Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Giant Bird - The Thunderbird

This is a  strange case  where the search for a long-lost and probably nonexistent photograph of the creature has virtually eclipsed the search for the creature itself.

The Thunderbird  is a part of Native American mythology for tribes of the Pacific Northwest of the USA and the Great Lakes.A giant, birdlike creature they were said to generate lightning from their eyes and to cause claps of thunder by flapping their massive wings in the sky. There are countless sightings on record of this supernatural entity, or a huge bird fitting its description, both by Native Americans and settlers. Perhaps the most celebrated Thunderbird encounter took place in 1890, on the sands of what was then the Arizona Territory. Two cowboys had a bizarre confrontation which has varied widely in the telling, but the legend goes like this: they saw a giant flying bird, shot and killed it and carried its massive dead carcass into town.
In April 1890 the Tombstone Epigraph listed the creature's wingspan at an incredible 160 feet, and noted that the bird was about 92 feet long, about 50 inches wide around  the middle, and had a head around eight feet long. The beast was said to have no feathers, but a smooth skin and wing flaps composed of a thick and virtually transparent membrane that were easily penetrated by a bullet. If this all sounds like a shaggy dog story then you would probably be right however one man has claimed that he knew the two cowboys and heard the story first hand from them, they related how they did see a giant bird and shot at it ( and missed ) however  they estimated its wingspan at a much more realistic 20 - 30 ft.
  The story of this encounter has been repeated many times over the years sometimes the cowboys become prospectors and the size of the bird varies wildly.
Many people have claimed to have seen a photograph of the bird shot by the cowboys, some even stating the magazine National Geographic or FATE etc that they saw the photo in however after extensive searches through the archives of these mags the photo has never been found.
Sightings of giant birds continue to be reported from throughout the world, i suppose the existence of a giant birds could be a lot more likely than other cryptids , say the Loch Ness monster as we know giant birds existed on Earth up to very recently in geological time, certainly since man has been on the Earth.
One egg feeds the whole family.


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