of this year called an MRI scan does show something in my brain behind my ear.

ANN: So you think that something might have been transplanted?

WHITLEY: I don't know. I don't know. The doctors said - we did a two and a half hour neurological exam after this and some other similar things were found in my brain.

ROSS: Have you felt differently since this?

WHITLEY: Of course. But we don't know what these objects are. The diagnosis is unknown bright objects of no medical consequences of a type that appear in approximately five percent of normal brains. Why is it there? Why not in some other part of my brain? That's what's bothering me.

ROSS: When I say do you feel differently, I don't mean since you've gotten this information, I mean after this experience in '85 did you physically feel any different?

WHITLEY: Oh, yes. I had a tremendous stress reaction. I couldn't sleep deeply enough to really, I couldn't sleep deeply enough to dream. I was in a - I just went into a tailspin. It was terrible. I went to my doctor a few, about a couple weeks later I think, and told him this story, and he of course thought it was a huge joke. But it wasn't funny, because of the fact that I was dealing with these strange memories and of things that could not be that suddenly had entered my mind, for the first time in my life apparently.

ANN: Did he suggest this was perhaps psychological?

WHITLEY: Of course. I went to a psychiatrist. I went to the psychiatrist via a ufo investigator named Budd Hopkins who tried at first to hypnotize me, but I don't intend to be hypnotized by ufo investigators, so I ended up with a psychiatrist who's got an excellent reputation, Dr. Donald Klein. I wouldn't call him a skeptic. He would never make it clear to me what he thought about it because as a hypnotist he didn't want to cause me to comply with whatever his belief system was, if he even has one, I don't know. He's very circumspect about what he believes.

ROSS: Now in fact if you were taken away, if you were - was your wife in bed with you that night?


ROSS: Does she remember?

WHITLEY: Does she? Not from that night, no. But there are a lot of other things that have happened since then that have been awfully strange in that cabin.

ROSS: Like what?

WHITLEY: Well the last time something happened was last June, when we had nine people in the cabin including three journalists. And the visitors came into the living room where three of these people were sleeping. But again, despite our best efforts we were not able to get pictures of them, there remains no physical proof from us.

ANN: Why go back to this cabin?

WHITLEY: Because if they're real, we, somebody has got to try to do something sensible about this. Which is, to face them for what they are or may be, instead of -

ANN: Do you think they're malevolent?

WHITLEY: I don't know, but I have had the impression sometimes - I've had every single impression you could have about them, ranging from they are incredible malevolent to they're childlike. It's all over the line. This is just not what it seems. I will tell you that from my own experience, for sure. It's certainly not some kind of hallucination and it's not as simple as a visit from another planet by a bunch of scientists who look different from us. It's too strange.

ROSS: It's intensified since your first encounter in '85?

WHITLEY: Well no, actually it hasn't. It did for about, oh about fourteen or fifteen maybe eighteen months and then it...

ROSS: How often would you....

WHITLEY: Experiences that I would describe as actually physical experiences, I was sure were physical from my own perceptions, have occurred about five or six times. But subsequent, since January of this year, like this thing that happened in June, my family - we were all asleep in one room upstairs, we were not involved. Everybody else in the house was involved.

ANN: What about your son?

WHITLEY: My son has coped with this, and coped with the even more difficult experience of having his father lampooned before his eyes on television.

ANN: But wasn't your son also involved in some kind of encounter?

WHITLEY: He has brought some experiences as well, yes.

ANN: Does he share those with you, afterward?

WHITLEY: He did, indeed.

ROSS: And those experiences were what?

WHITLEY: Well the first experience that my son brought to me happened in I believe in February of 1986. Anne and I had at that time were still working under the assumption that I had had some kind of psychotic collapse, or that I was the victim of some kind of brain disease. And we certainly weren't letting the little children know anything about this. And he suddenly came in to my bedroom in the night and said, "Daddy, I'm having some trouble because these little doctors, blue doctors with big lights keep coming into my bedroom at night, in the cabin, and I think they're real and I'm scared."

ANN: And you'd never said anything to him?

WHITLEY: No. But what was even more...

ANN: But didn't you miss him at one point? You got up one evening?

WHITLEY: Well see that I mention in a recent book, but as I also say in that book I'm not sure what happened there, because he never really said anything about it. It was only my perceptions. Maybe what happened was quite different from what it seemed.

