The Case of the Phantom Giant Bird
January 1, 2013-3 PM
South Greensburg, PA
On the afternoon of January 1, 2013, two women and a young boy decided to take a walk through a wooded area near South Greensburg to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It was about 32 degrees and clear visibility in the area. The area had a cover of snow from a previous storm. Around 3 PM the three people advanced into the woods and were looking at a tree that still had a lot of leaves on it.
When they were about 20-25 feet from the tree, the two women saw something that startled them. The boy was apparently looking elsewhere. They both at the same time stated, “Did you see the size of that bird?” What they observed was what appeared to be a bird unfolding its huge wings. A witness described the wingspan as being approximately 6-7 feet wide, and described how the creature unfolded its wings, and almost rolled them out, flapped them once and folded them back up as it moved along the ground behind the tree.
They immediately moved towards the area where the creature had been seen. They were only 20-25 feet away, yet when they got to the spot, the creature was nowhere to be seen. There weren’t that many trees at that location, and the area was quite open. There were no bird tracks at that location, just deer tracks. They heard no sounds of flapping or other sounds when the sighting occurred. The two women were mystified as they could not explain how the winged creature seemed to suddenly disappear. As one of the women commented, “We would have seen it fly away but it didn’t”. The wings were described as black and gray in color. One woman said she thought she saw a blue tinge within the wings as well.
I contacted one of the local bird experts for his thoughts. Both of us thought that the most likely candidate for what was observed was a Great Blue Heron which are seen around this area. The coloring and wingspan would fit as well. He also speculated that if there was a crust on the snow cover, possibly the bird did not break through and leave any tracks. Another possibility is a Sandhill Crane. He said that the wingspan and coloring is quite similar to the Great Blue Heron.
This man thought that it was quite odd that at 25 feet distance the witnesses could not identify the bird if it was a Heron. He also indicated the Great Blue Heron does not fly fast as it lifts off to become airborne, and thought it was unusual that the women could not see it fly away from that nearby location. This baffles the witnesses as well.
Local History of Giant Bird reports
On September 5, 2001, just a couple miles away from where the previous incident occurred, a man observed a huge dark bird flying about fifty to sixty feet above the car and truck traffic on busy Route 119 in South Greensburg. The witness said this giant bird was black or dark grayish-brown in color. He was drawn to look skyward after hearing a sound “ like flags flapping in a thunderstorm. “ He estimated the wingspan of this monstrous flying creature to be between ten and fifteen feet in length.
Other locals over the years have reported “woosh” sounds as though something very large had passed overhead. Others have reported a shadow of a giant bird passing over their vehicle.
The following is a report previously published on my website: www.stangordon.info
On the evening of August 26, 2010, about 8:10 pm, there was a sighting of a monstrous bird in South Greensburg, PA. Just as it was getting dark, four people were sitting around in the yard having a barbecue and enjoying the beautiful weather when suddenly, their attention was drawn skyward by a sound like a “swish” or a “swoosh” or as one witness stated, “like air coming straight down.”
Several of the observers at almost the same time yelled out some exclamations including one man who said, “What the hell is that?” They were all startled to see a tremendously large bird that was flying over a tree in the yard about 30-40 feet overhead. The man who was doing the cooking turned and looked up to see the creature fly above him at a distance of about 40 feet away. As the bird passed the tree, it veered slightly to the right and went straight down the road ahead, maintaining its low level path.
When first observed, the massive wings of the creature were in an upward position and were beginning to drop slowly, almost as if they were rolling to the bottom. The swoosh sound could be heard when the wings were moving. The powerful bird had flown about 125 yards down the road, at which time the wings were coming back up. The creature was observed as it continued to move steadily down the road, passing just above the roof top of a house with its wings flapping slowly and steadily about 3-4 time until it reached a group of trees about ¼ mile away, where it was lost from sight. It took about 20 seconds to go the ¼ mile distance.
I interviewed two of the witnesses at the scene and they were able to provide a detailed description of the giant flying creature. As it passed over, it appeared as though it was peering below, with its head and beak positioned downward. It was estimated that if the bird was on the ground it would stand between 4 ½ to 5 feet tall. The entire body was the same dark color, either darkish brown or black. The body width was about 25-30 inches wide. One witness said the body, “was very bulky and husky.”
The head was oval shaped, and the beak was short for the size of the animal, about 8-10 inches long. The tail was about 2 feet long and came out wide to a point. It was the size of the wingspan of the creature that impressed the witnesses, which they estimated at 10 feet or more in length. When asked why nobody thought to take a picture, they pointed out that while there were cell phones lying there with camera functions, all involved were mesmerized by the encounter. One fellow I talked with said that after the experience he felt as if he was “almost in shock.”
It was later learned that another witness who lived along the road where the big bird flew over also reportedly saw the creature. One witness has been a long time hunter and is very familiar with birds native to the state and is certain that he saw something quite unusual. The area where these observations have taken place, while surrounded with some wooded locations, is well populated, and nearby Route 119 is a highly traveled roadway.
There has been a long history of sightings of giant birds with oversized wingspans in Pennsylvania as well as other sections of the United States and elsewhere. Many refer to these giant flying creatures as “Thunderbirds.” It is interesting to note that over the years around the same general area as this sighting, other residents have reported a similar strange “swoosh” sound, as though a huge bird had passed overhead, but nothing was seen.
Now years later, here is another detailed close range observation of a huge flying creature just a short distance away from the location where in 2001, a similar observation had taken place. It was on September 25, 2001, that a witness reported seeing a huge, dark colored bird flying about 50-60 feet above the traffic along Route 119 in South Greensburg. The observer was drawn to look upwards when he heard a sound, “like flags flapping in a thunderstorm.” That witness was stunned by the wingspan of the flying creature which he estimated was between 10 and 15 feet.
If you have any additional information on these incidents please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.