Saturday, February 6, 2016

What Sparks My Imagination by Mac Tonnies

Click on the image above for better viewing
This is a 3rd grade writing assignment composed by Mac Tonnies. He would have been eight years old at the time. This scan was sent to me by Mac's mother. It might take some squinting, but it is worth the effort. His teacher, quite correctly, wrote: "Great job!" in red pen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

X-Files and the Evolutionary Triad

Alan Greene from SyncBookPress put out a video last week after episode two of the X-FIles re-boot. There were some things in that episode that harkened back to a post from 2011 titled: The Evolutionary Triad. THe implication might be that the script writers looked at my blog.

Also: There is great interview with Alan below, and more HERE.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


word play

Thank you Suzanne Gyseman.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Whitley Strieber praises The Messengers

It’s a wonderful book… because its a book that advances us in consciousness—it advances us—it takes us from where we were before we started reading it to a new place in terms of understanding the close encounter experience. I can name, just on the fingers of one hand, the number of books that actually do that.
—Whitley Strieber, January 2016

Author Whitley Strieber
This quote above is from Whitley Strieber on his latest Dreamland interview. We had an hour long conversation about my book The Messengers. I was shocked at the strength of his compliments. I was a bit nervous leading up to this interview. He seemed to perceive the deeper ideas in my book, perhaps with more clarity than myself.

This is a full hour interview. The first half hour is free, but you need to be a paying member to hear the second half.

I transcribed some of what he said during the interview. These quotes are powerful stuff (another one below) and he said things that left me humbled.

Coming up in just a few weeks is the release of The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained, by Whitley Strieber and Jeffery Kripal. This book (like my own) features a bright yellow owl eye. And, it uses the of owl as a potent symbol in framing inexplicable events. I cannot put into words the excitement I have for this upcoming book! (interesting article HERE)

Listen to my audio interview with Whitley HERE.

And Jeff Kripal HERE.

Or listen on the players below.

His book, The Messengers... it’s a terrific book, filled with information. And I think of it, in effect, as a communication from the visitors because they are speaking in a natural language by giving us experiences that are connected with owls. And you can lean a lot about what they think of us, and what they want us to think of them, by reading this compilation. It is the only one in the world like it, there is nothing else like this. It’s never been done before. I think it’s very important and I think there is a lot to learn from it.
—Whitley Strieber, January 2016


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Owl book reviewed on Mysterious Universe

tidy art direction from Austrailia
Ben and Aaron at Mysterious Universe spent over 40 minutes of their podcast excitedly talking about The Messengers. It is funny as an author to hear other folks re-telling accounts from the book. The did a very good job, but they got a few minor points wrong. Beyond that, it was fun to hear them enthusiastically applaud the book—especially with their thick Australian accents!

They talk a bit about the book in the opening, but it isn't until the 28:30 time count that they focus on it completely. Their commentary on the book then runs to end of the show.

Also, my 2013 interview with Ben and Aaron linked HERE.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Rolling Synchronicity

Just got an email from someone who had SO many sychronicities while reading The Messengers, he had to write a blog post about it! (linked HERE) He even numbered the events. Here is number eight:
On 1-2-2016 I was driving and it was dark out, around 8PM. There were tall trees on both sides of the road. At the top of some trees I see something really strange that gets my attention. There was this lucid transparent image kind of floating. My first reaction was the movie Predator because it looked exactly like this.

I was watching it in disbelief when I notice an owl fly in front of a tall lamp post. It's wings were wide open as it landed on top of the lamp post.

Friday, January 22, 2016

audio reading from The Messengers

This is my voice (the author) reading from the book The Messengers. I read the foreword, as well as two short sub-chapters. It runs about 17 minutes. I took it upon myself to read aloud and record it as a short audio file because of my voice. I've had a chest cold over the last week or so, and my normally squeaky voice is much lower. Add to that, I played with the garageband sound equalizer and sort of went overboard. 

 17 minute audio excerpt from The Messengers linked HERE 

Just so folks know, there is an audio book in the works, but there's no foreseeable date for it's availability. Also, I will not be reading my own work. I am terrible at this. What you are hearing on this MP3 might sound okay, but I spent hours editing my own mumbling. I'll leave audio books to the professionals!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

audio interviews linked

I’ve been playing promoter for the book. There are now quite a few Podcast interviews where I talk about The Messengers. Here is an ongoing list  from the last month. Be careful and don’t try to listen to all of these, you’ll end up hearing me telling a bunch of the same things over and over. I try to mix it up a bit, but I end up answering the same questions.

