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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Creatures That Came To Toledo

Sam McConnich is a member of the Frontiers of Zoology group that grew up in Toledo Ohio. He claims a couple of sightings of unusual creatures there in the 1970s. One was a water monster in a river that runs into Lake Erie and the other was a thunderbird. I was interested in the latter because I also had a thunderbird sighting in adjoining Indiana during the 1970s. Sam said when he was a kid he saw a large black bird flying low over the Ottowa River near Toledo, and it was something like a crow the size of an eagle. It was all dark and had a fully feathered head, with a wingspan of about ten feet across.

This string started out as message #3698 in the group by Sam: "When I was a kid I saw a giant 'crow' like bird near the Ottawa river in Toledo, hmm...Does anybody have any more info on this person (provides link)?"

To which my reply followed:

"Re: Thunderbird in Toledo

The belief is common enough.

You could say I was a Contrary myself and I had a dream-vision of Big Buffalo
(as a Thunder Spirit) and my mission was to go West and secure a Bison range for
posterity. I was to receive the help I needed to get there and receive the
information and contacts I needed to get going from Indianapolis, but so far as
I could see after that nothing of that nature ever came. That was several years ago. I am still waiting on word to proceede. I suppose that must spoil it all now because
I have told it.

At any rate, here is the 'Sighting' part of the passage from the linked article:

'Several years ago, I was working as a counselor in a family mental health
clinic in downtown Toledo. I was taking a break, eating my lunch in the car when
I noticed a beautiful storm was forming. I love storms and I got out of my car
to enjoy the cloud formation and the thunder and lightening. As I was looking
off to the west, I noticed a giant bird flying maybe 500 feet above the downtown
buildings. I was stunned since this bird was larger than anything I had ever
seen in my life. At the time I lived along the banks of the Maumee River, west
of Toledo, and I had a few times seen bald eagles. I was always amazed at their
massive size. But this bird was so much bigger.

This bird was an extraordinary large bird that looked as big as an air plane.
Its wing span looked 2 to 3 times bigger than that of a bald eagle [ie, a 16 to
24 foot wingspan]. Now when you are looking in the sky it is very difficult to
say for certain how large an object is or how high up it is. But I can say with
certainty that this bird was fantastically large.

The Great Bird was all black and it didn't have a teradactyl [Pterodactyl]or
prehistoric appearance. It was just a massive bird that was heading west,
gliding effortlessly into a storm while barely moving its wings. As I stood
amazed at the great bird, a thought came to me. Why is this bird flying into a
giant storm? From what I understand of birds, they usually take cover during bad
storms. I thought, why isn't it at least flying away from the storm?

Gradually the great bird made its way west as it followed the path along the
Maumee River and into the storm. The lightening could be seen in the distance
and the bird seemed somehow drawn to it. So as I watched the bird fly into the
storm, the weather started to get very bad with the wind blowing and the rain
starting. I left the parking lot and headed into the building and I told as many
people as I could about my sighting. Obviously, I was the subject of a few jokes
and giggles and I decided that the "Great Bird" story had best be kept to

It was right at this time that I was about to experience a life changing
event...'[Goes on to describe how people who saw Thunderbirds were called 'Contraries' by Native Peoples and that it was a sign for a life-changing event] "

"--And the bird you saw might easily have been the same type as this all-black
'West-coast' or 'Raven' Thunderbird, if what impressed you was that the head was black and not naked skin. The "Eastern" types [like the one I saw in company of several other witnesses in 1977] are evidently are more like a standard condor in
appearance--and if I read the reports correctly, the 'Arctic' thunderbirds are
different again, like large black-backed albatrosses but with very narrow wings.

Best Wishes, Dale D."

To which Sam replied:

"[I] thought the olympic penn birds are more like your "eastern" ones or like large eagles??" and after that, "lol, sorry thought I did, must been on another group a while back, a couple guys I knew that fished stated they saw giant eagle like creatures on the olympic pennisula in washington, i think it waswhile hiking in the National park, since they were from Port orford and had seen many bald eagles they were surprised at the percieved size"

And then we determined that we were talking about 'unbalded' bald eagles or very likely what John James Audubon called Washington's sea eagles or the great eagles.

And after which I felt fairly certain that my crowd of relatives and I saw flying overhead on a trip to the Hoosier National Forest in the summer of 1977 was something different, because I had the distinct impression that it had a bald red 'vulture' head (please note: it was holding its wings out flat and thus was not a turkey buzzard - turkey buzzards hold their wings inclined at a V-shape. Besides, we all thought it had to be much bigger than a turkey buzzard) However, I could have been mistaken and the head could have been dark: it was far enough away that it could not be certain.

Sam's other Toledo sighting was an alleged water monster in the Ottowa river that looked like a 30-foot-long telephone pole moving against the current. Both Sam and I feel this was a sighting of Bessie the Lake Erie monster. I have another discussion about why I think Bessie is a bottlenosed whale, and so I should probably leave that story for another time.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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