; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Possible Thunderbirds, Winged Enigmas, and Weird Flying Anomalies

The following accounts were collected by me over the past decade or so. They represent a variety of winged enigmas, possible thunderbirds, and other weird flying anomalies.

“The encounter occurred on July 6, 2005 at about 11:30 pm. I had a long day in San Diego then afterward going to the beach at Del Mar, CA for some surf fishing. I arrived at my home in San Marcos about 11:00 pm. After cleaning my fish and showering, I was very tired. I went out to my carport for a smoke and a look at the night sky. I looked north, thinking about a recent UFO sighting and wondering what it's all about. In the distance, at a couple hundred feet, I saw a faintly visible moving object that flitted from side to side. Whatever it was, it reflected light from the streetlights. Its side to side movement was so fast, I couldn't tell if it was one object or two. The object then zipped directly over my neighbor’s house across the street.

By this time, I was certain I'd never seen anything like it. It continued to move side to side, in a space of approximately 50 feet. It then stopped and I observed it more clearly.

It had big "eyes" and wing-like appendages, and was probably 2 to 3 feet in width. It remained still and I could see wavering reflections from its "wings" which were not beating like a bird’s, but showed shimmering reflections from the streetlights. I felt the hair on my head rise all the way down my back to my ankles! It appeared to be looking at me, as I smoked my cigarette. I felt threatened, and said out loud, "I see you!" Then it went from stationary to out of sight, right over my head in an instant. I came out from under my covered carport, and turned to follow its movement. Immediately, it zipped into view directly above my head, obviously studying me! I could see really weird large and intensely dark "eyes". It seemed surprised by my looking right at it. It didn't like being seen. My apprehension rose even higher. It turned away and disappeared like a shot.

It had a birdlike shape, but was thicker. My impression was of reflections of the streetlights on wing-like appendages, and big dark eyes!

It wasn't a bird, bat or any familiar nocturnal creature. Its movements did not seem explicable in comparison to any creature that fly's by beating it's wings. The hills and mountains are so rugged and inaccessible near my home, that anything could remain hidden and make night time forays at will. I read about "thunderbirds" but I'm not sure if this was one of these.” - Name Withheld


This is a case that I originally investigated in the mid 1980’s:

Not long ago, I was thumbing through old investigation files when I came across notations I had made in regards to a unknown bird-like creature. The sightings were reported in 1985 and continued into 1987. It was an odd situation because I knew a few of the witnesses and I was also employed nearby at the time of the sightings. Cryptid investigation was new for me since my main focus was researching spiritual hauntings, but I had studied local Bigfoot encounters and wanted to expand my paranormal focus.

During the afternoon of May 5, 1985 I received a telephone call from Alfred M., the initial witness. He and 2 other men had seen a large bird-like creature perched in a hickory tree while driving south on Thistle Rd. toward River Rd. adjacent to the Patapsco State Park in SW Baltimore Co. Maryland. Alfred stopped the vehicle and watched the creature for several minutes. It eventually flew out of the tree and landed approximately 50 ft. from the road where the witnesses were able to get a keen observation of the creature. Albert stated that it stood 4-5 ft. high and was greenish-blue in color except for the head which was bright red. The wing span was enormous...he estimated it at 15 ft. or more tip-to-tip. The legs were thick and long with distinguishable talons. The eyes were also noticeable...slanted and large with a bright yellow hue. It also made 'clucking and cackle' sounds. After a minute or so, it unfurled its wings and took flight towards the east. Alfred said it reminded him of a hybrid 'dragon and peacock', which he thought was crazy but he stuck with the description.

At the time, I thought that the creature was either a large turkey buzzard or maybe a peacock someone may have had as a pet. In fact, a peacock farm did exist in the area back in the 1950's according to people I interviewed. I went to the location but found no evidence supporting the sighting.

Later that year, I had heard a rumor of a large bird being seen near the Hilton Area of the Patapsco State Park on Hilltop Rd. After several inquiries I was able to locate the witness, Darlene M., who confirmed the sighting. She and her daughter lived nearby and had been walking along Hilltop Rd. when they observed a huge bird flying towards them. Darlene stated that the creature got within 20 ft. of them then suddenly changed direction and flew into the woods. She said that they were terrified...she was sure it was going to hit them. She had gone to the library to see if she could find a picture of the creature. She found an old illustration of a Fung Hwang, or Chinese Phoenix and said it looked very similar to what they observed. She described the head was a vibrate red with fierce eyes. The wings were leathery and tipped with large green feathers. It flew by so quickly she was unable to get a better description.

