The Legendary Thunderbird Photo

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Anonymous

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Thunderbird Photograph - discovered.

Ladies. Gentlemen. This is truly a solemn and wonderful occasion for all of us with an interest in cryptozoology.
For decades, its existence has been both rumored and doubted. Some people have remembered having seen it. Investigations took place, magazines were fervently searched, but all to no avail. Now, hehe... Now, it has finally been located. Do not ask me where the photograph came from, because I do not know. Do not ask me who took it, because I do not know. Do not ask me where it is, because I do not know. I know nothing whatsoever. I can only make guesses, form opinions, and......

home.talkcity.com/InspirationAv/ ... tness.html
Link, webpage, and website are dead. No archived version found.


....... point the way.

Enjoy, my friends. Enjoy.
 
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Anonymous

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Once again,the phony Freakylinks photo.

For reference - here is the (hoaxed) photo used to promote the TV show FreakyLinks.

7a593bc0e75d7b8cd43a638acf29a78d.jpg
 
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Anonymous

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Wasn't this made for a television program of some sort? IIRC (and I might not), the Blair Witch people produced this. Any info, anyone?
 
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Anonymous

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Yes,it was made for the now defunct"Freakylinks"series on Fox Network.It was produced by the same bunch that made"Blair Witch".
 

hachihyaku

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Don't forget, the "original" bird was hung up on the wall of a barn. ^_^
 
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Anonymous

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It... was a hoax?

It's a hoax? A, hoax? *face turns red with angry embarrassment*
Darn PhotoShop! If that's a hoax, then what is the use of trusting ANY photos anymore? Because this must be the most incredible hoax I've ever seen, even better than that full-body sasquatch photo of the creature tossing water at the camera. I showed this photo to all of my friends, and laughed at those who were skeptical about EVERYTHING, and before I read these new posts I was just about to make it the background for the computer here on campus. And now, you're telling me....... IT'S A HOAX?
Again: darn PhotoShop!
So just tell me this. Who made this masterpiece, and, for crying out loud, HOW?
As for that thing about the creature in the *actual* Thunderbird Photo having been nailed to a wall, I would counter that there are at least three or four stories to the event, and at least two different views on the contents of the photograph, one of which is alleged to be a pterosaur.
But getting back to the fake photo, I was seriously fooled, and while I admit that I would be lying if I did not say that I stronly admire, now, the apparent talent that must have gone into the making of such a piece of artwork. Usually, I can point out the fakes from the real ones, and I was sure that this was real; it takes a REALLY good photo manipulator to deceive me. And to whomever this person, or persons, is, I tip my hat in recognition of their having gotten me. My reasons for having concluded that the photo was legitimate were as follows:
- well, first of all it looks like a pterosaur (of the species pteranadon, to be exact).
- it is noteable that of the six men in the photograph, only one was allowed to stand in front of the creature. And that made sense, if that man had been the one to bnring it down.
- The outfits that the soldiers are wearing appear to be quite genuine.
- Nothing in the image appears to have been "pencilled in."
- The raggidyness of the photograph would be expected, as it would have been over a century old.
-It's background is of the color one would expect to see behind the image, had it been photocopied with one of the staandard photocopiers found in records offices, libraries, etc.

So again, to the masterminds behind the image, I say well done.

Having now had this unwelcomed, but accepted, revelation, might I ask you all if you are aware of a second photograph, purported to have been taken also during the Civil War era? In it is what appears to be a hazy news article featuring an image of a farm boy holding up a dead pterodactyl that is the size of a hawk. It has a long tail descending almost to the ground, ending in a heart-shaped knob. I have had a copy of this photograph, and was wondering if I should now discard it as well.:(
 
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Anonymous

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Actually,there is a second photo of the same prop"pterasaur"with the"soldiers"in a slightly different pose around it,there was also an"officer"ina slouch hat.That picture showed the men a little more clearly.They tended to be somewhat heavy set to be a squad of Civil War soldiers.

