It was 1991 or ’92, I think. I was touring with Theatre IV and they’d arranged housing for me in Richmond with illustrator Sandra Boynton’s nephew, the late scenic designer Brad Boynton. When the wind was right and the nearby C.F. Sauer factory was doing its thing, the whole neighborhood smelled like pepper.
My favorite day off destination was a used bookstore where I bought only two books that I can recall: Asimov’s big, gray Foundation omnibus (shortly abandoned) and Whitley Strieber’s bizarre Communion memoir, which scared the bloody hell out of me. It was my first exposure to the now clichéd details of alien abduction.
Fascinated, I moved from Strieber to Hopkins to Jacobs to Fuller, Mack and others. Dozens of books, painstakingly curated to separate the signal from the super-abundant noise. Twice I flew to New York to attend meetings of the now-defunct Intruder’s Foundation and on three occasions I drove to Bethesda where “lies on the ground” activist Stephen Bassett used to host the annual X-Conference. By 2010, I was writing a UFO news digest for Technorati.com and even today, UFO-related podcasts are my favorite intellectual comfort food.
So I’m addicted, okay? And yes, I’m convinced the phenomenon is real.
Elusive, confusing, confounding and real.