14 Days Until Christmas
15 Days Until Abduction
If you had the misfortune to watch the alien abduction thriller The Fourth Kind, you may have been baffled by all the references to owls. Characters talk to their psychiatrist about waking up in the middle of the night to see an owl outside their window, or flying around their bedroom, but under hypnosis they scream in uncontrollable terror.
Though the film doesn’t bother to explain it, the owl comes from Whitley Strieber’s Communion. On the morning after his abduction of December 26, 1985, Strieber had absolutely no conscious recollection of the previous night’s events. All he could recall was seeing a barn owl staring at him from outside the bedroom window of his cabin. Later, after his memories of the abduction surfaced, he concluded the owl was a screen memory. Freud introduced the concept of screen memories in his early work, defining them as benign, false memories that mask genuine, disturbing ones.
Strieber subsequently learned, from other abductees’ accounts, that screen memories of animals often mask traumatic abductions; owls, deer, wolves, perhaps even a glowing raccoon. And as he notes in Communion, the owl was also the totem of Blodeuwedd, the Celtic moon goddess – yet another possible connection between Celtic lore and the abduction experience.
Strieber’s sister, Patricia, did not have any visitor encounters, but she did tell him that an owl flew in front of her car as she was driving in Texas one night in the late ’60s. The owl appeared just minutes after an enormous, unidentified light descended from the night sky and passed across the road in front of her.
Though Betty Andreasson Luca’s abduction account contained no mention of owls, it’s interesting to note that a photograph taken in her living room, showing her life-size statues of the alien entity Quazgaa and a crab-like being she saw, reveals walls covered with drawings and paintings of owls.