Sunday, October 15, 2023

THE UNSEEN, an excerpt from the audiobook

I've been recording myself reading THE UNSEEN for an audiobook, and I want to share what I can along the way. This is a 16-minute excerpt where I read the prologue, and this sets up the rest of the story. It's been a fun challenge to act out the roles and play up the drama.

The book has been selling well, and the reviews have been wonderful. As a first-time novelist, I was SO worried that nobody would get the story I was trying to tell. 

  Get the book HERE  


And below is another audio excerpt posted back in June

This is a 20-minute audio reading—it's the end of chapter six, and all of chapter seven. 

Just so y'know—I'll be doing a few more audio chapter samples to help promote this book.

And, most importantly—I sing in this audio excerpt! 


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The challenges of writing a novel, in two minutes!

Here is a short video to help explain my trouble-shooting methodology during the creative process of writing The Unseen

  The book is linked HERE  


Friday, June 16, 2023

audio excerpt from THE UNSEEN — read by the author

I've recorded a 20-minute audio excerpt from my new novel, THE UNSEEN. 

This is a test run for the upcoming audiobook. I read the end of chapter six, and all of chapter seven. I snipped out a few sentences because these might spoil things for the eventual reader. 

Please note—I do get a little "whispery" in how I deliver the text. This is something I need to watch out for, and it will not be part of the upcoming audiobook.

Jus so y'know—I'll be doing a few more audio chapter samples to help promote this book.

And, most importantly—I sing in this audio excerpt! 

  For a direct audio download, click HERE  


Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Unseen—In conversation with Sharon Hewitt Rawlette (audio podcast)

Mike Clelland and Sharon talk about the novel The Unseen. 

This is a conversation exploring the genesis and creative process of paranormal fiction, and the source of inspiration. 

Sharon wrote this: 
Here’s a conversation I did with Mike Clelland about his new novel, The Unseen, which just came out last week. If you are familiar with Mike’s work on synchronicities, owls, and UFOs, you won’t want to miss this new beautifully compelling, artistic take on those phenomena. It’s a paranormal thriller that’s so much more… 

Link to the youtube video of the same conversation HERE.

There is another post about this youtube video below.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Deep strangeness with Kelly Chase, host of The UFO Rabbit Hole

Kelly Chase, host of The UFO Rabbit Hole Podcast, talks about my novel THE UNSEEN and lots more… 

And—for an audio podcast, look here.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

The Unseen, in conversation with Sharon Hewitt Rawlette

Sharon and I explore the genesis and creative process of my new novel. We wrestle with the role of paranormal fiction, and the source of inspiration.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

I wrote a novel! Available NOW!

old comic books and trashy paperbacks as inspiration

I wrote a novel!

The book is now available, and the title is The Unseen.

  Amazon link HERE  

I’ll create an audiobook and read the thing myself, and this’ll happen soon. I plan on doing a set of youtube videos to promote the book, the story of writing it is as interesting as the book itself. The thing is, this book evolved in a tumbling cloud of synchronistic magic. I’m cautious to just blurt it out like that, but I don’t know any other way to say it. 

In the curious little community of paranormal researchers, I’m known as The Owl Guy. That seems fair because it’s true. If you do an online search with only “owls and UFOs,” I’m the first thing that comes up, and if you click on my site, at the top of the page, it says: “I want to hear your owl stories.”

So, for more than a decade, I’ve been receiving first-person accounts of owls, and as the years have passed, I have collected, studied, and archived a LOT of them!

These stories, and my own personal experiences, have helped shape the mood of the novel. These accounts can be weird, and the book is weird, too. But it’s also a story with a heart.

The book opens with this statement:

The story is fiction, but the emotions are real. 

I stand by that. It was written as a fast-paced thriller, full of plot twists and intrigue. Yet, beneath that, I tried to convey a deeper story. One of mystery and yearning—an exploration of the deepest aspects of reality.

Peace and strength,

Thursday, May 4, 2023

music from THE UNSEEN

I wrote a novel. 

Music was a big part of my creative process. Here are twelve songs that were vital to the book. 

If you wanna jump past my introduction, the music starts at about 3:40 or so.

Lemme know if you want more!

(more soon)

  Or, click HERE for an MP3 download  

1. California Stars, written by Woodie Guthrie and performed by Wilco, from the album Mermaid Avenue.

2. Ride a White Swan, T-Rex.

3. Ingrid Bergman, written by Woodie Guthrie and performed by Billy Bragg, from the album Mermaid Avenue.

4. The Great Gig in the Sky, Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon.

5. Tiger Lilly, by Luna.

6. Black Magic, by The Magic Wands.

7. Pulled Up, by The Talking Heads from Talking Heads 77.

8. What lead me to this Town, from The Jayhawks.

9. Days, from The Kinks.

10. Thrasher, by Neil Young from Rust Never Sleeps.

11. Birds and Ships, written by Woodie Guthrie and performed by Natalie Merchant, from the album Mermaid Avenue.

12. Mr. Wilson, from The Jayhawks.


Saturday, April 1, 2023

I wrote a novel

initial sketch created in 2011 for a graphic novel
(click on the image for a HI-rez view)

I wrote a novel!

