Transformation (The Breakthrough) – Whitley Strieber

20160516_220130
Avon – 1989
A few months ago, I reviewed Whitley Strieber’s Communion. I had planned to wait a year or two before reading the sequel, but I was leaving for work the other day and I needed a book for my train ride that would fit in my back pocket. Transformation was the first within reach.

Communion was garbage, and Transformation is worse. At this stage, Strieber is no longer hanging out with Budd Hopkins, and barely considers the possibility that his ‘visitors’ are from outer space. Strieber wants to be seen to be as carrying the cross of every human being who has ever claimed to have had an encounter with the paranormal, and to state that he was abducted by Martians might prevent him from being able to speak on behalf of all those loonies who believe that they have met fairies, elves, or Gods. Instead, Whitley has decided that the visitors are likely trans-dimensional inhabitants of Earth. They may not be from this planet, but nor are they not from this planet.

Strieber was 41 when Communion came out. That means that it contains roughly 40 years worth of abduction experiences. Transformation came out just one year after Communion, and Strieber had only managed to get abducted once or twice during this period. Accordingly, the aliens take a back seat in Transformation; Strieber’s philosophical side is the unwelcome visitor here. 80-85% of this book is taken up with him explaining how he came to terms with his weird experiences. (And in fairness to him, I’m sure it took a lot of effort and time to get over having his hemorrhoidy anal pouch violated by hobgoblins.)

In my review of Communion, I wrote from the perspective of Strieber to give my followers a sense of what reading that book was like. I’ll re-summon Whitley for a bit to give you some more insight into this one.

“I was petrified, but I desperately wanted to let the visitors know that I had accepted my role in their plans and that I was willing to do whatever I could to please them. These strange creatures terrified me, but I understood that this fear was necessary. As time passed, I realized that I was not so much afraid the visitors as I was afraid that they would not be happy with me. This fear had evolved into a combination of uncertainty and isolation. I resolved to do whatever I could to entice the visitors to keep me as one of their subjects. I stopped locking the doors to our cabin, and I began playing with my bum during masturbation (to make it looser for future probing). Ease of access is key when you’re dealing with these sinister, yet magnificent beings.

Once I crossed the threshold of uncertainty, I began to comprehend the visitors’ plan for me. Although the terror and discomfort were difficult to bear, they ultimately made me a stronger, more open person. Perhaps the visitors are so used to crossing boundaries that they do not understand or notice the negative aspects of fear, especially fear of the unknown. I now believe that they intentionally frightened me so that I could ultimately become less frightened. In any case, we must be willing to transcend our emotions if we hope to accompany the visitors into realms of unheralded experience…”
2016-05-16 22.03.33

Although there’s not as many alien encounters in this one, it does include a lengthy section on Strieber’s astral projections. He finds a way to allow his soul to escape from his body in a little bubble, and he uses this bubble to float around his gaff. He also finds a way to appear to people in different parts of the country. He tells of how he would think of a friend and then how that friend would immediately call him and tell him that she had just seen his disembodied head lurking in her bathroom. I’m not even taking the piss; he actually expected people to believe this twoddle.
2016-05-19 22.01.48
More like Twitley Strieber, amirite?

Oh, there’s a bit in here where Strieber claims that Aliens speak Irish. (Well in fairness, he actually says that a different lad named Leonard Keane has made that claim.) Unfortunately, the article that Striebs references was unpublished at the time, and it looks like it has remained unpublished. (I wonder why!) I can’t find any about Keane online either. Keane’s argument is supposedly based on an abductee’s memories of alien speech. The abductee in question was hypnotized and began to spout off the different things that the aliens said to her.

Let’s break this down piece by piece.

1. This is what the abductee claims to have heard: “oh-tookurah bohututahmaw hulah duh duwa maher Duh okaht turaht nuwrlahah tutrah aw hoe hoe marikoto tutrah etrah meekohtutrah etro indra ukreeahlah”

2. Keane claims that this sounds identical to “ua-tuaisceartach beo t-utamail uile dubh dubhach mathair dubh ocaid tuartha nuair lagachar t-uchtarach athbheoite maireachtala-costas t-uachtarach eatramh meancog t-uachtarach eatramh indeachrachlach”

3. If those words were actually pronounced in Irish, they would sound something like this: “oowa-tooishkyartock byoh tootamawl illyeh duv duvock mawher duv uckad toorha noor lagacar tooacktorock awtveeohithye marrocktawllah custos tooacktarock yatriv myancug tooachtarock yatriv indyakracklock”
Compare the two phonetic versions there. Do the sounds match up?

