Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Keyhoe Report notes an apparent contradiction between Whitley Strieber's "Communion" and "Breakthrough." Take a look.

It seems clear that Strieber is either confabulating or else chose not to include the "juicier" story in "Communion" for whatever reason (which I concede is entirely possible).

Strieber relates the latter version of the story in a recent interview with Dave Navarro. I'm inclined to think the account related in "Communion" was censored by the author, but I'm certainly open to less flattering possibilities.


rorschach said...

I was unable to post this comment at The Keyhoe Report website, despite several attempts, so I'll note it here (please read The Keyhoe Report webpage concerned first that Mac has linked to for clarification of the issue in dispute):

Since Sarbacher is dead, and Strieber has published two diametrically opposed or contradictory stories, it would seem that the remaining source of possibly being able to parse this question would depend on what Barry Greenwood is able to recall of this contact by Strieber with him.

I've just sent an email to Greenwood with this informational link. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Greenwood has to say about this matter. If he gives permission, and has an opinion or recalls the particulars of this contradiction in Strieber's writings, I will note the details here.

Better yet, it would most appropriate for Greenwood to make his own comment here if he can help sort out this matter.

My personal conjecture is that Strieber either confabulated (a form of delusion) or lied (a form of intentional deception) the account in the latter book, "Breakthrough."

Either way, this is quite significant as an example or case of how accurate or honest Strieber has been with his readers. It does not look good.

rorschach said...

Related to the above comment:


(a 1983 letter from Dr. Robert Sarbacher to William Steinman responding to Steinman's inquiries by letter to reports of crashed ufo's)

DMDuncan said...

Rorschach, thanks for the news about the posting problem on my site. I'll get on that problem right away.

Carol Maltby said...

Referring to Jim Brandon's Weird America:

Whitley Strieber, in his Breakthrough, writes that a spontaneous levitation of stones took place in Stone Ridge, New York in 1803, near his cabin, according to Weird America. John Carter, author of Sex & Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons, and a fan of Weird America, denies this--and indeed, I have not found such an incident in Brandon's work.


W.M. Bear said...

Actually, it is possible (as Mac, I think, seems to imply) to "reconcile" the two accounts by Whitley, though it involves what might strike many people as rationalization and even casuistry.

That said, I'm starting to believe that Whitley Strieber's "Communion" series is somewhat on a par with Carlos Casteneda's "Don Juan" books, which have been conclusively demonstrated to rest on dubious factuality if taken literally, as an objective account of events.

But that is my whole point. I would suggest that this entire genre belongs neither to "fact" nor "fiction" but exists in its own mythic universe where it is "archetypally true" -- when all is said and done, the only truth that really matters to a dedicated occultist....

Mac said...

Nice work, Rorschach. Keep us posted.

rorschach said...

Hey, thanks for the compliment, Mac. Appreciate it.

"Keep us posted."

Heh! Well, you asked for it--take a deep breath, and bear with me--this is the longest comment to a post I've ever made. Once again breaking the rule that the comment shouldn't be longer than the post it responds to. Oh, well. :^)

Hope it's worth your time perusing it, y'all. I'd appreciate any productive feedback about what I've written here others may care to offer, and which towards the end, when I note some speculative opinions, may seem rather harsh, but I have to call it as see it--a spade is a spade after all, not a sweet-smelling bouquet of blue roses. Except on the quantum level, perhaps.

I spoke yesterday afternoon to Barry Greenwood about this matter, after he sent me two emails last morning about what Sarbacher told him directly in August of 1985, and Barry was kind enough to include a .pdf copy of his early CAUS newsletter, called "Just Cause" (Issue #5, September 1985) detailing Sarbacher's comments to Barry about his knowledge of the "debris materials" and supposed entities and how Sarbacher wrote, quoting from the William Steinman letter:

"About the only thing I remember at this time is that certain materials reported to have come from flying saucer crashes were extremely light and very tough. I am sure our laboratories analysed them very carefully." and that furthermore, "I got the impression these 'aliens' were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low."

(see the link I noted above, tinyurl.com/22zexr, for a copy of Sarbacher's original letter to Steinman, which Sarbacher, when asked about it in Aug. 1985 by Greenwood, confirmed was authentic, and not a hoax)

Now, quoting from "Just Cause", Greenwood's comments about the case, and what Sarbacher told him directly (this is quite lengthy, but since "Just Cause" is not online--yet--I thought it proper to cut and paste Greenwood's comments from his newsletter for full detail and disclosure):

"Remarkable statements indeed! They still do not amount to proof of crashed UF0s as they must be considered second-hand accounts of the meetings. However, neither do we ignore them. Your editor made several attempts to call Dr. Sarbacher in the past without success. Sarbacher also did not answer a letter sent to him so I thought it might be a lost cause to get through, as has happened so often in the past with government-oriented contacts on UF0s.

"This situation abruptly turned around when on 8/5/85 Attorney Robert Bletchman of CAUS managed to make contact with Sarbacher. Bletchman informed me that Sarbacher was available so with that I called and finally
made connections.

"First, and most importantly, Sarbacher confirmed to me that the information in the Steinman letter was based on his recollection and was not a hoax. Hoax letters and documents have plagued us in the past and many potential "blockbusters" have fallen by the wayside because what at first appeared to be sensational UF0 incidents ended up as crude attempts to mislead investigators.

"Sarbacher's involvement in this subject came about due to his connection to the Research and Development Board. He was primarily in charge of National Scientific Laboratories, a private company which supplied experts for various projects. At the time of the R&DB meetings, Sarbacher was closely involved in an attempt to set up a radar monitoring system near the North Pole to detect missiles launched from the Soviet Union. Sarbacher's company supplied 300-400 people, mostly engineers, to General Electric for their task of putting the system together. As various problems developed along the way, Sarbacher would be in touch with the engineers from his Washington office to solve the problems. This required his constant attention and kept him from devoting time to the UFO-related meetings of the R&DB. Sarbacher's role with the R&DB was as Chairman of the Guidance and Control Panel of the Guided Missile Committee of the R&DB.

"The R&DB meetings were not necessarily UFO meetings per se but were part of their regular schedule and UFOs came up among other subjects under discussion. Sarbacher told me that since he did not attend the meetings, he had only heard snippets of stories which others more closely involved in the meetings had heard. This included the information in his 11/29/83 letter to Steinman. The crash/retrieval data originally came from Wright Field, as Sarbacher recalls.

"Sarbacher also received UFO reports from time to time aside from the R&DB mettings. These consisted of regular UFO sightings which went to Project Blue Book plus reports of objects which fell into water and subsequent failed recovery attempts. He said that the budget was limited for such recoveries so, to his knowledge, nothing was actually retrieved from the water. I asked him why he received these sightings and he said that since his company collected data on missile guidance & control, the people receiving the information (Wright Field) passed them along to him for information purposes. Sarbacher said some files were at National Scientific Laboratories but the company was sold long ago and he has lost track of their whereabouts or even whether they exist anymore.

"Curiously, Sarbacher seemed genuinely surprised to hear about the Smith memo as he was not aware that the information he gave to the Canadian Embassy had been written up by Wilbert Smith and then rediscovered by UFOlogists later.

