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Name: Shane R.
City: Wilkes Barre.
Date of sighting: Summer 2016.
How long did the sighting last? : Less than 30 seconds.
What were you doing at the time of the sighting?: Quading in the mountains close to home.
Describe what happened with as many details as possible: “It was a warm sunny day, I decided to go on a quad ride by myself as I usually do, when time allows. As a business owner, this is my way to relax, seems like my only hobby for a man of 50 years young.
It must be said, when I’m traveling on my quad, I go very slowly, no hurry to get to my destination or to spook any wildlife. After an hour of this journey, I’m traveling on an old railroad bed, once heavily used for coal mining that has been removed for some time. This is not a typical path, but a wide dirt road. Two jeeps could pass each other with no problems. To set the location, on the outskirts of the city in the mountains. A beautiful place in Pennsylvania.
Anyway, as I came around the bend, I must have startled a huge bird taking a drink from a large puddle on the path. These puddles in this area remain year round. I never saw the bird struggle to take off, when I saw it, it was already flying away from me, its wings were out already and souring. Even though I traveled in stealth mode, my quad was still loud enough to hear, just enough time for the bird to take off. As soon as my brain realized what I was seeing, I hammered on the throttle to keep up. It was no more than 50 feet in front of me and 4 feet off the ground, as I am sitting. It was a very warm and sunny day with the sun over my right shoulder.
I could see this bird was jet black with feathers, like a crow or raven. It was so black, that the sun brought out a bluish, purple tinting on the wings. I believe I have a tape measure eye, at least compared to most people. This bird had a 10 to 12 foot wing span and a pretty thick body. My vantage point bearing down on it from behind was unreal. This was no turkey vulture, I’ve seen many, even up close. I am no bird expert at all, but I am fascinated by hawks. Just love to watch them when I’m out. This was something I felt did not belong and most importantly did not want to be seen, unlike other birds. Obviously I didn’t see the head, but as it was incredibly large. To put it into perspective, in a dream state, you would think you could ride this beast, and this is only from seeing it fleeing just in front of me. When I think about the wings, I would say that I only weight 165 pounds, and if I needed wings to fly, they would have been that large.
As I tried to gain pace with the bird, I knew I would not be able, because from where that bird was drinking, the puddles ahead would slow me down for sure. I shortly stopped to watch this bird traverse the now winding trail. It had still remained about 4 feet off the ground, and it seemed as if it never moved its wings or even trying to gain altitude. There was no desperate flapping of the wings, like a vulture or any bird I can think of. It was literally gliding through the forest on that seemingly small path at this point, almost like a plane. After it was out of sight, I knew the path up ahead would split, one going down the mountain and one going up. It is certain to me that the bird glided down the mountain path to gain the altitude it needed. I tried to get another vantage point to see it again but failed.
To me, I can’t ever see a bird that size being able to utilize the woods for any kind of shelter, there’s no way it could fly in there, unless it walks on the ground a lot. And why wouldn’t something that large be seen flying around? This incident occurred almost a year and a half, but still haunts me. I can’t seem to shake it. Since then, my quad rides have been in one direction only, towards my sighting. I come to find out birds are extremely territorial, and if that’s true I hope to get proof of it some day.”
Thunderbird, also known as Roc, is the nomenclature used by Native Americans to refer to bird-like creatures with reptile features that are believed to be related to the extinct pterosaur.
The latest Thunderbird sighting was reported by a Tennessee teacher two months ago.
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