I never imagined I would say that, but I’m saying it now. The plan is to have it available by mid-May. 

Twelve years ago I had an idea to do a comic book (graphic novel might be the better term). I was pretty excited about it at the time. I wrote up a treatment, did some preliminary sketches, and then gave up. I put the thing on a shelf and forgot about it. Six years later I found the outline and reread it, and I thought write it up as a tidy little novella. I’d already published my first two owl books and figured, “How hard could it be?”

Well, that was five years, and a lot of lonely hours ago. The book should be right around 300 pages, and the title is The Unseen.

Also, I'll be creating an audio book, reading the thing myself, but I have no idea when that might be available.

Right now I’m working with a few close friends trying to tidy up the text, and that’s coming along nicely.

I plan on doing a set of youtube videos to promote the book. The thing is, this book evolved in a tumbling cloud synchronistic magic. I'm cautious to just blurt it out like that, but I don’t any other way to say it. 

I don't want to say too much right now, but I can say this:

It’s a book about UFOs where I never use the word UFO.

It’s about abduction, and I never use that word.

And, it’s about aliens, and I never use that word either.


This from the opening of my upcoming novel

Thursday, January 12, 2023

an infinite vastness

colorful swirling nebulas

In August of 2018 I had a hypnosis session with Yvonne Smith, and a lot emerged while I was on her couch. There was way more than I can share here, but I wanted to address one thing. Before the session began, I asked Yvonne: “While I’m under, ask me what’s up with the owls, I’m curious what I might say when I'm in such a vulnerable state.”

She said of course, and as the session ended she asked me. Below is an excerpt from the transcript made from an audio recording:

Yvonne:  What sense do you get about your connection with owls?

Mike:  I get that the owl isn’t important. The owl is like a symbol, or like a sign on a door. It’s just a sign on a door and what’s behind the door is what’s important…

For a few moments I mumbled and stammered. I was struggling to say something. I spoke in fragments about being an artist, and that I understood something—then I began speaking very clearly.

Mike:  I understand how people take in a story, and how they need a symbol or a sign on the door. But the owl is meaningless to what is on the other side of the door. It’s just the doorway that’s important. The owl is the right symbol for the door. We are on this side, and EVERYTHING else is on that side of the door. There is a LOT more! We are in this little tight hallway here, and on the other side of the door is this vastness!

This excerpt stands alone within the overall hypnosis session. I speak clearly and with purpose, while nearly everything else is spoken softly, almost whispered. I asked Yvonne if I might have been channeling this reply, and she said that would be impossible to answer. What I can say is that it really surprised me, because it is such a bold poetic way to answer Yvonne’s question. I’ve retold this off-the-cuff in podcasts, personal conversations, and from the stage at UFO conferences. I’ve been re-quoting myself, and saying one part with two extra words.

I will say:

We are on this side of the door in a tight little claustrophobic hallway, and on the other side of the door is an infinite vastness!

Whereas in the recorded session I said:

We are in this little tight hallway, and on the other side of the door is this vastness!

The difference is minimal, and the words I added are claustrophobic and infinite. I need to say that the hypnosis had visuals; I could see a hallway, and I could see out the door. The imagery in my mind was vivid, and the hallway was tight and claustrophobic, it felt like the interior of a cramped old hotel. I saw the door open, and on the other side was a view out into space. It looked like a cheesy special effect from an old low-budget sci-fi movie. It was a bunch of swirling nebulas and colorful galaxies, all layered on on top of the other.

So, given the visuals, the words claustrophobic and infinite are entirely appropriate to what I saw and felt, though not exactly what I said under hypnosis.

  more about owls as a symbol on a door linked HERE  

  the full hypnosis session linked HERE  


Friday, December 23, 2022

Earth: A Love Story

    This is a true story.  

    I’m not going to tell it the way it happened. I don’t have a high perch where I looked down from above and watched it all play out, noting this and that, keeping track of how that thing wove into this thing and seeing clearly what it all meant.  

    No, I’m telling it the way I remember it. The way I experienced it down here, deep, deep down in and through my most intimate relationship to life. Looking out through my eyes. 
~       ~       ~

I have been listening to a haunting and beautiful story. Author and experiencer Robin Lassiter is reading her book, one chapter at a time, on a podcast series. It’s a memoir of UFO contact and all the emotional and spiritual challenges that comes with these elusive experiences. There have been other books along this line, yet her's feels so different. Robin tells her story is told in a deeply moving and personal way, and it's impossible not to feel touched.

