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Jerry D. Coleman had been the first investigator on the scene of the incident, and over the years since, his brother, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, has chronicled this, and other similar reports of Thunderbirds. Writing about the recent Alaskan incidents at his Cryptozoo News blog, Loren gave some historical context for the recent sightings near Juneau:
“The late cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall documented in his book Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds (2004) that ethnographic and anthropological investigations published in 1870, 1874, 1881, and 1904 told of Thunderbird reports in Alaska.
The accounts were from the Tlingit in the Alaskan panhandle and at Sitka, near Mount Edgecumbe, at the glacier near Katalla, from the Diomede Islands, near a mountain near Sabotnisky (present-day Fortuna Ledge), and around Kotzebue Sound, Alaska.”
In other words, there is quite a history of such reports in Alaska, as well as an existing basis in folklore among Native American traditions (and much the same can be said of the American Sasquatch).