"What can we say about all this? Clearly, Dr. Sarbacher was near to, but not in on, high level discussions on UFOs. I note with interest his remarks about UFOs entering the water. I mentioned the Puget Sound case to him (see JUST CAUSE, Sept. 84, Mar. 85) but he did not react to this. His reminisces fill in a few gaps about his involvement, particularly on why he received UFO information in the first place. Most notably, his statements point directly to the Research and Development Board as a source having very detailed knowledge of the UFO phenomenon, including impressive physical evidence. The records of the R&DB are being sought and we have names and a time period to focus upon. CAUS feels it is close to some very seminal early UFO research by the government. We hope to have good news to report to you in the near future on the discovery of these files."

So, where does this controversy stand, given these details? Well, for one thing, you have Strieber initially stating clearly that he never was able to talk to Sarbacher once he heard, belatedly, of the Steinman letter, as noted in "Communion":

"As Dr. Sarbacher died on July 26, 1986, a few days before I became aware of his letter, I was unable to interview him, but I discussed his case with Mr. Barry Greenwood..." (pg. 227)

Then, on pg. 228, Strieber says:

"I did not know of Dr. Sarbacher and his letter until August 9, 1986, months after I had my experiences."

Here we have, twice, Strieber's comments in "Communion" about how he only found out about Sarbacher's letter to Steinman "a few days" after Sarbacher's death. That would seem rather definite.

Then, you have Sarbacher's letter to Steinman, wherein Sarbacher indicates "I had no association with any of the people involved in the recovery and have no knowledge regarding the dates of the recoveries. If I had I would send it to you." Sarbacher goes on to say, later in his letter to Steinman, "My association with the Research and Development Board under Dr. Compton during the Eisenhower administration was rather limited so that although I had been invited to participate in several discussions associated with the reported recoveries, I could not personally attend the meetings. I am sure that they would have asked Dr. von Braun and the others that you listed were probably asked and may or may not have attended. This is all I know for sure."

Sarbacher goes on to write in his letter, "About the only thing I remember at this time is that certain materials reported to have come from flying saucer crashes were extremely light and very tough. I am sure our laboratories analyzed them very carefully."

"There were reports that instruments or people operating these machines were also of very light weight, sufficient to withstand the tremendous deceleration and acceleration associated with their machinery. I remember in talking with some of the people at the office that I got the impression these 'aliens' were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low."

"I still do not know why the high order of classification has been given and why the denial of the existence of these devices."

So, while these excerpts from Sarbacher's letter to Steinman are highly suggestive and quite intriguing, as Sarbacher himself notes, his knowledge was peripheral, not direct, and thus a second-hand account, from unknown and unnamed people he had some discussions with. He does not disclose, to Steinman at least, how detailed or in depth these talks were, but based on his comments in the letter to Steinman, they would appear somewhat superficial in nature, and which Barry Greenwood confirmed Sarbacher told him, also (Barry and I discussed these matters during a 40-minute conversation we had earlier yesterday).

These recollections of Sarbacher's were also 35+ years after the fact or when his chats with co-workers and participants on the R&D Board occurred. Sarbacher was elderly by this time, noted his recall was somewhat imprecise, and he died less than 3 years later.

(( A related interview Stanton Friedman did with Dr. Sarbacher, btw, can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/2x6z32 -- see also: http://tinyurl.com/226hs8
for some rather curious interview statements by Dr. Eric Walker, who was the Executive Director of the R&DB in 1950/51, when he talked to Willian Steinman -- in 1987-- and Henry Azadehdel, who talked briefly to Dr. Walker three times ---in 1990-- using the name Dr. Armen Victorian--it gets pretty strange and convoluted, but I would say Dr. Walker was a pretty sharp, covert cookie who must have had loads of sardonic fun talking to various ufo researchers during the era the above noted interviews with him took place. Walker was also supposedly at the Kecksberg 1965 crash site. The references above are from Grant Cameron's Presidential UFO site, which is rather interesting to explore.))

At no point, in either his letter to Steinman, nor his conversation less than 2 years later with Greenwood, did Sarbacher ever state or write, as far as I know, that he had direct, first-hand knowledge of the date of any crash or retrieval, the metallic "debris" materials, the personel involved in "recovery," or the "insect"-like entities he was told about by others who are unnamed and unknown, or that he was in any way involved in or knowledgeable on a first-hand basis in, for example, handling the "debris."

He was told the things he noted in his letter to Steinman by others.

How do we know if what he was told (and by whom?) might not have itself been an exaggeration, not true, or perhaps even intentionally made up to respond to Sarbacher's seemingly limited interest, or maybe even as part of a ploy, or disinformational psyop on the part of some elements within the military/intelligence community to take advantage and exploit the scenario or events that may have transpired at Roswell for other purposes, or to cover-up details, for whatever reason, that elements of the US government did not and may still not want to disclose?

We don't know, surely, and as 60 years of "witness testimony" has shown us repeatedly, especially in the case of Roswell, and other "crashed saucer" anecdotal accounts (and second-hand and third-hand [or more] retellings), from those supposedly in the know, are suspect, for a variety reasons. They are not proof by any means.

Note how Greenwood stated in "Just Cause" how "Sarbacher told me that since he did not attend the meetings, he had only heard snippets of stories which others more closely involved in the meetings had heard." Sarbacher heard partial stories which others had heard from someone even further "down the line"? That's then at least third-hand, and who knows who those folks are and who they heard from and what? It all becomes rather nebulous, imho, although Greenwood does state, in turn, that "Clearly, Dr. Sarbacher was near to, but not in on, high level discussions on UFOs." Or so Sarbacher told Greenwood in 1985.

As such, it's obvious this retelling of stories heard from others, regardless of who they were (and we do not know), is not evidence in the sense that's required to make a solid judgement about either Sarbacher's actual knowledge, or the basis, specific sources, and veracity of it, either.

However--now we come to Strieber's account, about 10 years after he wrote "Communion," of his revised story of contact with and conversation with Dr. Sarbacher.

As D.M. Duncan first noted (and he deserves _many_ kudos for being the first to point out these facts, at the link Mac included to his website, The Keyhoe Report), from Strieber's 1995 book, "Breakthrough", on page 248, Whitley writes:

"In 1986 I searched Dr. Sarbacher out and had a telephone conversation with him, during which he stated that the debris..."

As Duncan noted at his website, "Whoah horsey." (I myself am reminded of a certain Twilight Zone episode, involving an elderly woman who has lost her husband recently, his gravesite, and a telephone.)

Strieber then goes on, down the same page:

"Because I obviously could not obtain written confirmation from Dr. Sarbacher of what he had said to me on the telephone, I published only quotes from his letter in 'Communion.' In view of..."

As Duncan then notes,

"If Whitley had bothered to reread the relevant sections of Communion, he would have seen that this is not an issue of publishing “only quotes” from a letter, but an issue of later telling a different story that cannot be made consistent with the earlier version of the same story he told. They cannot both be true. One of the stories Whitley told was confabulated.

"Does Whitley have notes made at the time to back up the enhanced version of the incident in question? No. The beginning of the last sentence in the above quote leads into this:"

"...the much more substantial evidence I now possess of the active involvement of the intelligence community at this point, however, I feel justified in repeating his remarks even though I kept no written record. He knew that he was speaking for public attribution, because I told him this at the time."

Now wait a minute--first Strieber claims he "obviously" could not obtain written permission "from Dr. Sarbacher of what he had said to me on the telephone," due to Sarbacher's death when Strieber began to write Communion, and so could only publish quotes from Sarbacher's letter to Steinman in "Communion." But, according to Strieber, the phone conversation between the two occurred prior to publication of "Communion," and Strieber had told Sarbacher he wanted to use what Sarbacher told him, as he said, "for attribution."

