Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World #23

United States – Thunderbird

Leaving the Mexican border behind us we go up to the vast country that is the United States of America. Unsurprisingly the country fair teems with cryptids but which one of the many are we going to have a look at today? Well, we haven’t had a peek at a bird for a while so I think a look at a feathered cryptid is in order, but which one? I thought about the ivory-billed woodpecker but in the end I opted for the Thunderbird.

Despite having a name that suggests it’s a Gerry Anderson creation, the Thunderbird is a true mystery creature with no strings attached.

You don’t get many bigger birds than this: with a wingspan quoted as being up to around 20 feet it’s a bit too big for the average bird table; in fact that’s close to the size of the wingspan of a light aircraft. The Thunderbird is said to feed on carrion, which could explain what happens to a lot of road kill that vanishes, and I dare say it could also explain the odd missing walker.

There’s another mystery connected with this critter: many people remember seeing a photo of a Thunderbird being held up against a barn by a number of cowboys. The image is thought to date to the 1880s, but in best cryptid photo tradition no one has been able to locate it recently.

Next stop Canada, which as the big bird flies, isn’t that far.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As to the statement "Nobody has ever found the Thunderbird photo", I believe that statement is in error. What is much more likely is that many people have misremembered a thunderbird photo which I have up on the Frontiers of Zoology blog. Why should it be THAT one, you ask? Well, the base photo (upon which the hoax bird is pasted, making a montage) is of the proper date, circa 1890. The description John Keel gave of the bird in the photo he remembered fits this image and not any of the other candidates. And the copy of the photo which Sanderson had (which others had lost when he loaned it out to them) was not a photo, it was a photostat. The copy which I put up on my blog is a photostat.

In summation, the photo has been found, it is from the late 1800s, and it is a deliberate hoax. NO BIGGIE.

Best Wishes, Dale D.