Thunderbird Sightings [History Channel]
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A look at the legendary Thunderbird and a review of sightings of other giant birds in Illinois, Texas, and Alaska. Thunderbird is a term used in cryptozoology to describe large, bird-like creatures, generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. Similar cryptids reported in the Old World are often called Rocs. Thunderbirds are regarded by a small number of researchers as having lizard features like the extinct pterosaurs such as Pteranodon. Reports of Thunderbird sightings go back centuries, and the fossil record does show that giant birds (teratorns) with wingspans between 12 and 18 ft (3.7 and 5.5 m) were likely contemporary with early man. Today the creature is generally regarded as a myth. This article deals with modern sightings (the last 200 years) of such a creature, reported as real, as opposed to mythological accounts, though believers in the phenomenon often use the Native American legends in attempts to support their claims. In 2002, a sighting of a large birdlike creature, with a wingspan of around 14 feet (4.3 m), was reported in Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reported witnesses describing the creature like something out of the movie Jurassic Park. Scientists suggested the giant bird may have simply been a Steller's sea eagle, which have a wingspan of 6--8 feet (1.8--2.4 m).There had also been previous reports of similar creatures in the same area around that time. As recently as 2007, sightings have been claimed in the area around San Antonio, Texas.