Wednesday 25 March 2009

Pterosaur. still alive?

I came across this whilst browsing for something to write about. In September, 1992 as Kim Foley drove home late in the afternoon her two year old son, Jayson shouted, "Mommy, look at the puppy!" What she saw was not a dog, but a large bird hunched over a deer carcass. "I expected to see a dog," she explained. "But it was a very big bird eating a dead deer. It was huge!" she said, "and dark brown, almost black, an ugly beak. Looked right at us in the car, it was that tall." At the time of the sighting she was near Mt. Zion Church cemetery, south of a marsh and North White Deer Ridge in Lycoming County. Thunderbirds inhabit the folklore of many regions, but are more closely associated with certain locales such as Pennsylvania and he Mississippi River Valley. Cryptozoologists use the word "thunderbird" as a convenient term for any abnormally large flying bird .

Perhaps the most famous tale of the Thunderbird comes from 1977 in Lawndale, Illinois. It was here that on July 25, 1977 towards 9:00 pm a group of three boys were in the backyard. They saw two large birds coming, and as the birds came in closer they went after the boys. Two of the boys escaped, but the third, Marlon Lowe, did not. One of the birds clamped onto his shoulder with its claws and proceeded to lift the ten year old boy about two feet off the ground for a distance of at least 30 yards. With screams of distress calling adults outside and coupled with a series of blows by the 65-pound boy, the bird finally released him. The boy was relatively unharmed, but traumatised. Nothing was ever found as an explanation for this.

Two weeks after Kim Foley’s sighting in 1992 Dave Sims and children, Zach and Casey, saw a large bird , in Clinton County, "It flew ahead of the truck and disappeared in the trees," he said. "I know the hawks around here, but I never saw this one before," Sims continued. "I've heard `thunderbird' stories but chalked that up to regional folklore. I don't know if this was or not, but it was a big, dark gray bird, and flew faster than 55 mph."

So are prehistoric birds roaming America? There have been tales told for many years by Native Americans of such birds. What about other parts of the world, well the Ropen of New Guinea springs to mind.

Duane Hodgkinson, now a flight instructor in Livingston, Montana, in 1944 was stationed near Finschhafen, in what was then called New Guinea. After he and his buddy walked into a clearing, they were amazed as a large creature flew up into the air. The men soon realized that it was no bird that started to circle the clearing. It had a tail “at least ten to fifteen feet long,” (book Searching for Ropens, 2007) and a long appendage at the back of its head: apparently, a live pterosaur.

This is not the only story and natives to the area talk of being attacked by giant bats. Unfortunately the investigations of this phenomenon in this part of the world seem to be undertaken by creationists . This makes me sceptical of anything but irrefutable proof.

So could giant birds from an earlier era be responsible for these attacks? The Thunderbird could be a sort of very large eagle , like the sea eagle and the Ropen could be giant bats, so both species are feasible. Still though, the thought of a pterosaur, still alive, is so exciting and would truly be a wonder of the world.

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