All rights reserved. While his complete authenticity was obvious, I nevertheless felt that I had to do some basic research. He claimed that the story had begun in Roswell, New Mexico, in July of He named names, dates, places, showed me news clippings and memoranda.
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All rights reserved. While his complete authenticity was obvious, I nevertheless felt that I had to do some basic research. He claimed that the story had begun in Roswell, New Mexico, in July of He named names, dates, places, showed me news clippings and memoranda. Fine, I would see for myself. I took a week off I was still being fed by the Express and got a super-saver to Albuquerque, rented a Vega and drove the hundred-odd miles south to Roswell.
It took me about ten minutes to fall in love with the town. Roswell is American perfect, a middle-sized city at peace with itself. The streets mix fifties modern with older architecture. Everywhere I went — the motel, the radio and television stations, the local newspaper — I was struck by the fact that this place was populated by decent people. Honest people.
At the Roswell Daily Record they were frank about the story. Everybody in town knew about it. The fact that something real had happened in July of and been covered up turned out to be an open secret across most of southern New Mexico. I was choked with bitterness. One of the most annoying things about him is how wise he is. I wish I could comfort that old man somehow, but he is beyond words, beyond touch, beyond everything. South of Roswell stand the empty remains of the Roswell Army Air Field, now being transformed into an industrial park.
I walked that crooked tarmac on a warm spring day, and let the ghosts of the past rise up around me. There was no feeling of elegy or remembrance. I was angry, and the ghosts were angry, too. At least two of those ghosts, and possibly a third, were not human. I wondered if they looked back also, and if they did not remember the night that they arrived, and died. More carefully they were watching the flight line, counting the planes, counting the bombs.
At that moment the th Strategic Bomber Wing stationed at Roswell was the only atomic bomber force in the world. Perhaps they came to warn us, or perhaps theirs was a more subtle mission. But Roswell could not have been chosen by accident. Will explained to me that they have a definite tendency to appear right in the middle of our most sensitive, most dangerous, most heavily guarded military installations.
This was one of the things that caused the hostilities. Indeed, innocence does not know secrets and it does not know fear. But mankind is not the only earthly creation that fears death. Everything fears it. And when there is resurrection every living thing will be delivered, from the crawlers in the mud to the high bishops, and fear will be swept from the earth forever.
When they came, everything was afraid. Birds awoke as they passed over, and fluttered nervously. Coons and bobcats screamed, opossums hissed.
Babies shrieked in the night. When they came it was midnight in Washington. Will Stone was a young man then, struggling to create a postwar career for himself in the Central Intelligence Group, soon to become the C.
He knew nothing of what was happening in distant New Mexico. His memory of what he was doing that night is nevertheless vivid. A familiar wartime question: "What were you doing when you heard about Pearl Harbor? What was he doing on the night of July 2, ? He was lying in bed in his apartment worrying about the fact that he was having political problems at the office. Instead of working on the Russian desk he was off in a backwater, helping the Algerians put an end to French colonialism.
Betty and Sam White were sitting on their porch in Roswell sipping lemonade and watching the sky. It was a beautiful night, with storms off to the west and stars overhead. I know just what they said, just how they acted. The object was round and brightly lit — glowing, in fact. It made no sound as it swept northwestward across Roswell. Beneath its thin blue light people went about their business. Except for the Whites, nobody noticed a thing.
At the Army Air Field the radar operators did not glance up from their glowing screens. The lookout on the tower was facing the other way, and never broke the imaginary monologue he was delivering to Dorothy Lamour.
Bob Ungar, on his ranch seventy miles northwest of Roswell, watched the storms with a critical and uneasy eye. He was totally unaware of what was approaching from the direction of town. Bob pitied the poor, dumb things. I know he did, because I know exactly what kind of a man he was.
I admire him unabashedly. He died in the sixties, old and dried to straw by the desert. She lives in an adobe cottage — really little more than a hut. I spoke to her of her husband, and their old house that is in ruins now, and a long time ago.
I can imagine Bob standing on his back porch on that night, squinting into the dark west. A long, cool gust swirled out of the dark. The air grew eerie. But this bunch, they got all worked up over a little sheet lightning, forget the thunder and wind and the hail. He heard the sheep faintly, far off now, moaning and bleating. Meanwhile the glowing object left the outskirts of Roswell and the Whites lost it in the darkness.
Cats that had leaped into bookshelves looked out. Babies that had been screaming began to sniffle and coo. Children sighed in their beds, their half-formed nightmares subsiding.
They got a little shelter in there. Fox-trot music. When she returned she was wearing the dress. She swayed to the music. He took his work-thin wife in his arms, and danced with her as the lightning flashes flickered. The conga line? At that moment there was a crack of thunder and the rising roar of wind. The radio was drowned out. He turned it off; no use in wasting the battery. The wind came sweeping around the house, shaking the boards, screaming in the eaves, bringing with it the perfume of the range, sweet flowers, sage, dust.
He imagined his animals out there in the storm. He wondered how it could help but strike them. He doused the lamp. The storm was a huge, glowing wall of clouds. It seemed to ride on a forest of lightning bolts.
They went to their bedroom. He took off his clothes and sat on the bed rolling a last cigarette. They lay back together, sharing drags. After a while she put her hand on his chest. And then they slept.
His father came to him, his face lit as if by the light of a lantern. Astonished, he stared. He was aware that this was a dream, but amazed at how real it was. There was Dad, his lean, hard features, his dark eyes, his grim-set mouth.
He woke up feeling very afraid. Ellie beside him was snoring. Long thoughts started whispering through his mind. He wondered why he lived like this.
He independently authored Wolf of Shadows ,  a young adult novel set in the aftermath of a nuclear war. He wrote about this experience and related experiences in Communion , his first non-fiction book. Although the book is perceived generally as an account of alien abduction , Strieber draws no conclusions about the identity of the alleged abductors. He refers to the beings as "the visitors", a name chosen to be as neutral as possible to entertain the possibility that they are not extraterrestrials.
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