This list is in random order.

      1.  The Richard Dolan Show with Richard Dolan

      2.  Dreamland with Whitley Strieber

      3.  The Paracast with Gene and Chris

      4.  Cosmic Passport with Elizabeth Anglin 

      5.  Becoming a Cozmic Citizen with Don Daniels 

      6.  UFO Podcast with Martin Willis

      7.  Radio Mysterioso with Greg Bishop

      8.  Grimerica with Red Pill Junkie (and crew)

      9.  Phantoms and Mosters with Lon Strickler

      10. UFO Audit with Erica Lukes

Please know, this list will get longer as I add more interviews

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stories from The Messengers — a companion book

cover art in progress
The Messengers has been available for over a month. I wanted to let readers know that there is a follow up in the works, a companion book to be titled Stories from The Messengers

I have been collecting these strange owl stories for the last few years, and some of them were just too long to put in the initial volume. It would be unfair to the people who’ve experienced these baffling life events to edit down their stories. These longer accounts have a complexity that require that they be told completely. The Messengers is just shy of 400 pages, and it would have been irresponsible to cram a bunch of long complex stories into an already long book. 

Anne Strieber, the late wife of author Whitley Strieber, had a simple way of evaluating the truth of a UFO report. She said, if it’s not weird, I don’t trust it. This was her BS detector, and I think its valid.
Within these longer stories is a confusing collision of overlapping experiences. A mess of twists and turns, and all of them weird. Things feel mixed up with threads running off everywhere in a tangled knot of implausibility. Synchronicity spills over the edges like an unattended sink. For me, this kind of chaos is a sign to trust the event as legitimate. The more complicated the interwoven details, the more valid it seems. This all becomes a shaky form of proof that something truly paranormal is unfolding. 
I’ve been referring to this frenetic pattern as the paradox syndrome. A paradox is an attempt at sound reasoning, but the conclusion appears unacceptable. A syndrome is a group of related or coinciding things, events, and actions. I don’t understand why it works this way, but all the messy threads must tie into some core event, and the challenge is not to get lost in the mayhem. And when there is an owl tied to one of these threads, I pay very close attention.
This next book will read like a collection of short stories with this paradox syndrome as its central theme. A lot of it is already written (although unpolished) so it is a matter of cleaning it up for publication. There is no set date on the companion book, but it’s on my desk now, my mission for the short term.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

short review for The Messengers

Absolutely fascinating. New insights, ideas, I cannot put this book down. Just when I think its covered everything, the next page will delve into another insight that shakes me to the core. A must read for anyone interested in the contact experience.
This is an anonymous review from Amazon. Reading these glowing words left me humbled. The other reviews posted are equally supportive, and this means so much to me.  I am so grateful people are enjoying this book.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

David Bowie, owls and Labyrinth

Owl enters during a bedroom abduction
The barn owl looks very much like a gray alien
There is a curious set of events that play out in the 1986 film Labyrinth. Early on in the story a child is taken from his crib by small beings. There is a white barn owl watching through a window during this "bedroom abduction" scene. That owl later transforms to David Bowie.

Labyrinth was a fantasy directed by Muppet creator Jim Henson, with George Lucas as executive director. Teenager Jennifer Connelly confronts Jareth the Goblin King (Bowie) in a puppet filled dream realm. Bowie certainly resonates an alien after Ziggy and The Man Who Fell to Earth, and he does so again as an owl "watcher" in the bedroom abduction scene.
Enter Bowie
1986 was also the year that Whitley Strieber wrote the book Communion. This book is the first popular reference to owls out a window at the moment of alien abduction, that is is if you don't count Labyrinth. And Bowie also stared in the film adaptation of Strieber's book The Hunger (1983). Strieber has speculated that the vampires in The Hunger were his own subconscious metaphors for gray aliens.

Both Connelly and her little brother could be seen as UFO abductees. Both transported to another realm against their will. There is ample evidence that these experiences run in families.

The movie, including its title, is awash in mythic imagery and names—and this was obviously intentional by the filmmakers. In the tradition of the quintessential myth, the heroes journey, Connelly is tested by Bowie in a puppet filled giant maze. Like Jennifer Connelly, there is another J.C. who gets tested in a mythic book, this time by the Devil while alone in the desert.

