Monday, February 19, 2018

Both books in the THE MESSENGERS series ranked #1 in Amazon


Both owl books are presently ranked number 1 in Amazon Kindle sales in the category of Unexplained Mysteries. This happened after my appearance last night on Coast to Coast AM. 

My first book, The Messengers was published a bit over two years ago. The companion book, Stories from the Messengers, was published yesterday.

I realize that these books are ranked in categories within categories, but it's still a remarkable feeling after all the hard work. It was a labor of love to get these books completed and I feel honored for all your support. Thank you everyone!

Amazon sales ranking

NOTE: The paperback version of 
Stories from The Messengers due out VERY soon. 
Within hours!
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

The companion book is available

now available
This book is a companion to the groundbreaking ideas that began with Mike Clelland's earlier book, The Messengers. It is a further exploration into the connection, both symbolic and literal, between owls and UFOs. There is a strangeness to these accounts that defies any simple explanation. Each chapter tells a deeply personal story where these mysterious experiences are explored in depth. 
The ancient mythology of the owl is repeating itself within the modern UFO report. What plays out is a journey of transformation, with an owl at the heart of each story.
After more than two yeas of hard work, my second owl book is available for sale. This on the same day I do an interview on Coast to Coast AM with George Knapp!

   order the book through Amazon HERE   

The first book was my way of wrestling with some big ideas, and I used a lot of examples to make my case. Those examples were all stories from people. Some were gleaned from the UFO literature, but most arrived in letters to me. I tried to talk with everyone at length, and what I realized was that there is a grand novel that needs to be written about anyone who's had an owl story. But the first book required that I edit down their stories until they were just a few sentences. I was forced to do this in order to address the core questions of that book.

It broke my heart to tell those stories in such a fleeting way. The companion book (Stories from The Messengers) was my need to tell these stories more completely. It reads like a book of short stories, and I tried to truly look at ALL the details that played a role in the lives of these people.

The first book was my own therapy. I was in the throes of trying to make sense of my own experiences, and it felt like I was teetering on the edge of madness. Completing the first book was a kind of solace. I was a much calmer person afterwards.

Book two was a much different process. I talked at length with people and really worked hard to tell their stories accurately. This meant lots of long conversations on the phone and over email. Those people telling their stories meant wrestling with demons. I understood this battle, and it made the experience of writing very powerful.

Both books stand alone, and any first-time reader should be able to follow the ideas without having read the other one. The point of the second book was to tell these stories more completely.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Owls on Coast to Coast AM with George Knapp

Journalist George Knapp
George Knapp will interview me on Coast to Coast AM. This will happen on Sunday February 18 from 10 p.m. to midnight Pacific time. That’s early Monday morning on the east coast, February 19 from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Eastern time.

This will be an interview to promote the companion owl book, Stories from The Messengers, due out any day now. This is really exciting, I’ve been trying to get on C2C since the publication of the first owl book, a little over two years ago.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Super Natural and Owls


This blog post was initially part of the manuscript for the upcoming book Stories from The Messengers. It got nixed during the editing process and I’m sharing it here:
the golden eye of the owl
Whitley Strieber and Jeffrey Kripal teamed up to write an important book—The Super Natural. The subtitle is, “A new vision of the unexplained.” Together, they argue that much of what we would call paranormal is instead part of our natural world. They address a long list of events, from ancient religious apparitions to modern UFO accounts, and use these experiences to argue their point. 

In their book they touch on the strange life of the early UFO witness Kenneth Arnold. I wrote a whole chapter on this same man in the companion owl book. 

Jeff said of Kenneth Arnold: “… he suggested that these flying objects were in fact ‘groups and masses of living organisms that are as much a part of our atmosphere and space as the life we find in the oceans.’ This is pure Charles Fort, by the way. Was he reading Fort?” (1)

I saw that passage in The Super Natural while hard at work on my own chapter about Kenneth Arnold. Jeff had asked, somewhat rhetorically, if Kenneth Arnold had ever read books by Charles Fort, and I had the answer.