I also read somewhere that the pteranodon prop was sold on ebay some months back.
 
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Anonymous

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Oh. Hey, hold on a second.

I am not having a good day here. I had the photo of the century, then I lost it when I learned from you guys that it was a hoax. So I looked it up, and I found another photograph. It's almost as though it's insulting me, though. See, at the bottom of Loren Coleman's page (you can reach his site through the Fortean Times links page) is a photo that is listed as the image created for the FreakyLinks show, but, well, look at it; it's not the same photograph as the other one. It's not the same "creature," and it has people who are not in the first photo.
I could be off my rocker here, so would someone set me straight?
 
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Anonymous

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Hey, Josh, not to be a smartass, but why don't you send the pic attached to an e-mail to Coleman? Seriously, I think he owns the prop now, so maybe he knows a bit about the history. And are you certain it's a completely different animal? They look pretty similar to me; still, I'm not an expert or anything.

Tennessee, huh? You guys are kicking some butt in football, aren't you? My sis lives in Memphis, and it's a great place down there.
 
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Anonymous

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There was a picture in an old edition of Uri Gellar's Encounters that showed what may have been a chupacabras (No chance!) in I think an unpopulated, sandy area of Mexico.

I remember thinking at the time though that it may possibly be a thunderbird, sat on the ground with its wings tucked in.
If it was it would have to be some sort of pterodactyl, so were entering the realms of plesoisaurs in Loch Ness here.
 

Breakfastologist

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Don't people who know about Cryptozoology speculate on the survival of pterasaurs in the Mexican mountains, where there aren't many people to see them?
 
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Anonymous

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Yes, that's correct.

Indeed, the vast areas located in Texas and New Mexico experienced a truly bizarre rash pterosaur sightings a few decades ago, highly convincing ones as well, as a number of people in different areas reported independently of having observed the creature(s), and I believe within a one or two day period.
Simply entering in "pterosaurs in Texas" as a generic term in a web keyword search should lead you to plenty of information on the subject.
These, quite ironically, are not to be confused with the thunderbirds, which have essentially been proven (among cryptozoologist academics) to follow a specific migratory patter throughout the year. They frequent the north-east, especially. They are not pterosaurs, but appear to be surviving remnants of a bird (raptor bird, specifically -- as in eagles, hawks, vultures, etc.) species that officially is presumed to have gone extinct thousands of years ago. I cannot remember the exact scientific name given to the fossils, but I believe it is something like "Archetavius." It was/is of a monstrous size, it's wing span reaching about twenty-five feet. About a century ago, it successfully stole a child... for food. It almost happened again a few decades ago (search keyword 'Lawndale Incident'), but the mother of the targetted child came to her childdren's rescue, swatting at the birds with a broom. The only damage that was done, physically, were some scratches left when the bird had begun to lift into the air holding the child, preparing to devour him, in all seriousness.
There is also a sub-set of thunderbird sightings, which are more of a paranormal nature than a natural nature, as the sightings refer to birds with fifty-foot and wider wingspans.
 

hachihyaku

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That's not your own site, is it? Because

(The photo accompanying this story is purportedly a Civil War era photo of a downed Pterodactyl--but is probably only a recreation of a famous "mythic photo" called the Thunderbird photo.)

is tacked on the end of that story.
 

rossba1

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I do like this thread. I dont want to imagine the ecstasy and agony of poor Joshua thinking he'd found the photo. I know i'd have wet my pants.
Ever since i heard about the thunderbird photo, many years ago i wondered what it would be like to find it....
A couple of things though. If i remember rightly Pteranodon was a fish eater (fossilised scales in stomach). What would it be doing in the middle of "cowboy country" with no access to the sea. And from the fossils i've seen it looks a lot bigger in the photo. Maybe thats cos i didnt see it with attached wing membranes.
Josh- would you be able to point the way to your pic of the farm boy and pterosaur?
ta
Ross
p.s. Wasn't there meant to be another pic of De Loys Ape (diff. from the one of him on the box with a stick). Has anyone seen it
 
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Anonymous

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http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjec ... odon.shtml



You wrote:
"If i remember rightly Pteranodon was a fish eater (fossilised scales in stomach). What would it be doing in the middle of "cowboy country" with no access to the sea."