3. The Irish words that Keane heard in the abductee’s rant translate directly as: “descendants of Northern peoples living groping all darkness mournful mother dark occasion forebode when weakness in high places revives cost of living high interval mistakes in high places interval fit for distressing”

4. I’m not sure who was responsible, Keane or Strieber, but somehow that jumble of words was put into the following order: “The living descendants of the Northern peoples are groping in universal darkness. Their mother mourns. A dark occasion forebodes when weakness in high places will revive a high cost of living; an interval of mistakes in high places; and interval fit for distressing events”

What a load  of shit…

Leonard Keane’s article was supposed to be called “Keltic Factor Red”; on the off-chance that somebody knows where I could find a copy, please let me know!  I want to thank my friend Lorcan for helping me with the Irish phonetics above. I’ll sign off with Lorcan’s message for any of the visitors that might be reading this post;

“Ná cuir aon rud suas mo hole, ET”

Communion – Whitley Strieber

2016-02-02 22.22.00

Avon – 1988

Wow, what an utterly ridiculous book. Although the accounts herein are presented as fact, this book is often listed as fiction. Fiction or not, it’s not a plot driven book, and I feel that the most appropriate way to review it will be to paraphrase the entire text:

“My name is Whitley Strieber, and this book is an account of my abduction experiences. Twice in the year of 1985, I was taken from my bed by a gang of little men who then took me to a weird room in a crystal in the sky and stuck an ugly pipe into my crapper. That’s right folks. I was abducted, and the things that took me decided to jam a piece of their technology into my rectum; the alien contraption punctured my wrinkled rim and ruptured my shite-filled poobag. The dirty little bowsies were collecting a sample of my gick! [You might find it peculiar that anyone would want Whitley Strieber’s shit, but in fairness, Communion has sold 2 million copies!] Oh yeah, there was another weird lifeform in the crystal too. It looked like an insect, and it raped me. Well, I say rape, but I was actually pretty hard at the time! Can you blame me?

After this happened, I decided not to jump to any conclusions. I did however, start hanging out with Budd Hopkins, the UFO abduction expert. He recommended that I go see a hypnotherapist. I took heed of this good advice, and the hypnotherapist proved to me that I had actually been abducted a bunch of times throughout my life. He reminded me of the time that I built a rocket engine in my bedroom when I was a little kid. The aliens had told me how to make it, but afterwards they decided that I shouldn’t have that information so they burned down my parents house. How did I forget that? Silly me!

I’ve used the word ‘aliens’ a few times, but I’m not actually sure that it’s  spacemen who are abducting me. I’ve no real reason to believe that they’re from another planet. They might just be elves or fairies. Whatever though, they probed my asshole and I got the shag; I hope they come back soon!

At this point, I don’t really have much else to say, but I feel like I can probably write another 150 pages or so. I suppose I’ll just fill up space with eventless interview transcripts and a ton of mystical speculation. Fuck it, yeah, I’ll just make allusions to mythical figures and tarot cards, and my book will get really popular with brainless, new-age morons. They’ll ignore the fact that nothing in this book is remotely compelling, and they’ll all think that I’m really smart.”

That’s pretty much the entire book, although I’m not quite sure I’ve captured the arrogance of Strieber’s tone. It really surprises me that something this utterly trashy could be taken seriously by anyone.

I also watched the film version of Communion with Christopher Walken playing Strieber. I have to say that this was one of the few cases in which I far preferred the movie to the book. The film has pretty bad ratings according to what I have seen, but I thought it was as good a movie as could possibly be made of this rag. There’s something really awkward about the whole film, and the special effects are bizarrely bad. It mostly follows the book’s plot, but it gets fucking weird towards the end. The most bizarre scenes almost feel like a satire on the most bullshitty parts of the text. In fact, part of the reason that I liked the movie so much was that it felt like it was making fun of the book; you could watch the film and argue that it depicts nothing more than a dysfunctional family’s bizarre descent into hysteria.

There’s a story that Strieber saw Walken’s depiction of him and told the actor that he was playing the character too crazy. Walken allegedly responded, ‘If the shoe fits…’ I have liked Christopher Walken as an actor for a long time, but if that story is true, he is truly a king amoungst men.