Once again I was stumped by the sighting. I talked to two ornithologists who basically thought I was delusional. I also contacted the state park service and asked if they had heard of any strange reports. Nothing...though they were amused by the questions.

On the morning of April 29, 1986 several employees at the local paper mill observed a large bird standing in the loading area. According to the witnesses, this creature fit the description of a very large peacock...but there were some oddities. The head was red in color and it didn't have the long plumes. Other than those anomalies the overall description pointed towards a peacock. Could there be a breeding population in the state park?

In January 1987 a truck driver (Robert S.) was heading south on Thistle Rd. and was startled by a huge bird that flew across the road in front of his vehicle. I was able to interview him by telephone a few days later (he lived in Edison, NJ). His impression was that it 'looked like a dragon'. There was snow on the ground and the creature silhouetted well enough to get a quick but detailed look. Robert stated that it was 'as long as his truck was wide' and 'was powerfully built'. He also confirmed it had a red colored head and greenish-blue body and wings.

At this point I had nothing more than anecdotal evidence. There was no natural explanation for the existence of this creature. Even today I have little to go on because I simply have not come across another cryptid that matches the description.

The final sighting, as far as I know, took place on June 30, 1987. The witness, David, was a Baltimore Gas and Electric employee who, along with his partner, was working along the power line that runs north to south through the state park. At a point north of Hilltop Rd. near the old mill village is an abandoned church graveyard. The former church was razed in the 1930's but the graveyard was left on its own...thus, it was severely overgrown by the woods. (I do think that the graves have been relocated since). David observed a large bird-like creature that he described as a 'gryphon'...though he admits that he didn't get a very good look at it. He only noticed the creature after hearing a rustling sound which he thought was probably deer moving through the woods. He said the creature rose up from a rock, spread its wings and vanished. David admitted that the sight of this beast was a shock and that he did not want to go back to the location.

I really wish I had more to offer. I kept the notes and vowed to go back and investigate the encounters if more sightings were reported. The witness Darlene may have been on to something... maybe this was a mythical firebird with the ability to be reborn from its own ashes. Unfortunately I have not heard of other incidents. Lon


“I've had five sightings of the Thunderbird. This happened after the hurricanes came through in 2005 in October. They're huge. First one I saw, I was out in the boat. I thought it was a plane coming over. Next day I was sitting out at the swing with my mom and my brother and I was telling the story and one flew over the trees and landed in a tree by the lake about 20... less than 20 yards away. I've seen the eyeballs and this bird, I can tell you, it's got a hook beak and it's between 12 and 15 foot and they're amazing.

The one I saw, there was was a juvenile with it. A smaller one. It's feathered, a beautiful hawkish looking bird. My brother stood up and said what the F is that? It was just sitting there with the juvenile. The juvenile landed and the big bird came over the trees. There's about a section about 30 yards wide between the trees and the lake. I don't know. I mean it's the most unusual... I've been wanting to tell this story for so long. And then when it flew away, it's the most amazing thing I've never heard anyone say this before but the wings almost touched tip to tip and it made a circle is it flew away. I could see it fly across the lake. It didn't make a sound. I couldn't hear it. I could see it's eyeballs though. That's what was amazing. The thing saw us and just took off, you know. I was within 20 yards of it.”

Source: Coast to Coast


"Sir - this is my written statement that you requested after our telephone conversation.

On Monday Dec 15th at 6:45 PM (dark) I is was traveling on the Airport Rd near the New Kent Co. Airport. This section of road went by the New Kent trash collection center. The road is bordered by woods on both sides.

As I approached this location, I noticed something large and dark on the road very near the trash collection lot. I hit my brakes and came within 50 ft of what appeared to be a huge bird. Like I told you on the telephone, when I say huge, I mean something of unbelievable size. First of all, it had the overall shape of an eagle. It definitely had talons which were lighter in color. It also had beak which seemed too large and long for it's face. The overall color was dark, I'd say black. The height was at least 8 feet, probably more as it bobbed up and down. It may have been eating something when I approached it.

