Additional Pennsylvania
'Thunderbird' Reports
From Stan Gordon
PA UFO/Fortean Hotline 724 838-7768 24 hrs

As as result of my recent report on a possible Thunderbird sighting in Southwest Pennsylvania, I was contacted by Craig Heinselman, a fellow researcher who has done some excellent work concerning cryptozoological matters. Craig advised me that he has received information on three other possible Thunderbird sightings from the Keystone state of recent date.
Craig has given me permission to share this information, which is from a write up for a publication which he co-edits called The North American BioFortean Review, Craig has also written a detailed article on the Thunderbird mystery which can be accessed at:
June 13, 2001- "A resident of the town of Greenville, PA reported seeing a large bird the size of a small airplane from his living room. Greensville is a small town that lies near the border of Ohio and about half-way between Erie and Pittsburgh. The witness, Ray (Please note, the witnesses actual name is not used as he has asked for anonymity) upon futher inquiry during a phone interview on June 15, 2001, was able to flesh out the report as. Ray described the bird as fully feathered a dark brown or black color. The back of the wings was a grayish-black. The body was not bulky and the overall appearance was not like any bird he had ever seen. As the house lies near Little Shedango Stream and the house overlooks a small pond and woodlands, Ray was extremely familiar with the birds and other wildlife in the area including bald eagles, vultures and storks.
Ray stated that the bird flew in from the South at a distance of 200-300 yards from the window and landed on a large tree beside the small pond. As it flew in he saw a shadow first and thought it was an ultra light aircraft that are used in the area by some neighbors. The bird landed and remained on the tree for 15-20 minutes, and then took off again to the South. Ray estimated that the wingspan was equivalent to some of the ultra lights he has seen in the area, around 15 feet of wingspan and upwards of 5 feet of body size.
Ray during the interview made a passing mention as well of a neighbor that although not familiar with the wildlife of the area reported to his wife about a large bird she had seen on June 14, 2001. The bird was described as "the biggest bird I ever saw" and bigger than a stork. Again the bird was a blackish color."
The third report comes from July 6, 2001 out of Erie County. This July report came to Craig's attention from a letter printed in the UK based magazine Fortean Times. Craig states in his article "Although corroboration from the witness has yet to be made and more details of the report discovered, the basic description is similar to the Greenville sightings and suggests the same type of bird was seen. Robin Swope, the witness, reported a large bird flying out from near a mausoleum as she cut the grass. It flew by some high tension wires and was estimated to be 15-17 feet in wingspan." The color was described as: "...It was dark grey with little or no neck, and a circle of black under it's head, Its beak was very thin and long, about a foot in length..."
Craig Heinselman, cites the following sources in his article from which this information was taken.
Hall, Mark, Natural Mysteries, 2nd Revised Edition, MAHP, Minneapolis, 1991
Hall, Mark, Thunderbirds-the Living Legends!, 2nd Edition, MAHP, Minneapolis,
Ray (anonymous name) interview June 15, 2001 and e-mail correspondence
Swope, Robin, Letter entitled Thunderbird Sighting?, Fortean Times No. 148,
August, 2001

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