Strange New England - Thunderbird

bird.h1There are a variety of monster around the world that we are all aware of; The Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot are excellent example. Most New Englanders rest easy at night knowing that these creatures, if real, are lurking in regions far from their homes. Unfortunately, as these people go about their business feeling safe and secure a native fiend wanders about in the mountains and forest of the northeast

Far before the area was colonized, a fearsome being known as the Thunderbird terrified the Algonquin speaking peoples of New England. Though it was more closely associated with the plains Indians, the Thunderbird was believed to have roamed the territory.

Little is know of this fiendish spirit. Only vague references and a few images were found during my investigation. A sketch of an Indian artifact from the book ‘The New’ by C. Keith Wilbur, gives you an idea of what they had seen. From what can be gathered, the thunderbird was approximately the shape and size of a large man. Instead of arms, it has large wings with a span of over twice its height. The head is relatively small for its size for it body and I could find little on the details of its face. This maybe due to the fact that it caused so much fear in the Indians that they would run and hide. Though the Thunderbird didn’t hunt the Indians, occasionally it was know to have killed humans. When attacking a victim it was said to swoop down with the speed and rage of a giant falcon.

The last sightings of the Thunderbird were around the turn of the 16th century in Pennacook New Hampshire. The memory of this beast has faded only to linger in tales and art. But who knows, maybe it reserves its activities to the backwoods of New England like any wild animal. This fiend may watch as man unknowingly crosses its path. At any moment a lone hiker maybe its next victim as it protects its shrinking domain.

~ Strange New England

UPDATE: 06/08/03

While following up on some leads on story in Ma., I discovered some reports of a strange bird creature sighted in the area. In 1971, what looked like a prehistoric bird with a wing span of 8 -12 feet was sighted at a place called Taunton Bird Hill. Again in 1992 a bird with the wing span of 10-12 feet was sighted in Taunton. It was described by one witness as, ‘looking like a man with wings.’

Though the detail were vague, one could imagine that this is the same creature the Indians and colonists had report.

~Strange NE

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Pterodactyl in Connecticut

Editor,

When I saw this article, a chill came back over me. A friend and I saw something like this many years ago traveling on Route 55 from New Milford, CT to Poughkeepsie, NY. It is a rural and mountainous road that is very secluded in some parts. One late night around 11PM while traveling westbound in a semi-secluded area, we saw a large flying creature across the road, nearly over the vehicle. It startled both of us and I hesitated to ask my friend who was driving to describe it. After a few moments, I asked him to what he saw, making sure I did not offer any description. He described the same thing to me as well. We both described a Pterodactyl looking creature with an approximate wing span of 10 feet. We were booth somewhat shaken from the experience and love to tell the story.

-Charles


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