What seems unintentional was the association of the owl and UFO abduction. I feel strongly that this arose out of the script unconsciously.
movie poster with owl and Bowie
image from a satirical site
The final scene shows Jennifer Connelly back home in her Muppet filled bedroom, with the David Bowie owl looking into her window. This is a somewhat creepy way to end a children's movie. The image above comes from a site that urges the viewers to turn Labyrinth into an audience participation event like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (another movie, according to Bruce Rux, with a metaphoric theme of UFO Abduction).

More about Labyrinth and its (rather accurate) depiction of the Fae Folk from author Joshua Cutchin, HERE.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

interview with Richard Dolan on the owl book

audio interview from Dec 7, 2015

Richard Dolan is perhaps the one person on earth (besides myself) who has been immersed in my book. He is both the editor and publisher, and this means he has read and scrutinized each sentence. This sets him up to do a really penetrating interview. Nothing fluffy here, we dig deep.

Also, I have done a bunch of other audio interviews and I will put the links to these up on this site soon!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Nick Redfern reviews The Messengers

Nick Redfern posted a review of my book The Messengers at the Mysterious Universe site. Nick read the book twice while doing the initial editing for me last summer.

This is a wildy positive review. It's the kind of appraisal that any author might only dream of getting. That Nick has said these things leaves me deeply humbled. I am grateful and his glowing words will keep me pressing forward in times of uncertainty.

  Link to the review HERE  

Nick writes:
As Mike Clelland skilfully demonstrates, the UFO-owl issue is a real one. It’s not, however, an issue that can be explained in simple terms. The entire situation is multifaceted, requires an open mind to appreciate it, and is fascinating, uplifting, and disturbing in equal measures. This is a very important book on an enigma-filled topic that – finally – has the extensive treatment it deserves. And it may very well radically change your thoughts on the real nature of the UFO enigma. And also on what passes for reality itself.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

owl on Christmas morning (updated)

eerie cell phone image of an owl
I received an interesting comment from a fellow named Robert, it arrived on Christmas morning. It was on the post about the missing text in the owl book (below from Dec. 19). These are the kinds of accounts I have been receiving since the publication of the book. His is not the only one, but it is a good example—and he has a photo!

Below is a slightly edited excerpt of his original comment to me.
Mike, even before I found you and your blog, I had been aware of the connection with owls and UFOs—maybe it was from Strieber, I can't remember but I know it was years ago. Well I discovered your blog and was fascinated when you brought the idea back into my awareness. So, two days ago I was listening to The Paracast, and Gene and Chris and Gene announced your new book was out and they hoped to get you on. I thought, cool. So today, Christmas eve, I went to my nieces back patio to smoke a cigarette and listen to a new podcast. Well, it was Where Did The Road Go and they brought up your new book and one of the guests said something to the effect, ‘Oh wow, I'm probably going to start seeing owls everywhere.’ (paraphrasing here). Again I thought how weird to be hearing about Mike's new book, I must get it soon. 
Okay, so this morning, Christmas day at 5 a.m., I walked out on aforementioned patio to smoke and I shit you not—an owl landed five feet from me, stared at me for a few seconds, then gracefully, calmly hopped up onto the little decorative fence and continued to stare at me. I didn't scream or even gasp, I just heard myself say, "Hey Mr. Owl, do you have something to tell me?" Since I had my phone, I slowly walked to within a few feet of this magnificent animal. It let me take a picture! I swear this all happened over the course of like 30 hours. I mostly just feel like, how cool, a little bit of grace and awe from the universe! Synchronicity indeed. But what exactly do I take away from it? Not sure, but I suddenly feel the need to pay a little more attention to my life. Thanks, Robert.
close up of the same photo

New text added December 27th 2015

Robert saw another owl! It happened early this morning.

Here is the message from Robert (excerpt edited slightly):
I stepped out to the back patio off the living room to smoke. The owl, once more, landed on her neighbors patio fence. Since my niece was sitting in the living room and I had only closed the screen door behind me, I said through the screen,"Hey, my owl is back come see.” 
She jumped, phone in hand, and joined me. I didn't change position and told her, I'm going to stand still but the owl may let you get pretty close, just be slow in your approach. I heard her say, "Hey bird, you're so pretty.”  I said please take a picture with your good phone and I'll pass it along to Mike. So she did and here it is [see below]. ... She's very tolerant of her crazy uncle and his "owl" thing, but tonight she was floored by the experience from a place of "I can't believe this magnificent wild creature let me get so close."