ROSS: So this could be in your mind, it could be a figment of your imagination?

WHITLEY: It's not that simple. I wouldn't be out here if... It could be something other than what it seems. But what that would be, I don't know in view of the fact that so many people – I mean, how do you explain the five thousand letters that we've received so far from other people of all kinds of social background and education level who have had this experience.

ROSS: We have to take a commercial break. And I'm curious, you say your son has seen you lampooned on television shows, and there are a lot of skeptics. So why do you appear on tv? Why do you continue to write about this?

WHITLEY: Because if the visitors are real this is the most important thing that's ever happened and somebody's got to take the heat. It's as simple as that.

ROSS: And so you don't mind taking the heat?

WHITLEY: Yeah I mind, I hate it. But I do it anyway because it's important. It hurts like hell but...

ROSS: So you would just as soon not be here doing it?

WHITLEY: Absolutely not. Would you like to be in my seat?

ROSS: You're making a lot of money.

{audience laughter}

WHITLEY: I was a rich man long before I did this. I did this because it's important, not because of money.

ANN: When we come back maybe we can find out if you've contacted NASA or some other organizations that may support you in your...

WHITLEY: I've done a lot of that.

ANN: Ok, let's find out.

ROSS: Back in a moment.

ROSS:...We're talking about and questioning, as he is, some relationship he's had with what might be called alien beings. Where did this take...

WHITLEY: Well I call them "visitors" because it's a more neutral word. "Alien beings" means extraterrestrials again.

ROSS: Yeah, well let's show then a picture of this "visitor." This is from your book Communion.

{shows image from hardcover of Transformation}

ROSS: And this is how you saw them, correct? Almond shaped eyes?

WHITLEY: That's one of the variants that I've seen, yes. It's more than – they don't look all the same way at all.

ROSS: Can you tell, are there men and women?

WHITLEY: I have no idea.

ANN: So they're kind of unisex?

WHITLEY: I have no idea.

ANN: Kevin?

KEVIN: You make reference to the physical aspect, can you clarify that for me?

WHITLEY: The physical aspect in what sense?

KEVIN: In your experiences, you've mentioned little beings carried...

WHITLEY: Well it has a very physical aspect, because otherwise I certainly wouldn't be here. It's as if it was entirely real when it happens. When I've encountered them on a number of occasions, the experience has been completely indistinguishable from a real one. And that's also true of quite a number of other people who've had this experience.

KEVIN: If some little men carried me out of bed, I'd realize it.

WHITLEY: Well I did.

ANN: How did they do it, do you have any idea?

WHITLEY: I have no idea. And I also couldn't –

ANN: What was your sensation? Did they pick you up?

WHITLEY: While I was being carried? That I couldn't move my legs and arms, and I thought I was in some kind of a dream because it's too unbelievable, it's beyond belief, what was happening to me.

ROSS: And there are people who would say, maybe you were dreaming.

WHITLEY: Well, they'd have to be very careful about that, because I've done a lot of - I've done too much, in terms of interviewing with psychiatrists and psychologists, taking psychological tests, taking various tests of my brain, because I was zeroing in on physical abnormalities when they started telling me I was mentally healthy. It's not so easy to say that, especially because of the fact that some of the more subtle aspects of the experience, such as the stress reaction that took place at first, are characteristic of what happens when people are traumatized by a real event, more than when they have a nightmare.

ANN: Hal?

HAL: Yes, did you have to be asleep to have this occur?

WHITLEY: No. Well that time I was certainly asleep when it started but there have been a number of recent occasions when I was awake when it happened. And there also are neighbors who've seen these lights coming to my house and stuff, I mean it's a very odd thing that's going on. It's not so easy to dismiss, which is what makes it interesting.

ROSS: Yes sir.

SIR: Obviously this is really emotional for you, I mean, how long are you going to keep doing this and what do you think is going to eventually make people believe?

WHITLEY: How long am I going to keep doing this? I am just about finished with this. And there's a very specific reason for it: I've taken this as far as I can take it, until and unless the visitors give physical proof of their existence, there's really nothing more to do. The thing I've done or tried to do, and been somewhat, I don't know, mixed success with, is to bring this into real question in people's minds instead of just laughing it off, which is a form of denial. Or saying "Oh yes, they are definitely visitors from alpha centauri," or somewhere. Or saying "Oh no, this can't exist, it's nonsense." It's developed into a real question in a lot of people's minds, and a very open and healthy question, which is what it should be.

