Thursday, November 30, 2017

an owl and a line of longitude

Due out soon!
I am working to finalize the follow up book about owls. There is one short segment I pulled out during the editing. I thought it was interesting, but it just messed with the flow of the overall chapter. The story deals with a woman Brenda who slept at her sister's house, and that night is filled with odd events. The next day, she saw a huge owl out the back window. This happened in Michigan not far from where I grew up.

Below is the text that's been nixed from the chapter.
What I am sharing next might seem vague, but it feels somehow important to me. I grew up in Southfield Michigan, not too far from where Brenda saw the owl on the back porch. I measured the distance between her sister’s house and my boyhood home at just a little over 17 miles.

I felt a powerful need to check the longitude of both Brenda's sister’s house and the site of my 1974 missing time event, down at the other end of the block from my old house. These longitudinal numbers are noted in degrees, minutes, and seconds. I found the degrees and minutes of longitude matched, but the seconds were off by about quarter of a mile. If you’re not familiar with map jargon, this basically means that these two sites line up almost perfectly north south.

This map stuff was weird for me. I don’t understand why, but something compelled me to check those positions. This wasn’t just an idle curiosity—I was lost for a full day feverishly checking (and re-checking) these coordinates. That Brenda’s owl experience “lines up” on the map with my missing time event as a boy seems significant, but my obsession to look seems like a deeper clue. Again, I can’t help but see myself connected to these other events.

Here’s another tidbit of map weirdness. The line of longitude (in decimal degrees) for my old cabin in Idaho was -111.111, a tidy six ones in a row. Once you get to that third digit to the right of the decimal point, at that latitude each number measures about 200 feet on the earth.
This segment ties into other map weirdness— Byron North Dakota and events in southern Utah.



derek z said...

Mike, the owl and this cover looks like you!

derek z said...

*on not and!

becksterc said...

Mike, I've been waiting for your new book. Very excited to hear you're bringing it to fruition! The owls have become ever more important to me in some way I don't even understand and it's good to know know others are on this quest.

Chris said...

Mike - 1111 is very important. Very interesting.