Her book is Earth: A Love Story. I have read it, and hopefully it will be out soon. This is highly recommended, and her site with the podcast series is linked below.


Monday, December 19, 2022

Owl and UFO together in a video

I've been waiting for photo that shows an owl and UFO together in the same frame—yet I never truly expected to find it. Well, here it is in video form!

The GIF above shows an owl passing directly over a moving dot of light in the sky. It takes place between time-count 8:52 and 9:00 inn the video below.

night video from John Martin

This video was captured by John Martin, a classically trained guitarist in Georgia. His youtube channel is titled: John Martin UFO and ET Intelligences, and it features a lot of video of the night sky.

The owl in the video crosses the frame just as he says: "Thank you."

Please understand, I cannot speak to what the UFO in the frame might be. It is nothing more that a dot moving across the sky. I realize the limitations of the video format, and how what one might see in the night looks much different than how the camera records it. Often, the video doesn't seem like much. Some of the other videos on his site seem much more intriguing.

He did an audio interview with Whitley in March of this year, linked HERE.

His guitar music is posted at John Martin Classical Guitarist.


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

great-horned owl on the little league backstop

Great-horned owl on the backstop

I took a picture of an owl on Friday, Oct 7th. 

About ten minutes before the sighting I spoke aloud and asked to see an owl. This is something I never do, but the twilight had an eerie power, and it felt like the perfect night to see an owl, so I asked. 

~      ~      ~

Right below the owl was a deer, lying on the ground, and it was too dark to get her in a photo. The goddess Athena has a companion owl and the goddess Diana has a companion deer (usually portrayed as a fawn). So, two resonant goddesses at the little league baseball diamond—symbolically anyway.

Also, owl and deer are far and away the most common screen memories reported by UFO abductees.

The deer lying below the owl is an odd detail. I approached the deer in almost complete darkness. I was walking straight for it, and got pretty close. I made a hard right turn when I saw it, I was surprised she let me get so close. She was sitting with her legs tucked under her body, like cats sometimes sit. (I’ve always equated this to how duck look when they float on a pond).

I walked around the deer, and asked: “Where are your babies?" There has been a Doe with two fawns at that baseball field a lot lately, and I assumed it was the mother deer (I’m calling it “she" for this post). I looked around but didn’t see the fawns.

I went through one gate (I’d propped it open a few days ago), then walked across the diamond, then out another gate. I was on my way home when I head a loud squawk. At first I thought it was a fox, but soon realized it was a female great horned owl. They make a “mournful squawk” and I went back onto the diamond and found the owl. I took a few pics, and tried to get closer. As I approached the owl flew away to another fence. I got a picture on the second fence, but it was further away and less cinematic. I had a little headlamp and tried to shine it on the owl, but it didn't doo much. When I pointed into the darkness below the owl, where the deer was sitting, I saw two eyes reflecting back at me in the darkness. It was cute!

The owl was first seen on the smaller “little league” backstop fence, and it flew to the next fence, and this was on the standard size field. Symbolically, this movement from one fence to another implied graduating or growing up—moving from the little kid’s diamond to the adult diamond. And the kid's field is where I’ve been seeing the fawns. 

A few days ago I saw the mother deer in the little league field, and the two fawns were stuck outside, unable to get over the fence. I’ve seen the mother deer hop over the fence, and its very graceful. I opened a big gate (propping it open with a big rock, as I mentioned above) and after that I've seen the babies on the field with their mom. 

~ ~ ~

These baseball fields, and the park they are connected to, have generated a few posts, linked below.

~ ~ ~

I put up a post with this owl photo on Facebook within minutes of the sighting. The baseball diamonds are close to my home and my window was open, so I could hear her squawking as I typed up the post. 

Also, iPhones do a weird thing when you take a photo in low light—it takes a long exposure and somehow stabilizes the picture. So, this bit of image trickery gave me a picture that looked like it was taken at noon on an overcast day. It didn’t look anything like what I saw that night. So, I did some photoshopping to get it to match the deep blue of the night sky.

Raw image without any photoshop doctoring


And here are three more pictures from the same area. Click on any image for a HI-rez view:

Great-horned owl on the backstop for the standard sized diamond (2021) 

Barred owl at twilight on the hiking path (2021)

From July 2022, along the same hiking path


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

the corridor and the dying robin

the corridor

Pretty much every day I walk in a little park across the street from my home. This is a lovely forested area right along the Puget Sound, and from the shoreline you can see Seattle and (if it’s clear) Mt. Rainier.