ANN: Whitley, do you ever ask yourself, why me? Why our cabin?

WHITLEY: Uh-huh, yeah. I sure do. Another writer I know who is probably a better writer than I am told me about six months ago that this had happened to him in the late sixties. Only his experience took place over a two day period. And he said "You know," he said, "I wish now I had said something about the little men but I just lived with it because I couldn't face going public with a story like that." So I apparently I was second choice.

SHARON: You appear to be sad, very defensive. Why do you refuse hypnosis if you tried...

WHITLEY: I've done hypnosis and my doctor said that we've done enough, that he was no longer able to feel comfortable with whether or not my imagination was getting in the way of the hypnosis sessions.

BURT: Since this has happened, a lot of incidents, have you ever tried trapping them, you know by getting them on videotape or something like that?

WHITLEY: Ok, we have tried cameras, we have tried automatic cameras, we have tried automatic tape recording system – battery powered tape recording system. We have tried various forms of videotape including a no-light videocamera that has an infrared assist, and you can see by the look on my face what the results were.

ANN: Was the film or the tape in every instance destroyed or somehow harmed or just that nothing was...

WHITLEY: No, no. I have a list this long of the various things that happened. Ranging from batteries going dead that were fresh in the machinery, supposed to last for six hours, and we get up in the morning, the batteries, the thing is already quit working sometime in the middle of the night. Extremely frustrating experiences.

ROSS: How do they communicate to one another?

WHITLEY: I don't know.

ROSS: It's quiet, then, when you're with them?

WHITLEY: It can be very quiet. I've heard sometimes, and the people in my cabin have heard - who were in my cabin last June when these beings were apparently walking around in the room with them – they heard this sort of garbled, kind of high voice which I've heard there a couple of times too. But how that could be a language I don't know because it sounds like somebody who really can't, doesn't know how to talk.

ANN: Robert Sheaffer, you sit next to Whitley Strieber. You hear these stories, you are a self-proclaimed ufo skeptic. What do you think of all this?

ROBERT SHEAFFER: Well one thing is very clear, is what Whitley is telling us is fundamentally, it's a subjective experience. There really is no tangible solid proof that would be clear about the reality of these things. There are a lot of subjective experiences in this world that are claimed, and not just visitors, people – there are hundreds or even thousands as far as I'm aware of – other people who claimed to have had some sort of "alien abduction" or alien-like abduction.

ANN: But should we dismiss them because they are subjective?

ROBERT: Well, I...What we need is proof. And that's precisely what we don't have here. We don't have anything tangible in fact if what he is saying is literally true in every aspect, then it would seem all the known laws of the universe are being broken in order to make batteries go dead and cameras fail and things like this, so that these things can avoid being detected.

WHITLEY: I wouldn't agree with that.

ROSS: Do you think there's any possibilities that there are ufos?

ROBERT: Certainly there's a possibility. Anything, virtually, is possible. However it's not a question of what's possible but a question of what is. You know, a winged dinosaur flying in the sky is possible but it doesn't happen to be at this time.

WHITLEY: Are you sure?

{audience laughter}

ROBERT: Well, we haven't seen one. Unless you have.

{audience laughter}

WHITLEY: No, I haven't yet, thank goodness!

{audience laughter}

ANN: Please, give the man some measure of sanity, please. Mario?

MARIO: Are you always abducted inside this cabin, or...

WHITLEY: No, we've tried it in a few other places to see what it's like. Uh...

ANN: That was facetious.

WHITLEY: It was facetious. No, in truth, ninety percent of this has happened in this cabin. And that was another thing that's really made me wonder about the whole issue of mental and physical brain problems or mental problems causing it, because why does it only happen to me in this one place, in the great majority of my experiences? We had even had the water examined by experts on the theory that maybe there was some allergen in the water that was effecting me but not the rest of my family.

ROSS: Chuck?

CHUCK: Whitley, you said you were rich before you started writing on this. Were you a successful writer?

WHITLEY: Yeah, I've had a number of best sellers, two movies made of my books and I come from a family that we had a lot of money always, and I hate to be so blunt about it but money was just not an issue when I wrote this.

