Posts tagged thunderbird
Posts tagged thunderbird
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Modern Thunderbird Sightings
Thunderbird is a term used in cryptozoology to describe large, bird-like creatures, generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. Similar cryptids reported in the Old World are often called Rocs. Thunderbirds are regaurded by a small number of researchers as having lizard features like the extinct pterosaurs such as Pteranodon. Reports of Thunderbird sightings go back centuries, and the fossil record does show that giant birds (teratorns) with wingspans between 12 and 18 ft (3.7 and 5.5 m) were likely contemporary with early man. Today the thunderbird is generally regarded as a myth.
This post deals with modern sightings (the last 200 years) of such a creature, reported as real, as opposed to mythological accounts, though believers in the phenomenon often use the Native American legends in attempts to support their claims.
Bigfoot researcher and cryptozoology author Loren Coleman wrote about a series of thunderbird sightings in the 1940s. On April 10, 1948, three individuals in Overland, Illinois spotted what they originally thought to be a passing plane, but after seeing a large set of flapping wings, they realized this “plane” was something very different. A few weeks later, in Alton, Illinois, a man and his son saw what they described as an enormous bird creature with a body shaped like a naval torpedo. The creature was flying at at least 500 feet and cast a shadow the same size as a small passenger airplane.
Similar sightings around the same time in St. Louis, Missouri prompted residents to write concerned letters to then St. Louis mayor Aloys P. Kaufmann demanding that the city do something about these reportedly huge birds. The mayor instructed an administrative assistant to set a trap to catch one of the creatures, but when blue heron tracks were discovered on an island in the Meramec River, the mystery was considered solved.
There was a spike in Thunderbird sightings in the late twentieth century. On occasion, such reports were accompanied by large footprints or other purported evidence.
Among the most controversial reports is a July 25, 1977 account from Lawndale, Illinois. About 9 P.M. a group of three boys were at play in a residential back yard. Two large birds approached, and chased the boys. Two escaped unharmed, but the third boy, ten-year-old Marlon Lowe, did not. One of the birds reportedly clamped his shoulder with its claws, then lifted Lowe about two feet off the ground, carrying him some distance. Lowe fought against the bird, which released him.
Viewed by some as a tall tale, the descriptions given by the witnesses of these birds match that of an Andean condor: a large black bird, with a white ringed neck and a wingspan up to 10 feet (3 m). However, an Andean condor’s talons are not strong enough to lift heavy objects.Loren Coleman and his brother Jerry interviewed several witnesses after the reported event.
In 2002, a sighting of a large birdlike creature, with a wingspan of around 14 feet (4.3 m), was reported in Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reported witnesses describing the creature like something out of the movie Jurassic Park. Scientists suggested the giant bird may have simply been a Steller’s sea eagle, which have a wingspan of 6–8 feet (1.8–2.4 m).There had also been previous reports of similar creatures in the same area around that time.
As recently as 2007, sightings have been claimed in the area around San Antonio, Texas.
As mentioned above, some cryptozoologists have theorized the ancient Thunderbird myth to be based on sightings of a real animal with a mistaken assessment of its apparent size.Some skeptics have claimed such a large bird could never have flown, but several flying creatures with huge wingspans are indeed known. The prehistoric vulture-like Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of around 7 m (23 ft) and was capable of flight. The massive Cretaceous-era pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi (or perhaps Hatzegopteryx thambema) was the largest known flying creature in history, with a wingspan of around 12 m (40 ft). However, the Thunderbird’s identity as a pterosaur is unlikely because the pterosaur is extinct. A pterosaur’s wings were made of a membrane of skin stretched over a bony finger, similar to a bat’s wings. San Antonio based cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard believes it is a teratorn.
Teratorns (from the Greek Τερατορνις Teratornis, ‘monster bird’) were very large birds of prey that lived in North and South America from Miocene to Pleistocene. They include some of the largest known flying birds. So far, at least four species have been identified.
Ken Gerhard has written a book (BIG BIRD! - MODERN SIGHTINGS OF FLYING MONSTERS) on these dark birds as big as planes, with wingspans from 15 to 20 feet. Native Americans called them thunderbirds: depicted in their art, their flapping wings were said to cause explosive noises.
“What’s interesting is that the reports of these giant, raptor-like birds do continue into modern times,” said Gerhard, a cryptozoologist. Cryptozoology is the study of and search for legendary animals to prove their existence.
He says there’s solid evidence something is overhead. “I believe there’s a good chance that a lot of large, prehistoric animals, if you will, remain undiscovered by modern science,” he said.
In a San Antonio account Guadalupe Cantu III says a creature like this flew right over his car. He says he’s seen what most have not, an unidentified flying object, one that still scares him.
“We were afraid that it would come at us. So we stayed in the car till it passed this way,” witness Guadalupe Cantu III said.
“This thing’s all feathers, all black. Much bigger than me. It looked at us. It had very stooped-up shoulders.”
The beast has been spotted from the Rio Grande Valley to the mountains of New Mexico.
“(It) looked like what was possibly two people standing on top of a mountain up there,” said David Zander, who saw the monster in New Mexico. “Something that big … I guess it kinda makes you feel like it could come over and carry you off if it wanted to.”
So what could the giant birds be? Some witness sketches eerily resemble prehistoric creatures, like the pteronadon of 160 million years ago.
Gerhard theorizes the Teratorn, “These are the surviving ancestors of modern condors and vultures. They lived up until 6,000 years ago, we know for sure, in parts of North America,” Gerhard said. “In fact, over 100 specimens have been recovered from the La Brea tar pits in California.”