EXCELLENT point, my friend. However, the pterosaur sightings wave decades ago occured in Texas. And Texas, it should be noted, is next to the Gulf of Mexico. On that note, pteranodon skulls have been found in Kansas. For pteranodons to have lived in Texas suggests that they could find their food also in streams, rivers, and lakes, which can also be found in Texas.

You wrote:
"And from the fossils i've seen it looks a lot bigger in the photo. Maybe thats cos i didnt see it with attached wing membranes."

I noticed the same thing. But good news! According to an online dinosaur dictionary I just visited, pteranodons had wingspans of
25-33 feet (7.8 - 10 m), had a standing height of 6 feet (1.8 m), and weighed 55 pounds (25 kg).

You wrote:
"Josh- would you be able to point the way to your pic of the farm boy and pterosaur?"

I really, really wish that I could. I had originally found it on the gallery of cryptozoology.com , but having frequented it recently, I can say that it is no longer there. Let me note that the pterosaur in that particular photograph was not nearly as large as the pteranodon and had a wingspan of only about 3-4 feet (around 1 - 1.5 m), and had no head crest. I did print it off, though, and it is currently in my dormroom here on campus, but there is no scanner here.

You wrote:
"Wasn't there meant to be another pic of De Loys Ape (diff. from the one of him on the box with a stick). Has anyone seen it"

I know that I myself have not seen it, but I have read a desciption of its alleged contents. In this photograph of the ape there is a man on either side of the creature, allowing for a better size comparison. HOWEVER, you can find what would amount to another photograph by looking through the cryptozoology.com gallery. It is the same photo as you are used to, except that it shows the whole photo as it is. The one we are used to seeing has been significantly cropped at both sides.
 
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Anonymous

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True,Pteranodon hails from Kansas,but Cretaceous Kansas was part of a great inland sea that swept north from the Gulf(or what would become the Gulf).
 
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Anonymous

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reply to the above

Also true, Major K. However, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, is it just my imagination, or might it be a duck?
While my opinion on the genuinity of the mystery photographs is currently undecided until Coleman replies, I do trust the accounts given decades ago, and therefore know that there was within the last few decades at least one pterosaur in Texas.
And here at this point, so as not to start squablles about this and that and turn this message board into a discussion of controversial subject matter that the Fortean Times does not wish to touch upon, let me appease any forming arguments by reminding that for those evolutionists who believe in paranormal phenomena, and specifically time warps into the future, pterosaurs living today should not pose a crisis of belief. For the sakes of anyone who would wish to engage in such debates, myself included, I do not think that we should continue onto *that* topic, because I know all of us here would not like our memberships here on the FT message board to be revoked.
 
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Anonymous

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It's not that I'm not open to such things,but I'm 47 years old and over 35 years of delving into the many wonders of this universe and usually being dissappointed breeds a certain degree of scepticism,not to mention cynicism.
 

naitaka

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Well said, Major. I've had several experiences like LeavittJoshua just had, seeing or reading something that I thought was a real breakthrough, only to be dissappointed. One does get cynical.

But I remain eternally hopeful...
 
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Anonymous

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The concept of the of-remembered photo intrigues me. Did it ever exist? Created by the imaginations of Forteans, and desired so acutely that it impressed itself on our collective unconciousness? Or just retrospecively erased from history?

I recall that one investigator of mysterious disapearances became saddened when he found that very few of those who had 'vanished' had ever really existed at all. He later expressed the rather disturbing notion that perhaps once someone has vanished for good, then all the evidence of their life begins to go too...perhaps this is what happened here?