Why did Strieber decide to _not_ use the info told by Sarbacher then to him in "Communion," but felt "justified" later in using Sarbacher's remarks in "Breakthrough"? Due to "the much more substantial information I now possess of the active involvement of the intelligence community"? It doesn't seem to add up---does this indicate that Strieber had his own doubts about what he alleges Sarbacher supposedly told him or its veracity? If so, then why use the quotes from the Steinman letter in "Communion" at all, at that time, if he might not have thought it credible? This is somewhat contradictory, to say the least.
[[A tangential personal aside]]

[[ I suppose the rationale that may be unfolded by Strieber, if he responds to Duncan's findings (and he has been informed), is that he may have felt the need to let some data out in "Communion" that was already on the record in the form of the letter by Sarbacher, but that his personal exchange with Sarbacher, which contradicts what the doctor told both Steinman and Greenwood, had to be held back until Strieber had more evidence of military/ intell involvement in covering up Roswell. Or something. A question is, why? ]]

[[ Remember, when Strieber first started having his "encounters," and then began to write "Communion," that the MJ-12 hoax was already underway--if Strieber knew about this, and he was talking to various UFO researchers then, and was fully aware of the MJ-12 hoax controversy by the time he was writing "Breakthrough," I wonder if he drew some, shall we say, inspiration from Doty and Moore's antics in regard to the idea of a fiction being "sold" as fact, and the higher degree of likely publicity, and sales, such a controversial approach might create. After all, it has been done before, and since, to sometimes great promotional and financial success, despite it's unethical and disreputable aspect, especially when eventually found out. One might even suggest it's the kind of amoral "false flag" approach that has gotten us into wars under false pretenses and an element of spiritual, cultural and religious belief and manipulation, the mighty con, as P.T. Barnum might have said. ]]

[[ Speculation, to be sure, but Strieber's claims and writings raise so many other obvious questions to be begged that I don't dismiss the possibility he may have chosen to use the technique, and tools, of what could be called "faction". Problem is, once you do so, you have to steadfastly maintain the illusion for it to be effective over the long haul. Cracks in that wall may now be becoming even more obvious than ever before. And, I should add it is endemic within the field of ufological writing, research, and online journalistic "scholarship."]]

I wonder why Sarbacher would have been as forthcoming in his letter to Steinman? Wouldn't claims and statements Sarbacher made in that letter be considered, if true or accurate, a matter of the highest levels of classification and national security? If so, then why not publish Sarbacher's even more juicy details to Strieber then? We are simply to take Strieber's word for all this, unfortunately. Some curious issues of coincidence and timing seem to be involved, imho.

Well. So. No written record or notes. No audio tape-recording for accuracy and a means to confirm Whitley's recall of details allegedly told to him by Sarbacher from nearly 10 years prior to his writing in "Breakthrough."

And yet, Strieber was a professional horror and scifi author even prior to his other-worldly experiences or publication of "Communion." You'd think he'd have made a tape, or taken notes, or have some source independent of his word about such an important matter. That is, if it actually occurred.

And why, in Sarbacher's case, would the good doctor have been telling these kinds of things to someone over the phone who he did not even know, who had sought him out due to his personal "abduction" and "alien contact" experiences and his "need to know," such deeply "classified" details, which Sarbacher did not include in his letter to Steinman or disclose in his conversation with Greenwood? Or anyone else known, other than Whitley?

And yet, Sarbacher supposedly was told by Strieber his conversation would be on the record, for attribution?

The timing, the lack of documentation of any kind, the direct contradictions between what Strieber wrote in "Communion" vs. what he then claimed years later in "Breakthrough," the issue of whether Sarbacher would have impugned himself when comparing what he wrote in the Steinman letter vs. what he supposedly told Strieber (see below) seems all just a bit too much.

And, I would remind folks this is a man who also claims to have an implant of some mysterious kind in his ear, seriously, and then, when medically examined (and again, by unnamed parties), said it started moving around on it's own. And, he doen't want it removed, either. Or, imaged by CAT, PET, or fMRI technologies, to better discern publically and openly what he says is there. Makes me wonder.

But, it gets even better, as noted by Duncan, and in conclusion:

"And there’s more. The Communion version is mundane. It’s just about Whitley discovering Sarbacher’s letter to Steinman, and Whitley talking to Greenwood about him, but the version told in Breakthrough has the cloak and dagger drama of an X Files episode. Here is a longer clip of the section in which the above quotes appear:"

[Strieber, from "Breakthrough":]

"In 1986 I searched Dr. Sarbacher out and had a telephone conversation with him, during which he stated that the debris he had worked on had some very unusual properties. 'That fabric we obtained at Roswell had molecular welds so small you couldn't even identify what they were until the sixties, when the microscopes to do it became available.' He understood that defense contractors were using this information in making seamless coatings that would cover 'radar-proof' planes--which later emerged as Stealth aircraft. I also asked him if he had seen the material. He told me that he had seen it, examined it, and studied it. Was it of nonhuman origin? He answered: 'What I can be certain of is that it was not produced by any technology that we were aware of in 1947. Or now.' He said this in 1986.

"Later, I sent him a detailed description of my experiences via UPS overnight. I didn't hear anything for a while, then received a telephone call from UPS. They could not deliver because the recipient was deceased. The UPS driver had been told that he had fallen off his boat and drowned.

"Because I obviously could not obtain written confirmation from Dr. Sarbacher of what he had said to me on the telephone, I published only quotes from his letter in Communion. In view of..."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

D.M. Duncan's conclusion:

"Now that’s a story!

"Communion: Whitley discovers the deceased doctor’s letter and is therefore unable to interview him.

"Breakthrough: Whitley searches out Sarbacher and speaks to him over the phone. The doctor recounts an amazing story involving fantastic material of implied non-human origin from which reverse engineered technology was making its way into defense contracting. Whitley sends Sarbacher a package. Days after having contacted Sarbacher and having been told this highly classified information, Whitley’s phone rings. It’s UPS with unexpected news. The UPS driver, package in hand for delivery, was told that Sarbacher had fallen out of a boat and drowned.

"Coincidence? Or was MIB faster than UPS?


"So which Whitley Strieber to believe?

"Even granting that some inexplicable things have happened to Whitley, as it is reasonable and I am willing to do, they have happened to a man who confabulates. And so that I am not accused of charging Whitley with lying, or some other form of outright deception, here is a useful definition of what it means to confabulate:

"(v) confabulate (unconsciously replace fact with fantasy in one’s memory)"

"And given that Whitley confabulates, how can anyone reliably sift fact from fantasy in his stories?"

Exactly. Or, as opposed to confabulating, as Duncan has so charitably put it, he's lying. And thus deceiving those of his gullible readers who believe his fictions are fact. For shame...if so.

Because the issue, at least to me, is that, when a writer sells his fiction as if it were fact, like Castaneda did with the fictional brujo Don Juan, he's pursuing a manipulative, exploitative agenda, by deception for money, fame, power, and most insidiously, abusing his audience by playing with their beliefs and desires (or fears) in a very personal, one might even say political or cultish way, which obscures the truth, exploits the gullibility of those whose need and will to believe is taken advantage of, and crucially, muddies the waters, distorts, confuses, and impugns the real search and effort to discern the actual truth and nature of the genuine ufo phenomenon, whatever it may turn out to be, which is still unknown.

