Owls

I had mentioned in the comments section of my Mothman post that my mother was obsessed with owl imagery when I was growing up. An anonymous commenter mentioned something that I had forgotten; that in alien abduction literature, owl imagery is often implanted into abductee's memories as kind of diversionary screen image. I do remember reading about that in either Communion or Intruders.


Here's just a small sampling of the owl imagery I grew up surrounded by. That's me, in a corner of the dining room, probably sometime around 1972 or 1973. Most of the imagery was in the living room- there was a kind of alcove set into the wall that my dad used as a bar and then my mother used as a kind of shrine, with all kinds of owl figurines there. Later we put the TV there.

Now, I have no reason at all to believe that my mother was an alien abductee, but there is one particular story I remember her telling me. She said that just before I was born she put my sister down for naps and then would often take one herself. But she would have this recurring nightmare that a "witch" was on the porch and was trying to come into the house while my mother was asleep on the sofa.

That was the same exact spot I had the leprechaun hallucination you're all so sick of hearing about.

I sometimes wonder if the neighborhood was once an old Indian burial mound. A couple years back a dolphin beached itself in the river right down the street. A fresh water river, mind you.

But what the owl discussion really reminded me of was my dad's Mustang Mach I. One of these days I'm going to get me a Mustang. Maybe when the midlife crisis hits.


UPDATE: Obligatory Ten Thirteen reference.

32 comments:

  1. I often wonder was David Lynch aware of the owl/abduction thing, when he used to have the loglady say "The owls are not what they seem" in Twin Peaks?

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  2. Chris,

    Okay - let me begin by saying I've seen a LOT of owls.

    That aside, I went to a UFO conference, and sat in on the abductee support group, there were about 20 or so of us in the room. During the 2 hour session, a guy sat there silent and at one point he cautiously asked: "Has anyone Here had any experiences with owls?"

    And he nearly jolted out of his chair when EVERYBODY else in the room raised their hand.

    He told his (strange) owl story.

    And here's mine:
    http://hiddenexperience.blogspot.com/2009/03/owls-at-sunset.html

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  3. Knowles you had a head of hair even way back then.

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  4. the new mustangs are no comparison for the older bodies, try get it retrofitted with a magnetic motor

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  5. Two days ago I was sitting in a car and an owl landed just so I could see it in the driver side mirror. I thought about how owls were omens for native Americans and wondered what it portended. It flew to a perch that I could see out the driver's side window and sat there for a while and then swooped down on something and then back to another perch. I left the area hoping not to be a victim after watching it for a while.

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  6. 1) I think David Lynch was MOST certainly aware of the OWL symbology when he used it in "Twin Peaks", and I also believe we still have a lot to understand from his work in general.

    2) OWLS were very popular home decor in the 70's for some reason. My mother also had a number of OWL wall hangings.

    I too had a UFO experience during the early/mid 70's as well as an abduction "dream" (according to my mother that is) which was at the hands of a "witch" being a preschool teacher of mine. I wonder to this day if it didn't really take place Christopher.

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  7. Yacarete1:38 AM

    Tristan, don't forget the flashing owl images from season 2 of "Twin Peaks" which also involved the abduction of Major Garland Briggs (played by Don S. Davis, who went on to play Dana Scully's dad on "The X-Files).

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  8. Tristan- The loglady also has an androgynous connotation as well.

    Mike- Yes, I've read your post on that. If you have any more info that you'll be posting on, please give a link.

    Michael- Yeah, that was my Brian Jones period.

    JR- I like the new 'Stangs! I like the new Chargers too!

    Algiz- don't psyche yourself out! Enjoy the beauty of it!

    Todd- Yeah, I later found out there was a fad, but I didn't know anyone but my mom who was into them. But what's interesting to me is this owl/alien meme, particularly since the whole abduction thing really began to circulate in the media at the same time, but the grey archetype didn't really gain traction until the late 80s. Fascinating cultural conjunction there. That dream thing is freaky.


    Yaca-Cheers- Davis was also on Stargate SG1.