There’s one point where I need to walk though a series of little league baseball diamonds, and the path goes between the outfield fence of the biggest field, and a wall of thorny blackberry bushes. On the way back home on June 19th, I emerged from a dark section of forest and entered that long corridor between the fence and the bushes. Stepping into the sunlight I saw a robin on the path, and I knew something was wrong.

It was twitching on the grass as I approached. I stepped closer, and it awkwardly hopped toward me and laid down on my left foot. Her head was dangling down in a gruesome way. She must have flown into the fence and broken her neck. It was awful to see.

She lay still on my foot for maybe fifteen seconds, and then shuddered and hopped away. She couldn’t control anything, she was trying to hop and fly, but neither was working.

I spoke to this bird, and told her I could end her pain. I’ve had cats all my life, and there have been plenty of times I’ve needed to kill mice and small birds. I’ve done it a lot, but have never gotten used to it.

I hike here often and knew there was a spot nearby with some pallets and scraps of wood. I quickly walked there and found a flat section of wood with a sharp edge and a baseball sized rock.

I returned and spoke to the bird, “I can end this suffering if you want.”

It sat still and let me approach, but when I touched her she shuddered and hopped away, her head hanging upside down at her breast. This was awful for me.

At one point she stopped and sat on the grass. I got on my knees next to her with the piece of wood and the rock. I couldn’t do anything, her head was hidden under her body, and I tried to gently lift her, but she fluttered off a few feet and crashed into the ground. I spoke again, “If you you want me to end your pain I will, please let me know what I should do.”

With that she staggered into the dense blackberry bushes and I lost sight of her. This was terribly emotional, and part of me wished I hadn’t hesitated—that I’d just killed her.

I set the piece of wood and rock along the bottom of the fence and continued home.

The next day I went back on the same walk, and made my way down that corridor between the blackberries and the outfield fence. I slowed as I approached the area where I’d seen the robin. And I found her. She was lying dead on top of the rock and wood with her head hidden from view, tucked gently between them. Her pose was peaceful.

the robin as I found her, lying between the wood and stone

This was about thirty feet from where I’d last seen her disappear into the bushes the day before. She was lying on the tools of death that I had been unable to use. What happened? Why did she seek out this spot to die?

how I set the wood and stone against the outfield fence
I carried her into the dark woods and stepped off the path. I dug a shallow hole with my hands and buried her in the forrest duff under large cedar tree. I spoke a quiet prayer and apologized that I wasn’t strong enough the day before. My last words were: “Fly free.”

*     *     *

This was an adult female robin, without the strong red coloring of the males. This is why I called her she.

Also, this happened in the final days of editing Joshua Cutchin’s powerful series of books, Ecology of Souls. This is a wide ranging study of the connection between death and the UFO lore. I had this powerful experience with a bird wile in the throes of a project entirely about death.


Monday, July 4, 2022

I just saw three owls

Barred owl at twilight. Double-click for a HI-rez view.

I took a walk across the street about an hour before dark. There is a park along the Puget Sound and there is one small section of old growth forest. I was on a path in among the big trees on my way to the water. I was listening to voice of Terry Lovelace, it was the audiobook Devils Den The Reckoning. I had just started the book, and he spoke my name in the list of acknowledgments. He said, “My comrade Mike Clelland.” 

A little bit later I saw a piece of crumpled paper towel in the path, and I thought, “I should pick that up.” I didn’t, but I kicked it to the center of the path and I figured I could get it on the way out. A second later I saw big wings lift off from the ferns on the edge of the path—it was an owl and it flew up and landed in a tree nearby. I waited a moment and then took a few steps towards it, and two more owls lifted off the forest floor around a corner in the path. They flew in the same direction, past the perched owl in the tree and deeper into the woods. 

This was a small barred owl, and I managed to get a picture. I tried to move a little closer, and it flew away in the direction as its comrades. I turned around, found two long twigs, and used them like oversized chopsticks to pick up the paper towel in the path. 

I carried it to the dumpster near the parking lot along the water. A young ranger was there, and she saw how I was holding the paper towel, and she said, “Oh thats a good idea, I never thought of that. I just use my hands.” I put it in the dumpster and said, “I didn’t want to touch it, and the sticks are easily available. You can get ‘em in there.” I pointed to the forest. 

 I told her I'd just seen three owls, and she gave me a look of wow. We talked for a bit, and she said she had seen an owl standing on the side of the road not too long ago, and she thought that was odd. I didn’t ask how big it was. Then she told me that she is scared of birds. 

text added Friday July 8th 2022
When I first wrote this, I used the word comrade twice. I was quoting Terry Lovelace (about me) and I was calling the two other owls "comrades," and I thought that was too much. I changed the line about the owls to "it flew away in the direction as the other owls." And now I just changed it back to what I'd initially written. This is just a blog post, and it feels right to use that perfect word twice.