It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by Gemwolf
reply to post by ravenshadow13
The theory that "some force" could have removed all evidence of any of these cryptids from the Internet may be believable. I'm sure somewhere on the planet there is someone gifted enough to remove something in its entirety from the Internet. If you're plugged in, then it can be removed.
BUT the problem with that approach is that many of these "eye-witnesses" claim to have seen the "lost evidence" in books...
Cryptomundo - comments
I know the photo was in a book called “Mysteries of the Unexplained”. It was on page 45. I was given this book as a gift in the 1980’s when I was in Highschool. I studied this book, showed it to every one I knew and talked about it all the time! When I met my husband, and started telling him about Fortean Phenom. I showed this book, and the photo of the Thunderbird nailed to an out building/small barn wall.
This is my first post on this forum. As a teen in the late 1980’s, I recall seeing a book of unexplained mysteries with the infamous Thunderbird pic. I seem to remember that it was an old picture of a enormous bird or eagle nailed to a barn, not a Pterodactyl. I remember the pic bothered me because it was nailed to the barn with its wings spread out and it took up the entire side of the barn.
The descriptions are completely in accord with what I saw when I was a kid (in a general fortean-interest book, cant remember the title, but I remember the photo)
And so on. It's one thing to remove something from the Internet. It's a whole other game removing photographs out of books in private collections...
Originally posted by NeoAstra
The book was written by Carroll C Calkins.
strangely i cannot find any information about the author, other than she wrote two books, one titles The Story of America, and Mysteries of the Unexplained.
Strange enough her book was hosted by readers digest....
wouldnt you think that readers digest would have some information on the topic, if so hopefully other people throughout the printing of the book saw the picture.
i cannot seem to find any pictures or a authors profile on her anywhere.
it seems as if the only evidence of her existing is her books.
maybe with enough research someone can find her email address and ask her a few questions, if shes willing to
[edit on 5-8-2009 by NeoAstra]
Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by Gemwolf
...Yeah. There is. Actually. (Information on Pterodactyls on that page)
"The last of the pterodactyls- flying reptiles with leathery wings and long, toothy beaks- died about 100 million years ago, according to established scientific opinion. But the experience of a number of startled French workmen, the last one died in the winter of 1856 in a partially completed railway tunnel between the St.Dizier and Nancy lines.
In the half-light of the tunnel, something monstrous stumbled toward the out of a great boulder of Jurassic limestone they had just split open. It fluttered its wings, croaked, and died at their feet.
The creature, whose wingspan was 10 feet 7 inches, had four legs joined by a membrane, like a bat. What should have been feet were long talons, and the mouth was arrayed with sharp teeth. The skin was like black leather, thick and oily.
At the nearby town of Gray, the creature was immediately identified by a local student of paleontology as a pterodactyl. The rock stratum in which it had been found was consistent with the period when pterodactyls lived, and the limestone boulder that had (page turn) imprisoned the winged reptile for millions of years was found to contain a cavity in the form of an exact mold of the creature's body. (The Illustrated London News, February 9, 1856, p.166)"
My book is "Mysteries of the Unexplained" Reader's Digest, 1982.
There is, on that page 45, a big box about Toads in Coal. I'm still looking through this book. There was a crypto section, but it didn't say much about anything that flies except Mothman/Jersey Devil, with that weird sketch Jersey drawing.
There was no such picture in that book but I have some others I want to look through. I'll be refreshing the thread while I read.
[edit on 8/5/2009 by ravenshadow13]
Yeah, I think that's like the one I just checked. Same deal.
Possibly a first edition print still contains the picture?
Also, take a look at this website: www.strangemag.com...
Originally posted by Sabreblade
BUT I swear I remember seeing the "unfindable" thunderbird pic too!
I could have sworn it was in one of my brothers old "Argosy" magazines.
Originally posted by micpsi
Anyone feel up to looking through all the issues of Fate magazine? That's where I suspect I saw when I was a teenager that photo of the Thunderbird nailed to a barn door.
Originally posted by Gemwolf
Good news and bad news...
I came across an article about the photo in Strange Magazine #21:
The Author - Mark Chorvinsky - did some amazing research to find the legendary "Thunderbird" picture...
And he came out empty.
The Full Article - Strange Magazine #21
I'm running out for a while. I'll try to summarize the article on my return. (Unless someone else volunteers... )
Originally posted by Sabreblade
reply to post by ravenshadow13
No I have no idea what the issue number was.