ANN: Do you find that you now have groupies that come around the cabin?

WHITLEY: Not that come around the cabin, I don't think that they've really gotten up the nerve to do that yet. But um they –

ANN: The people who are dying to see, perhaps...

WHITLEY: One of the problems is this. If the visitors are real and there's no physical proof, it means that they must be trying hard – as they seem to have in my case – to prevent us from having physical proof. That to me says, we've got to keep this in question. My problem with groupies is that they don't keep it in question.

ANN: It's an absolute.

WHITLEY: It's an absolute, right. They beleive it absolutely.

ROSS: And I would think, Robert, if we can put someone on the moon, why couldn't somebody else come here?

ROBERT: Well that's not the question. We're not talking about a nuts and bolts object, one that comes and lands and leaves burn marks and is witnessed by thousands of people and tracked on radar and photographed by dozens as it comes in. Clearly, we're dealing with something that goes "peekaboo" with us in fact we're dealing with something that goes bump in the night, that sneaks up in your bedroom and grabs you.

ROSS: But they could be so far advanced of our technology...

WHITLEY: I would really disagree a little bit with this statement because there is more physicality to this experience than I believe that Robert would allow.

ROSS: Let's explore some of that right after a commercial break.

KAREN: You mention that it was visual, and you mention your senses, you also mention that there was some sort of a sound although I presume from what you said that it was not verbal communication as we know it.

WHITLEY: No, there's been verbal communication.

KAREN: Ok well you hadn't said that.

WHITLEY: I know.

KAREN: But there was one other thing, how about tactile? They have touched you?

WHITLEY: Yeah I was touched, sure, they carried me out.

ANN: Have you touched them?

WHITLEY: Uh, no!

{audience laughter}

ANN: Why not?

WHITLEY: You should see them! I wouldn't want to touch them.

ANN: I would think that your curiosity would make you do it.

ROSS: What did it feel like when they touched you?

WHITLEY: There was a sense of over – Well that's a very interesting question, because it was very different from the way it feels when a human being touches me. Where their hands were touching me, were holding me when they carried me out of the house that night in December of 1985, at every point it felt almost like I was having a mild electrical shock. And I also could not move my arms and legs, and I've thought since that they may have been literally doing something to my nervous system with their hands that was preventing me from – with the gloves on their hands – that was preventing me from moving.

ROSS: So they do have hands, limbs, feet.

WHITLEY: Which is another odd thing. I have talked to a lot of biologists about this, and people think that why would they even look remotely like us? And that's a good question, I don't understand it either.

ANN: Hal?

HAL: You mentioned earlier something about putting something behind your ear...

WHITLEY: Yeah, they put a needle into my head...

HAL: And in the picture on the book I noticed they had no ears or it looked like they had no ears.

WHITLEY: I didn't see any ears on them but then again it was dark and I was not in full possession of my calm and supposedly rational senses.

ANN: What's your question about the ears?

HAL: Well I was just wondering if they had ears. Maybe they had a fascination about your ears or the fact that we have (ears and they haven't.)

ROSS: And you have nice ears, Whitley.

WHITLEY: I tell you, the most difficult moment in the experience came for me when the neurologist – I took this MRI scan – and the neurologist had found these scars that were in, actually not only the one behind the ear in the brain but also up in my forebrain, and I remember a needle going up my nose at one point that I also reported in Communion.

ROSS: Where is, excuse me where is your cabin?

WHITLEY: Oh, it's a hundred and fifty miles north of New York City, in the Hudson Valley.

ROSS: Can you kind of describe what it's like around there?

WHITLEY: Well yeah, it's a nice little cabin and it looks perfectly normal in every respect, on sixteen acres of land with a lot of woods and some meadows.

ANN: Maurice?

MAURICE: Yeah, I had two questions. The first was since there've really been no ufo sightings in correlation to what's happened...

WHITLEY: There have been. Absolutely.

MAURICE: Um, well have you ever considered the fact that maybe it's not necessarily alien life, that it's another form of earth bound life?

WHITLEY: I certainly have, and one of the things that I've explored as extensively as I could and there's not really much on this, is the idea of what happens if someone gives you a hallucinogenic drug and then hypnotizes you. No one, and the truth of the matter is no one really knows because there's very little literature about it. See, if this is being done to me by people who are trying to create the impression that aliens are real, I mean that's a possibility that I can't ignore.

