If you thought Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones was strange, it's nothing compared to what Strieber relates of his latest encounters with alien ""visitors."" Strieber, too, has visions of the renewal of humanity, its elevation to a higher level of consciousness, mediated by the aliens who have been appearing to him regularly since 1985. He has confronted the terror that permeated his 1987 report, Communion, and now expresses a kind of religious faith in the godlike wisdom and goodness of the visitors, who may sometimes frighten and upset us -- but only for our own good. Strieber asks these ""vibrantly alive"" beings to help him understand their mission. In response, they whisk him across the country in seconds to witness a visit they make to a friend of his; demonstrating what Strieber believes is an expanded use of human imagination, the aliens take him back in time to what he construes to be the expulsion from the Garden of Eden; they appear in his upstate New York cabin when a group of people, including a documentary filmmaker, are present. The visitors are here to teach us that the universe is mutable and fluid beyond our wildest scientific dreams and that we have souls. Their message is: ""Burn away your ignorance and your sins, then you can ascend."" The real spooks in Strieber's scenario are not the visitors but government intruders who have hounded him since he first evinced interest in UFOs; and he presents some highly convincing evidence of a government cover-up regarding UFOs. Strieber's books have helped focus attention on the not uncommon phenomenon of reports of alien visitation, but his arrogant, proselytizing tone detracts from the effectiveness of his reports here. He virtually accuses those who ""spread denial"" (such as the media) of a moral transgression. Still, if you can stomach the spiritual coating, Strieber's purported proof of alien visitors will at least give you serious pause.