My brother had a HUGE stack of Argosy issues that my uncle had given him. This was about the mid to late sixties I think.
Whats weird is I remember the Thunderbird pic and another issue with Bigfoot.
The Bigfoot one I have been able to find.
But not the Thunderbird.
two ranchers were riding in the desert between Whetstone, Arizona, and the Huachuca Mountains in late April, 1890, when they came upon a "winged monster resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings" They shot the monster again, mortally wounding it. Upon examination they found that it was ninety-two feet long with a diameter of up to fifty inches. It had two feet, located a short distance in front of where the wings were joined to the body. The beak was about eight feet long, with strong, sharp teeth.
The eyes were as large as dinner plates and protruded from the head. The wings measured seventy-eight feet, making the total length from tip to tip about one hundred and sixty feet. The wings were composed of a thick, nearly translucent membrane. The wings and body were hairless and featherless. The men cut off a small portion of the tip of one wing and took it home with them. One man then went into Tombstone to make preparations to skin the creature.
While visiting Arcturus Book Service in Albany, New York in May of 1986 I was leafing through a number of old magazines in a box on one of the shelves when I saw the infamous Thunderbird Photo."
In a later followup interview with Mark, he went into further detail, telling me that the photo took up an entire two pages and was black and white tinted blue. He also recalls that the magazine had a title like Male.
When I was about 9 or 10 years old -- 1966 or so -- a group of us would ride our bikes to our local fire station and read the "adult" magazines in the firehouse mens' room. While Police Gazette was an obvious favorite -- there were also copies of True, Argosy, and Saga. It was in one of these that I saw the picture of the pteranodon (?) nailed to a huge barn door, with these bearded miner types in front. It was tinted brown or blue and was a 2-page spread with white writing, beginning an article or story, obscuring some of it.
Both Opsasnick and Johnson say the photo was tinted brown (Johnson) or blue (Johnson and Opsasnick) and was a two-page spread in a men's magazine, but Opsasnick remembers the creature as being a bird while Johnson recalls that it was a pteranodon. Keel also suggested that a men's magazine may have been the source.
Longtime fortean Robert J. Durant agrees with Gaddis and Keel -- he also believes that he saw the photo in one of the "men's magazines" around 1955 or 1956.
In 1980 while working as a designer...in upstate New York, I would spend many lunch hours in the local library. This is when I first saw the Thunderbird Photograph. While looking through the section dedicated to the Old West, I pulled out a rather thin book from around the turn of the century. As I flipped through the pages I came across the most fascinating photo; there spread out before me was the biggest bird I have ever seen. The photo quality was sharp and clear, every detail was visible. The bird's wings were supported and stretched out by a large group of men standing on a loading dock of a barnlike building. The bird must have possessed a wingspread of 25-30 feet.
I saw [the photo] when I was living in Carpentersville, IL in 1964-67 (closer to '67 I should think). It was definitely in a "Men's Stories" type magazine.... I'm certain the story was an article about flying monsters, as it influenced me into getting into Heuvelmans' works and Fort's as well.... I believe this magazine was not one of the regulars like Argosy, but it was a sort of a rip-off of that type. I distinctly recall the photograph was really grainy and badly printed. It could have been anything up on the barn, but it sure didn't look like a modern bird. The wings were definitely bat-like.
The monster either flew from California to Arizona, where it was killed, or the idea of it was transferred from California to Arizona. Whether one sees this as evidence for the existence of a living dinosaur or as the transmission of dragon lore from one newspaper editor to another, the Lake Elizabeth monster is certainly a significant part of the history of the Tombstone case.
In September, 1963, a scant four months after Pearl's Saga article Cranmer wrote a letter to Fate about the Thunderbird Photograph.
There are many clues that Cranmer was Pearl's source for the Thunderbird Photo tale. Pearl writes in his article that some thunderbird reports were received by Saga magazine "from a Pennsylvania resident.
Sometime about the year 1900 two prospectors shot and carried into Tombstone, Ariz., on a burro one of these birds. When nailed against the wall of the Tombstone Epitaph its wingspread measured 36 feet. A picture showed six men, with outstretched arms touching, standing under the bird. Later, a group of actors dressed as professors were photographed under the bird, with one of them saying, "Shucks, there is no such bird, never was, and never will be.
Furthermore, in the aforementioned March 1966 issue of Fate magazine, Cranmer wrote a follow-up letter in which he said that he heard about the Thunderbird Photo from "a lady in Tombstone." Thus, from the standpoint of an investigator trying to follow the story back to its source, the photo is reduced to a friend-of-a-friend tale, a contemporary/"urban" legend.
