For several hundred years, people have told stories of giant birds who have wing spans of over thirty feet that are able to whisk away animals in an instant. These large birds have been called “Thunderbirds” by some Native Americans because the wings of these large birds are said to make a thunderous crack as they stir the air. In conjunction with these stories, the Native Americans also have plenty of stories of young children being carried away by these giant birds; but, they’re not the only ones who have stories of these Thunderbirds.
French explorer Pere Marquette made note of a petroglyph near Alton, Illinois depicting an indian warrior who had successfully slain one of these large beats, known as Piasa or “bird that devours man” in that area of Illinois. Marquette described this petroglyph in journal entries from 1673. These historic sightings aren’t the only known records of such large birds. Some of these Thunderbird sightings have been as recent as 2002.