Robert’s first owl sighting was early in the morning on Christmas day in Louisiana. The day before, at about 1:45 a.m. a police officer was attacked by an owl that flew into the open window of his car patrol. It happened about 100 miles away in the suburban town of Covington Louisiana. See a TV report of this weird news story HERE. My first thought when I heard about the cop with the owl in the car was “Uh oh!”
Barred owl in a cop car in Louisiana (Dec. 24)
Here's a rundown of all this:

        ~ Cop gets attacked by an owl (Dec. 24)
        ~ Robert sees his first owl (Dec. 25)
        ~ Mike posts about Robert's owl sighting with picture (Dec. 26)
        ~ Robert sees that owl again with picture (Dec 27)

All this happened during a full (or nearly) moon on a holiday noted for an unusual star in the sky heralding a new era of love and forgiveness. And, my missing time event happened on a suburban street named Covington.

Robert ended his most recent email with this: "I've had about as much synchronicity as my tired brain can handle for a bit!"
Barred owl on the same fence in Louisiana (Dec. 27)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Excerpt from Silver Screen Saucers

Robbie Graham
Hollywood has long had a love affair with the subject of UFOs, but no one has written anything substantial on the subject in recent years. In his newly-released book, Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood's UFO Movies, Robbie Graham presents the reader with a remarkable work of both research and philosophy.

Over the last few years Robbie and I have both been laboring with big book projects focusing on UFOs. We've commiserated and lamented on the challenges of trying to rein in the vital stuff within a swirling sea of dubious information. We are comrades in this strange field.

Below is an excerpt from Robbie's book. He chose to address the abduction lore by conducting interviews with several abductees (or perhaps more correctly, experiencers). These folks give their own thoughts and insights into UFO themed movies. Curiously, I quote Peter in my book, he shows up in the chapter on archetypes.

Meanwhile, in a mutual exchange of ‘UFOs & pop culture’ work, over at Robbie's Silver Screen Saucer site, you can check out an exclusive excerpt from my own newly-released book, The Messengers. The excerpt is from my chapter on Pop-Culture (where I quote Robbie).

Now, enjoy Robbie’s fascinating interview…

Interview conducted April 16, 2015

Peter Faust
Peter Faust came to prominence as an abductee/experiencer with the publication of John Mack’s famous book, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994), which devoted an entire chapter to his story. Peter was one of Mack’s early patients and appeared alongside the Harvard psychiatrist in an abduction-themed episode of Oprah, which aired in the mid-1990s.
Peter’s story was also central to the award-winning 2003 documentary Touched, which looked sensitively at how the abduction phenomenon can impact the personal lives of experiencers.
Peter’s experiences trace back to his youth, and his first conscious recollection of them came in 1988 at the age of 33. John Mack would later invite Peter to participate in his group therapy sessions, and it was through these, and also through hypnosis, that he began to find the missing pieces of his puzzle.
I asked Peter if his experiences are ongoing. He replied that, although their physical component has ceased, the effect of his experiences, both physical and mental, continues to be felt in his daily life. In this sense, he said, his experience is ongoing and will likely never end. When I asked him if he misses his direct interactions with otherworldly intelligences, he told me: 

When you come back from that experience and go back into ordinary reality, trying to pay the mortgage and the bills and plan for retirement, you know, just back into human existence, there’s a gap there. You’ve reached a state of bliss, you’ve had contact with the divine, or whatever you want to call it, and thereafter there’s always a part of you that thinks ‘those are my people, those are my tribe, that’s my real home,’ and there’s a sense of longing for that, because you’ve had that taste of it. So in that regard I miss it. But I don’t focus on it because I have to live in this world. I think that’s what’s hard for many people who’ve had the contact experience.

RG: UFOs and Hollywood – what are your immediate thoughts?

PF: It seems to me that Hollywood has a history of sensationalizing the phenomenon and consistently presenting it as traumatic – that the beings are malevolent, and that there’s a threat of invasion. 

RG: What’s your emotional state while watching abduction-themed entertainment products? Do they provoke in you a visceral reaction, or are you able to view them with detachment? 

PF: They absolutely elicit a visceral reaction in me of the initial trauma and the disbelief that I felt at the time. It has been very difficult for me to watch these films without being triggered, so I avoid most of them, although I have seen a few over the years. The last one I saw was The Fourth Kind (2009). 

Aside from trauma, the other reaction I have is ‘This is not the whole story.’ It’s disheartening that Hollywood leaves its exploration of the phenomenon at the level of trauma, invasion, and abuse, and that it hasn’t moved into the next level, which I personally have experienced, where these intelligences are trying to break through our consciousness and have a communion with us, a conversation with us, and are trying to impart a message to us.

