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Boogeymen: The Thunderbird
#1
As promised, here is the Thunderbird video.





First, some thoughts. The young man in the video identifying as Shawnee says he is from the "Sewickli" division. That is another English variant of the Thawekila or Hathawegila sept. There are other variant ways of spelling it as well, but they are all the same division of the Shawnee. Englishmen tried their best to reproduce the sounds they heard of the name phonetically, and several heard it slightly differently, and that is the only difference.

As I mentioned before in another post, it is thought that the five Shawnees divisions were originally different tribes who amalgamated into the Shawnee Nation, and according to French records the Thawekila division or sept was originally the "Chisca" or Yuchi" indians (both names denote the same tribe) of Southwest Virginia (where I live) and Upper East Tennessee who migrated downstream along the Holston and Tennessee Rivers after fighting it out with invading Spaniards. They settled with a group of Shawnee living downstream, reported by LaSalle, and later merged into the Shawnee nation as the "Thawekila" Division or sept, becoming Shawnees and losing their former separate tribal identity. There was a lot of that sort of thing going around in the aftermath of the Spanish invasions, The same sort of thing created the Cherokee tribe as well out of former tribes decimated by DeSoto. The Thawekila were one of the warrior divisions of the tribe, supplying fighters and war chiefs to the tribe as a whole.

I mention that because if that construction is correct, then the Thawekilas or Sewicklies originated right around here, before joining the Shawnee Nation, and as it so happens, just about 11 or 12 miles from where I sit is the Painted Rock on Paint Lick Mountain. Featured prominently in the fading aboriginal paintings on that rock is... a two-headed Thunderbird. 

He mentions that Thunderbirds have a "falcon-like" appearance, which is in keeping with several Mound Builder depictions which show a Peregrine Falcon with it's distinctive eye stripes, but that is not what I saw - more on that in a bit. He also mentions that his people identify the owl as a "warrior bird", but that is the first I've heard of that identification. I've always heard Shawnees associate owls with witches, in the same way Europeans often associate black cats with witches. The Shawnee have a reputation among several other tribes, the Cherokee for example, as "conjurors". Witches. But they have their own beliefs about witches and witchcraft.

Thunderbirds were called "Tlanuwha birds" by the Cherokee, and they were said to be at perpetual war with the Uktena - a giant horned snake - which is also a motif common to Cherokees, Shawnees, and the Mound Builders. Mound Builder depictions of that creature usually show a giant rattlesnake with horns and occasionally wings. Shawnees called them Giant Horned Snakes, never mention any rattles or wings, and the Cherokee version, the Uktena, is said to have a crystal set into it's forehead.

In the late summer of 2003 - it might have been 2002, but I think it was 2003 - I saw a huge black bird on two occasions in the same week. I was living at the time in a trailer in the woods at Bethany, North Carolina. The first time I saw it, it was flying over a hill to the south of where I lived, flying low over the meadow until it disappeared behind the crest of the hill. There was really nothing there to gauge size with, so I just cataloged it as a "big black bird".

The second time I saw it, a few days later, it flew directly overhead, and then down the road I used for a driveway, heading west towards Sauratown Mountain. That time, I got to gauge both size and the height is was flying above the ground. Sauratown Mountain is a mountain in the Sauratown range, so named because the Upper Saura Town of the Saura Indians was located there. The Saura Indians are usually associated with the Xualla Indians mentioned in the DeSoto Chronicles. Pilot Mountain is another mountain in that little range that is probably better known because of Mount Pilot from the Andy Griffith show. I could see Sauratown Mountain from my driveway, but not Pilot Mountain.

As it flew low down my driveway, it brushed the tops of two Black Pines that stood on either side of the drive with it's wing tips during a wing beat. Those two pines were about 70 yards from where I was standing, and I later measured their distance apart as 12 1/2 feet, center to center, with a tape measure. So it's wingspan was 12 1/2 or 13 feet based upon that observation. The pines were about 35 feet tall, so that is about the height it was flying at.

The bird was solid black, and had a hooked beak like a raptorial bird. It was built heavy, or else it had real fluffy feathers that made it look heavy, and the beak was heavier than most raptorial birds, probably in keeping with it's size. Even the beak was black, rather than the yellow shown in the gentleman's drawing in the above video. Other than the black beak and the somewhat heavier appearance, it looked a lot like that drawing. There was no white ruffle around it's neck as some reports indicate, nor was it's head naked or leathery as other reports indicate - it had a feathered head, like nearly all birds other than vultures have.

