Was this Another Close Range Encounter with a Thunderbird Near South Greensburg, Pennsylvania?
Written By: Stan Gordon
Several of the observers at almost the same time yelled out some exclamations including one man who said, “What the hell is that?” They were all startled to see a tremendously large bird that was flying over a tree in the yard about 30-40 feet overhead. The man who was doing the cooking turned and looked up to see the creature fly above him at a distance of about 40 feet away. As the bird passed the tree, it veered slightly to the right and went straight down the road ahead, maintaining its low level path.
When first observed, the massive wings of the creature were in an upward position and were beginning to drop slowly, almost as if they were rolling to the bottom. The swoosh sound could be heard when the wings were moving. The powerful bird had flown about 125 yards down the road, at which time the wings were coming back up. The creature was observed as it continued to move steadily down the road, passing just above the roof top of a house with its wings flapping slowly and steadily about 3-4 time until it reached a group of trees about ¼ mile away, where it was lost from sight. It took about 20 seconds to go the ¼ mile distance.
I interviewed two of the witnesses at the scene and they were able to provide a detailed description of the giant flying creature. As it passed over, it appeared as though it was peering below, with its head and beak positioned downward. It was estimated that if the bird was on the ground it would stand between 4 ½ to 5 feet tall. The entire body was the same dark color, either darkish brown or black. The body width was about 25-30 inches wide. One witness said the body, “was very bulky and husky.”
The head was oval shaped, and the beak was short for the size of the animal, about 8-10 inches long. The tail was about 2 feet long and came out wide to a point. It was the size of the wingspan of the creature that impressed the witnesses, which they estimated at 10 feet or more in length. When asked why nobody thought to take a picture, they pointed out that while there were cell phones lying there with camera functions, all involved were mesmerized by the encounter. One fellow I talked with said that after the experience he felt as if he was “almost in shock.”
It was later learned that another witness who lived along the road where the big bird flew over also reportedly saw the creature. One witness has been a long time hunter and is very familiar with birds native to the state and is certain that he saw something quite unusual. The area where these observations have taken place, while surrounded with some wooded locations, is well populated, and nearby Route 119 is a highly traveled roadway.
There has been a long history of sightings of giant birds with oversized wingspans in Pennsylvania as well as other sections of the United States and elsewhere. Many refer to these giant flying creatures as “Thunderbirds.” It is interesting to note that over the years around the same general area as this sighting, other residents have reported a similar strange “swoosh” sound, as though a huge bird had passed overhead, but nothing was seen.
Now years later, here is another detailed close range observation of a huge flying creature just a short distance away from the location where in 2001, a similar observation had taken place. It was on September 25, 2001, that a witness reported seeing a huge, dark colored bird flying about 50-60 feet above the traffic along Route 119 in South Greensburg. The observer was drawn to look upwards when he heard a sound, “like flags flapping in a thunderstorm.” That witness was stunned by the wingspan of the flying creature which he estimated was between 10 and 15 feet.
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