It is damaging to that sincere, scientific effort, and which in part, by confusing the issues and fabricating lies, which is deeply dishonest, has led to real ufological efforts being derailed, undeveloped, and ridiculed for decades.

That is a tragedy, and failure of ethics and morals by those who would engage in such, and worse, promotes delusional, magical thinking. Unlike Bear, above, to me, a "genre" of information communicated as if it were a form of "archetypal" truth, when it is fiction and myth (or even "just" delusion), for the leveraging purposes noted here, _only_ exists "in its own mythic universe" and personally I don't want to reside there, be subjected to it, or have other seekers of real truth, beauty, reality, and/or enlightenment negatively affected by it, or those who don't know better either developing or reinforcing false beliefs and fabulist mythos through such means, even it seems to be an all too common, and growing, part of the ufological territory. It is a primary source of dispute with the pseudo-skeptics, conflict within the "ufological community" (which often reminds of warring belief-tribes), and denigration, dismissal by scientists who should know better, and ridicule by both the PTB, media, and much of "mainstream" America's populace, all to the detriment of legitimate research and effort.

It is literary fraud and personal deceit at a minimum. Remember the controversy around the book "A Million Little Pieces"--it too was sold as factual autobiography, at least until it was found to be a complete fraud. (Oprah was most displeased, and made the author apologize and squirm on her show when she was embarrassed by initially endorsing and promoting the book of this particular fraud.)

This growing literary "trend" should be clearly shown for the disruptive, damaging bullshit it really is. A spade is a spade, damn it, and I have to call it as I see it. I hope you can understand my sincere concerns about all this. This is my opinion.

Whitley got some 'splainin' to do.

will said...

"And, I would remind folks this is a man who also claims to have an implant of some mysterious kind in his ear, seriously, and then, when medically examined (and again, by unnamed parties), said it started moving around on it's own. And, he doen't want it removed, either. Or, imaged by CAT, PET, or fMRI technologies, to better discern publically and openly what he says is there. Makes me wonder."

Not unnamed. Dr. John Lerma.

But I too am curious about whether Whitley's recall of a 10 year old conversation was inaccurate (to the point of him never even having it). Goes to show that biographies are difficult to write, even biographies of one's self!

rorschach said...

Thanks, Will, for that info--I had not been aware before now that Strieber and Lerma had gone on record about Whitley's ear implant.

Here is the first part (of 13) of a radio interview George Noory did with both Strieber (first part) and Dr. Lermas (later in part 1, etc.), wherein Lerma's 1997 attempt to surgically extract what he considered, initially, to be a sebaceous cyst from Stieber's ear.

Apparently, Lerma removed a small piece of it, but for those interested in the story details, it would be better they check this link for what Strieber and Lerma said here:

http://tinyurl.com/3xb3kq (part 1)

While I still personally don't think Strieber's account of how he received the "implant" and the consequent Lerma assisted procedures to deal with it have a factual basis, people can judge for themselves. The 13 part radio interview Noory did with Lerma and Strieber was primarily about Lerma's book, "Into the Light," about which more can be found at his site, www.drjohnlerma.com.

There is a related discussion of the implant, among other things, at www.unknowncountry.com, but you have to be a subscriber to check it out.

So, I stand corrected on that element of what I said, about "unknown" parties, being involved in dealing with Strieber's ear problem, but still don't accept Strieber and Lerma's account or interpretation of the object being some kind of alien implant without objective proof, as opposed to anecdotal personal descriptions, etc.

There may be, like the above, some errors in my summary and analysis of these issues, and I welcome this kind of productive feedback pointing out when I might have certain details wrong. That is the way rational, objective dialogue and research should proceed. Thanks again, Will.

DMDuncan said...

Rorschach, you can make as long a post as you want at my site.

I've posted a response there, with some clarification about why I think Whitley is confabulating and not lying. But I could be wrong.

I haven't heard tell of Whitley here, there, or anywhere else on this issue so far. But I would like to know what Greenwood has to say about it.

rorschach said...

Hi, DMD--

Thanks for the offer, and your interest. I've appended a note regarding your comment at the end of this note.

Once again, I thank you for breaking this story--binge reading, eh? Interesting process. I call it "deep hacker mode," myself.

I also want to thank Mac Tonnies, for allowing me the opportunity to post these often all too lengthy comments, as I'm inspired to at times, mainly due to my serious, sincere interest in the topics involved, and wanted to provide my knowledge and data to fully reply to these inspiring issues of concern and mutual interest. Thanks, guys--I really do appreciate it.
I exchanged another email on this matter with Barry today, and he said I could quote from any of the three he sent me earlier about these issues:

1. "I really can't speak to what Whitley did or did not do concerning the Sarbacher story. I did speak with him about it, don't recall exactly when. He was simply asking questions. I certainly didn't hear the sort of detail as told in "Breakthrough." Attached is my description of talking to Sarbacher." (details from Just Cause, # 5, Sept. 1985)

2. "Thinking about this a bit Whitley might have meant he contacted Sarbacher in August 1985 because that would have been shortly after my conversation with Sarbacher. Though I don't have a date of speaking with Whitley, I may have been in the process of doing the newsletter and a mention of doing Sarbacher as a story for the September issue could have motivated Whitley to contact him. I can't be certain on the time frame though."

3. Earlier today, after reading the last paragraph or two from his 1985 writeup regarding his own one time contact with Sarbacher by phone, I asked Barry if his search for the R&DB records Sarbacher mentioned (when Barry asked what files might still exist), and if he had turned anything up; Barry replied:

"No, just one chat. He wasn't answering correspondence. I felt that Sarbacher seemed in less than ideal health and was straining to recall things, plus he wasn't directly involved in what he was relating. I don't think any UFO records turned up in the R&DB."

Barry is one of the very best UFO historical researchers ever--he was co-author of the seminal book, "Clear Intent", written with Larry Fawcett. It was re-issued later in paperback as "The UFO Coverup," and contains oodles of FOIA released data, supplemented by Greenwood and Fawcett's research data from their original involvement in CAUS.

It was this book, early on in my own research, that in part inspired my own interest in the history and data available of the ufo phenomenon. I recommend it most highly as a foundational source book regarding the US government's involvement in ufo history. I hope Barry eventually writes another book, summing up his over 30 years of research some day.

(As an aside, I should note Peter Gersten kind of ripped Barry off a few years ago, and took the name CAUS (Committe Against UFO Secrecy)back on a legal technicality, even though the original organization was moribund, and no one other than Barry had been using the name for many years. He wrote a resignation letter detailing his disappointment with Gersten's actions, which you can read here:)


Barry then began another newsletter, the UFO Historical Revue (UHR), which went for 12 issues, until September 2006, and can be found online, free, at the link in the upper right hand corner of the www.cufon.org website.

Greenwood just retired from the US Postal Service after 38 consecutive years last month, and will begin a new enterprise within the next couple months, working with Mary Castner, who is the CUFOS webmistress, on a website they have already applied for, www.barrygreenwoodarchives.com, and where his Just Cause, UHR, and many, many other files from his massive archives will begin to appear over time, which should be a central resource for UFO historical researchers. It should be up and running within the next few months. I hope he starts a blog, also.