My research had lead me to a 1981 article where Arnold pulls a copy of The Complete Books of Charles Fort off his shelf in his home to make a point. He was fed up with the narrow views of most UFO researchers, and told the journalist, “I was astounded when I read Fort’s books. There were similarities between what I investigated and what Fort had collected.” (2)

So, Arnold had not only read Fort, he could relate to it.

I was giddy with pride, one of my heroes had asked a question that I could answer! I sent that article to Jeff on August 6 2016, and without knowing it at the time, this was Charles Fort’s 142nd birthday! Thank you Wikipedia.

In his book, Jeff wondered if Charles Fort had, “…some private ‘abduction’ experience.” And this is precisely my speculation about Kenneth Arnold in this book, that he might be an abductee. (3)

The Super Natural was published less than two months after The Messengers, and the cover of both books feature the bright yellow eye of an owl. My book has two eyes, their book has only one. On the amazon website there is a place that says, “Customers who bought this item also bought” and it shows the book that was most commonly purchased together. Our books are shown side by side. I cannot put into words how this makes me feel. 

I feel presumptuous comparing my book to theirs. Both Whitley and Jeff have played such important roles in shaping my ideas about these elusive issues. 

There is a similarity in content and tone in these two books. Both are looking at the outlying reports to try to come to terms with the deepest mysteries, and both books were being created at the same time. 

Both Jeff and Whitley came at these ideas from their own unique perspectives, but the implications are framed in a similar way. Someone might try to describe a profound spiritual experience, and someone else might try to describe direct UFO contact. These are conflicting experiences yet they might produce a similar kind of transformation. In my own way, I’ve been trying to address these same ideas.

Jeff wrote about his co-author: “Whitley captures this idea perfectly (and much more clearly) when he writes about his uncanny owl encounters: ‘I was fascinated by this phenomenon, and sensed at the time that it could be seen not simply as a sort of eerie mystery, but much more richly, as language.’” (4)

The owl, both literal and metaphorical, runs like a thread throughout The Super Natural, tying their ideas together. Also worth noting, the owl is the mascot of Rice University, where Jeff is the chair of the religious studies department. 

Whitley wrote this in The Super Natural:
More interestingly to me, people will identify the owl as the totem animal of the visitors. (5)
That single sentence sums up the entirety of both books in The Messengers series.



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Footnotes

     (1) Strieber, Whitley; Kripal, Jeffrey J. (2016-02-02). The Super Natural, (p. 313) full quote from Jeff Kripal about Kenneth Arnold:      “… he suggested that these flying objects were in fact ‘groups and masses of living organisms that are as much a part of our atmosphere and space as the life we find in the oceans.’ This is pure Charles Fort, by the way. Was he reading Fort?” 
     (2) Long., Gregory, 'Kenneth Arnold: UFO Pioneer', MUFON Journal, (ed. Richard Hall) Seguin, Texas. #165, Nov. 1981 - http://www.slideshare.net/mufonnexus/mufon-ufo-journal-1981-11-november      “As Arnold spoke, he revealed an unyielding, critical attitude toward science that ignores, ridicules, or attempts to rationalize away the “damned,” Fort’s term for anomalous data that do not fit established scientific views. This attitude is readily understandable given the treatment he has received at the hands of the press and the skeptics.” 
     (3) The Super Natural (p. 93) full quote from Jeff Kripal:      “I cannot help but wonder if behind (or above) all this super-writing floated some personal sighting in those haunted Hudson Valley skies, or even some private “abduction” experience.” 

     (4) The Super Natural (p. 228). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

     (5) The Super Natural (p. 213)  full quote from Whitley Strieber:
     "Like owls, our visitors are creatures of the night. They are predators, silent, appearing suddenly and stealing people away for unknown reasons. The owl captures the unwary, the rat who dares to cross a wire in the moonlight, the chipmunk scuttling in the last sun, the famished rabbit daring the gray of dawn.
      At our old cabin, as night gathered, the owls would often come, standing in the trees around the house, sometimes capturing prey right before our eyes. After Anne began analyzing our reader mail, it became clear that we were not the only close encounter witnesses who had owls in their lives. I was fascinated by this phenomenon, and sensed at the time that it could be seen not simply as a sort of eerie mystery, but much more richly, as language."
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