Cryptozoologists also posit that the Thunderbird was associated with storms because they followed the drafts to stay in flight, not unlike the way a modern eagle rides mountain up currents. Cryptozoologist John Keel claims to have mapped several Thunderbird sightings and found that they corresponded chronologically and geographically with storms moving across the United States.
Angelo P. Capparella,an ornithologist at Illinois State University, argues that the existence of such undiscovered large birds is highly unlikely, especially in North America. There is not enough food, Capparella says, in many areas where abnormally large birds are reported. Perhaps more important, according to Capparella, is the lack of sightings by “the legions of competent birdwatchers … scanning the skies of the U.S. and Canada” who sometimes make “surprising observations” with cameras at the ready (see for example 20th-century sightings of the Eskimo Curlew). Were there breeding populations of large, unknown birds, Capparella contends they could not remain unknown very long.
There is one genus of extinct flightless-birds from the Americas that has been named Brontornis, whose name literally means “thunder-bird”; however few, if any, cryptozoologists regard this bird as the origin of the Thunderbird because of its flightlessness.
You can find thunderbird images atop many totem poles and also carved into the lava rocks of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque. Similar images are found in petroglyphs all over North America.
According to legend, the thunderbird is said to have a wingspan the length of two canoes with the ability to deafen people with the sound of its flapping wings.
“It is definitely a real animal, according to the native peoples,” Gerhard said. “It’s not necessarily a legendary animal.”
Sources: s8int.com/phile/eyewit30.html , en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbird_(cryptozoology)
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The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’history and culture. It is considered a “supernatural” bird of power and strength. It is especially important, and richly depicted, in the art, songs and oral histories of many Pacific Northwest Coast cultures, and is found in various forms among the peoples of the American Southwest and Great Plains. Thunderbirds were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of American prehistory.
The Thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. The Lakota name for the Thunderbird is Wakį́yą, from wakhą, meaning “sacred”, and kįyą, meaning “winged”. The Kwakwaka’wakw have many names for the Thunderbird and the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) called him Kw-Uhnx-Wa. The Ojibwa word for a thunderbird that is closely associated with thunder is animikii, while large thunderous birds are known as binesi.
In popular culture
Zapdos is based on the Native American legend of the thunderbird.
Jedną z kryptozoologicznych zagadek Ameryki Północnej jest słynny „thunderbird”.
Widywane są one od stuleci na terenie USA i Kanady,zdają się migrować wzdłuż Apallachów.
W tym wieku ilość obserwacji znacznie się zmniejszyła.
Ponadto doniesienia o tych ptakach pochodzą również z okolic Wielkich Jezior,Alaski i Kalifornii.
Tak więc jest to gatunek raczej rozpowszechniony,tym bardziej więc wydaje się być nieprawdopodobnym to,że nie został jeszcze oficjalnie odkryty,
pomimo wielu dowodów na jego istnienie.
Nazwa „thunderbird” może być przetłumaczona jako „gromowy ptak” i została nadana przez Indian.Pochodzi ona od tego,że zwierzę to zdaje się powracać na północ wraz z pojawieniem się letnich burz.
Inne nazwy to np. Tlanuwa, Pilhannaw czy też Mechquan
cechuje się przede wszystkim ogromnymi rozmiarami,
rozpiętość skrzydeł tego ptaka wynosi mniej więcej 6 metrów.
Według jednego z opisów:„Jego oczy były rozmiaru spodków;nogi tak duże jak końskie;ciało pokryte twardą skórą,
a nie miękkim puchem jak u innych ptaków.”Zwierzę w większości opisów ma również masywny i potężny dziób,
dość długą szyję i krótki,ale rozłożysty ogon.
Wydaje się więc być krewniakiem czapli i bocianów.
Najbardziej niepodważalnym dowodem na istnienie takiej latającej bestii mogło być zdjęcie wykonane rzekomo 26 maja 1890 roku,
przedstawiające zabity egzemplarz ptaka prezentowany przez kilku mężczyzn.
Niestety,fotografia zaginęła,a nikt nie wykonał jej kopii,jedynie szkice.
Współczesna zoologia zaprzecza jego istnieniu.
Give us a hand here, Google Translate.
One of the puzzles kryptozoologicznych North America is the famous “thunderbird”.
They have been seen for centuries in the U.S. and Canada, seem to migrate along the Appalachia.
At this age, number of observations has diminished considerably.
In addition, reports of these birds also come from the vicinity of the Great Lakes, Alaska and California.
So it’s a rather common species, the more so seems to be unlikely that it has not yet been officially discovered,
despite ample evidence of his existence.
The name “Thunderbird” can be translated as “thundering bird” and was given by Indian.Pochodzi it from the fact that this animal seems to return to the north with the advent of summer storms.
Other names are for example Tlanuwa, Pilhannaw or Mechquan
mainly characterized by enormous size,
the bird’s wingspan is about 6 meters.
According to one description: “His eyes were the size of saucers, the legs as big as a horse, a body with a hard skin,
soft and not down as in other birds. "The animal in most of the descriptions is also massive and powerful beak,
fairly long neck and short, but wide-spreading tail.
It would therefore appear to be cousin of herons and storks.
The most undeniable proof for the existence of such a flying beast could supposedly be a photo taken May 26, 1890 year
killed specimen of the bird presented by several men.
Unfortunately, photography was lost, and no one made a copy, only sketches.
Modern zoology denies its existence.