The Legendary Thunderbird Photo

kamalktk

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blessmycottonsocks

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Hi all, I hope you found my previous article on the San Diego Dragon interesting. In my latest article, I attempted to gather all the known candidates for the Missing Thunderbird Photo in one place, along with their corresponding backstories. This post was a huge undertaking to compile, and I hope everyone finds it useful! :)

Thunderbird Photos Exposed! (A Gallery of Fakes & Recreations)

Great job to collect all the photos together!
Must admit that I feel slightly disappointed (but not really surprised) that every single one is a hoax though.
 

ThunderbirdPhoto

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Thank you! It doesn't mean that there isn't a real one out there, though. I have encountered many of these images being shown as possibly being the real deal, so I thought it would be helpful to present the story behind each one. I'm personally in a 50/50 place after researching this topic for a few years. False memory is very common, and I've seen it in action with the Thunderbird Photo. On the other hand, I've interviewed various people who were close to Ivan T. Sanderson in the 1960s and they all tell a similar story about him showing them a similar photo. False memories after more than half a century? Perhaps. But it also feels like a "where there's smoke, there's fire" situation. Whatever the truth might be, this is a fun case to investigate and it generates a lot of creativity!
 

ramonmercado

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MercuryCrest

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I have encountered many of these images being shown as possibly being the real deal, so I thought it would be helpful to present the story behind each one. I'm personally in a 50/50 place after researching this topic for a few years.
Wow. A lot of those are new to me (I've been trying to collect every one that claims to be The One, as I, too, remember having seen it). What I love most is the attention given to each photograph.

Very well done, sir/madam. You have given us all a lot to ponder.
 

MercuryCrest

The Severed Head of a Great Old One.
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@ThunderbirdPhoto It's been a while, so I might have forgotten things, but I believe that the "BIG BLACK BIRD ON THE BARN" photo is the closest. I'd have to look back through my own comments to see what I seem to remember seeing at this point.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Hi all, I hope you found my previous article on the San Diego Dragon interesting. In my latest article, I attempted to gather all the known candidates for the Missing Thunderbird Photo in one place, along with their corresponding backstories. This post was a huge undertaking to compile, and I hope everyone finds it useful! :)

Thunderbird Photos Exposed! (A Gallery of Fakes & Recreations)

So, not only does the Thunderbird photo exist, it is posting on our forum! Just post a selfie and we will have definitive proof!
 

Cochise

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The problem with all the photoshopped jobbies is that a) none of them really look like what I remember and b) they are all far too recent to have been in a book in the 1960's/70's.

It's not like I'm the only one that remembers it from that far back. In my memory the creature was definitely a very large bird, not any sort of reptile or hybrid.
 

Ogdred Weary

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The problem with all the photoshopped jobbies is that a) none of them really look like what I remember and b) they are all far too recent to have been in a book in the 1960's/70's.

It's not like I'm the only one that remembers it from that far back. In my memory the creature was definitely a very large bird, not any sort of reptile or hybrid.

What percentage would you put on your memory being an actual one and not false? Not calling your veracity into question, just as Forteans we know what a tricky thing memory is.
 

Cochise

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What percentage would you put on your memory being an actual one and not false? Not calling your veracity into question, just as Forteans we know what a tricky thing memory is.
That I remember that there was a picture of a large bird being displayed by hunter types in a book (or possibly magazine) back before I'd ever come to this site - say 85%.

That I correctly remember exactly what the picture looked like much less.

I entirely accept that I may have latched on to a false memory as a result of reading about the legendary picture, of course I can't rule that out, the only thing I am reasonably certain about is that I knew of the alleged picture way before it became an internet meme - certainly no later than the mid 1990's.
 

ThunderbirdPhoto

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Outside of SITU, Daniel Cohen discussed the Thunderbird Photo in some of his books (one which showed an illustration of a monster bird, but flying) but then the story gained more popularity due to the coverage by Strange Magazine in the '90s. The memory of the bird looking like a giant crow or raven is one I keep coming across, especially in some of the earliest accounts.
 

OrsonSwells

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Not entirely related, but there's something about this photo that reminds me of the various Thunderbird pictures.

1656522328255.png
 

ThunderbirdPhoto

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Not entirely related, but there's something about this photo that reminds me of the various Thunderbird pictures.

View attachment 56630

My heart raced when I saw that image! That's exactly what we're looking for, just a different animal. :)
I'm tempted to add that to my article.

P.S. And I live in New Jersey. You mean I've been swimming with that?!
 
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