April 26, 1890
FOUND IN THE DESERT
A STRANGE WINGED MONSTER DISCOVERED AND KILLED ON THE HUACHUCA DESERT
A winged monster, resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings, was found on the desert between the Whetsone and Huachuca mountains last Sunday by two ranchers who were returning home from the Huachucas. The creature was evidently greatly exhausted by a long flight and when discovered was able to fly but a short distance at a time. After the first shock of wild amazement had passed, the two men, who were on horseback and armed with Winchester rifles, regained sufficient courage to pursue the monster and after an exciting chase of several miles succeeded in getting near enough to open fire with their rifles and wounding it.
The creature then turned on the men, but owing to its exhausted condition they were able to keep out of its way and after a few well directed shots the monster partly rolled over and remained motionless. The men cautiously approached, their horses snorting with terror, and found that the creature was dead. They then proceeded to make an examination and found that it measured about ninety-two feet in length and the greatest diameter was about fifty inches. The monster had only two feet, these being situated a short distance in front of where the wings were joined to the body.
The head, as near as they could judge, was about eight feet long, the jaws being thickly set with strong, sharp teeth. Its eyes were as large as a dinner plate and protruded about half way from the head. They had some difficulty in measuring the wings as they were partly folded under the body, but finally got one straightened out sufficiently to get a measurement of seventy-eight feet, making the total length from tip to tip about 160 feet. The wings were composed of a thick and nearly transparent membrane and were devoid of feathers or hair, as was the entire body. The skin of the body was comparatively smooth and easily penetrated by a bullet.
The men cut off a small portion of the tip of one wing and took it home with them. Late last night one of them arrived in this city for supplies and to make the necessary preparations to skin the creature, when the hide will be sent east for examination by the eminent scientists of the day. The finder returned early this morning accompanied by several prominent men who will endeavor to bring the strange creature to this city before it is mutilated.
It’s called the "Thunderbird Photograph" which, allegedly, was taken in Texas at the end of the nineteenth century. The image depicts six adult men clothed in Western attire in front of a barn, standing fingertip to fingertip, where the bird is nailed to an exterior wall.
Many have claimed to have seen or held this photo. The late Ivan T. Sanderson reportedly had a copy in 1966. He said he gave it to a couple of Pennsylvanians who were searching for the Thunderbird, then lost the snapshot.
Sanderson was a naturalist, paranormalist, cryptozoologist and follower of Charles Hoy Fort who researched and wrote about paranormal and anomalous phenomena. Many of these anomalies are referred to as Fortean Phenomena and Forteana, while others, such as cryptozoology, the scientific study of hidden animals, and Ufology, have their own fields.
The Thunderbird Photograph was alleged to have been published in an 1886 edition of the Tombstone Arizona Epitaph. In 1963, Jack Pearl wrote an article, "The Monster Bird That Carries off Human Beings!" in Saga magazine.
After the article was published, the Epitaph and others conducted an extensive search for the Thunderbird Photograph and found none, but discovered an article dated April 26, 1890 about a sixteen foot bird that ranchers found in the desert.
Read more: cryptozoology.suite101.com...
A famous Thunderbird encounter took place in 1890, in Arizona. The story say that two cowboys saw a giant flying bird, shot and killed it with their rifles, then carried its spectacular carcass into town. A report in the April 26, 1890 Tombstone Epigraph listed the creature's wingspan as an alarming 160 feet, and noted that the bird was about 92 feet long, about 50 inches around at the middle, and had a head about eight feet long. The beast was said to have no feathers, but a smooth skin and wingflaps "composed of a thick and nearly transparent membrane... easily penetrated by a bullet." Its face resembled an alligator.
In 1963, Jack Pearl revived the tale for an article in a magazine called Saga. Among other things, he wrote that the Epigraph newspaper story had run with a photograph of the giant bird's carcass, nailed up to a wall with its mighty wingspan unfurled, and a number of men posing next to it for scale. Despite numerous people who have claimed to have seen this photograph recently, no one has ever been able to produce a copy of the picture. Ivan T. Sanderson claimed to have once owned a copy of the photo, which vanished after he loaned it to an acquaintance in the 1960s. The television program Freaky Links staged a similar photo, giving new life to the "Thunderbird Photograph" legend. The image is said to depict six western clothed adult men, standing fingertip to fingertip in front of a barn where a large bird is nailed to the wall.
