Each year, between 15,000 and 18,000 new animal species are being discovered all around the globe and are classified using the latest DNA tests. As it happens, extinct or even unknown creatures are still being found on Earth. So what happens when the legendary becomes the ordinary, or better said: what happens when creatures believed to be extinct come into the picture?
North American indigenous people often sculpted totems, told tales and also sang about the great Thunderbirds. These legendary creatures were depicted as large birds, capable of creating thunderstorms with the beating of their enormous wings that measured no less than 20 feet.
They were believed to reside on desolate mountain peaks and were the servants of the Great Spirit of the World. While these creatures were usually venerated, the indigenous people feared them because of their wrath and most of the time they were careful not to cross the Thunderbird’s path.
In the modern world, the Thunderbirds are associated with Pteranodon, a genus of Pterosaurs that included some of the largest known flying reptiles. Fossilized remains were discovered mostly in North America, more precisely in present day Kansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota.
But what’s the point if these timeworn birds have gone extinct millions of years ago? Well, as a matter of fact, they haven’t. For more than 200 years, inhabitants of the areas mentioned above have reported several incidents involving enormous birds with lizard-like features, very much alike the extinct Pterosaurs.
A bizarre photograph has surfaced in the 1950s that caused quite a stir in the U.S. It revealed an unknown event from the American Civil War in 1864 – Near the city of Vicksburg, a huge bird distinct from any known species at that time, was standing under the feet of six American soldiers equipped with rifled muskets.
It had a remarkable wing span, along with a prolonged beak and an unfamiliar head. Is it possible that this creature was indeed one of the famous Thunderbirds depicted by the American indigenous people?
Another report from July 25, 1977, highlighted an incident involving three children from Lawndale, Illinois. They told how two giant birds chased them until one of them grabbed their ten-year-old friend Marlon Lowe. The bird had long legs with distinguishable claws, and it managed to get hold of the boy and lift him up about two feet of the ground before he was released as a result of his struggle.
The local authorities were informed about this incident but didn’t pay too much attention until four-fingers footprints were discovered about half a mile from the area where the boys were chased.
Since our planet has a lot of unknown and inaccessible places, we find it likely that these creatures exist even today. We might consider the hypothesis of it going extinct, but because of its predatory features and imposing proportions, it’s hard to believe that it did not manage to survive.
Even though no recent reports of such birds have surfaced, the known cases along with a symbolism rooted into the Native American culture might prove that these legendary birds have surpassed the test of time and managed to preserve their species for millions of years.
If they are to be found remains once again an issue of time, but with all the technological progress this century, it’s likely that someday the magnificent Thunderbirds will be discovered, and hopefully the witnesses will live to tell about it.