It's wings were held flat and level during soaring flight, like a hawk or an eagle does, not in the shallow dihedral "V" that vultures carry their wings in while soaring. I am well acquainted with both Black Vultures and Turkey vultures, and it was neither of those, nor was it a Condor, which looks like a big Turkey Buzzard.

I mentioned it to the guy I rented the trailer from, and he said he had seen it in previous years, but identified it as a Golden Eagle... but it was a lot bigger than any Golden Eagles reported to date. A lot bigger. Their wingspans usually top out at about 7 feet, 8 for a big one, and this bird was something on the order of half again bigger.

The location I saw it was here:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=10330]

The yellow pin on the right marks the trailer I was living in, and the yellow pin on the left marks the point where the bird flew through the pines. I was standing at first at the end of the walkway coming from the trailer, but moved into the semicircular area just south of that to maintain my view of the bird flying down the lane. The precise latitude and longitude of the sighting is marked in the image.

So - was it a "Thunderbird", or some sort of mutant Golden Eagle? I don't know for sure, and so can't say.

Here is another video, detailing sightings:





I note that Greenburg, PA, is also in the Appalachian mountain chain, but a good deal farther north than my sighting. There is a theory that the Appalachians are a migratory route for these birds, because of the updrafts generated by the mountains which assist in keeping them aloft and able to soar with minimal wing flapping.

One last note: The videos mention how notoriously difficult it is to gauge the size of something when there are no nearby objects to compare it to. They recount how something nearby can be perceived as huge if one thinks it is farther away. While that is true, the converse is also true - one can underestimate the size of something if he thinks it is closer than it actually is. Might YOU have seen one of these huge birds yourself, but thought it was closer to you than it actually was, and so underestimated the size of the bird you were seeing?

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“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#2
Quote:Teratornis merriami
Definition of Teratornis merriami

Teratornis merriami
Noun

A large, now extinct, bird of prey from North America. 

Source: "Teratorn." Prehistoric-Flor-N'-Fauna.com. Prehistoric Flor N' Fauna Glossary, n.d. Web 30 May. 2016




Introduction
The Teratorn is among the largest birds of prey in all of North America. With its large wingspan and active predatory behavior, it became among the most successful avian's of its time. 

Appearance
The Teratorn was once believed to have been condor-like in appearance, with similar features to the skeletal structure of a California Condor. The Teratorn has a 12 foot wing span, making it one of the largest bird of prey in all of North America. 

Wing span
Teraronis merriami has a 12 foot wingspan. The wingspan of teratornithidae in South America dwarf the wingspan of Merriam's Teratorn. Such is the case with Argentavis magnificens, and its 23 foot wingspan. 

Hunting behavior
Similarities between the skeletal structure of Teratronis merriami and the California Condor originally led one to believe that it primarily fed on carrion. New evidence now suggest that it didn't scavenge, but instead fed on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Merriams Teratorn was indeed an active hunter, stalking its prey cautiously on the ground.

https://sites.google.com/site/prehistori...s-merriami

[Image: teratornis-merriami-skull-5.jpg]

The teratorns died off around 11,000 years ago when the glaciers receeded, or did they?

Below, golden eagle in flight.

[Image: golden-eaglejpg-26cfbcb378e5561c.jpg]
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#3
@Michigan Swamp Buck - Teratornis merriami seems to be a close match to the bird I saw, with the main exception being the naked head. Now all reconstructions of it necessarily take some artistic license, as there have been no soft tissues preserved to inform the reconstructors, so they took bits and pieces from what they considered related birds to flesh it out, but at best those are best guesses. It's possible that it had a fethered head, and it's also possible that I mistook a heavier, but naked and black head (like a black vulture has) for a feathered head - it didn't really stop and pose for a close examination, you know?