When I first read it, I thought, "hang on! I know the picture they're talking about! I've seen it!" Men 19th-century garb examine what is certainly a pterodactyl ... and I stopped to think about where I had seen. And I remember: It was an illustration from Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, an edition I had as a child - the story opens with the examination in London of a wing, apparently from a pteradon, which is the only thing that came back from a disastrous expedition to South America. The story ends with Professor Challenger routing the sceptics in the most direct way imaginable: by unveiling a live pterodactyl to an audience in the Albert Hall. That was were my memory came from, fogged through dozens of half-remembered urban legends.
This has obessed me since I first read this thread, because I became certain that I had seen that "men standing in front of a pterodactyl nailed against a barn wall" photo before. I emailed a few friends and one of them solved the mystery - at least as it relates to me. Here's his response:
One possible explanation though, is that everyone--including me--is thinking of a picture that probably appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records (ca. 1972 or 1973) showing maybe three men holding the outstretched wings of an (I assume) Andean Condor, the largest flying bird still alive. It has a wingspan of up to 12 feet.
Now I am certain that THAT is the photo that I'm actually thinking of, but my mind associated it with the pterodactyl concept when prompted.
I have a fairly vivid memory of seeing this picture. Only in my memory, it's not a photograph, it's a "Ripley's" cartoon.
I'm not joking. Really.
According to the Fortean investigator John Keel, more than 20 people have written to him claiming to have seen a photo of a dead pterodactyl nailed to the side of a building in Tombstone, Arizona. Keel claims that he has seen this photo, too, but no one can remember where!
In his column "Beyond the Known" in the March 1991 issue of Fate magazine, Keel discusses this intriguing photograph at length. He also quotes from a letter from the son of a Pennsylvania man named Robert Lyman who had written numerous articles and books about the weird and the unknown. Lyman wrote about Thunderbirds in one of his books entitled Amazing Indeed: "About 1900, two prospectors shot and carried into Tombstone, Arizona, one of these birds. When nailed against the wall of the Tombstone Epitaph building its wingspread measured 36 feet. A photograph showed six men standing under the bird with outstretched arms touching. One of them said: 'Shucks, there is no such bird, never was and never will be.' I saw that picture in a daily paper. Many other persons remember seeing it. No one has been able to find it in recent years. Two copies were at Hammersley Fork only a few years ago. One burned in a home. The other was taken away by strangers.". . .
The story of the “Tombstone Thunderbird” has intrigued me as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I remember reading the story and being amazed. How, I asked myself, could what seemed to be a prehistoric creature like a pterodactyl be shot by cowboys in the 1800's? Such a thing seemed impossible but evidence existed in the form of many stories and references to the event and of course, existed in the form of a photograph. That was the really exciting part - that photograph! I still remember what it looked like today.
So, how do we explain this weird phenomena of a photograph that so many remember seeing and yet no one can seem to find? Author Mark Hall believes that the description of the photo creates such a vivid image in the mind that many people who have a knowledge and an interest in curious and eclectic things begin to think the photo is familiar. It literally creates a "shared memory" of something that does not exist. We think we have seen it, but we actually have not.
To be honest, I can't say for sure if I agree with this or not. I can certainly see the possibility of a "memory" like this that we have created from inside of our own overcrowded minds, but then again, what if the photo does exist and it's out there, just waiting to be discovered in some dusty garage, overflowing file cabinet or musty basement. I, for one, haven't given up quite yet - and I have a feeling that I am not the only one who is still out there looking.
One of the first reported sightings of a Thunderbird occurred in April 1890, when The Tombstone Epitaph reported that two cowboys in the southern U.S. had killed a large bird-like creature with smooth skin and wings. For years, rumors circulated that an accompanying photograph of the capture existed and was passed around before eventually getting lost sometime during the 1960s. To date, the alleged photo has not surfaced.
"That photo was published in an issue of Strange Magazine 19 in 1998. It’s referred to as the “Ivan Verlaine” photo. It’s a complete hoax. Later, in Strange 20, Mark Chorvinsky showed how the photo was manipulated from “a posed photograph of the capture of the outlaw John Sontag,” in 1892.
Chorvinsky did a great series on the search for the Thunderbird photo in Strange 21-23. Unfortunately, he passed away before completing the series, but the first 3 parts are still available online."
Chorvinsky did a great series on the search for the Thunderbird photo in Strange (Magazine) 21-23. Unfortunately, he passed away before completing the series, but the first 3 parts are still available online."