and many varying depictions of the gray alien, for whatever reason, that particular book and its cover image seemed to finally cement theUFO/abduction phenomenon and the image of the alien into our consciousness.
The image was powerful not only on this mass scale, but individually also; there are accounts of people noticing the cover's rather menacing bug-eyed alien and subsequently uncovering their own abduction encounters. In short, the image is and was undeniably powerful. But why?
There are many so called "nuts and boltstheorists"-those believing in the literal, tangible, straightforward reality of UFOs and aliens--who would argue (maybe rather exasperatedly) that the answer is obvious: that Strieber, being an "experiencer" himself, with full memory, and full writerly abilities, conveyed the abduction experience and attendant aliens in narrative and visual form, exactly. While it's possible, it's merely a logicaldeduction, and the alien story is an assumption.
Many might be surprised to learn that Strieber himself doesn't (or didn't) necessarily adhere to the nuts and bolts theory, or even that the entities are necessarily aliens. In a Barnes and Noble Author's chat transcript, dated April 12, 1997, he makes these following curious statements: "Is there such a thing as 'grays?' I don't know." " I don'tknow what the 'visitors' are." And, "I assume aliens are the answer when we don't know what's going on."
Even the aliens are vague on their origins and intentions. Upon further examination, even stories in which the aliens seem to allude that they are from another planet, it is clear they are not in admission of such. For
example, in the Barney andBetty Hill abduction case, Betty, looking at a 3D "star map", asks one of her abductors to show her from where they originate. The answer is curious; the alien asks her if she knows where Earth is on the "map", and she replies that she doesn't. He then asks her if she doesn't even know where she is, how can he possibly tell her where they are from?
That the alien did not simply show Betty whereearth was by pointing, and where his own home planet was by pointing, may imply an impossible fault with the question, rather than coyness on the alien's part.
So, if these entities we know as the grays are not from another planet, or perhaps not even aliens after all, then what? The theories and speculations are legion. It has been postulated that primates may have not been the only of earth'sspecies to evolve into intelligent creatures, that the grays may be the end result of the evolvement of dolphins, turtles, whales, insects, or dinosaurs-and that these evolved forms may be either terrestrially or non-terrestrially oriented.
The grays have been proposed as being drones or robots. There are notions that they could be demonic hoaxsters. Then, there's the fairly worn out, if notnow-pedestrian idea that they grays are evolved humans; "us, time traveling in the future," trying to save our species.
Then, there is the interdimensional theory. Although this theory is rather another obvious deduction, and has been around in generic forms for a while, in his brilliant and epic book, Supernatural, Graham Hancock makes an almost inarguable case that the traditional, psychedelicplant-induced shamanic visions and experiences, fairy lore, and now modern abduction/alien scenarios stem from and share the same root, a kind of trance-induced, other channel of reality, in which these same gray-beings have won the starring roles.
What is even more intriguing is that within the story of what could be the very first modern, recorded appearance of this same entity, he is...