ANN: Almost more frightening than the other.

WHITLEY: Oh, it's terribly frightening.

ANN: But you said something about language.

WHITLEY: They speak English, yeah.

ANN: They speak English?

WHITLEY: Absolutely, but when they speak...

ANN: Now people groan because they don't believe it.

WHITLEY: Well why wouldn't they, though? If they've been here as long as at least forty or fifty years people have been seeing ufos, they haven't learned the English language but also are smart enough to get here, then something would be wrong with them.

ROBERT: And Gaelic too, according to your book.

WHITLEY: And Gaelic too, exactly.

ROSS: Bernie?

BERNIE: How has this effected you in this whole relationship with your family and have these encounters always occurred at night?

WHITLEY: Yeah, except for I think except for one or two that have happened like early in the morning, they've always occurred at night. The family situation has been a profound dislocation at first in my family life, but as we've learned to have relationship with this, and we relate to the visitors as if they were real because we have to, but we keep the thing in question like Dr. Klein counseled me, "live at a high level of uncertainty." And it turns out to be a very healthy way to live. Healthy for the whole family, actually. And we are all in pretty good shape at this point, I mean except for these lights.
{referring to the tv studio lights}

ROSS: We got a couple more messages for you, and we'll be back with more of Whitley Strieber's story.

ROSS: Robert was questioning some of the physical proof of this, and you say there's a lot of physical proof.

WHITLEY: Well let's be specific. What he's saying is completely correct. There is no physical object in the public domain that would prove, that is provably from another planet. The circumstantial evidence however is very strong, that there is something strange going on that could very well be people from another planet.

ROSS: What kind of evidence are we talking about?

WHITLEY: An example is my case. Two of my neighbors, in fact the only two neighbors who have houses that look toward my property to any great degree and also are living there full time, both of them have seen strange objects coming to this house. The husband and wife at one place and just the husband at the other. Two of these experiences were reported before they knew anything about Communion. We've had now a case when there were nine people in the house including three quite skeptical journalists last June, and there was an experience that took place in that house that was almost indistinguishable from a visitor experience that happened to three people at the same time, who all woke up in bed, in cots in the living room – it's not that big a house – and all were simultaneously paralyzed, all awakened at exactly 3:30 in the morning. And all heard, felt and saw approximately the same things happening around them. Which were shadowy figures moving rapidly around in the room, the sound of footsteps, the strange little garbled sort of cry, that we've heard from time to time. And they were once heard a voice say quite clearly, "We won't hurt you, be calm." And one of them, the most skeptical of the three who was just sure this was not physical, they picked up the end of his bed three times and put it back down on the ground, which he felt and the others all heard. Now how do you explain that in terms of hallucinations? I don't know how. And these are not – I just really don't know to explain it.

ANN: Frank?

FRANK: Did these creatures ever express a reason or purpose for doing this? You said at the beginning this was clearly not a scientific expedition. What's the motivation? Why'd they do it at all?

WHITLEY: It's something that if they turn out to be real we should probably try hard to find out. But I don't think that the best minds in the human species have ever addressed themselves to that question.

ANN: But they so far as you know with the little bit of communicating they did, did not communicate a purpose to you?

WHITLEY: I know what happened to me and the effect in my life. I can't say that that was their purpose, though. The effect in my life was I went from hell until I began to learn how to keep it in question and live with them as if they were real at the same time. A relationship thing developed, of sorts, and it became – like this thing that happened in June was very structured, and it wasn't involving people being dragged out of the house and stuff. It was much more structured than that.

ROSS: Were the three journalists who were in your living room –

WHITLEY: One journalist and two other people in the living room. Two other journalists were in different parts of the house.

ROSS: Are they willing to validate what went on?

WHITLEY: Oh yes, they have been. As a matter of fact they've been on a number of shows already.

ROSS: Now Christopher, you have, well you tell the story, you've been on board a ufo.

CHRIS: Yeah (laugh). And?

ROSS: And what went on?

CHRIS:: Well, a number of things were done to me, I'm not sure exactly what they meant and what they were for.

ROSS: Was that here in California?

CHRIS: It was here in California up in the Sierra Nevada foothills outside of {?}, California.

ROSS: Were you alone?

