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Strieber Knocks & Folklore Answers

From: Chris Aubeck <caubeck@email.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 09:13:03 -0500 (EST)
Fwd Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 15:41:11 -0500
Subject: Strieber Knocks & Folklore Answers

Hello Everyone,

One of Whitley Strieber's most interesting claims involves the
sound of nine knocks in three series of three. Strieber
associates the sounds he heard in 1986 with his own abductions
and presents several cases in which the nine knocks form part of
other people's visitor-related experiences (see Breakthrough and
The Communion Letters).

We know from his early fiction and from interviews that Strieber
is erudite in fields such as folklore and esoteric tradition. It
comes as something of a surprise, therefore, to find that no
mention is made in his books to phenomena of a similar kind
reported in non-ufological contexts. A brief historical survey
of the 'knocking' phenomenon would have at once supported his
case and illustrated the point that the 'visitor' experience has
accompanied humanity for centuries, albeit in different guises.

The most obvious non-UFO area featuring the knocks is that of
poltergeist 'rappings.' One instance of 'nine ghostly raps'
which comes to my mind dates to December 1716, but there are
others. Raps often came in threes and were often heard on the
outsides of a house in unreachable spots, just as Strieber

I can provide examples of cases that involve neither ghosts nor
UFOs. Consider the following anecdote, undated but from before

"I had a neighbour that heard three raps at her door for three
nights straight. Each night she went to the door and no one was
there. On the third night, just as she started to open the door,
a big star appear[ed] on the door, then she knew it was death.
Her mother died out in California just about the same time the
star appear[ed] on her door."

Death, of course, is one of Strieber's favourite subjects and
this story would have fit very well into one of his books.
However, it was published in a rare tome that he was unlikely to

On the basis of my research into folklore and pre- 1947
incidents I feel unable to reject Strieber's claim about the
'nine knocks' as preposterous or without precedence because it
really is supported by independent testimonies. Indeed, exactly
eighteen months after Strieber's alleged experience a large but
unspecified number of people in Glenrock, Wyoming, were woken up
"by a series of nine knocks in three groups of three on their
cars, on the sides or roofs of their houses, or on their doors."
Strieberīs account had still not been published when this
occurred, and a report in The Glenrock Independent (Thursday,
March 3, 1988) predated the publication of his book by weeks.
According to the article, "the three part series of three dull
thuds" was heard by everyone at the same time on Sunday morning
at 2:45am. The police received calls from people worried about
prowlers, but residents "discounted the possibility of a hoax
being performed on a seemingly random number of houses. The
residents quickly either looked outside or physically inspected
their property." To top it all, a UFO was also seen in the
vicinity, and mentioned in the newspaper report.

Does this necessarily indicate that Strieber was telling the
truth? It would help if some independent research was done to
verify the Glenrock incident. I don't know of any except what
was done by Ed Conroy on Strieber's behalf.

My opinion of Whitley Strieber's books is that whether or not he
truly did undergo a strange experience in the 1980s, he has
since let his astonishing imagination build on the standard
abduction scenario using folklore as a source of inspiration. It
is curious to see that whereas in Communion and Transformation
Strieber made liberal comparisons between his contact with
aliens and ancient tradition, he has subsequently downplayed any
similarities in other books. I believe this has been one half of
a strategy to distract readers from a blatantly obvious fact:
that his enthusiasm for folklore and mythology predates his
abduction claims. The second part of his strategy has been to
claim that the fairy- like beings in his earlier novels were
subconscious memories of alien visitors (actually the reverse
could be more justifiably regarded as true).

It would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has
experienced the 'nine knocks' phenomenon. In view of claims
involving raps and thuds throughout history, any banging noises
that manifest in threes ­ whether they total nine or not ­ could
be relevant to this study.

Chris Aubeck

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