The beak it had does seem to fit pretty closely with the reconstructed skull, shown here:

[Image: Teratornis_skull.JPG]

So it does have potential as a close fit, just as panthera atrox has potential as a close fit for some of the lions reported in the US east, and dire wolves have potential as a close fit for some of the "wolves" reported over the years in areas where there should not be any wolves. I saw one of those, too, a large wolf-like canid a few years ago near Southern Gap in Buchanan County, VA - but I just chalked it up to being a really big coy-wolf, which according to genetic testing ALL of the supposed "coyotes" east of the Mississippi River are. They story is that they cross bred with timber wolves in Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on their way to repopulate the east several years ago, and the current eastern population is descended from those cross breeds. That one was about 5 feet long from the tip of it's nose to the root of it's tail, not counting the tail, and stood around 3 or 3 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder, pretty big for a coyote, but not really out of range for a big timber wolf. It was moving along alone up where the elk live, rather than in a pack.

In the 1820's and 1830's, Osborne Russell ("Diary of a Trapper") trapped for a few years in the Rocky Mountains, and reported in his diary 3 separate species of wolf, where two only live now. The third he called a "prarie wolf", and it answered size-wise to the one I saw in Virginia.

The simplest explanation is small relict populations living in refugia, another, pretty far out there, explanation could be the occasional entry through some sort of time portal. All those suddenly vanished missing people go somewhere, now don't they? maybe they are making an involuntary return trip...

Either way, I have no doubt that people occasionally see just what they see, for whatever reason.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#4
I can't see your second video (uploader not available in my country?!), but what intrigues me is the colour
of the beak you mentioned. In the UK, the usual bird with a black beak would be a raven. Did your sighting
give you any impression of being crow-like?
minusculethumbsup
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"
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#5
(11-14-2021, 10:27 PM)BIAD Wrote: I can't see your second video (uploader not available in my country?!), but what intrigues me is the colour
of the beak you mentioned. In the UK, the usual bird with a black beak would be a raven. Did your sighting
give you any impression of being crow-like?
minusculethumbsup

The beak appeared to be built heavy like a crow's beak, but was shorter in proportion to it's height, and had a slight hook at the business end rather than a point as a crow has, more in keeping with a hawk or vulture. I couldn't discern the legs, so I presume they were folded back along the body and black, blending in to the plumage.

I have both crows and ravens right around my house here. They keep the dead tidied up, and serve as an early warning system for me, so I'm happy to have them! Did you know they actually have a language, and have a different call for a "man" or a "bear", and even different vocalizations for "a man" and " a man with a gun"? They know the difference, and output the appropriate warning to their fellows. They can also be taught to speak English, like a parrot.

As an aside, and in reference to the possible leg color, mutations sometimes happen. When I was a teenager, we raised game chickens ("fightin' roosters"), and we had one hatch out with blue legs and 5 toes per foot - 3 forward, two rearward. It turned out to be a rooster, and within a couple years time, we had a whole barnyard full of blue-legged, five-toed chickens!

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#6
I have never seen the Thunderbird but one of my aunts told me stories when I was a little girl. She (and her entire family, she married one of my uncles) were Cherokee Indian. She told me how when she and her brothers and sisters were children they had to be careful when they were out in the open because the Thunderbird might swoop down and take them like it did the livestock. She said the Thunderbird took smaller livestock like goats, sheep, pigs, calves and occasionally chickens but usually left the cattle and horses alone. She said her parents and grandparents had a very real fear of children being snatched away- something that had happened far in the past but my aunt and her siblings never witnessed. The way she described it sounded like a hawk or an eagle only much, much larger. I'd love to ask her more but she passed last year.
"As an American it's your responsibility to have your own strategic duck stockpile. You can't expect the government to do it for you." - the dork I call one of my mom's other kids
[Image: Tiny-Ducks.jpg]
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#7
(11-14-2021, 10:01 PM)Ninurta Wrote: @Michigan Swamp Buck - Teratornis merriami seems to be a close match to the bird I saw, with the main exception being the naked head. Now all reconstructions of it necessarily take some artistic license, as there have been no soft tissues preserved to inform the reconstructors, so they took bits and pieces from what they considered related birds to flesh it out, but at best those are best guesses. It's possible that it had a fethered head, and it's also possible that I mistook a heavier, but naked and black head (like a black vulture has) for a feathered head - it didn't really stop and pose for a close examination, you know?