CHRIS: I was alone but I was in a house with three of my roommates. I was taken through the bedroom out of the house of one of my roommates and he, later – even though at the time I didn't know that that was the cause – he was later hospitalized and had a nervous breakdown and hasn't been the same since I was taken through the room.

ANN: And they implanted something in you, did they not?

CHRIS: They may have, I think it's a possibility, yeah. Something I discovered shortly after that. But, I don't like to go into implants – everyone wants me to you know hack them out of my body and offer some bloody lump as proof.

WHITLEY: You know this is a very interesting issue that he brings up, this issue of implants, because one of the things I've done with this money from Communion that I did not really need is I've formed something called the Communion Foundation, and one of the things it's doing is it's providing financing for people like Christopher to go to doctors and to get magnetic resonance imaging scanning done of their bodies and brains so that we can see if there are any implants there.

ROSS: Do you have a plate in your body?

CHRIS: A plate?

ROSS: A plate, an insert, an implant, something? I don't know.

CHRIS: There's a couple things I remember being done. One to my head, one behind my right ear and one on my lower back, and perhaps in my calves.

ROSS: Have you gone through any kind of test to see if you have any unusual?

CHRIS: I've had a doctor look at the one on my back once. He didn't know what it was and suggested that they have it taken out.

ROSS: But is it metal, is it..?

CHRIS:: I have no idea, it hasn't been x-rayed. I'm still - all of this is still in the offing.

ROSS: But if he looked at it, what did he look at? Is it inside your body?

CHRIS:: You can feel it through the skin, and it's hard.

ANN: Christopher was with us once before and I felt it and it was a hard rectangular little shape. You might be asking yourself "well why doesn't NASA get involved?" or some of the other big things? We'll take a commercial break, Robert, we'll get your response right after these messages, thanks.

MARLEEN: Um, since this experience has obviously effected more that just you, why haven't you or a group of people that you've worked with gone en masse to NASA to talk about this?

WHITLEY: We have.

MARLEEN: And what was the result?

WHITLEY: There was no reply at all to the letter I sent with fifty signatures.

{murmur from audience}

ROSS: Chet?

CHET: Robert, do you have any opinion of the motivation behind Whitley's statements?

ROBERT: Well it's hard for anyone to speak about someone else's motivations. Whitley certainly acts as if he believes this, and I have every reason to believe he's probably sincere in believing this, but as I said before it's a for the most part a highly subjective experience. Now I wanted to comment on what we were saying earlier about these so called implants, now if these things are really there and can be substantiated, then there's the proof. We can stop arguing about whether any of this is true if somebody could extract a piece of metal with extraterrestrial silicon chips or something on it. Now if something is superficial and easily gotten at, I would think that somebody should have it out just to see what it really is.

ROSS: That is what you'd ask Christopher, I guess. Wouldn't this be simple?

ROBERT: Depending on where it is, of course. Or, sooner of later, and we're not talking about - these are not the only two people in the world who've made this claim, Budd Hopkins has a number of others who think this – and sooner or later some of those people are going to die and when they do, if they are autopsied and if this is pulled out and is shown to be something substantial, there's your proof. But on the other hand, if five percent of the population of the US has what he's describing, then it's something natural and it's something that's very widespread and it doesn't require strange explanation.

ANN: Linda?

LINDA: Whitley, you mentioned you had difficulty in dreaming after this incident. I was wondering what your dreams were like now and if you felt that they were communicating to you through your dreams.

WHITLEY: There have been a couple of incidents that seemed to me to be incredibly strange and vivid that happened to me while I was asleep. But mostly my dream life seemed quite normal and surprisingly lacking in like the kind of nightmares you would think that this would cause. That wasn't always true, but once I began to get a handle on it and began to be comfortable with the truth of it, which is that I always seem to come back ok, at least superficially, that the nightmares sort of faded away. Now the one incident I do remember which was so bizarre, I was asleep and suddenly I saw and felt awake but couldn't open my eyes, and a face, one of these sort of alien faces was right in front of me, and they, and I was looking at this face and trying to open my eyes, and realized I must be dreaming. Then, someone held up a typed piece of paper with a name on it of someone, a woman who had written me a letter about six months before, and I remembered the name. Then they took the piece of paper down and I lay there still aware of the fact that I was in my bed looking at this peculiar face thinking what in the heck is this, a dream of what? And they held up another piece of paper with typing on it that said "Very interesting eye contact." End of story.