The book was shit, but I enjoyed reading it. I have the sequel, Transformation, and I’m sure I’ll get around to reading that one too. If you do read the book, make sure to watch the film. I’m not sure if the film would be as enjoyable if you hadn’t read the book, but if you’ve made it this far through my review, you have all the information you need. (Although I still think it might take reading the 350 pages of the book to be able to really savour the embarrassment that the film must have caused Strieber.)

School is a nightmare at the moment, and posts will definitely be slow for the next couple of months, but I have some serious gems coming in the post that you are going to want to read about.

The Outer Space Connection – Alan and Sally Landsburg

2015-12-19 20.45.04
Bantam Books – 1975

Well, here we go again; another dumb book about ancient aliens. This one is really bad too. It’s based on the making of a film that was itself based on this book. Does that sound awkward? Yeah, it is. To get the full picture, you really have to watch the movie too. (Don’t worry; it’s online.) The soundtrack is fucking awesome, and the guy from the Twilight Zone does the narration. It turns out that Alan Landsburg worked on Erich Von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods movie (also available online), and it shows. (In fairness, he openly admits that he has been “doing that Von Daniken stuff” at the end of this book.) The writing is laughable at times, it’s written as a first person narrative about the shooting of the film, but it has a real Da Vinci Code feel to it. My favourite line in the book comes at the end of a paragraph discussing the disappearance of the Mayan people:
“Instead, they retreated deeper and deeper into undesirable places, seemingly in fear of contact with any other people. Why, damnit, why?

So what’s being said in here that isn’t being said in the other stupid books I’ve reviewed on the same topic? Well, this one throws in the idea of cloning as an explanation as to how the aliens managed to get here. To plant the seeds of human life on Earth, the aliens would have to have travelled for hundreds of thousands of years. Cryogenics is ruled out as a means of prolonging life, and so in order for the crew to live through the journey, they would have filled up their spaceship with cannisters of human DNA, their own DNA at that. After a few years, one of the female crew members would impregnate herself with some of this DNA and give birth to a clone of herself. 25 years later, the clone would impregnate herself with yet another clone, and the process would be repeated until the ship finally reached Earth. Simple, right?

Landsburg doesn’t really go into detail on how this would work. Regardless of how large and advanced their ship was, I would imagine that the food supplies would have run out after a few thousand years even if the crew was made up of only a few people. I think the idea hinted at is that there is only one crew member alive at a time. (Quite similar to that movie Moon right?) So presumably the mother would have to sacrifice herself as soon as her clone/daughter was ready to take control of the ship. What would the clone do to the corpse? Well, considering the scarcity of meat aboard that spaceship, I reckon the only sensible thing to do would be to eat the body. Nothing should go to waste in space! Matrophageous spite; autophageous delight!

Ok, so that’s a nice bit of fantastic realism, but is there any evidence for this having happened? Of course there is! Scientists cloning axlotals [sic] found that the cloned versions of this variety of salamander end up with a slightly shorter body than the originals.  They are otherwise identical. That interesting fact is noted in one of the first chapters of the book, but its relevance isn’t made apparent until somewhere near the end. After the mention of this crucial piece of information, there are a bunch of chapters on the usual ancient alien garbage, including several discussions of the Mayans and their pyramids. The Mayans are praised as being far more advanced than any other peoples of their era. Mayan skulls with holes in them are presented as proof of their advanced medical skill. They  weren’t simply smashing each other’s heads open; they were removing cells from the brain to create clones! But wait a minute; how do we know that the Mayans were creating clones? Well, their skeletal remains suggest that the Mayans were fairly stocky.That is to say that they had shorter than average bodies, JUST LIKE THE CLONED OXLOTALS!!!
2015-12-19 20.49.02
Brain transplants in 2000 BC

There’s tonnes of other crap in here; lots of utter shit about pyramid power and human auras. The stuff on the Bermuda Triangle was pretty cool, but it’s written in an infuriatingly credulous way, just like everything else in this book. There’s also a discussion on Vladmir Demikhov’s experiments on dogs. I had heard of these before, but I’d not watched the footage online. Fuck, it’s absolutely horrible. I guess that’s what Roky Erickson was singing about.

2015-12-19 20.50.11
Pretty sure that’s just a monkey there mate!

I can’t say I’d recommend this book to anyone, but the movie might be enjoyable if you were high on drugs. I myself was not high on drugs when I watched it.