    MHII- Yes, absolutely.

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  9. My mum use to have a car with the registration plate OWL which she put a little cuddly toy owl in the back window then one day she told me i should collect owls and kept buying them for me every christmas birthday and in between, i always got more presents than my brother cause of the owls ,but no one was jealous just amazed at my mums obssession

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  10. Anonymous3:29 AM

    Athena was identified with owls. See also clockwork owl in Clash of the Titans.

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  12. Anonymous7:03 AM

    I think Jeff Adams must actually be Sascha Baron Cohen taking the piss.

    I mean seriously, with a name like that how could you write this:

    Your blog is very much interesting; I am your blog favorites. I follow your blog.

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  13. Anonymous10:58 AM

    "I went to a UFO conference, and sat in on the abductee support group..."

    That would be a perfect first line of a novel.

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  14. that's a hot ass car, my dad was big into muscle cars, hemi 'cuda's, challengers & the like

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  15. El Centro California has a bar at the end of it's main street with hundreds of owls stuffed and otherwise. The tech college(OIT) near where I grew up, sport teams were called the owls. I hear a barn owl everyday from my backyard. The indiginous peoples scenario is my guess,something of a necro syncro. Give a hoot and do not pollute! Shine forth brave souls! Dennis

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  16. Anonymous11:32 AM

    CK, wow, that was me who made the owl comment-- how gratifying to find a whole post on your owl history, or more accurately, your mom's. However, I have the idea that your mom's owl fascination is intricately linked to your own history, and the result is this wonderful blog and your other works. Your jump to the hot car at the end of the post...most jarring to me. Like you switched off your own line of thought. But that's okay, because we all know things when we are ready to know them. :-)

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  17. Hey Chris speaking of 10 13 references, I have been watching the short lived (so sad) MillenniuM series. I actually just watched the Owls and Roosters episodes last week. This show feels pretty packed tight with some extremely interesting material. It seems that there is a similar format to X-files for stand-alone vs. "true/conspiratorial" stories. I am equally intrigued by the inference of the concept of reincarnation and never-ending continuity of life as the biggest secret of all (...one to keep in order to sustain conscious evolution?). Curious to see your take on this show, if you have not done so already.

    I was also just looking at animal totems last week. The Owl is mine (or one of them).

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  18. JSteve- THat owl fad really bears deeper research. My next license plate will read KN-OWL-ES

    Anony 329- I think Cybele was too. Gotta watch COTT again.

    Jeff- Hey-o!

    Anony 703- I smell a Bruno sequel...

    Anony 1058- Get cracking, then!

    Dennis- Sounds cool- send pix!

    Anony 1132- Oh the car is a stargate all on its own. It's a key to mysteries you can't even imagine.

    Ryan- Click on the Chris Carter tag- I have some Millennium posts up.

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  19. Once in Cimarron, NM, as I was walking through a field, the air was suddenly filled with a whooooooosh and this almost palpable vibrating I could feel right down to my bones, and I found myself being stared down upon by the luminous yellow eyes of the most enormous owl I've ever seen. The statuesque fellow was perched, rather king-like, if you ask me, on the top of a telephone pole. His eyes were brighter than the stars that were beginning to glow just above the horizon, and he made me feel really uneasy, like, if he were big enough, he'd pick me up and spirit me away.

    Now this was an evening of mystery, indeed, because I'd just been to visit a buffalo pastured across the road from the supposedly haunted hotel where we were staying that evening.

    Needless to say, I didn't sleep a wink that evening.

    I see golden hawks all the time on our little ranch in Northern NM, and I've spent some time in the wilderness, more than many, it would be fair to say, but I have never again seen an owl like that one.

    I don't own one owl statue, but I've seen those collections in homes before. What's the story with that owl and the ouroborus?

    Pax. Kimberly

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  20. Anonymous4:18 PM

    My mother had a collection of owl figurines as well. Again, during the '70s. Not sure if it was just part of a fad, or something a bit stranger.