Barry is one of the most friendly, modest, wise, balanced, fair, and honest UFO historical researchers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His knowledge, data collection, and investigative insight are extraordinarily thorough.

Now that he's retired, at 55, he should have more time to index and scan his files for internet access, and his most important and rare documentation for all of us to use as needed. One really cool guy. He and Mary are the ones that did the ground work and research on the Pratt files on MJ-12 that Brad Sparks kind of appropriated and made his own at last year's MUFON conference--both the basic Pratt files and Spark's version of the MJ-12 hoax controversy are also online at the www.mufon.com site, under the link about the 2007 MUFON symposium.

Interesting stuff, even though Barry (and I) don't agree with Brad's take on the matter--MJ-12 was originally and primarily born out of Richard C. Doty's (former USAF AFOSI sargeant at Kirtland AFB, who enlisted Bill Moore, and tried to get Pratt, a former UFO reporter for the National Enquirer, involved in) malignant imagination--not only was Doty involved in and co-creator of the MJ-12 fraud and hoax, but he was also one of the AFOSI people at Kirtland that ran the psyop on Paul Bennewitz, causing Bennewitz' mental breakdown, and was also a participant in creating and deceptively spreading the crazy tales of Dulce, Serpo, and the Seinu hoaxes. The Bennewitz story is best documented in Greg Bishop's book, Project Beta.

Back on track:

As far as what Barry had to say, or opine, about the Strieber-Sarbacher controversy, beyond what he said in email to me, above, he can't be sure that Strieber didn't actually talk to Sarbacher, as Strieber, within a couple months of the beginning of his "experiences" approached Barry at a UFO conference, and peppered Greenwood rather insistently with questions about ufos, and Barry did mention Sarbacher's letter to Strieber, among other things.

Barry mentioned that Whitley, during that time period, used to call him up (periodically, to describe his ongoing experiences, which he told Barry was a story that "must be told"), and discuss ufos, aliens, and the phenomenon's history with Barry, but Barry told me he never got a call or discussed with Strieber any contact that Strieber may have had with Sarbacher as a result of learning about the Steinman letter, possibly from Greenwood initially. Barry also said, as noted above, that Sarbacher was frail, and fairly elderly when he talked to him, seemed somewhat unwell, had difficulty clearly remembering things, and was peripheral anyway, not directly involved in any ufo meetings or discussions that may have taken place at meetings of the R&DB in the late 40's and/or early 50's.

In fact, Sarbacher was a little notorious for not attending R&DB meetings, and was removed from the board by Dr. Eric Walker, a rather intriguing guy, and who was executive director of the R&DB in 1950/51, and who allegedly was briefed on crash debris analyis at Wright Field at one time, and also may have been at Kecksberg in 1965, and involved on the scene of that "crash retrieval." But that is tangential.

Anyway, to get back on topic, the real problem with Strieber's "disclosure" of what Sarbacher is supposed to have told Strieber is basically three-fold:

1. Did Strieber actually ever make phone contact with Sarbacher prior to his death or not? Not according to his statements in Communion. His rationale for that, as he noted in Breakthrough, does not sound very legitimate, at least to me.

2. Since Sarbacher was peripheral to the R&DB, a member of a guided missle committee, and working in his own company to facilitate contract engineers working on radar in Alaska/Canada (early DEW line work), and said himself he was mostly a "lab man," who didn't seem to like attending at least the R&DB meetings, due to being very busy with his own work, and who didn't seem to like the bureaucratic side of things, his knowledge, or recall and statements about ufo crash materials, entities, etc. was at least second-hand, involving periodic chats around the company water-cooler, he himself said, and some occassional chats with other members of the R&DB at times about ufo-related matters.

Not knowing his sources today, we can only speculate as to the veracity of what he knew, who told him what, and if the people who he talked to themselves might not have been either peripheral, exaggerating, or either misinformed or disinformed themselves, so what Strieber alleges he was told by Sarbacher, which is entirely undocumented, is not only suspect, and contradicts what Sarbacher told Greenwood and others around the same timeframe prior to his death the following year, but I also think the _nature_ of what Strieber says Sarbacher told him (similar to the tales Corso told Birnes), is very unlikely when you examine the history and development of the technologies that led to stealth or transistors, fiber optics, etc.).

3. In particular, where Strieber relates that Sarbacher told him how back-engineered ufo crash debris had "molecular welds" and was subsequently applied to developing the technology of and making the bodies of stealth aircraft, such as the F117 and the B-2, is in fact _technically_ wrong, from what I know of stealth technology, and what is responsible for the radar-deflecting and absortion characteristics of the shapes and coatings applied to stealth vehicles.

My brother and I have been interested in stealth technology for over 20 years, and have read much about the origins and development of this military technology, and I doubt very much if any of that tech was derived from alien technology or materials.

[In fact, the very earliest recognition of how aircraft and other vehicles could be made stealthy actually derived from a scientific paper written by Pyotr Y. Ufimtsev, a Russian scientist who studied and wrote a series of critical technical papers starting in the late 1950's/early 60's for publication in the USSR at the time, wherein he described the use of 2-dimensional (2D) aligned flat metal plates, at precise angles in relation to each other, which would deflect electormagnetic and radar waves away from the emitter/ receiver detection equipment used in both the US and USSR incoming aircraft detection radar sets in use at the time. Ufimtsev worked out the mathematical equations into the 1960's, and The Russians completely, in a hilarious kind of historical oversight, missed the significance of Ufimtsev's research, but the USAF did not--the papers were translated under Project White Stork, at the Battelle Memorial Institute, in Columbus, Ohio, under contract to the FTD/ATIC groups at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, as one of Battelle's assets was not just the best metallurgical analysis and development scientists around, but they also gleaned much data under Projects Stork, beginning in WWII, and later White Stork, which were set up in part to not just study retrieved Soviet technology and metal alloys from crashed Soviet aircraft, but Battelle, also under Stork/White Stork, translated and provided copies of nearly all communist bloc (and allied) technical papers, journals, etc., for the benefit and use of aircraft designers/developers who just happened to be working only 60 miles away at the USAF's FTD at Wright-Patterson.]

[Design and development of early stealth applications, such as shaping aircraft bodies to better reflect radar, and the related RAM (radar absorbing materials) coatings applied onto the titanium (and later, alloys and carbon fiber structures in the case of the F117 and B-2) used in the early days of the U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird were the precursors of the technology that was developed and applied to the early F117 fighter prototypes under Project Have Blue within the USAF AMC (air material command) and related military aircraft commercial developers, such as Lockheed and Grumman, etc. starting full stealth implementation in the mid-70's that eventually resulted in the faceted surfaces of the F117 (a "2D" implementation) and then the B-2 (employing the more refined and sophisticated "3D" software design tools which allowed an improved body-shaping design, like the curved surfaces of the B-2) and allegedly the even more esoteric surveillance aircraft successors to the SR-71 and F117, for example, the supposed TR-3 triangle, the Aurora, and other alleged one-off prototype stealth testbeds, both air and sea-based).]

My brother and I became interested in stealth in part due to my father's career in the USAF as an NCO (MSgt) flight engineer and aircraft crew chief, among other duties and assignments. After his active duty retirement in 1966, he worked as a civil servant (GS) at McClellan AFB, and was involved in applying stealth tech to F111B swing wing bombers, jet engine repair, and other jobs until 1976.

