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The Pennsylvania Thunderbird

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

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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.

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