- ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A giant
winged creature, like something out of Jurassic Park, has reportedly been
sighted several times in Southwest Alaska in recent weeks.
- Villagers in Togiak and Manokotak say they have seen
a huge bird that's much bigger than anything they have seen before.
- A pilot says he spotted the creature while flying passengers
to Manokotak last week. He calculated that its wingspan matched the length
of a wing on his Cessna 207. That's about 14 feet.
- Other people have put the wingspan in a similar range.
- Scientists aren't sure what to make of the reports. No
one doubts that people in the region west of Dillingham have seen a very
large rapto-like bird. But biologists and other people familiar with big
Alaska birds say they're skeptical it's that big.
- A recent sighting of the mystery bird occurred Oct. 10
when Moses Coupchiak, a 43-year-old heavy equipment operator from Togiak,
40 miles west of Manokotak, saw the bird flying toward him from about two
miles away as he worked his tractor.
- "At first I thought it was one of those old-time
Otter planes," Coupchiak said. "Instead of continuing toward
me, it banked to the left, and that's when I noticed it wasn't a plane."
- The bird was "something huge," he said. "The
wing looks a little wider than the Otter's, maybe as long as the Otter
- The bird flew behind a hill and disappeared. Coupchiak
got on the radio and warned people in Togiak to tell their children to
- Pilot John Bouker said he was highly skeptical of reports
of "this great big eagle" that is two or three times the size
of a bald eagle. "I didn't put any thought into it."
- But early this week while flying into Manokotak, Bouker,
owner of Bristol Bay Air Service, looked out his left window and 1,000
feet away, "there's this big ... . bird," he said.
- "The people in the plane all saw him," Bouker
said. "He's huge, he's huge, he's really, really big. You wouldn't
want to have your children out."
- Nicolai Alakayak, a freight and passenger driver from
Manokotak who was flying with Bouker, said the creature looked like an
eagle and was as large as "a little Super Cub."
- Comparison to an eagle, certainly. Super Cub? Probably
not, scientists said.
- "I'm certainly not aware of anything with a 14-foot
wingspan that's been alive for the last 100,000 years," said federal
raptor specialist Phil Schemf in Juneau.
- Schemf, other biologists, a village police officer and
teachers at the Manokotak School said the sightings could be of a Steller's
sea eagle, a species native to northeast Asia and one of the world's largest
eagles. It's about 50 percent bigger than a bald eagle.
- Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service http://www.shns.com
- From: Chris McTaggart
- I am a long time follower, and very much enjoy the articles
and features on the site. I was particularly intrigued with the article
posted on 10-16 regarding the large, eagle-type bird spotted on multiple
occasions in Alaska, as I had a similar experience when I was in college.
- I attended Michigan Technological University in the Upper
Peninsula of Michigan, and played soccer for the school. On a particular
weekend in 1990, the team was traveling from MTU to Northern Michigan which
is located in Marquette, about 2 hours away. The area is very sparsely
populated and heavily forested. I happened to be glancing out the van window
when something in the tree caught my eye, and I really couldn't believe
what I had just seen. It was a HUGE bird, that looked like an eagle, but
was grayish in color and much larger than any eagle I have ever seen (I
am very familiar with both Bald and Golden, and have never seen one even
close to this size). Because it was in a tree, I couldn't say exactly how
large the bird was, but I would venture to guess that it was similar in
size to that reported in the story. I asked if anybody else in the van
had seen it, but nobody was paying much attention, so I just assumed it
was one of those "unique" experiences.
- This story gets better. Just last night (10-15), an old
friend, who is an avid hunter, stopped by on his way to a hunt today. We
were telling various animal stories, and I brought up the story of this
bird (this was before I had seen the article published on the site). My
friend, who in addition to being a hunter is also a very skeptical person,
did not believe me when I told him that this eagle-looking bird was about
as tall as a person. Well, to say the least, seeing the article on the
site today was an odd coincidence, which is probably not anything new to
you. Hope you found the story interesting, and thanks for the great work.
- From Art Brzostowski
- About 5 or 6 years ago, I was in my garage working on
my car (north central New Jersey) and my attention was diverted by the
sound of what must have been thousands of crows. I peered out the window
and noticed a large lump on the branch of a very large, very old oak tree
that borders my yard. There were crows all over the yard, on the ground,
in the surrounding trees, on top of the fence, all making loud crow sounds.
- Then I noticed the "lump" in the oak started
to spread its wings! The first thing I noticed was the wing tips looked
like spread eagle's wings commonly seen in artwork, photos and general
depictions of those majestic birds in flight. Then I noticed how broad
the wingspan was. I guessed 8 to 12 feet.
- I was so excited I called a local zoo too see if they
had any large birds on the loose. The person I spoke to said "No,
but this time of year large predatory birds do stop and rest during migration".
I accepted the answer. The thing that kept haunting me over these past
few years was how big this thing was. It lumbered to take off. When it
left the crows became silent. Then they all flew away too.
- Hoax Photos From The Internet
We received several images regarding the Thinderbird or prehistoric birds
supposedly photographed, but they all turned out to be known hoaxes. The
top two are believed to be the result of Haxan Productions promotional
material for a Fox television program. The last image is simply laughable.