So, I think I can say, based on what I have studied and know of stealth tech and its history of development, that Strieber's characterization of what Sarbacher allegedly told him about metallic crash debris being subjected to electron microscopy in the 60's and detecting "molecular welds" which were then applied to the formation of the metal shapes of stealth aircraft is really quite, well, ridiculous. Stealth is human technology, imho.

Even _if_ Sarbacher did speak to Strieber and "disclose" this, and that he supposedly handled, analyzed, and tested crash debris, it would not only have been a hard to believe violation of Sarbacher's legal obligations under his national security oath and thus illegal, and it would also have been most likely untrue, either because Sarbacher confabulated, or told tales out of school, of dubious provenance, or due to Strieber fabricating these alleged recollections of Sarbacher for use in his later book, Breakthrough.

Bottom line: for all these and many more reasons, Strieber's veracity is suspect at least, and even if there was a conversation (despite this data not being made known to Greenwood, Steinman, or others, except for Strieber, supposedly), Sarbacher's statements, if he made them, are simply wrong. Again, this is just my opinion, based on what I know, and if there are other facts and sources of data which can be presented to me, I would be most happy to examine them, and admit if anything I have said here is either simply erroneous or provably wrong.

This kind of stuff is not the idle subject of random, peripheral scuttlebutt, or gossip. It is, at times, the basis for tall tales, jokes, and disinformation. Strieber does not impress me as someone who does much historical research, btw, as, for yet another example, he wrote a couple journal entires that are online at his website about what is called "continuity of government" and now "continuity of operations" (COG or COOP) that are demonstrably wrong and that he did minimal or virtually no historical research on those subjects, despite much contradictory evidence and historical fact being available online and elsewhere.

Check wikipedia.org for data on stealth and Ufimtsev's role, for example, or about the long-term history and development of COG and COOP, dating back to WWII. Most of what I've discussed here is online and in books, magazine articles, and you can check it out at most large libraries or review at archives of the government and at university libraries.

I could say a whole lot more, but I think this will suffice for now.

D.M. Duncan--if you want, you can cross-post anything I've commented on here at PHB to your site, either in full or by excerpting. If anyone has any other related questions, I can reply here or via email. 'Nuff said for now, eh? Maybe too much...Later, 'gators! 8^}

rorschach said...

From the comments section on the Strieber-Sarbacher/ Communion vs Breakthrough descriptions, I found the following two articles noted and written by Aeolus Kephas, from Afghanistan, of all places, about Whitley Strieber that are of relevant interest:



Aeolus, in the second article noted above, has some very intriguing, sophisticated insights into the both Strieber, the topic of the first link primarily, and in the second, also discusses Carlos Castaneda, who for years claimed don Juan was a real, living shaman, but later finally admitted he was an amalgam of brujos he had met and talked to, not a real person at all.

Aeolus discusses the portrayal and presentation by these authors of their work as fact, and the issues raised when they are found to be confabulation, fabrication, hoax, and/or just false in that they are fictions, not non-fiction.

Check it out; he touches on issues in ways I don't think I ever considered as deeply or could write about nearly as well. Really well expressed stuff--good writing.

rorschach said...

In lieu of a response from Whitley, since DMD sent him the link to the relevant page on his site a few days ago, and has yet to hear from him, I just thought I'd note the following:

"I will not stand for being called a charlatan when I have striven so hard over these long, hard years to tell the truth no matter what. And I don't think a single other witness will sit still, either."

--Whitley Strieber, March 2, 2008

(from his most recent journal entry;
see: www.unknowncountry.com/journal/)

This was from a journal entry he had written in regard to the alleged recent meeting at the UN about UFOs, which Strieber now acknowledges did not occur, after all. He has now prefaced this recent journal entry with the following interesting explanation:

"The journal below was written when I still believed Michael Salla and Gilles Lorant. Lorant had claimed that he was a member of the prestigious French Institute of Higher Defense Studies, and had attended the meeting in that capacity. Salla's elaborate story had been spun out of his claims. However, Lorant has now admitted to the French UFO research organization that he was never a member of the institute, and the president of the French UFO organization is saying that the meeting was a fiction. To see the Unknowncountry.com story, click here.

"Nevertheless, I am leaving the journal up, because it can stand as a warning, if disclosure ever does proceed, of the danger of leaving the people in the front lines, the close encounter witnesses and abductees, out of the picture."

Anonymous said...

What does that have to do with anything?

rorschach said...

It suggests just how "gullible" Whitley is or at least become, ostensibly, and how he tends not to vet or research or wait for further confirmatory data, in his own case for example, before he jumps into the public venues provided and shown by his writings and statements on the net, TV, and his "factional" books. IMHO.

The particulars and nature of the UN thing should have been obvious, or at least highly suspect, even by those serious about these matters, and I don't mean just "researchers and scholars."

Your mileage may vary, at least from mine (YMMV).

Carol Maltby said...

Whitley sends Sarbacher a package. Days after having contacted Sarbacher and having been told this highly classified information, Whitley’s phone rings. It’s UPS with unexpected news. The UPS driver, package in hand for delivery, was told that Sarbacher had fallen out of a boat and drowned.

While that is paraphrased, and I can't find a copy of Breakthrough at the moment to confirm, I can tell you standard operating procedure as experienced by someone who has been primarily shipping through UPS for over 25 years.

UPS has never initiated a call just to tell us a package was coming back undeliverable. They just put a sticker on it saying it was being returned. The employee doing that kind of call would not be given personal details about the customer, and at any rate would not be at liberty to release any other information other than to say the customer was deceased.

Never mind the spooky UFO stuff, if Whitley's story was described accurately, his UPS anecdote is bullshit.

rorschach (pentacled white storkling boyo...) said...

One clue might be for someone, like with Lexis/Nexus accout service to check the DOD (ummm...I meant date of death), and more particularly, exactly how did he die? Was it from a boat, where he died from drowning, and/or heart attack, or what. If it's completely different (or whatever, partial), I'd say it depends on the degree of confirmable specifics can be found and noted here, if possible. I don't have or can afford the level of record access, but someone here might.

This "clue" or "easily determinable" pair of factors, date of death and more particularly, the manner/cause of Sarbacher's death are things so basic that if Whitley got those kinds of things wrong, when he wrote either Communion, within months of his alleged contact with Sarbacher (when WS 2x said he was dead in the original publication, I think in '85 or more likely '86, as opposed to the singular claims noted here about what Sarbacher is supposed to have said or told Strieber about handling and studying, etc., the crash debris, even noting the curious comment that the strange plasticy, thin metallic shell materials were even only studied deeply (when was electron microscopy available, for example? Before the early '60's or not and just when such scientific analysis (and classified records?)this amazingly sturdy "crash debris and fragments" of the "craft" at Roswell, etc., (Aztec? Borneo?) were being "held in close secrecy," (my italics, not anyone else's) and that such advanced 1960's imagery and atomic level imagery capacity was developed than, again according to the statements the Strieber claimed Sarbacher told him about, published in Breakthrough, and since, than even was able to detect the pattern of "molecular welds" on the debris, and then applied it to early "stealth" air craft. Interestingly, in this little puzzle palace we have discussed here, and at The Keyhoe Report, I don't think stealh aircraft even have or currently do use metallic materials of this kind to sheath the stealh planoform, nor any need for what is vaguely described as "molecular welds" or metal processing stealth related body part manufacturing.

