Pterodactyl Sighting in Hiram
Golden Eagle Claim Discredited by Scribe
Elizabeth has her view on this matter, I have mine. I say three Pterodactyls landed in our field on April 25.
If you think my identification must be off by 30 million country miles, well, wait till I tell you what Elizabeth said they were.
Here's what happened. A bright day, a bit after the noon hour. I saw them from my truck when returning from Ravenna. Three large birds on the ground in the open field 100 yards from our house, dark in appearance with color at their necks, moving some, seemingly just resting there. I turned in our lane, looked back to see them still there, and hurried to tell E.
Elizabeth takes all bird sightings seriously. By the time she had gotten to our front lawn with field glasses in hand, the birds had moved farther away.
Still, she could see them pretty well, and spent a long time looking, and gasping (really!) in amazement. She had expected to see large turkeys or turkey vultures.
But the birds before her were unusually large, with shape and color that puzzled her. They were glossy black with glinting bronze on the backs of the neck.
Particularly astounding was the length of their wings, dramatically displayed for her as one raised them slowly into a huge "V" for sunning. Then one by one the birds rose and flew away, circling toward the southwest.
Elizabeth went in to consult, first, our 1947 copy of Peterson's Field Guide, Eastern Land and Water Birds (a clue there), then pulled down the weightier 1936 Birds of America, edited by Gilbert Pearson. Here she labored for some time, disbelieving and bewildered by what she found.
Finally came her pronouncement: We had been visited by Golden Eagles: Distribution Northern part of northern hemisphere, Old World south to north Africa and the Himalaya; North America from northern Alaska south to central Mexico, western Texas, to South Dakota; less common in mountains east of the Mississippi.
As a tag line, Elizabeth said, "Of course, no one will believe me." She was right about that. Those guys were too much out of their range and topography to be Golden Eagles.
More importantly, none of the illustrations of the three she considered and showed me looked like what I'd seen.
I was certain, though, I'd come across a contemporary illustration of our visitors in a respected publication not long before.
Rooting around, I finally found what I was looking for: different color, otherwise pretty close, The New Yorker cover for April 5, 1999, by artist Bruce McCall, showing a number of purple Pterodactyls on the ground and in flight near the steps of the Natural History Museum in New York.
As I told Elizabeth, "The New Yorker doesn't lie." I was disappointed in her response. Zoo majors can be so opinionated.
Later, Elizabeth admitted to possible error, telling me that "A particularly unkind annotator in Audubon's The Birds of America (Macmillan, 1946) says 'Many an amateur ornithologist has padded his list of "rarities" by calling [the immature Bald Eagle] a Golden Eagle.'"
Well, perhaps, but I still say pterodactyls.
Source:..Attic Journal, 2001
A STRANGE TALE FROM THE VIENNA WOODS
R.W. is "a reptile specialist" who has worked for several European museums.
He's seen some strange sights in his career but nothing as strange as what he saw last week near Vienna, the capital of Austria.
"It's not a UFO but a related (Fortean) subject I want to report," R.W. wrote.
On Monday, August 19, 2002, "I was out in the morning to collect mushrooms near a small village called Wolfsgraben in the Vienna Woods," he reported, "Up on a hill I suddenly saw a big swarm of very large birds, containing more than 100 specimens. Strange, I thought, it's not time for the birds' migration yet."
"One of the 'birds' left the group and sailed down to circle me for about five minutes or so. I could see it really clear, and, I swear, I have never heard of, or seen, a photo of a 'bird' like that." "It had a long and bald head with a long beak, and something prolonging the head stuck out from its hindskull. It really rather looked more like a pterodactyl than a bird.
The only difference was that it was covered with feathers. It had a body like a penguin and a long neck, also short legs. It had a white breast and belly, while the rest of it was totally black. The size of its wings (wingspread--J.T.) was more than 2 meters (6 feet, 7 inches)."
"I was thinking for a long time if I should report this to you. But, to me, it seems totally clear that a new species has shown up."
(Editor's Note: In Forteana, this is what we call an out-of-place animal case. Perhaps an ornithology major can identify the bird. It's possible that the flock diverted to Austria after being driven out of its habitat by the horrendous floods in central Europe last week…)...virtually strange.net
Prof. David Castillo's Chupacabra Theory
Prof. David Castillo, a resident of beautiful Corn Island, contacted El Nuevo Diario after the latest attacks of the Chupacabra appeared in the media.
He told us of his experiences with these creatures during his stay at Dr. Moises Arana's estate in southern Nicaragua, and he also caught some."
"'Dr. Arana had cattle, and five cows had been bitten on the neck. My brother and I kept watch all night until the bloodsuckers appeared.'"
"But the beings described by Castillo have nothing to do with the dire scarecrows described in accounts the world over."
"They're great bats,' says Castillo, adding that the immense chiropterids measure up to a meter and a half (5 feet) between wing and outstretched wing.
They are so aggressive, he says, that they attack several prey at once and, since they draw enormous amounts of blood from the victims, they often die."
"'People believe they are creatures from outer space and are four-legged, but that's not the case. They fly and live in the wilderness.'"
"To confirm that he speaks authoritatively on the subject, Castillo says he worked seven years for the (Nicaraguan) Ministry of Health on the eradication of tropical diseases such as rabies. In other words, he is knowledgeable about 'vampires.'"
"'In order to catch them, first we cut tree limbs, take the leaves and then shake them in the air to make a sound similar to that of the vampire bats. Confused, the creatures arrive, looking for their peers.
Then we hit them with sticks until they fall down. They have very long fangs, radar on their noses, and resemble foxes to a surprising degree,' he adds."
"Prof. Castillo is not superstitious. He advises those who believe in the Chupacabras to forget about it.
'They're vampire bats,' he reiterates." (See the newspaper El Nuevo Diario de Nicaragua for August 19, 2002, "Vampires or Chupacabras?" Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para eso articulo de diario.)