Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thunderbirds of Pennsylvania
Native Americans often paid tribute to large predatory raptors. Most totem poles feature a likeness to a thunderbird perched high on top. The natives often held these mammoth birds in high regard. They believed these feathered creatures held supernatural powers, including the power to cause hazardous storms. It was believed that their flapping wings created thunder, while their dark ominous eyes were capable of causing lightning strikes. The natives passed these tales onto the early settlers, as well as stories of the monstrous birds swooping down to attack deer and even small children. They described the birds as having talons as large as human hands, glassy black beaded eyes, and heads larger than a yard long. But are they real?
It's quite easy to dismiss these tales as simple early American folklore passed down from generation. What's not so easy to dismiss is the inordinate amount of eyewitness accounts in the past two decades. Alarmingly a majority of these reports come from the black forest region of northern Pennsylvania. Several witnesses have reported immense birds roaming the area, ranging in size from 14 to 22 feet in length. Often they resemble small aircraft, yet have the appearance of a large bat. More shockingly is there are a host of witnesses in every county of Pennsylvania who can attest to spotting one of the gargantuan creatures. I do know one thing for certain, on future Outta the Way trips were gonna be keeping our eyes on the sky as well as the road.