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Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us? [Hardcover]

Whitley Strieber
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 1998
This book is at once a journey of scientific discovery and the story of the personal struggle Whitley Strieber has fought since he had an apparent close encounter in 1985, which he recounted in Communion: A True Story. He has been criticized for creating folklore; he has been called insane, labeled a liar and a cult leader. Naturally, he wants to correct the record. But more than that, he has come to feel certain that something truly earthshaking is happening, something far stranger, far more incredible than anyone suspected, which has made mankind vulnerable.

To change all this, what he's need is physical proof. He has it, and this book is the story of how he got it and what it is.

Strieber first reviews all the evidence for UFOs-including the remarkably dramatic and repeated sightings over Mexico city filmed by so many people-as well as the testimony thousands have given about their close encounter experiences, before turning to shocking new physical evidence: five implants surgically removed under controlled and documented conditions from the bodies of people who have reported contact with aliens. The study of these "implants"-what they are made of, how they function, and what their ultimate purpose is-holds the final answers to this whole puzzle.

In addition, in a remarkable appendix, Monsignor Corrado Balducci of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples and Propagation of the Faith discusses the perspective of the Catholic Church on the whole matter of alien contact and what it means within a religious perspective.

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In his 10 years of experience as a publicly recognized close-encounter witness, Whitley Strieber has labored to lift the veils of skepticism and denial from scientists, politicians, and reporters. He's appreciated a climate of increasing open-mindedness, noting also that any hard evidence confirming the existence of UFOs, close encounters, and alien abductions has been, to date, lacking. But times, he writes in Confirmation, have changed. "Gone are the arguments that science has nothing to work with. Behavioral science has not only the witnesses but also physical proof that something unknown has happened to at least some of them, in the form of apparent implants that have been removed from their bodies." Further, "fantastic advances" are enabling false alien-abduction stories to be weeded out the from the true ones. But it reads like a stew of bold assertions tagged onto eyewitness accounts, the "truth" of which remains largely anecdotal, and mixed in with a discussion of new theories about false-memory syndrome. Confirmation might rally the believers, but it will make the unconverted skeptical and querulous.

Whitley Strieber has never suggested that the alien presence among us is benign, and his confessions and investigations have always been unnerving. Sinister, secret, and bizarre are words he uses to describe "them." Strieber's "evidence" that there are aliens among us falls into three areas: an increase in amateur videotapes of strange objects in the sky; the massive amount of abduction testimony that is different from older accounts; and the insidious implants that have been removed from close-encounter witnesses (of which he is one). This last area is creepy, indeed, and we can be glad that science is conducting careful studies. What the implants are made of, how they function, and what their purpose might be--these questions hold the key to Strieber's mystery.

His reporting of the "facts" begins on July 11, 1991, in Mexico City during a total eclipse of the sun. A UFO was spotted and videotaped by hundreds. Exhaustively he argues against the variables--it can be, for example, neither Venus nor a star. He recounts the heated public debates and asserts that this 1991 event was not isolated, but heralded an extended period of sightings. Of course, he admits, hoaxes abounded, too.

When it comes to discussing the three videos that have actually appeared on TV depicting aliens, Strieber's extrapolations do not harden to proof. Yet he begins part 2 of Confirmation with this assertion: "The evidence that UFOs are flying around in our skies is so extensive that it is reasonable to consider that these unconventional objects are in some way real, and that many of them seem to be under intelligent control." This part of the book (it's livelier than the first part, because it's even creepier) presents testimony of actual encounters. These narratives came to him in letter form and his approach is to discern common threads among wildly diverse experiences. Rejecting psychological explanations for alleged abductions, Strieber pounces on what he thinks of as the reliable source--"the natural memories of people who have had continuous recall of their experiences from the time they happened." Now, when was the last time you trusted your memory as a reliable source? But Strieber believes without a doubt that we are receiving communication from another world. Describing the strange and chilling world of the abduction letters, he's convinced that they indicate "the working of a nonhuman mind, or of a part of the human mind so hidden that it has never before gained a voice." So is it Close Encounters or psychosis?

Unfortunately, with every extrapolation or assertion, Whitley Strieber's arguments seem more and more strained; the "proof" remains, alas, poofy, as when he compares the increasingly elaborate abduction narratives to those of crop circles--another documented but unexplained mystery--citing elaboration itself as proof of increasingly different abductions. Since the first sightings, crop circles, too, have grown far more elaborate and complex. Is it really any wonder that peoples' stories should become increasingly endowed with imaginative complexity? How is that proof? It's all creepy, to be sure, and certainly worthy of serious, sustained investigation. But do not look for proof or hard evidence in Confirmation. The promise is unfulfilled, the confirmation pending. --Hollis Giammatteo

