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

Whitley Strieber
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 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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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm with Mulder Oct. 9 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 What Hard Evidence?!! Sept. 9 2000
Whitley Strieber continues his series of books about human interaction with the "visitors". This time out, however, he tries to offer up "proof" of visitation by aliens in the form of videos, letters and medical evidence. The result is quite lacking.
Let me first state that I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Strieber's book, Communion. This was an excellent book documenting one man's experience with something real to him. It offered no definitive answer and was more of a quest for the ever elusive truth. With each succesive book about the phenomena that he has experienced, his interepretations get more far out. The other main advantage that Mr. Strieber has over other authors on similar material, such as Budd Hopkins, is that Mr. Strieber is a professional writer and his books are very well-written.
Back to Confirmation, the first third of the book discusses video evidence of UFOs. It would have helped if Mr. Strieber had given readers some suggestions as to where they might find copies of the footage he is describing. (I did see one of the videos he was descibing on Larry King, so at least that one should be available somewhere.) He describes the movements that the UFOs make, and how they would be difficult to falsify - not impossible, just difficult. Now without being able to view the footage, it is very difficult to come to your own conclusion about the said footage. It is also very difficult to evaluate video footage from a written description.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whitley hits the mark Sept. 4 1998
Some reviews on this page miss the point: Whitley has always only told us what HIS understanding of things are. He is not trying to tell you The Absolute Truth. In this excellent book, he soberly describes some well-documented events, each of which would be a "smoking gun" if only the public knew of their occurrence. Each case is presented in a non-sensationalist manner, logically and clearly. He describes any debate surrounding the anomalous event fairly. And best of all, he is reluctant to jump to conclusions. I think Whitley would the first person to admit he was wrong in the past, or is wrong right now.
This book can be read by "believers" (whatever that means) or scientists or even the uninitiated layperson. The facts of the case are presented, with a minimum of speculation, and with no concrete conclusion drawn in stone. The book achieves its only purpose: to publicize some extraordinary events that have happened and are happening right now. What is their implication? Whitley eventually spends a few pages on his personal ideas, but concludes that NO ONE knows yet. It is up to all of us to reach that conclusion together.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
liked the book a lot.
Published 7 days ago by Elizabeth Golemme
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book....
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 more
Published on Feb. 6 2003 by Jeff Ritzmann
5.0 out of 5 stars No braver writer alive than Whitley
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. Read more
Published on May 26 2002 by M.L. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Are You a Believer
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. Read more
Published on March 9 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the average UFO book
Confirmation has what most other UFO books lack: photographic evidence. Still this book isn't the greatest, as is most UFO "literature."
Published on Aug. 16 2001 by Kmfdm_fan
2.0 out of 5 stars Unidentified Flying Facts.
I bought this book for $3.00 at a clearance. (Should have known then). The author includes innumerable cases of "encounters", "abductions", "implants"... Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2000 by Joseph P. McNamara
3.0 out of 5 stars Confirmation confirms nothing.
Whitley Strieber describes video tape images, shares the abduction stories of others, and makes a plea that the events he and others have either witnessed or experienced be taken... Read more
Published on June 2 2000 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
As a big fan of Whitley Strieber, I was rather disappointed with this book. As the fifth in his series of books that describes his experiences and opinions on UFOs and aliens, it... Read more
Published on April 25 2000 by Carla Simonson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I would recommend this book for a believer in extraterrestrial life, or a skeptic. I must admit that I have heard some of the stories in here before, but the way the book is... Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2000 by A. K. Berger
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but needed better pictures.
I enjoyed the book very much but the pictured that were in there were of very poor quality and subject matter. Read more
Published on July 23 1999
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