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Friday, 19 July 2013

Evolution of the ThunderBird Photo perceptions

As far as we can trace, these "Thunderbird" photos are of only very recent vintage.

This is obviously a theatrical setup and on an indoor set. It illustrates the commonest current conception of what the photo had looked like in the first place. As a matter of fact, that perception has changed over time.

This is another theatrical mock-up, outdoors this time, and it shows an anatomically-incorrect pterosaur and it probably is even more recent than the articicially aged photograph reproduced below. The one immediately below is an admitted forgery and this one probably is, too; the interesting thing about this one is that it is intermediate between the oldest version of the bird or creature on the ground with a few men clusted together near it, and the more modern (or standard) version, which usually has the bird or creature mounted on the wall and six men standing, spreading themselves equidistantly and directly adjacent to the creature. And what is more peculiar to me is that it shows both sets of men in association with the bird or creature at the same time.

As explained on this blog before, the photo represented below seems to be the oldest "Thunderbird Photo" and it is probably the original. The base photo is authentically from the Southwest and from the 1890s: the men are digging a grave to bury a badman, and the bird is pasted over the body in the grave in the original photo. So this is the oldest identifiable version and it is a hoax. yet the version above seems to be a modification of it, bringing up the bird to the side of the building instead of leaving it on the ground and starting the more traditional modern version with the men behind the bird more spread out evenly. And I take those two elements to have been introduced from faulty memories of architectural decoration in the Pacific Northwest. My point here is that the version which most people recognize now has not been there from the first but has instead developed over time, and it has completely supplanted this the authentically Old West version to the point that only a few people can even recognize the older version any more.

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