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Meetings with Eagles

Recently, as I was heading out to the Oregon coast on Highway 126 just out of town, I made the conscious intent that I'd have a sign of something paranormal/Fortean, something hinting at synchronicity, something that would just be right and assure me of the esoteric around us. (As if I need assuring!) At that moment, something caught my eye to the left and I looked up to see an eagle sitting on top of a still bare tree. It was a beautiful bird; sitting perfectly still. Nothing else around but that leafless tree, and the eagle at the top. That eagle reminded me of an experience I had when I was very young involving UFOs.

Birds figure in UFO and "alien" abduction narratives. The owl has become an iconic UFO image in UFO, other world, and paranormal or esoteric encounters. The inverse of the owl as guide, cover or omen is the so-called rational explanation by pathological skeptics like Joe Nickell. Nickell, (who has a degree in English Lit. but plays scientist on TV) has solved the Flatwoods "Monster" case, the Kelly Hopkinsville entities, and Mothman. All were simply owls; not aliens from crashed flying saucers (Flatwoods) or tiny outer space men (Hopkinsville) or a mysterious creature from another realm (Mothman) but, owls.

Incidentally, Nickell was still at it, on a recent History Channel Monster Quest episode on Mothman; cheerfully cutting out three differently sized plywood cut-outs of a Mothman like figure, to prove that witnesses can't judge size properly, and therefore would confuse a winged, human legged, muscled human, eight foot tall being with an owl, something they've no doubt seen several times in their lives.

Other bird images, both real and mythic, appear in UFO related experiences. Within the mythic arena the Phoenix appears; as Betty Andreasson described in her abduction account in Raymond Fowler's books of her encounters.

I had an eagle experience when very young that I've always associated with my UFO encounters. In fact, I'd say this was my first consciously remembered UFO experience. As I wrote on my blog Saucer Sightings:

The Open Ceiling and the Eagle

(There was a silver suited alien on the patio at this house on Corning Street, . . but before that, approximately 1958:)

Before that, . . . I'm lying on my back in bed. I remember this as vividly as if it happened this morning; I also remember this as a "dream" but it was so damn real, I told myself afterwards it was a dream, because it doesn't make sense that it could be real.

I'm in bed, in the middle of the bed, which is huge, though in "reality" my childhood bed wasn't huge. Flat on my back. I'm both excited -- exhilarated -- but also a bit scared, not understanding what's going on. There's some confusion; my father is here, and I don't understand why. He doesn't live with us and he wouldn't be here at night. There's a lot of activity, but I'm in the middle of my bed, which is huge,I'm kind of spread eagle, I can't move. I have a sense of being tied up, but I don't see anything that's tying me, but something is preventing me from moving feel both fantastic and a little disoriented. Lots of bright, bright lights; everything is lit up so white. I look up at the ceiling, and it opens up, opening from the center, two halves moving back to expose the nighttime sky, which is beautiful, full of inky blue and shimmering stars. I think this is a pretty neat trick. A giant eagle flies down from above; the eagle is so large, it fills the sky, fills the open ceiling. It comes down straight at me. I don't like this too much. I'm not exactly frightened, but it's not comfortable. The eagle takes me up into a silver disk type thing. That's all I remember...

As always, I'm reading about five or six different UFO books at the same time, one of them is Raechel's Eyes, by Helen Littrell and Jean Bilodeaux. Raechel's Eyes is about Helen's daughter Marisa, who roomed with an alien-human hybrid while at college in the 1970s. During one hypnosis session, Helen uncovers memories of what she called the "Christmas birds," eagles that appear in connection with her alien encounters. Asked if Raechel had contacted her "in any other way since that day?" (when she first met Raechel the alien) Helen responds:

Helen: "I think so ... I've seen the eyes. Not the whole eyes, just the slits ... birds ... "

June (hypnotist): Which birds are those?

Helen: Oh . . . eagles . . . the eagles.

June: Where were the eagles when you saw those slits?

Helen: At my house...but they weren't birds .. they were more..I don't know what they were. I thought they were eagles..but..the slits were like Raechel's eyes.

Helen describes the birds as "the Christmas bird . . . it was my Christmas bird" funny looking creatures that seemed to be "hiding" behind the familiar guise of the eagle. The Christmas bird brings Helen comfort, as if this bird was a companion, or guardian. Interesting that both Helen and Betty Andreasson were religious women and put their bird beings into a religious category . I don't know if that's overtly significant or not; I'm not religious and at the time when I had my eagle encounter "dream" I wasn't being raised in any religious way, except culturally Jewish.

Helen saw two eagles, which, when looking into their eyes, she then saw flashing blue lights. Adding to the high strangeness factor of Helen's encounter is another witness, "Sarah," who also saw the eagles and lights. Whatever phenomena it was, was experienced by not just Helen, taking the experience out of the individual/subjective and putting it into a shared experience, independently verified by another.

As we know, UFO events follow families, affecting more than just one person within a family; it's not illogical to speculate this extends even further to friends, etc. Naturally, when it comes to stories like Raechel's Eyes, there is the question of validity. Is it true, is some of it true, is Helen Littrell a liar or delusional? We'll never know. But taking all these stories of alien and UFO encounters as a tale along the lines of sacred myth, or literature in a true folkloric sense -- then we're getting somewhere! That sounds counter intuitive for those who like a nuts and bolts approach, but when we have so many stories full of symbolism and synchronicities and ignore or reject them, we're simply not seeing all the rich evidence right in front of us. Within these high strangeness accounts are clues to the phenomena.


Raechel's Eyes, Helen Littrell and Jean Bilodeaux, 2005

The Andreasson Affair, Raymond Fowler, 1979