I went camping with a young woman that I hardly knew named Kristen. We went out for one night in the mountains near my home in the autumn of 2006.. What emerged was a flurry of weirdness.
We were out in a beautiful area, sitting in a meadow on a big rock. The sun was setting and it was warm and calm. I was preparing a warm dinner on a small camp stove and we talked while cooking. It was that magic twilight time and the moon was rising. As we ate our conversation reached a point where we were opening up about our spiritual beliefs and insights. As I listened to Kristy there was a moment when I realized that there was something truly impressive about her. She was perceptive in a way that inspired me.
At that moment an owl swooped over us, literally just a few feet above our heads. It was so cool and we were both delighted. Then there was another owl, and then a third!
All three were circling and swooping silently above us. It lasted for about an hour. During this time we set out our sleeping bags to sleep under the stars. As we lay there looking up at the sky the owls would swoop right above our faces, blotting out the sky for a brief instant. Owls have specialized feathers so they are amazingly quiet, adding to the strange quality of the experience.
It was so magical!
A little more about Kristy. She is sensitive and very smart, but at that point we actually didn't really know each other very well. We shared a meal on that big flat rock, surrounded by wildflowers and mountains. We talked about deep stuff as we ate. There came a point in our conversation when I felt a really strong and delightful connection to her. It was hugely life affirming. There came a point when I realized we were on exactly the same wavelength. It was exactly at that moment of realization about Kristy that the three owls appeared!
It was only later that I recognized the synchronous intensity of the moment when the owls appeared. It was over two years later when I called Kristen on the phone to ask if she remembered what we were talking about when the first swooped above us.
Without hesitating she said, “Oh yeah, I remember exactly what I was saying. I was trying to articulate my deepest beliefs about God. It was right then that the owls appeared.”
I was shocked at the intensity of what she just shared. Whatever is going on, that one detail adds a depth to the overall experience that tips it into the realm of the transcendent.
Back to that night in the mountains with Kristen. The next morning we hiked along a series of beautiful trails taking a different route back to the car. We were marveling about what had happened the night before. In the final mile of the hike we met an old girlfriend of mine on the trial. I’ll call her Carol (a pseudonym) and she was with her young daughter and son. She was now married and there had been and awkward tension between us in this small town.
I picked up her little boy and carried him while Kristen walked a little bit ahead of us with her daughter.
That morning Carol and I had the conversation I had been waiting over four years to have. It was calm and hugely reassuring. A short time Kristen and I said good by to Carol and her kids in the dusty parking lot. After we parted Kristen excitedly told me that the talking with the little girl was the most important thing that has ever happened in her life. I could quite grasp what she was saying but there was something about the little girl that reminded Kristen of herself when she was that age.
I should add that four years later in 2010 I had another chance meeting with Carol and a close up sighting of an owl in full daylight. This experience was all intertwined within a web of synchronicities.
Okay, there’s more. Less than a week later Kristen and I went out camping again. We were in a completely different area of the mountains.
Once again, it was just a single night of camping. In the evening just as the sun was setting we both felt a little bit cold. I suggested we walk up to a nearby hilltop to see the view. This would warm us up a little before going to sleep.
We did the short hike (maybe five minutes) up to the gentle rounded hill top. Within seconds of getting to the top we had the exact same experience. Three owls appeared and flew around us! They swooped close, landed on nearby branches and actually stood on the ground within a few yards of where we stood. The whole thing lasted about a half an hour and Kristen and I just stood there the whole time in in a tingly state of astonishment. I am pretty sure these were Barred Owls, a common species in these mountains. Now this may seem funny, but I’m pretty sure it was the same three owls.
Just like before, the experience was absolutely magical!
After all my years of compulsively reading UFO literature I was keenly aware of the reoccurrence of owls as a screen memory within the experiences reported by abductees. I was aware that this might be a possibility. Right in the moment I was super focused on these three owls as they swooped low over us, watched us from trees and landed on the ground right near us. I feel confident in declaring, those were real owls.
Seeing three owls once was pretty neat, but having the same experience just a few days later was positively bizarre.
In the days after this second event both Kristy and I were searching the internet for stuff on spirit animals and mystical insights surrounding owls. The results were curious. Two things kept coming up, one was that this is a sign to face your fears and Kristy seemed to feel that was a really important thing for her in her life.
The other was that owls are a sign to be patient, and this was important for me, mostly because Kristy was so hauntingly desirable on so many levels. She was young, smart and perfectly lovely. I was completely smitten by her. I’m 18 years older than her and that age difference created a lot of weirdness, but at the same time we were seeing each other almost every day, and we were constantly e-mailing and phoning. There was some sort of deep connection, and our time together was a swirling cloud of weird synchronicities. Kristy calls me a "kindred spirit" and that feels like an understatement. The intensity of the owl experiences created a weird urgency and a hungry emotion in me. It felt like I was getting swallowed up in a kind of fanatical madness, and boy did that make things awkward. So, patience was the perfect message from the great beyond.
I posted this story on my blog on March 4th 2009, it was the second day of the blog’s incarnation. The very first comment came from none other than Whitley Strieber. I suspect he read the essay and just zipped out a rapid fire reply. I don’t imagine he spent much time pondering what to say, that said I’m impressed at the outright divinity of his comment. He wrote:
The grays come in threes. The often appear as owls. Contrary to popular belief, they are profoundly surrendered to God. We find this frightening, because we are not. An experience like that is mostly outside of space and time. You need not look back on it. It is always happening for you both and all who know of it, forever. So, thank you!I was kind of shocked to see his comment at a point when pretty much nobody could have known about my blog, it seems that my friend Mac Tonnies had send him a twitter link to the story. His references to God came before I realized that Kristen had been talking about God at the moment of our initial sighting.
I asked Kristen about her feelings on what our shared owl experience meant to her. Here is an excerpt from an email, in it she is responding to my question as well as Strieber’s comment. Here’s her thoughtful reply:
I am all about the divine aspect of this whole thing. Obviously. I like that he [Strieber] said that, about being connected to God. Because that night I saw the owls and whenever I dream of them, that is the benevolent sort of "spirit guide" feeling I get. Not that they are otherworldly, but that they are in-worldly.
Because there's no way that I could explain any of this outside of the context of God. And, you know, not "God" in the "because the Bible tells me so" sense, but God in the real, eternal, "I know this much is true" sense. And by God I mean the all-that-is.
That's what I felt and that's what I feel...that if anything happened that night, it was definitely some sort of communion with the all-that-is. (As I was just writing that sentence, I remembered that Whitley Strieber's book was called Communion, right?)
Here's a follow up post with more from Kristen:
Text added Jan. 24th 2010
Over the last few years I have been seeing a LOT of owls, and I've been documenting more owl sightings in this blog. I know a lot of people who spend plenty of time outdoors, and I make it a point to ask if they have any similar owl experiences. So far, I haven't found anyone with any kind of similar experiences - except for Stacey (with an E).
If anyone out there has had any similar experiences PLEASE contact me, I would deeply appreciate hearing from you. My contact info is easy to find on this blog. Thank you!
Text revise March 8th 2013
I just went thru and cleaned up this short essay. I revised it for clarity and grammar. It is essentially the same as it's 2009 incarnation. I added a few more details that seem relevant. I cleaned it up because I plan on using it for a longer format essay on owls.
This essay was originally posted in 2009 at 9:34 AM on March 4th. So, the date is '09/3/4 and that's the same set of numbers as the time, 9:34.