    I remember the owl figurines being on the piano at one point, probably 10-15 of them. One was a wood carving of one on a branch, but most of the rest were ceramic. My mother had a home business where she made customized drapes, and one of the owl figurines seemed specifically for that purpose; a small pair of scissors went into the top part of the owl's beak, with the finger holes forming what looked like a pair of glasses.

    I remember her wanting me to help her move the figurines at one time, but I had such a fear of birds that I didn't want to touch them. The fear persists to this day, though perhaps not as dramatic.

    Towards the end of Communion, Whitley Strieber specifically mentions Till Eulenspiegel in relation to his visitors' sense of humor (291). "Eulenspiegel," as has been mentioned here before, means "owl's mirror" (depending on whether you believe the High or Low German translation). Just before writing Zarathustra, Strauss wrote an eponymous symphonic piece about the prankster...

    Jason

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  21. "Now, I have no reason at all to believe that my mother was an alien abductee, but there is one particular story I remember her telling me. She said that just before I was born she put my sister down for naps and then would often take one herself. But she would have this recurring nightmare that a "witch" was on the porch and was trying to come into the house while my mother was asleep on the sofa."

    That's odd. When I was in my teens I was housesitting for my grandparents. Late at night, I was lying in best talking to my best friend on the phone, when I got the sense that there was someone outside the window. I got up and looked out to see a white woman floating in the air. She looked at me with an incredibly angry, hate-filled expression and I was overcome with sheer terror.

    Then I woke up.

    It was all a dream. There was no phone in the room that I could've been using - this was even before cell phones. But it was the most vivid dream I ever had.

    A few months later I was housesitting there again, but this time I slept on the couch instead of in the bedroom where I had the terrible dream. I woke up, and it was daylight outside. I thought I had slept through the night. The I saw the white woman outside again and she was heading for one of the doors. I ran to the door to lock up, but I was too late.

    I woke up just as she got into the house. It was still night, I had only just gone to sleep.

    A few months later, my grandmother, who was fighting cancer, said she saw an old woman she did not recognize sitting in a chair in the house during a family gathering. Not long after that she died.

    This is the first time I've heard of anyone having a dream anything like the two I had. I've had vivid dreams before, but never as utterly real and panic inducing.

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  22. http://www.crystalinks.com/owl_dollar.jpg X-Files was on Fox. Molech = Murdoch?

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  23. More owl sightings and more weirdness.

    Twice in a week, saw owls and things got really crappy.

    One was on a SIGNPOST. (the other was in a tree)

    Both were big great gray owls.

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  24. Okay - Another owl story, from today, and this one is really interesting.

    Link:
    http://hiddenexperience.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-owl-weirdness.html

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  25. The "It is still dark of night." image, can anybody tell me, where is it from?.

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  26. Emily4:46 PM

    Dolphins are also allegedly implanted into an abductees mind. Perhaps aliens visited your neighborhood.

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  27. Jessi1:23 PM

    Wanted to share an owl story from my childhood. My family was moving to another town which took 4 hours by car to commute. My dad was in a truck infront of my mom, me and my sister who was riding in a car behind him. It was late at night and we were making our last load for the day. We were moving into an old farm house out in the country. We were on a dirt road and my dad was right in front of us. My mom stopped the car because she saw something walking into the road. It was the most enormous owl any of us had seen. It simply walked in front of the car, turned to look at us (realise that it was big enough to see us over the hood of the car) and continued to walk across the road (or waddle maybe) when we got to the house my dad was irate and wanting to know where we had been. Evidently, over an hour had passed while we watched the owl cross our path.

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  28. Owls hmmmm
    witches
    it seems all to familiar if the answers were here I wouldnt be
    may all readers be blessed

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  29. Loving this blog dude.

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  30. If you don't mind me asking...where did the image of the owl with the snake around it come from? Was wanting to use it for a book I'm writing.

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  31. i'm not really any nearer to deciphering what my experience around owls means but heres my blog post it inspired

    http://jstevekane-thechroniclesovjstevekane.blogspot.com/2009/11/owl-syncs.html

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