|February 25, 1987|
Communion: A True Story is a book by American ufologist and horror author Whitley Strieber that was first published in February 1987. The book is based on the story of Whitley Strieber, who experiences "lost time" and terrifying flashbacks, which hypnosis undertaken by Budd Hopkins later links to an encounter with aliens.
The book was later made into a film directed by Philippe Mora and starring Christopher Walken as Strieber and Lindsay Crouse as his wife, Anne. A 2008 trade paperback edition presents a new preface by the author.
The cover painting of an alien was rendered by Ted Seth Jacobs. The painting is considered one of the most widely recognized popular culture images of a "grey" alien. "The Communion cover," Jacobs recounts,
- "was painted in my small apartment on East 83rd St, in New York City. Whitley sat with me first for a drawing of the Alien. As I sketched, he would indicate how to change the portrait so that it would more match what he saw. It was, I believe, the process used by police sketch artists. Every last detail was corrected according to his instructions. At one point, he said the image corresponded exactly to what he had seen. With Whitley beside me for the subsequent session, I began to paint the image on a wooden prepared panel, going through the same process as for the drawing, until Whitley finally said the image was exact. ... As to the gender of the Alien image, to tell the truth, the subject didn't come up. I don't even know if the 'greys' have gender as we understand it. Whitley corrected the developing image to have a certain fragility, a vulnerability. I suppose we Earthlings usually associate these qualities with femininity."
Popular culture references
- Colin Groves in Skeptical - a Handbook of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, ed Donald Laycock, David Vernon, Colin Groves, Simon Brown, Imagecraft, Canberra, 1989, ISBN 0-7316-5794-2, p. 4
- Bueche, W., "Ted Seth Jacobs: An interview with the artist" URL accessed Aug 18, 2008(1999)
- Genge, Ngaire (1996). The Unofficial X-Files Companion II. Avon Books. p. 175. ISBN 0-380-79024-6.