As you know by now, I am an admirer of William S. Burroughs.
So when I came across an interview where he talks about aliens, well...let's just say it's two great things that go great together. Chocolate in my peanut butter and all that.
The author of Naked Lunch has written books that could ostensibly be called science fiction, such as those that make up his "Nova trilogy," but I was unaware that he had any interest in matters Ufological. As he states in the interview:
"I’m also very interested in all of these space aliens – their flying saucers, and all that. I went to see Whitley Strieber, who’s the author of a book called Communion which they made into a film - about experiences with ‘the visitors’, as he calls them. I visited him for a weekend in upstate New York, but I didn’t see anything – they’re really sporadic. But I’m convinced that he’s telling the truth, no doubt about it. All the people living around him all say, yes, they have seen these things, but they don’t want to talk about it. He puts out a Communion Newsletter with thousands and thousands and thousands of accounts. So I’m convinced that it’s a real phenomenon. I’d just like to see some myself, that’s all. As a matter of fact, there’s been sightings in Kansas, and some out at the lake – where I have my house on the lake – but I have not been favoured."
Wow. Whitley Strieber and William Burroughs in the same place at the same time? To be a fly on the wall...
Burroughs also once described meeting "little gray men" when he was four years old. He awoke one morning to find them playing in a block house he had built. The interviewer asked more about the "hallucinatory" experience but Burroughs denied the incident as being "hallucinatory." Instead, he termed it as a "vision shift." Comparisons are inevitably invited between these beings witnessed and the "Grays."
Digging around a bit further, I found this interview where Burroughs discusses his works of painting and other art. He demonstrates one of his painting methods, dipping a rubber suction cup in ink and then dragging it across canvas, leaving behind globs and schmaltz. The interviewer remarked that the resulting figures looked like aliens. Burroughs asserted:
"Burroughs: They are. They are supposed to be aliens. Here’s one that I like very much — they are the Root People. I recognized them the moment that the painting was finished."
Whether or not Burroughs ever had the chance to meet with the Root People or other aliens is unknown to me and no doubt others would point to his drug use as way to discredit whatever alleged experiences there might have been.
Eschewing such cynicism, I'd like to think he had the experience.
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