ANN: Did you communicate with her after the dream?

WHITLEY: Yes, I wrote her a letter telling her about this and I got what could be described as an answer which she was extremely curious, because she didn't know what to make of it any more than I do.

ROSS: Do you make any connection between Chris' story and your story at all?

WHITLEY: Well when he points to his head and says behind my right ear, yeah there seems to be some sort of a connection. But you know I would like to get back to this issue of implants just briefly. I have in my will it is stated that I will be autopsied, thoroughly, after I die. To find if there is anything to find. However I don't know if I was in Christopher's position if I would have anything removed even if it was on the surface. Because who knows what function it may perform even if it seems that it is just some superficial thing.

CHRIS: When I first had the lump examined back in 1981 by this physician at UC med center I had no idea it was involved with any of these experiences that I had. And even at the time I had made an appointment to have it removed. And the day I was on the bus on the way up there I just, it was a simple thing just to lay and have a little local stuff in and to have him pop it out he said, but I was overwhelmed with this fear that something horrible would happen to me if anyone touched it, and I had no reason.

ROSS: And maybe these aliens are keeping you from having anything done about it. Maybe even in an autopsy situation they'll blow up your body or something?

WHITLEY: Well who knows? I mean maybe if once we get a better handle on this maybe some people who have these surface implants - apparent surface implants - and Christopher's not the only one - should try to have them removed to see what's going on. But I would wait until we know more.

ROSS: Just so we know where Robert is, do you believe we put a man on the moon? Just I'm curious.

ROBERT: (laugh) No wait a minute, let's get the perspective here.

ROSS: Do you think we put a man on the moon?

ROBERT: (laugh) Of course. I don't want to be painted into the corner of looking like I'm...The viewpoint of skepticism is in fact the majority viewpoint of the scientific community. Ninety nine point nine percent of the scientists of the world do not accept these kinds of claims.

ROSS: Ok we'll be back after this.

ROSS: Anthony?

ANTHONY: My question is, when a ufo came to the cabin where did it take you and what did you discuss?

WHITLEY: I didn't discuss anything and I'm not absolutely sure where they took me. I was too scared the first time. The second time it happened however, about a year later, they asked me "What can we do to help you?" and I answered, "You can help me to fear you less." Because that was and is the fundamental problem, I think. And they said "We will help you, but it will be very hard." And I then went through, it's – we're nearly at the end of the show, I can't describe it in great detail, but, a complicated series of almost dramatic episodes, each one of which seemed to be orchestrated by them, led me deeper into my own perception of my fears and to a great degree freed me from those fears. If they've done anything for me, they have really freed me from a lot of fear without closing the question of what they are at all.

ANN: Joe?

JOE: Before you said something about forty or fifty years for ufo sightings. Seems to me I've read it's been hundreds of years, and doesn't it seem strange to you –

WHITLEY: Well I said at least forty of fifty years. And I think that Joe what you're bringing up is interesting. And let me, because we're running low on time, you're talking about the fact that this has a long history and may even be connected with things like the fairy folklore of the past and the Gods and so forth and so on and demons and so on. This may be true and in this sense what we may be looking at is what the human mind sees, what a conscious mind sees, when the force of evolutionary change acts upon it. Something like that. It could be very different from what it appears. But still very far from prosaic hallucination explanations.

ANN: Well then Danikan's whole book...

WHITLEY: Well even better, Jacques Vallee's book Dimensions, which discusses this in considerable detail.

ROSS: Robert, we only have a few second left and you wanted to make a comment.

ROBERT: And yet every one of these ufos has managed to slip away before the evidence became too convincing.

WHITLEY: Well I would agree, that's quite true.

ROSS: So there are still many more questions to be asked. So you're going to give it up when, Whitley?

WHITLEY: Well this is my last book tour. I do have a new book at this time, out.

ROSS: You want to mention it?


{audience laughter}

ROSS: Ok. He's on a book tour not telling his book...

WHITLEY: It's called Transformation, and it's the last thing I can do without physical proof. If physical proof comes, I'll come back.

ROBERT: {bounces up and down in his chair laughing}

ANN: Great!

ROSS: Whitley Strieber, Robert Sheaffer, thank you.