The beak it had does seem to fit pretty closely with the reconstructed skull, shown here:

[Image: Teratornis_skull.JPG]

So it does have potential as a close fit, just as panthera atrox has potential as a close fit for some of the lions reported in the US east, and dire wolves have potential as a close fit for some of the "wolves" reported over the years in areas where there should not be any wolves. I saw one of those, too, a large wolf-like canid a few years ago near Southern Gap in Buchanan County, VA - but I just chalked it up to being a really big coy-wolf, which according to genetic testing ALL of the supposed "coyotes" east of the Mississippi River are. They story is that they cross bred with timber wolves in Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on their way to repopulate the east several years ago, and the current eastern population is descended from those cross breeds. That one was about 5 feet long from the tip of it's nose to the root of it's tail, not counting the tail, and stood around 3 or 3 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder, pretty big for a coyote, but not really out of range for a big timber wolf. It was moving along alone up where the elk live, rather than in a pack.

In the 1820's and 1830's, Osborne Russell ("Diary of a Trapper") trapped for a few years in the Rocky Mountains, and reported in his diary 3 separate species of wolf, where two only live now. The third he called a "prarie wolf", and it answered size-wise to the one I saw in Virginia.

The simplest explanation is small relict populations living in refugia, another, pretty far out there, explanation could be the occasional entry through some sort of time portal. All those suddenly vanished missing people go somewhere, now don't they? maybe they are making an involuntary return trip...

Either way, I have no doubt that people occasionally see just what they see, for whatever reason.

.

Yes, the bald headed depictions were very common because the bones are similar to condors, but the newer view is they likely had a feathered head. There were sub species as well with variations. That one website I quoted had a very different illustration and claimed it did some hunting on the ground.

When you compare the skull (your post or mine) to the golden eagle's head, the beak is longer and slimmer with less of a hook at the end. Not to mention it was bigger, but the following picture is comparing shape, not size.


[Image: golden-eagle-teratron.jpg]
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#8
You had me at Monster Quest  tinybiggrin

I trust you saw what you saw. There have been lots of very large birds which have coexisted with humans over the millennia. 

Ancient humans drew, painted, or carved what they saw.
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#9
(11-15-2021, 01:12 AM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: Yes, the bald headed depictions were very common because the bones are similar to condors, but the newer view is they likely had a feathered head. There were sub species as well with variations. That one website I quoted had a very different illustration and claimed it did some hunting on the ground.

When you compare the skull (your post or mine) to the golden eagle's head, the beak is longer and slimmer with less of a hook at the end. Not to mention it was bigger, but the following picture is comparing shape, not size.


[Image: golden-eagle-teratron.jpg]

So far as the beak shape goes, it was proportionally longer than that of an eagle or a hawk, but not as thin as that of a buzzard. The beak shape was sort of like these two images:

[Image: Reconstruction_drawing_of_Titanis_walleri.png]


[Image: Mesembriornis_model.jpg]

But of course it was neither of those two birds because, big wings, and flight.

I remember the beak distinctly because it made an impression - I was thinking "what the hell does it eat with that? Does it crack walnuts or something?"


.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#10
(11-15-2021, 04:10 AM)ABNARTY Wrote: You had me at Monster Quest  tinybiggrin

I trust you saw what you saw. There have been lots of very large birds which have coexisted with humans over the millennia. 

Ancient humans drew, painted, or carved what they saw.

Oh, I saw it alright. I can't say just what it was, other than big, because I've not found any other descriptions of it other than the Thunderbird - but the fact remains that it could have just been some kind of mutant golden eagle. So, I can't say that it WAS a Thunderbird, only that that is the closest description I've found of it so far.

Here is a picture of the two-headed Thunderbird painted on the Painted Rock on Paint Lick Mountain, just a few miles south of here:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=10334]

Other pictures there include a couple of turtles, some people, a deer, a sunburst symbol, and something that I can't tell what it is, either a frontal view of a truly proud man, or an overhead view of some kind of lizard... a group of Cherokees used to make a pilgrimage to that rock every summer, up to 1767. That was the last trip they made there, about the time of the Cherokee-Shawnee war that culminated in a Shawnee victory on War Ridge.

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“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#11
(11-14-2021, 11:34 PM)Ninurta Wrote: The beak appeared to be built heavy like a crow's beak, but was shorter in proportion to it's height, and had a slight hook at the business end rather than a point as a crow has, more in keeping with a hawk or vulture. I couldn't discern the legs, so I presume they were folded back along the body and black, blending in to the plumage.