As to the photo, they look too darn clean to be real civil war soldiers.
 

evilsprout

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Of course it's not just America that's seen pterodactyls parading around in the skies. Back in the early 80's Bradford and Leeds in West Yorkshire were the site of a speight of sightings of a pteranodon-style beast. At first it was fobbed off as a heron, but this "bird" was black, had a five foot wingspan, and an low, erratic flight. Its wings were also said to be bat- rather than bird-like.

The beast was first seen emerging from a place called Devil's Punchbowl near Bradford... a placename reflecting the area's evil denizens?

The sightings stopped abruptly, and it is thought now the beast could have "merely" been an OOP Andean Condor. But what if West Yorkshire is a window in time and space?! (Worth noting too that the area has also been home to ABCs and full-size kangaroo sightings).
 
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Anonymous

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I got the reply.

Mr. Coleman was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to answer my question concerning the photographs. Indeed, Coleman does have the pterosaur model featured in the less realistic photograph, the one employed by the producers of the Freaky Links television series. He says that he does not know where the second, more realistic pterosaur photograph came from, but guesses that it might be one of the earlier, discarded and unused prototype photographs that he says he has heard rumors of.
The mystery still remains to a certain, albeit smaller extent, though. Why would the producers choose to use the less realistic photograph in place of the more realistic one?
My own opinion is mixed, and I feel that the two possibilities, that it is a discarded prototype photo or that it really is a genuine photograph of a downed pterosaur, both have credit to them. I suppose I will never know....
....That is, unless somewhere out there someone has connections with the people who worked on the hoaxed photograph, connections that might be able to shed some light on the matter.
 

naitaka

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What became of the pteranodon prop from the cowboy/dinosaur movie Valley of Gwangi? Most of the dinosaurs in this film were Ray Harryhausen special effects but in one scene a full size model of a pteranodon (or at least its head) was used.
 

Breakfastologist

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If i remember rightly Pteranodon was a fish eater (fossilised scales in stomach). What would it be doing in the middle of "cowboy country" with no access to the sea.

Everyone has heard of Pterodactyls and Pteranodons, but there are various other types of Pterosaur in the fossil record, some larger than Pteranodons by a fair amount (Pterodactyls were very small by comparison) and I'm pretty sure that they weren't all fish-eaters.
 

rossba1

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Quetzalcoatlus springs to mind as the largest wingspan ever recorded- bigger than a small plane. It was found in texas i think. My personal favourite is Dimorphodon- Such a cute wee thing with a massiv heid.
Rhamphorhynchus was also quite impressive
 

Mattattattatt

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I remember seeing an image of a "thunderbird" nailed to a wooden wall, wings half-outstretched and a person either side(?) in a book. I seem to remember it was actually down as a large stork though...

Am I right in thinking the "mythic thunderbird" was larger with fully outstretched wings and had more people around it?

Is everybody remembering the same picture? :)

Sorry about the photo, Josh - if we'd not seen that one before we may have reacted the same. :)

And 3-4ft non-crested pterodons interest me more in a way!!! The smaller pterodons were known to live inland as they could exist on a *much* smaller fish population. These could also be spotted less easily than 30ft monsters!
 
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Anonymous

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Oh my. I have never had any memory of seeing that Thunderbird photo. But when a stork nailed to a wall was mentioned an image appeared in my head. But I think I might actually have seen it in Fortean times as an example of a picture people could confuse with the Thunderbird photo.
 
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Anonymous

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The photo you're probably referring to is of three African tribesmen holding up a dead stork,two men stretching out the wings and one holding the bird upright.It appears,among other places,in Karl Shukers'"In Search of Prehistoric Survivors".It was probably taken in East Africa sometime before 1914.
 

Mattattattatt

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I've only heard descriptions of the "mythic" thunderbird picture... However, how many people are meant to have seen this photo?

and if it was indeed taken was it ever published?

where does the first reference of it come from?

(sorry to ask so many questions! BTW anybody heard of the 1976 TX case as seen on http://www.unmuseum.org ?)
 
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