RG: To what extent are your own experiences reflected in these products?

PF: I would say the initial aspects – the sense of ‘this can’t be happening,’ ‘am I going crazy?, ‘who do I trust, who do I tell?’ The obsessional aspect of it – Close Encounters of the Third Kind captured that well. The complete shattering of one’s belief system and a feeling of alienation, of going crazy, of losing your mind, and the effect that it has on your family and loved ones.

RG: After becoming aware of your experiences in adulthood did you find yourself drawn to UFO-themed entertainment media in the hope of finding answers?

PF: When I first went to Dr. Mack with my experiences in my 30s, he immediately said to me ‘Please don’t read any material or watch any films on this subject, and don’t talk to anybody else, so that our regression hypnosis sessions are not tainted by an overlay of what you’ve read or seen in the media.’ So I did not look at any of these films or read anything on this topic until 1995 or 1996 after John’s book had come out.

RG: Are there any film or TV depictions of the experiencer phenomenon you’ve found to be particularly truthful or authentic?

PF: I would say that there isn’t one film that I can remember that depicts all of it, although I would say there are elements in all these movies that reflect parts of the experience. Certainly Close Encounters of the Third Kind reflected the obsessional tone of it. Communion reflected another tone, and I would say that Taken reflected the feeling and importance of the individual recognizing their experiences and then finding others who have experienced the same. In that show there was a recognition among the characters that they were not alone in their experiences, that they were not isolated, that they were part of a collective experience, whereas in Communion it was more isolated to the individual. 

Another movie, Knowing, was good in the sense that it depicted a consciousness trying to reach us and show us that there are worrying events occurring that they’re aware of, and they’re trying to connect with us. It shows an individual following the threads and coming to the point where he has actual contact with these beings. 

RG: What facets of the experiencer phenomenon would you like to see filmmakers explore more in the future?

PF: What I would love to see Hollywood explore more is the arc of one person, or several people’s lives, who seem to not be connected, and who individually go through the process of horror and disbelief and then move through that to acceptance, then moving to a more mutual contact with the beings to discover their true intent. I don’t want to see any more straight horror films on this subject. I think the general public is ready for a film that depicts people waking up, having the experience, following the experience, people no longer traumatized by the experience, and then moving toward something larger and more profound. A movie more along the lines of Contact. That film took it to the next level. None of the existing films show the transformation that happens for the individual. 

I think the subject as a whole is challenging Hollywood to explore the next arc of this ongoing story, which is ‘how will the collective consciousness of humanity respond to this larger reality?’  

So, in this sense, Contact, Knowing, and even Interstellar are the only films I can think of which depict a higher intelligence trying to communicate a message to us that’s to our benefit, but their methods of communication are mysterious and sometimes scary. Contact and Interstellar actually show us going out into space to meet these higher intelligences, whereas in the 1950s movies, the aliens came to us. But now we’re starting to have the technology to be able to go out there and meet them, and Hollywood is starting to depict that – that we can decipher their communication, we can decipher that they’re trying to connect with us, and that they’re actually trying to help us.

RG: What do you feel is the overall cultural effect of UFO-themed movies? 

PF: It’s been a slow process of disclosure over sixty years using the mediums of our time, the mediums of communication, which are film and television. And I think ultimately humanity is being prepared for contact.

RG: Is this disclosure a planned political strategy, or is it a natural cultural process whereby we’re all subconsciously raising our own awareness of the phenomenon?

PF: Yes, it’s cultural. If we take a step back and put conspiracy theories to one side, I fundamentally believe that there is a collective form of preparation going on through mass media; we’re preparing ourselves for the possibility of contact. The media in any of its forms, from the town crier, to the newspaper, to the radio, to film and television, to the Internet, has always been a way for consciousness to expand; for humanity to broaden its view.

RG: So you feel that Hollywood does have a part to play in this process of awakening and acceptance? That Hollywood wields enough power as a medium to influence what people will think and ultimately do?

PF: Absolutely, because all the seeds of our imagination are planted through film and television at this point in our history, and through the media more broadly. And if the seeds are ‘don’t react with terror, ‘don’t react with fear,’ ‘don’t react with a SWAT team’ then we’ll be more predisposed to that.

Excerpt from:  Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood's UFO Movies, by Robbie Graham (White Crow Books, 2015) Used with permission