Thunderbird is a Native American legend sometimes associated with storms. Several sightings of this creature correlate with storms in the corresponding area.
Some researchers describe a Thunderbird as being lizard-like similar to the extinct Pteranodon. Fossils of large birds (teratorns) having a wingspan of 12 to 18 feet were around with early man, and the Thunderbird legend may have derived from them.
In April 1890, two cowboys claimed to have killed a giant bird-like creature with a large bat-like wingspan and a face resembling an alligator. It was pinned with its wings outstretched and covered the entire width of the barn. The story was printed and a photo may have been taken, but no prove was presented.
In the 1940s a series of sightings were recorded by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. In one report on April 10, 1948, three people in Overland, Illinois claimed they saw a large flying creature. A few weeks later another sighting occurred in Alton, Illinois.
In Lawndale, Illinois, on July 25, 1977, three boys were chased by two large birds in which one of the boys claimed to have been grabbed and carried away. The boy fought and was eventually released. The description of the birds match the Andean condor, that has a ten foot wingspan, but their talons are not strong enough to lift a heavy object.
In 2002, a large bird-like creature was spotted in Alaska and was described like a creature from the movie Jurassic Park. It was suggested that it may have been a Steller’s sea eagle and could have been just mistaken identity.
The most recent report of a sighting is from 2007 in San Antonio, Texas.
Explanations of the creature may be of an actual animal with exaggerated descriptions according to some cryptozoologist. Skeptics claim that a bird of that size would be unable to fly, however, several known flying creatures with wingspans of great width have existed.
Image Caption: Thunderbird on top of a totem pole. Credit: Dr Haggis/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)