I have both crows and ravens right around my house here. They keep the dead tidied up, and serve as an early warning system for me, so I'm happy to have them! Did you know they actually have a language, and have a different call for a "man" or a "bear", and even different vocalizations for "a man" and " a man with a gun"? They know the difference, and output the appropriate warning to their fellows. They can also be taught to speak English, like a parrot.

As an aside, and in reference to the possible leg color, mutations sometimes happen. When I was a teenager, we raised game chickens ("fightin' roosters"), and we had one hatch out with blue legs and 5 toes per foot - 3 forward, two rearward. It turned out to be a rooster, and within a couple years time, we had a whole barnyard full of blue-legged, five-toed chickens!

Thank you for that. I'm sorry to break the run of this thread, please keep going because I'm eating this up with a spoon!
minusculebeercheers
"...They keep the dead tidied up..." -in regards of your ravens and crows, I'll assume this is in connection with trespassing
Ramblers? Don't answer that!
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"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"
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#12
(11-15-2021, 11:27 AM)BIAD Wrote:
(11-14-2021, 11:34 PM)Ninurta Wrote: The beak appeared to be built heavy like a crow's beak, but was shorter in proportion to it's height, and had a slight hook at the business end rather than a point as a crow has, more in keeping with a hawk or vulture. I couldn't discern the legs, so I presume they were folded back along the body and black, blending in to the plumage.

I have both crows and ravens right around my house here. They keep the dead tidied up, and serve as an early warning system for me, so I'm happy to have them! Did you know they actually have a language, and have a different call for a "man" or a "bear", and even different vocalizations for "a man" and " a man with a gun"? They know the difference, and output the appropriate warning to their fellows. They can also be taught to speak English, like a parrot.

As an aside, and in reference to the possible leg color, mutations sometimes happen. When I was a teenager, we raised game chickens ("fightin' roosters"), and we had one hatch out with blue legs and 5 toes per foot - 3 forward, two rearward. It turned out to be a rooster, and within a couple years time, we had a whole barnyard full of blue-legged, five-toed chickens!

Thank you for that. I'm sorry to break the run of this thread, please keep going because I'm eating this up with a spoon!
minusculebeercheers
"...They keep the dead tidied up..." -in regards of your ravens and crows, I'll assume this is in connection with trespassing
Ramblers? Don't answer that!

I edited my quote in your post here and my original post as well, because my math wasn't adding up regarding the chicken toes. That sort of thing may be why I went into carrying a gun for a living instead of physics...

"Tidying up the dead" as in "roadkill"... and stuff like that or similar to it... Just dead critters or what the cat drags in...

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#13


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#14
(11-16-2021, 11:37 AM)727Sky Wrote:


That was interesting, and gave me some information I didn't have before. Thanks!

Regarding the Piasa Bird carving or painting on the cliff at Alton, Illinois, that carving does not exist any more, and all we have is the description of it from the French. I've always thought it was more likely to be a Giant Horned Snake than a Thunderbird. I've never heard of a Thunderbird legend where the Thunderbirds have horns, but I have seen Mississippian depictions on shell gorgets of horned snakes with wings... and Cahokia was a Mississippian urban center. Such depictions are often thought of as "dragons" of an American variety because of the combination of horns and wings on a serpentine body, similar to some Asian dragon descriptions.

The Aztec Quetzalcoatl or Mayan Kukulkan is probably the most famous version of it.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#15
Here is the full-length footage of alleged Thunderbirds in Illinois at Lake Shelbyville in 1977:






Personally, I think these are just turkey buzzards. The long narrow tail (as opposed to the broad fan-shaped tail of hawks and eagles), the relatively tiny head, The big white patches on the undersides of the wings, and the relatively narrow wings lead me to that conclusion. I didn't see a good view of it soaring head-on to determine how it holds it's wings, but I'm 99% sure they are just turkey buzzards.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




Reply
#16
This is an article with photos of a "giant bird" taken 30 miles west of Chicago, IL, in 2018. The photos are very blurry and grainy, and I can't tell whether that's actually legs trailing the bird as stated, or a thin tail. If it's legs, it might be a wading bird of some sort, like a stork or heron, and if not, it may be some kind of buzzard, or...

https://www.singularfortean.com/news/201...of-chicago

We get blue herons on the many rivers, creeks, and streams around here every so often. I took some pictures of one on this creek, just a few yards from my house, a couple of weeks ago. When they spread their wings and fly down the creeks, they ARE pretty big - bigger than what we are used to seeing here, anyhow, with 5 or 6 foot wingspan - but they are NOT big enough to really emerge into Thunderbird territory.