The Legend of the Sons of God – T.C. Lethbridge

2015-06-24 17.12.46
Arkana – 1990

This books contains some of the choiciest bullshit I have ever come across. Did you know that the rocks of Stonehenge are from Tipperary? Were you aware that the craters on the moon are the results of an interstellar nuclear war between the Martians and Venusians? Had it ever occurred to you that Jesus was a ghost alien from the future? I can’t say I had ever wondered about these things before reading this book, but now I am convinced that they are all entirely true.

T.C. Lethbridge doesn’t even bother to present his ideas as fact. He openly admits that the bulk of this book is conjecture. He reminds his reader that there are gaping holes and inconstencies in our accounts of history. The standard scientific approach to solving these mysteries is to use proof and evidence. This method doesn’t quite satisfy Lethbridge though, and he suggests that it would be more productive to make up ridiculous stories and then look around for evidence of the events that we imagined. This book was written by a grown man playing make-believe.

“Although much of what has been written so far is not strictly orthodox, the present chapter is far worse and deals with matters which are fit really only for the television plays called ‘Doctor Who’.” Thus opens the seventh chapter of this masterpiece.

This book came out at roughly the same time as Von Däniken’s Chariot of the Gods, and it contains some similar ideas, but this one is definitely more enjoyable. It’s short, the writing is engaging and the claims herein are silly enough to be thoroughly entertaining. This is a must read.

Chariots of the Gods? and In Search of Ancient Gods by Erich Von Däniken

chariots
Chariots of the Gods? – Erich Von Däniken
Laffont / G.P. Putnam’s Sons – 1970

In Search of Ancient Gods – Erich Von Däniken
G.P. Putnam’s Sons – 1973

I believe in aliens. I would be surprised to find out that the only forms of life in the universe exist on this small planet. I even believe it likely that life on Earth originated elsewhere in the universe. I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary.

Erich Von Däniken believes that an alien civilization came to earth thousands of years ago with the aim of speeding up human development. Apparently Quetzalcoatl, Odin, Zeus, the Burning Bush, and all of the other gods of ancient mythology are members of this band of galactic Samaritans.

Some of the theories in this book are interesting, but the reasoning that Däniken uses is so incredibly bad that he discredits his own work. The first vision of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:4) is analyzed in both of these books. Now, Ezekiel is one of the more ‘out-there’ prophets in the old testament; early in his narrative, he has a vision of God floating down to Earth in what Däniken very reasonably refers to as a spaceship.  Däniken also makes the reasonable point that if God were truly omnipotent, that he would not have to arrive from the North as he does in Ezekiel: if he were truly omnipotent, he should have been able to instantaneously appear. Even devout Christians must admit that even God can’t do what he can’t do, and I think that if you’re willing to believe in Ezekiel’s vision at all, that you must accept that the God that therein appears is in fact an alien. Now this reasoning should be convincing to believers of the Old Testament, but people with any shred of intelligence won’t really care if the Bible contains aliens. Well, in order to convince non-believers, Däniken actually dismisses the story of Ezekiel and other myths as mere exaggerations of real life UFO encounters. On one hand he is saying that we should believe in aliens because they appear in our mythologies, but on the other hand he is saying that myths are not to be trusted as they are full of exaggeration. According to Däniken, we should only trust the parts of ancient stories that suggest that aliens were once our overlords.

These are two different books that cover largely the same material. Chariots of the Gods? was Däniken’s first book. It seems that some newer versions of the book have dropped the question mark in the title. I find this unfortunate for comedic reasons; every time I see the title I imagine it being read aloud by Ron Burgundy. The other book, In Search of Ancient Gods, has no question mark in the title, but it does have the aptly descriptive subtitle; ‘My Pictorial Evidence for the Impossible’. This one was published a few years after the first one, and it’s almost the exact same content, just with more pictures. Some of the pictures in here are truly bizarre, and they’re far more unsettling than any of Däniken’s writing. This book also has a cool little alien man embossed on the front cover:
lad

Both of these books are ridiculous. They’re not remotely convincing, but they did make me think. I really like reading writer’s predictions for a future that is now past. Däniken believed humans would have reached Mars by 1986. I don’t hold that against him though; if we focused our attention on space travel rather than on killing each other, we might well have reached Mars already. He also imagines the rather futuristic notion of a series of computers in different cities around the world being able to store information and send it to each other! Overall, I’ll give these books a 5.5/10. They were dumb, but they were interesting enough to finish. The film version of Chariots of the Gods refers to to book it was based on as a novel, and I think that reading these books as novels is a good idea. They’re good as science fiction, but shit as science.

I really want to visit Erich Von Däniken’s theme park.