From Publishers Weekly

Are they mass hallucinations or have a quarter of a million people experienced a paralyzing possession of their bodies by aliens? Most alleged abductees suffer from severe post-encounter trauma, and Strieber writes that, for them, "to ignore the challenge to look at self and life in a new way is to descend into total psychological and spiritual chaos." In fact, overcoming their fear is, he contends, an opportunity for spiritual awakening. In this latest follow-up to Communion, the mega-bestselling account of his own abductions, Strieber reports on recent amateur film and video footage that allegedly show unknown spacecraft flying at extraordinary speeds with unheard of aeromechanics. Cogent testimonies drawn from interviews with seemingly sane and normal people reveal detailed accounts of levitation, sexual molestation, time travel and ongoing relationships with aliens that induce perceptual disruption to their lives. The most convincing of his evidence are the bizarre implants?slivers of silicon and tiny t-bars of metallic composite believed to be transmitters?that, Strieber says, have been removed from abductees' ear canals, calf muscles and nasal passages. While it's not conclusive that these implants are alien artifacts, their sophisticated composite and their manner of forced entry into the body demonstrate uncommon technical skill and cast doubt on accusations of self-mutilation. Strieber makes a strong case for a serious commitment from science and government to investigate abduction phenomenon, be it real or psychological dysfunction. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but Strieber is out of his element April 6 2003
This is one book that shouldn't be judged by its lurid, tabloidesque cover. Strieber's approach is honest and evenhanded, and, unlike the back cover with its screaming red warning that "AFTER YOU READ THIS BOOK YOU *WILL* BELIEVE IN ALIEN LIFE," he never makes any over-the-top claims of conclusive proof. Critical of both debunkers and believers, Strieber argues simply that the UFO and close encounter phenomena are genuine unknowns that deserve serious scientific attention. Nothing more.
While it's a decent introduction to the field, though, Confirmation is definitely not Strieber at his best. What Strieber really has to offer is his own close encounter experiences, documented in Communion and its sequels, and the thousands of letters he has received from other close encounter witnesses, many of which are published in The Communion Letters. But when it comes to a general overview of UFO sightings, implants, etc., he has no particular credentials. The result is that Confirmation is mostly a rehash of evidence published elsewhere. Strieber is a storyteller, not a scientist, and is probably better off sticking to fiction and autobiography and leaving the "hard evidence" to professional UFO researchers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book.... Feb. 6 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to say this is truly a great book. While it might be lacking in the dark sort of prose Whitley has written in prior releases on the same subject, it's still a fascinating read.
I dont always agree with Whitley's belief's on the "visitors" intent, but the man has to be respected for going out to the edge.
I dont think I'd pay too much attention to William Harwood's review, it's little more than his immaturity and ego blown self promotion, that leads him to plug his own book at the end of a review. I dont know whether to laugh or cry at his obvious self importance.
I digress, Confirmation is well worth the read, as Mr. Strieber is truthfully to me, the only one out there that can put words to an indescribable set of events that impact so many. If you want a deep personal look into the subject, past the "are they real?" ... littered throughout ufology literature...this is for you. Congratulations Whitley...yet another fabulous read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No braver writer alive than Whitley May 26 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Whitley Strieber, having survived media sniping and the insult of lesser UFO "experts", still remains one of the strong, clear and clear-headed voices in this field. How he has survived the assault from alien and human alike, I'm not sure, but whatever he has gone through, he has done so with amazing poise and, as ever, one of the five the strongest prose styles working in the art of the novel today. This book is yet more evidence of what this brave soul has revealed to us -- that he could easily have hidden this all away, and written it as fiction, is a credit to the writer. That he didn't, is a credit to the man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Are You a Believer March 10 2002
By A Customer
I was very pleased with the book "Confirmation". I have seen! I am not an abductee, but I have seen. It is not my imagination. I felt he made the evidence very real and believible. I think the book was very informative, and though he wasn't discribing his own experiences, dosen't make them unbelievable. There are many who have been in those shoes. I am glad he wrote about other experiences. I am believer, I have seen and know it is all possible, and it could happen to anyone. I thought the book was an excellent accounting of things that could happen to any one of us. I was also unable to put it down once I started reading it. I hope their are more like it! Keep them coming.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the average UFO book Aug. 17 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Confirmation has what most other UFO books lack: photographic evidence. Still this book isn't the greatest, as is most UFO "literature."
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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm with Mulder Oct. 10 2000
I want to believe...but this book didn't make me. I personally am open-minded on the subject of extraterrestrial life. I believe the possibility exists, but I've never had an encounter or seen any really convincing evidence of intelligent alien life. I bought "Confirmation" because I've heard Whitley Strieber often on the radio, but had never read any of his books. The subtitle is "The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us?" and the question mark is definitely the most appropriate part of the subtitle. Strieber offers the usual abduction reports and implant evidence, but more or less discredits all the evidence he presents. If this is the best evidence he could find in all the narratives he has studied, the case for alien life seems shaky indeed. The best case in here is that of Jesse Long. In fact, it almost seems the rest of the book was intended only to lead up to this one chilling, unexplainable case. Despite its failure to convince me, I give "Confirmation" three stars for being entertaining, thought-provoking, and hard to put down.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Unidentified Flying Facts. Oct. 9 2000
I bought this book for $3.00 at a clearance. (Should have known then). The author includes innumerable cases of "encounters", "abductions", "implants" and "sightings" but at the same time , makes disclaimers about all of them leaving you feel that he is not sincere about what he is writing and wondering why he bothered with the book. I've read that his other books are much better. This must have been one of the "lost time " episodes he describes during an abduction. This is strictly for the Mulders out there who have "I want to believe" posters on there office wall. These are all the typical alien suspicions you have already read and left you laughing.
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