I'd like others here who may be interested in the questions of confirmable details told in Breakthrough, and go find out, and then, please, report your findings and source links here. This is an interesting little mystery in a way, and a way of doing a little airchair, net-based investigatory research. I'd like to know more about the devil in those details that may or may not be uncovered, and I could posit a guess, but let's all try to find out what's at the heart, and to be determined, of this case: just what, as best as we can find out, is the truth of these matters and data included in Breakthrough, but only 10 years after Communion--does anyone know, for example, if Whitley referenced Sarbacher data in the new, 20 anniversary edition of Communion that came out last year, or not? I know the book has a new forward, but is the lucrative (Communion has made Strieber at least a million or two so far...) reissue an unchanged reprint, in a sense contradicting Breakthrough, or does anyone remember, from the forward, if Strieber made any further, BT confirming statements or added mods/edits to the reissue? He should do edition three, for even more accuracy with a "corrected, updated addtion" in a revised edition of Communion next year, or maybe by 2012, so we can see how honest and true, or if not, why not, and just what kind of determination by evidence from WS (who has yet to acknowledge DMD's original findings, for several days now, and compare what WS may eventually say, in a public statement or at least an archived journal entry on his subscription site soon, hopefully, that clears the air, and for comparison to whatever additional data, like I noted above, etc., can then lead us all to a more honest, accurate, and somewhat more evidencial provenance and origins, so if I keep looking around the net, or at some college library, or data access resource like Lexis/N, I'll post it here, with the identified source and origin of any new data here. Velllllly interesting, as Artie on Laugh-In, used to say (urg--showing my age, again. Hey, I was a kid! I swear! Ahem. More later. Arrividerci...).

Can we put together a digital and historical investigatory posse? That might be intriguing--Here they come to save the day! The Fact Checkers! ...hey, get your cape outta my face...) 8^}

[Andre the Giant is said to have had one, according to Giant, the street graphic creator, but most probably somewhat different in scope and aims...(<<--cough-->)!!]

hmmmm...I better walk away from this for now--post your findings here, if you would be so kind, either way--it's important for those concerned, or who think I was harsh in my personal opinions noted above, to know that I'm ready to accept info and evidence either way, in terms of Strieber's C vs BT Sarbacher comments (letter and/or verbally)--this should not be a matter of falsehoods, or conflict, but simply what the known and knowable/documentable facts of this matter are--fiction, faction, delusion, dishonesty, or, possibly the whole truth, the full truth, so help Whitley and his gods, so help them (and us, too).

Which and what is it, and why? Journalistic and scientific, investigatory processes only applied if possible to dig up the truth and the related facts. I could use some help in this regard.
Because, as we all know, in protecting truth, justice, and the real American way, we Fact Checkers must engage in the search for same!! (...hey, that's _my_ mask! And gimme back my cape, dammit!). sheesh...I'll go now...
(slinking off into the NorCali sunset....hey, is that a drone?!)

Watch the skies! Verify and _then_ trust you can believe, and just that is my objective objective here. 'Bye now....rorschach (testing...1, 2, 3....Number 9 client? I'm also the President of the new hair for old hair biogen club...!)?

Justin said...

Ror: At this point I'm thinking you should start a blog, which you hinted at as a possibility the first time I encountered you.

dmduncan said...

Carol: Even if you don't find a copy of Breakthrough, please note that the excerpts I've posted in my story are actual page scans from both books. There is ZERO danger that I mistyped or misquoted something because of that.

rorschach said...


You are right, I really ought to "get a room!" One of my own...8^}

I'm hestitant to beat this moribund horsey much more here, and await others possible comments or data/opinion, but I'm just not quite ready to launch my own blog--not sure if, when I do that, which will most likely be within the next two or three months at the outside, based on current schedule/planning, should be done under my pseudonym or my real name, which Mac knows, and since he let's me hold forth here on lengthy occassion, I will still be doing that intermittently until I do set up a website (planning on an ufo/uap/anomaly related portal, and related blog), I think it's OK to post further, less lengthy comments here like this one.

Sorry if my logorrhea upsets anyone here, but I felt the question required some detailed discussion to comment about this matter at length and in excruciating detail as Strieber's allegations or contradictory statements do indeed deserve critical, analytical evaluation and subsequent notation. I'll try to remember my "P's & Q's" in the meantime, if that's OK w/ y'all...8^}

Justin said...

I found all of the above a worthwhile bit of extended investigation, netiquette be damned.

I certainly wasn't saying 'get a room' in any negative sense. My comment was more of an encouragement to take the next step!

Mac said...

(planning on an ufo/uap/anomaly related portal, and related blog)

My guess is that it will be a really good one -- and a decided breath of fresh air.

In the meantime, please feel totally free to post as lengthily as you like.

rorschach said...

Thanks for the clarification, Justin. And thanks to you, too, Mac for your continued indulgent tolerance of my occassional excesses. Hopefully they're worth the effort of writing (and reading) them.

Carol Maltby said...

It hadn't registered with me that you'd done the facsimile of the Breakthrough page, thanks.

Will, thanks for posting my comment on Whitley's board. I tried to register there to respond, but he doesn't allow gmail addresses, and I haven't a clue how I would get some sort of email from my ISP, or why that would be more trustworthy than just posting under my real name. Feel free to quote my further responses here.

Sharon2 responded on Whitley's board about her husband being a UPS man, and how they are often quite friendly with their customers. Hey, I've seen my UPS driver several days a week for over a decade, and we have a warm relationship. But in defending Whitley, Sharon2 does not seem to have thought to work out how the information would have to flow. Bear with me, as this may appear to be obsessive attention to the details of everyday matters but when determining credibility, it's often a pattern of little details that make up the fabric.

"Later, I sent him a detailed description of my experiences, via UPS overnight. I didn't hear anything for a while, then received a telephone call from UPS. They could not deliver because the recipient was deceased. The UPS driver had been told that he had fallen off his boat and drowned." -- Breakthrough

Let's for the sake of argument pick a week to be "a while." A UPS package that is being returned can sometimes take a couple of weeks to get turned around. It will take its time. There is no reason for anyone at UPS to take the time, effort and cost to call to tell you what the sticker will tell you on the package, especially when it would have been an expensive "long-distance" call back in those days. The sticker put on it may say that it is being returned because the recipient is deceased, but it is not going to specify that Sarbacher did a William Colby (former CIA director found drowned after an alleged boating accident, under strange circumstances). I couldn't find any obits anywhere for Sarbacher, and the Florida vital records department does not furnish death causes. It would probably take a couple of weeks for autopsy information to be released to next of kin, so I don't know that we can corroborate Sarbacher's method of death.

If you are in charge of the affairs of the deceased, you don't reject Next Day Air letters coming in, in case they are relevant to the estate -- perhaps it would have a check inside.
If there was no one to deliver it to, there was no one to tell the driver about the death.

So even if the Palm Beach UPS driver read a news article saying how Sarbacher died, how did that information get back to Whitley? Palm Beach guy copies down Whitley's return address, and decides to call Whitley long distance? That's a bit stalkerish. PB UPS tells "the girl" at his depot to call Whitley? PB UPS decides to contact the Kingston, NY depot, and have them call Whitley and pass on that information and let him know the material would be coming back to him one of these days? It clearly wasn't of any urgency to let Whitley know, because it was "a while" after the non-delivery. It wasn't Whitley's UPS driver in High Falls, because Palm Beach is not going to call Kingston to find out who Whitley's usual driver is.