.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#17
(11-17-2021, 03:42 AM)Ninurta Wrote: This is an article with photos of a "giant bird" taken 30 miles west of Chicago, IL, in 2018. The photos are very blurry and grainy, and I can't tell whether that's actually legs trailing the bird as stated, or a thin tail. If it's legs, it might be a wading bird of some sort, like a stork or heron, and if not, it may be some kind of buzzard, or...

https://www.singularfortean.com/news/201...of-chicago


Quote:"...This thing was flying over our heads at about 900 to 1000 feet up.

I have spent 13 years in the aviation business and it's a habit to identify planes by nature.
For the business that Bill and myself do for a living, we both have a great sense of movement
and judgement for distance...'

That's a bit high for herons and storks, isn't it? Up there you're benefitting from the thermals for carrion and not the nearest
stretch of water. INMHO.
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"
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#18
(11-17-2021, 09:42 PM)BIAD Wrote:
(11-17-2021, 03:42 AM)Ninurta Wrote: This is an article with photos of a "giant bird" taken 30 miles west of Chicago, IL, in 2018. The photos are very blurry and grainy, and I can't tell whether that's actually legs trailing the bird as stated, or a thin tail. If it's legs, it might be a wading bird of some sort, like a stork or heron, and if not, it may be some kind of buzzard, or...

https://www.singularfortean.com/news/201...of-chicago


Quote:"...This thing was flying over our heads at about 900 to 1000 feet up.

I have spent 13 years in the aviation business and it's a habit to identify planes by nature.
For the business that Bill and myself do for a living, we both have a great sense of movement
and judgement for distance...'

That's a bit high for herons and storks, isn't it? Up there you're benefitting from the thermals for carrion and not the nearest
stretch of water. INMHO.

I couldn't say for sure. That's the flatlands, and they may behave differently there. Here, I rarely ever see them flying more than 40 or 50 feet above a water course, looking for good spots to alight and catch a few fish or crawdads. Generally, they are lower, only 10 or 12 feet above a creek. I think the highest I've ever seen one fly might be about 300 feet. But here, the land is varied up and down, and thermals are created as a natural result of the landscape - so, in the flatlands, they may have to fly higher to achieve the same results.

The blurriness of the images does argue, in my mind, in favor of a greater height along the magnitude that he reports.

I think it would be good to have the original images with the EXIF information embedded, to get an idea of the focal length and the pixel resolution to make a rough size estimate.



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“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#19
I'm into the idea that the thunder bird legend is related to the teratorns that went extinct around 10,000 years ago. Of course, a current sighting of an unknown species may not relate to my pet theory and your description of the bill you saw on this bird certainly rules that out. That is unless there has been, or maybe now, a related species that developed that characteristic you describe, a bill something more like a parrot than an eagle.

So, would you say that the bird you saw looked like an extremely large golden eagle but with a bill like you described? It would be interesting to create a composite photo of what you saw and include something to indicate scale. Very cool subject and sighting.
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#20
(11-19-2021, 06:58 AM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: I'm into the idea that the thunder bird legend is related to the teratorns that went extinct around 10,000 years ago. Of course, a current sighting of an unknown species may not relate to my pet theory and your description of the bill you saw on this bird certainly rules that out. That is unless there has been, or maybe now, a related species that developed that characteristic you describe, a bill something more like a parrot than an eagle.

So, would you say that the bird you saw looked like an extremely large golden eagle but with a bill like you described? It would be interesting to create a composite photo of what you saw and include something to indicate scale. Very cool subject and sighting.

Yup, I'd say the shape was generally like a golden eagle with a heavier bill, but the color scheme was darker than a golden eagle, as close to solid black as one can get. Now, in all honesty, I don't think it precludes a teratorn connection. All we have of teratorns is the underlying bone, and there can be all manner of flesh, feathers, and keratin covering that bone and filling it in to the general shapes I saw, and the size is right.

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“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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