Her husband and her son have had amazing experiences with “the visitors.” How does this wife and mother feel about her family's encounters?


LHJ: What have been your own experiences at the cabin conceming the visitors?

ANNE: I've heard noises that Whitley says he recognizes as the noises the visitors make. I've seen lights come by the house on nights when people have had visitor experiences. In fact, several times I've said to Whitley, “They're coming.” And what do you know, the next morning when we wake up, whoever our weekend houseguest was says, “You know, I had a very interesting dream last night.” Then he or she may start to tell us all sorts of familiar things.

LHJ: Certainly there are people who don't believe your husband's story. How does that make you feel?

ANNE: I understand these people, because I used to laugh about UFOs; I used to think it was ridiculous. I understand why someone would say, “How could this be true?” The only reason I do feel that this is happening is not just because it's happened to Whitley and Andrew but because I've corresponded with so many people to whom it's happening. I have read letters from and met so many nice, sober, ordinary people who have had these experiences that I have no choice but to believe what they are saying.

LHJ: What has your son told you about his startling encounter'?

ANNE: He remembers being taken out of the cabin in the middle of the night by what reminded him of “little doctors.” He remembers seeing strange food, strange writing. He also saw things that other people have described. This is almost always true – that people see things that other people; whom they have never met and couldn't know about, also saw. That's why we know that this is some sort of real experience.

LHJ: After your son's abduction, how can you return to the cabin?

ANNE: I'm not afraid to keep going back. The cabin is my favorite place in the world. Some people think that it's kind of like the Amityville Horror or something that has to do with the house. Of course, it doesn't; the visitor phenomenon follows people throughout their whole lives. You can't run away from them.

LHJ: How has the visitor experience affected your son emotionally?

ANNE: I think my son is very' special and very' lucky because he didn't have to feel that we were laughing at him and not believing him. He is growing up in a unique situation, yet he is like the rest of the individuals who have had experiences. He puts them out of his daily life. He doesn't go around and talk about them with many people. In his own way he is still an ordinary' kid who likes to read MAD magazine.

LHJ: Have his relationships with other children been affected?

ANNE: I think he takes a broader view of life. The petty quarrels of everyday existence don't affect him as deeply. He is very sensitive to injustices done to others; he can't understand why some kids make fun of other kids or point out their differences when the truth is that everyone is so alike.

LHJ: Have the visitations affected your marriage in any way?

ANNE: When Whitley was so troubled by his memories before he found out what was causing them, we were having terrific fights and great unhappiness. Neither my son nor I could figure out what was wrong with Whitley and why he had such sadness. Everyone expected that when he finally came to me and said, “Well, I've been hypnotized and this is what I remember...” I would have been terrified. Actually, I was quite relieved and grateful that the problems didn't originate with me or our son.

We get hundreds of letters from men and women who tell us that that they have kept their experiences a secret. I understand their concerns and their sadness all too well. What causes a husband or wife to reject the reality of their spouse's experience is fear: They are terrified that the world might be different from the way they see it. We all try to get our lives in order and under control, and when this idea of visitors comes into your life, everything is turned upside down.

LHJ: Why do you think the visitors have decided to come here?

ANNE: I think we have a lot of exploring to do before we find out their exact purpose. But I do know that they help people individually to grow. Many people who have had visitor experiences have changed their entire outlook on life, have become more open-minded. I think their realization that there is more to life than just the ground we are standing on, than just our everyday existence, is what is so magical.

LHJ: Do you have any desire to be taken by the visitors yourself?

ANNE: At this point, I am interested in getting to know the visitors in a more direct way, in having an experience. At first I wouldn't have said that because it was enough for me to cope with Whitley's and Andrew's experiences and those of thousands of others. Currently, I'm learning about what I might need to do inside myself to be more open to the idea of visitors. I have to find out in what ways I am afraid, in what ways overcontrolled, perhaps, and too wedded to everyday life. I think that if I take this journey inside myself, I may be able to help other people to take it, too.

Anne Strieber: My Story
© 1998 Barbara Clayman. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.