This blog has been alternately sympathetic to and critical of Strieber's "visitor" mythos. On one hand, I think the cautious, questioning approach evident in Strieber's books is consistent with the bizarre events he describes. It's equally obvious to me that Strieber's own creative and intellectual predispositions have colored his testimony to some degree, although I find it extremely hard to blame him given the high strangeness of his encounters.
My criticisms of Strieber are almost universally leveled at his online endeavors. Specifically, I think his website is awful -- perhaps one of the worst high-profile sources of fringe news online, teeming with pointless filler, credulous "reporting" based on the exploits of Linda Moulton Howe, and incessant pleas to buy books and DVDs. Readers are forever reminded that their financial contributions are needed to keep the site online, a sentiment at odds with Strieber's duly reported success at selling his work to Hollywood. In his quest to turn UnknownCountry.com into the Web's biggest seller of fringe titles, we're asked to accept Strieber as a virtual pauper -- which may prove difficult for the myriad Fortean bloggers who do it both better and infinitely cheaper.
To some, Strieber's online sensationalism negates his testimony as an "abductee." But in our rush to pigeonhole "Communion's" author as a metaphysical huckster (thus erasing the bothersome -- if tantalizing -- specter of the "visitors" in a single stroke), we miss out on a potentially rich understanding of how the UFO phenomenon interacts with us on an individual level.
Strieber himself has emphasized the emphatically personal nature of the contact experience, suggesting that its operative intelligence has chosen to bypass bureaucratic authority in favor of a deeper, more pervasive dialogue with our species. Even if Strieber is wrong about everything else, I suspect he's struck a vitally important vein -- with or without the assistance of the diminutive humanoids that populate his books.
(For more on Strieber, refer to Beyond Communion.)