World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 0.7 (133 votes)

The Pennsylvania Thunderbird

Listed under Monster Hunting in US East Coast, United States.

Pin It

Native American legends from the Great Lakes and the Pacific Northwest tell of a great bird, with wings so huge that they created thunder in the air when they flapped, a cry like the crack of lightning and golden, fire-producing eyes. They refer to it as the Thunderbird, and the local tribes venerated it for its ability to repel evil and defend them from bad spirits.

Many years later, and a somewhat less mythical and disturbingly plausible legend abounds in precisely the same region. Stories of huge, prehistoric-looking birds with foot-long, pointed beaks and wingspans of well over 15 feet are common, the descriptions startlingly similar and focusing around the same areas, during the same months. In Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1977, a ten-year-old boy and his mother claimed that two enormous birds tried to carry him off, though he managed to fight his way out of their grasp, and many similar claims of attempted abductions by large birds of small children and pets have been recorded through the centuries in the same area.

There is very little physical evidence to support their existence, but a photograph of six men, arms outstretched, standing fingertip-to-fingertip along the full length of a spreadeagled bird nailed to the front of a barn is said to exist. There is also a film, taken in 1977 (and also in Pennsylvania) of two unnaturally huge birds taking off from a tree at the edge of Lake Shelbyville, and a story passed down from 1890 tells of a massive bird shot down in the Arizona Desert by two cowboys, its wingspan an unbelievable 190 feet (though this record is said to have been exaggerated in a newspaper story at the time).

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest

    Needing no introduction, the ape-like creature known in North America as Bigfoot has been seen and reported in Canada and the U…

  • The Yeti or ‘Abominable Snowman’

    What would you call an eight foot, thickset, long limbed man, covered in long hair with a face not unlike Chewbacca? The answe…

  • Con Rit

    What is fifty feet long, two feet wide, has an armoured brown body and bright yellow belly, and walks along the bottom of the o…

Nearby Experiences

  • Howard Johnson Harrisburg

    The Howard Johnson Harrisburg/Hershey is a nice location for those who are visiting the main attractions in central Pennsylvani…

  • Hersheypark

    What could be better than a day at a chocolate-themed amusement park? Not much. Hersheypark, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania…

  • Amish Country of Pennsylvania

    Recognisable for their austere style of dress and old fashioned way of life, North America’s Amish communities have become some…

Related links

Contribute to this page