These are some reasons it doesn't pass the smell test. And I think I'll contact the Marbletown HIstorical Society to see if they are familiar with any 1803 story of levitating stones, which Whitley claims he saw in Weird America but others say is not in that book.

rorschach said...

Wow, Carol...that _is_ a rather complete, detailed breakdown. Which, as you may have guessed by now, is something I'm partial to myself. The truth is often within those devilish little details that some would rather not see or seek, nes pas? Good job! (Oh, my dog for accent graves in comments...) Ahem. I'll disappear for a little while, now... 8^}

Carol Maltby said...

One of my specialties these days is documenting the lies told by Internet bullshit artists, and credential inflaters. I've found that they don't just tend to lie about the big stuff, but the little stuff too. If you start fact-checking, it's often like pulling a thread and having everything unravel.

Whitley, if you are reading this --- when you get called out on things like this, it's in your best interest to give the honest truth. Otherwise those who are skeptical of some of your claims will get to examining more of your claims, and you'll find a lot of your supporters may jump ship. In the current economic climate it's not a good time to make your supporters look like credulous fools.

rorschach...testing, 1, 2, 3 ... said...

Yes, Mr. Strieber, if you read all this, or just check the link DMD sent you, asking for a response I presume, it is incumbent on you to clear the air.

If there is no reply, or comment on your website, to the primary issue of discrepency between C and BT quotes, and therefore what the truth of the matter is, then that would itself be quite telling, and your readers will have to judge your honesty, etc., accordingly.

My guess? Strieber won't respond, playing this as if he's too busy, ignorant, or "above this petty fray." And that would be yet another diversionary attempt to deceptively continue what you started so very long ago, and no answer is the wrong response, as Carol M. notes above. Now it is time for the real Whitley to stand up, speak to the issues, and be counted as either delusional, a confabulator, or perhaps, shall we politely say, one who fabricates fables and mythic tales out of whole fabrics and tissues of intellectual and literary deceit.

What say you, Whitley? Can you pass the essential "Rorschach Test" posed here and at The Keyhoe Report? And if not, why not? Don't you owe your fans and readers the truth? I think you most certainly do. We should expect nothing more, or less. Your turn.

Carol Maltby said...

I'd like to stress that my concerns about contradictions in Whitley's claims in no way reflect the degree of validity of Whitley's interpretation of what experiences he's had, or the underlying reality, whether they were caused by ETs, Otherworld intelligences, or pure imagination. I don't know what happened to him, but I can't know if he doesn't tell the truth.

I don't have a problem with high strangeness. But when accounts of mundane occurrences don't seem to be reality-based(the UPS thing was judged to be important enough to warrant its own paragraph), then Whitley's credibility and judgment are an issue.

dmduncan said...

Whitley Strieber has answered! Unfortunately it doesn't address the matter of the contradictory accounts. He merely repeats the Breakthrough version and apologizes for mixing up dates without explaining why he gave two different accounts of the same incident in two different books. Personally I don't find his answer satisfying at all, but his fans consider the matter thoroughly explained now. You can find the details in the comments section here:


Well, at least it's the illusion of an answer.

rorschach said...


In your episode of "binge-reading" those three Strieber books, did you come across any other significant contradictions or discrepencies? Someone over on the Unknown Country board suggested if that's the only thing found, Strieber's tales are likely authentic, or more errors would have been found.

And, you mentioned you would be posting some new data about Sarbacher--since this post is about to fall off the end of the page (aieeee....), perhaps you can note a link to the new Sarbacher stuff when you post it, I assume at your site, to the comments section of Mac's newer post here of April 8, where he comments on Aeolus Kephas' analysis (the post with the gray with big black eyes).

dmduncan said...

Rorschach, there are loads of "discrepancies" found by others, but this is the first thing that I found which directly and powerfully contradicts something else he wrote.

Whitley's response is something a politician running for reelection would have said.

But no matter what I or anyone else finds, there is always going to be room for Whitley to wiggle out of it, at least to the satisfaction of his fans. So it's not just "one" thing. To his fans it is. But there is a much larger overall impression of Whitley created by all these things.

For example, if Sarbacher did die by falling off a boat, he could use that to support his contention that Sarbacher was murdered for speaking with him. Of course that does not necessarily follow, but Whitley can SAY that, and many will believe it without checking the facts themselves. But if Sarbacher did NOT die that way, Whitley can say, "Well that's what the UPS man told me. I guess the UPS guy was wrong." Either way, Whitley has a means of escape.

Whitley seems to be the prophet of some pseudo-religious movement, and those who believe don't want to be bothered by silly contradictions or people who actually check facts UNLESS the facts end up agreeing with what they want to hear.

So at this point, I really don't believe there is anything to be learned by studying Whitley Strieber other than how and why Whitley's mind works the way it does.

I will post more information about Sarbacher, but the trail has proved a difficult and time consuming one to follow, and I may or may not be on to something. It's puzzling. When I get an answer, I'll post it.

dmduncan said...

One more thing. Keep in mind that I didn’t look very hard. This one incident struck me as odd when I read it in Breakthrough, so I went back to Communion and compared the accounts. I did NOT go through all of Whitley’s “faction” books, highlighting all the later accounts he mentioned in earlier books and then comparing the accounts to see how well they matched up. This was not the “best” I could do, it’s he ONLY thing I looked at.

What a person will find who actually does do the rigorous highlighting and comparing would be interesting to see. But it will take time, and I may get around to doing it if someone else doesn’t beat me to it first.

So the idea that it reflects well on Whitley because it’s the only thing I found assumes that this was the best I could do. It wasn’t. I have no idea how much stuff I may have missed. The only way to tell is to do a rigorous comparison which I did not do. But finding this one thing leads me to wonder how much more there is to find.

However, it also depends on how many instances in Whitley’s books were recounted in other books, because the contradictions that may be there will be most apparent in those cases where the same story will be told twice or more. So the opportunity to detect contradictions depends on how many actual times the same stories were retold

So if there are NOT that many retellings, then I think the fact that he got one of the few retold stories wrong actually reflects very POORLY on Whitley, and not well at all.

How well it reflects on Whitley is actually a measure of how many opportunities Whitley provides for us to catch contradictory accounts he himself wrote, and NOT a measure of how much effort I or anyone else puts into looking for them. If those opportunities aren’t there, then neither I nor anyone else can find them.

rorschach said...

Thanks for the update, DMD. I'm cross-posting my last comment here to the April 8th post by Mac, above, as this post is about to drop off the end of the page into "older posts" achive land.

I would agree that finding further discrepencies of the sort you originally noted at The Keyhoe Report is not that likely, as it would require, as you outlined, Strieber retelling a previously written about story in some later book or posting, but that this doesn't even touch on the issue of the veracity of Whitley's many and manifold claims about his "experiences."

At this point, as you may be implying, diminishing returns may not make such an effort to find further errors and confabulations that worthwhile, as the believers will still believe, regardless of the facts, and those, like myself, who never believed or accepted Strieber's "factions" really don't need any further documentation that Strieber is, for whatever reason, unable to tell the truth.

There are more important things to deal with--I kind of feel like the character in "Catcher in the Rye," who finally realizes you can never erase all the scribbled grafittied "Fuck You"'s from the walls of the world. It's just a tragedy that Strieber gets away with exploiting and making good money off the gullible and those with a "need to believe" hole in their lives.