posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 06:35 PM
And finally here's an interesting story;
Film Crew Documents Tuscola Chief's Big Bird Story
FINDLAY, Illinois -- The large "Thunderbirds" return every 27 years to steal away the children of the Cherokee people, according to legend.
On Sunday, Chief John "A.J." Huffer returned to the lake where he claimed to have filmed two such Thunderbirds almost 27 years ago.
Were they really the monstrous predators of Cherokee lore, or were they just turkey buzzards basking in the warmth of summer?
Huffer believes in the former. But a film crew from Canada is trying to separate fact from fiction, and, perhaps, entertain young viewers of the
non-fiction show "Mystery Hunters" in the process.
After all, entertainment follows closely behind Huffer, a Tuscola resident and chief of the Illinois Cherokee Band.
"It takes a Cherokee to film a Cherokee legend," said Huffer, 69.
In a deep yet gravely voice, he narrates the story like someone who has told it a thousand times. He probably has.
"I think I have photographed a living legend," he said.
Thus, he boarded a canoe Sunday with 16-year-old Araya Mengesha, one of two "reporters" on the documentary show aired by networks of Discovery
With a cameraman, sound man, director and production assistant in tow, Huffer and Mengesha paddled across Lake Shelbyville while the chief recalled
A host of Internet Web sites and books describe how, in the summer of 1977 in Lawndale, a large bird swooped down and momentarily grabbed a young boy
by the name of Marlon Lowe.
And rumors soon took wing that the Thunderbirds of old were back again. Of course, a sizeable reward was offered for pictures of them.
Huffer, who had learned to use a 16 mm camera with the U.S. Marine Corps, set out with his son, Jason, on the morning of July 26, 1977.
As they entered a cove near the Findlay marina on Lake Shelbyville, they spied two large birds in a tree. Huffer turned on his camera, the noise of
which scared the birds into flight.
He shot about 100 feet of color film. Copies have since been purchased by television producers all over the world.
Huffer estimated the jet-black birds had wingspans of 18 feet and 14 feet, respectively.
Almost 30 years later, the story caught the attention of Montreal-based Apartment 11 Productions, which produces the children's show "Mystery
"We're doing legends and myths," said Serge Marcio, director of the Thunderbird segment. "We're into ghost stories."
Mengesha and the rest of the Canadian crew also spent time Sunday in Normal with an Illinois State University professor and bird expert, Angelo
After viewing Huffer's film, the professor told the young reporter that the birds probably were just turkey vultures, according to Cassie Fifer of
Sullivan, the crew's production assistant, who was recruited for the Illinois shoot.
Marcio said "Mystery Hunters" will leave it up to the viewers to decide.
"There are pros and there are cons," he said. "That's what makes a mystery — there are no definite answers."
Source: Journal Gazette and Times-Courier