It's head moved toward the direction of my car and made a grunting sound. It turned away from me and the long tail with feathers swung around in my direction. The wings, which extended across the road, unfurled as it lifted off the surface. The wings were massive, but like I said reached past the width of the road. I told you 25 ft on the telephone, I still believe that is a correct estimate.

I searched 'monster birds' and found your telephone number and email. I looked at different images of eagles and hawks online but there was nothing that closely resembled this bird. Thanks for talking to me." JD

NOTE: I received the phone call from JD, then I requested he write a report and forward. After I finished talking to JD I went to Google in order to find the location. I then realized that the location was within a few miles of a large bird sighting in May 2013 - Huge Bird Sighting - New Kent Co., Virginia. The descriptions were different in most respects...but both were of birds of enormous size. The entire area seems to have a lot of wetlands & swamps.

During our phone conversation, JD mentioned that the bird had something in it's talons. He said he got a brief look as it started to fly away, but mentioned that 'legs were dangling from one side.' He didn't say human and didn't want to include it in the written report. I'm only mentioning it since it was in his original statement.

I brought up the subject of Pterosaurs to JD, but he said it definitely had feathers. Could this have been a Thunderbird? I was somewhat taken aback by the size description...8+ ft high and wingspan of 25 ft. This is bigger than any other Thunderbird-type sighting I've ever received. Lon


“I was driving on RT 11 in Factoryville, Pa today around 2:45 pm. It was sunny out almost 50 degrees (41.56951, -75.79923) heading west.

I looked to the southwest in the sky, about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile away, I notice something in the sky, I thought it was a hand glider. It was shaped strange like a "V" flying backwards, and it had like a head and a neck sticking out.

Then I saw it turning really tight and was thinking how cool it looked. Then it started flapping its wings and it freaked me out.

I never saw a bird that big especially from that distance before.

I was trying to slow down but there were cars behind me and I would have to go down the road and turn around and really nowhere to pull over to see it again.

The shape while it was gliding was very strange; it seemed the wings tapered all the way down to nothing, not to a tail.

I'm 46 yrs old - lived and hunted in Pennsylvania my whole life and have seen turkey vultures, turkeys, great horned owls, cranes, and eagles. This seemed much bigger than all. If you can find out if there were any other reports similar, can you please email me, Thanks, D.”


“I used to live ten miles North of Lake Geneva in the East Troy, Wisconsin area, and I investigated several reports of UFOs sailing over the rolling farmland and hovering low enough overhead to "hit with a rock", but never ran into any Big Black Bird (BBB) reports there.

However, my brother has had several strange encounters with weird things near his home in Providence, R.I., and one event that affected him the most was a sighting of two giant birds during a dawn fishing trip in Providence's famed Roger Williams Park.

As he was approaching one of the Park's larger interconnected lakes, walking across a tree-studded lawn surrounding a marble music temple, a pair of huge black "crows", with bodies as large as VW bugs, came swooping out of the early morning lake mist, flapping their enormous wings slowly as they swept between the treetops, curving past him thru the swirling fog, then twisting between the large shoreline oaks' intertwining branches and vanishing out over the lake!

They made no sound except the soft whoosh of air over their beating wings; their feathers were jet black, as were what he could see of their eyes; there was no odor. He froze in place as the apparitions flew past, then he rushed down thru the trees to the water's edge and scanned the lake's surface, but the creatures were nowhere to be seen, and never seen there again.

There are many other reports of paranormal activities in and around that Park over the years, including several experienced by my brother. Thanks - W.”

Because of recent revelations involving the winged humanoids (The Unseen Ones), we are asking the worldwide public to come forward with your sightings & encounters. Contact us at

Listen to our podcasts at the 'Beyond Explanation' YouTube channel

Have you had a sighting of a winged humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area / Lake Michigan region? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'O'Hare Mothman.' - Chicago / Lake Michigan Winged Humanoid Regional Interactive Map - Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated.

You can call me directly at


Thanks. Lon Strickler

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