Sunday, March 31, 2013

Owls & UFOs

At this year's UFO congress in Scottsdale, AZ, I had a chance to catch up with my friend, Mike Clelland.  Mike writes a blog and records a podcast about UFOs, abductions and other related topics.  He has a special connection to owls and, over time, he's collected a lot of unusual stories related to these magical birds.  Combined with his own 'owl stories' he's amassed quite a catalog but he's always looking for more.  During congress this year, Mike made a point of asking me if I recalled any
unusual owl stories and one in particular came to mind.  It occurred on my first visit to the home of a woman who reported a number of UFO sightings.  Some of the details of the case are presented here, specifically the portion that relates to the appearance of an owl.

I conducted this investigation back in 2008 in the Tampa, Florida area.  A young woman named Joan had contacted me about a series of UFO sightings that she'd had near her home on the outskirts of Tampa.  After a few phone conversations, I arranged to meet her at her home and see the area where the sightings had occurred.  It was the first week of September, 2008.  Joan claimed that she had witnessed a UFO on three separate nights during the summer, with the most recent sighting in late August.  These were 'fresh' sightings and I was anxious see the location and speak with Joan in person.

I arrived at Joan's home just as the sun was starting to set.  I parked on the street in front of the address that she had given me and turned the engine off.  Joan had told me to look for her car and, glancing at the house, I noted that it was parked out front, assuring me that she was home from work.  I reached over and retrieved my notebook and digital recorded from the passenger seat.  I make a habit of carrying both since some witnesses are not comfortable having their interview recorded.
 Since I had been in a rush leaving, I needed to change the batteries in the recorder.  As I was looking down to do this, I heard a heavy 'thud' and felt a slight shake as though something had fallen on the vehicle.  
Looking up quickly, I was shocked to see an owl perched on the hood.  It turned it's head and looked directly at me.  I recognized the species, a Great Horned Owl.  This one was at least a foot tall.  It looked at me for a moment, turned it's head and looked forward down the street then repeated this movement.  It never made a sound and after a moment, it launched into the air.
I had reached over and grabbed my camera from the seat without taking my eyes off the bird, but it happened so quickly that I was unable to take a photo since the bird took flight just as I powered the camera on.

It was an unusual incident and I wasn't sure what had caused the owl to land on my vehicle moments after I had turned the engine off.  I didn't mention this incident to Joan when I went in to conduct the interview.

Sitting in Joan's kitchen, I listened quietly as she began to give me details of her UFO sightings.  Like many people who report repeated encounters, Joan had experienced some odd things in her life.  On two occasions, she had experienced missing time.  Lapses in her routine that she simply couldn't explain and didn't have any clear memory of. 
Once she had told me about her sightings, I brought up her children.  Joan had two kids, Melissa who was twelve and Jared who was seven.  Her daughter had not mentioned anything unusual since the UFO activity had begun.  Her son however, had started to talk about 'lights in the sky' and the 'little men'  He had also developed an imaginary friend.  A common thing for young children to do, but the timing was rather curious.

As I sat talking to Joan, her son came in to the kitchen.  He calmly reported to his mother "It's at my window again Mommy."  Joan assure him that "it" was already gone.  She excused herself for a moment and walked with her son to his room.  When she returned to the kitchen, she explained that a large owl had started coming to her son's window and perching on the sill outside.  She seemed to think that the bird was attracted to the bedroom light or possibly to her son's cat that often sat on
a table just inside his window.
I asked if she had ever seen the owl herself and she reported that she had not but her daughter had witnessed it on a couple of occasions.  A neighbor had also informed Joan that he had seen a large owl in her yard a few times.  Interesting enough when I pressed her for more details, Joan recalled that the owl had started to appear around the time of her first UFO sighting.

In Shamanic terms, the owl is a powerful totem.  Viewed as an omen of death and darkness in some cultures and as a representative of wisdom by others.
Owls have been mentioned in quite a number of UFO accounts.  Some researchers believe that the owl is often a 'screen memory' blocking the reality of some alien life form.  Of course, these theories, while interesting, remain unproven.  Perhaps more fascinating are the number of cases of real, physical owls that appear to those who report abduction experiences.  Are these birds part of a shamanic experience unfolding around people going through abduction experiences and contact with some otherworldly life form?  Are the birds drawn to the circumstances or the people themselves?  These questions and others are being explored by Mike in the midst of his personal journey with owls.

If you have an unusual story of an encounter with an owl that you would like to share, contact me at:

or get in touch with Mike Clelland at his blog:


  1. Great article very interesting. Weird correlation between the two.

  2. Remember in "Twin Peaks"..."The Owls are not what they seem"