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The Lord God Bird Trailer

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 4th, 2007

The Lord God Bird

The Voice of America has announced that a new documentary film is in production about the ivory-billed woodpecker.

The title of the new documentary by George Butler is The Lord God Bird. This film’s title, of course, reflects the name of the bestseller that appeared just as the news of the new video was hitting the media – Phillip Hoose’s The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004).

However, Phillip has confirmed that his book is not the foundation of this documentary.

The VOA’s low-key release follows:

A North American bird believed to have become extinct in 1944 has apparently re-appeared. The Ivory Billed Woodpecker was rediscovered in February 2004 when it was reportedly spotted twice by witnesses that many bird experts consider highly reliable. But other wildlife professionals are not so sure. And now – as VOA’s George Dwyer reports – a new film is under production that examines the controversy surrounding the mysterious creature known as “The Lord God Bird.”

Rare film footage – shot in 1935 – shows two Ivory Billed Woodpeckers, a species that was thought to have gone extinct.

“The ivory billed woodpecker has been rediscovered,” he said. “It lives in the big woods region of Eastern Arkansas, and perhaps other places around the Southeast still as well.”

No confirmed sighting of the bird had been reported for decades, when suddenly in February 2004 two sightings were reported in a remote area of the southeastern United States.

In April of that same year an amateur naturalist shot images of a bird believed to be an “Ivory Billed.” But opinions vary on whether the bird caught on tape is really the elusive woodpecker.

“This is a bird that ornithologists and birdwatchers have been searching for over a century,” explains Fitzpatrick. “It went through several periods of time where it was declared extinct, then re-discovered again, then disappeared again.”

Photographer Bob Harrison says he has no doubt the bird exists. “The controversy over whether this bird is out there or not – it is no controversy. I have seen the bird. I have seen the bird five times. I know it is there.”

Whether it actually is – or not – is the subject of a recently previewed documentary by noted America film director George Butler.

“The film is about the tension between the people who love the bird and believe it exists and the coolly objective ornithologists who say it can not possibly exist –- it is extinct,” says Butler. “Any way you look at the story it has got interesting angles.”

Butler’s film, titled “The Lord God Bird,” is still in production. But the filmmaker provided VOA with scenes of the work in progress.

“And it is called, amongst other names, ‘The Lord God Bird,’ because when someone sighted the bird they would shriek out, ‘Lord God, what was that that flew by?’ ”

All of a sudden it seems a lot of people are asking that question once again. – George Dwyer, “‘Extinct’ Bird Species Lives,” Voice of America, May 30, 2007.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

If you cannot see the trailer here, go to the VOA site to download a clip from the documentary, which shows the 1935 archival footage of the ivory-billed woodpecker, as well as the video of the 2004 encounter.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


12 Responses to “The Lord God Bird Trailer”

  1. Bob Michaels responds:

    Looks like a WoodPecker I saw in my backyard. I only wish.

  2. Raptorial responds:

    I’ve seen the pileated, the closest thing to an ivory-billed. I just wish I could see the Lord God Bird itself some day.

  3. Valen responds:

    I had a pileated fly very close by me once, scared me to death because I wasn’t expecting it. I can only imagine what it would be like to see an IBWO. I’m hoping to go down to the Congaree swamp in SC in the fall. There are reports of a remnant population there.

  4. DWA responds:

    Valen: I was in Congaree in April. Hiked all the trails. Water was too low to paddle the interior and time was too limited to do the main river, so nothing to report to you there.

    Didn’t see an ivorybill. So don’t waste your time. :-D

    Seriously, if it isn’t there, you’re gonna have to tell me where it could be.

    Same as the sasquatch. Didn’t see one of those either. And for you scoftics out there: saw one wild pig. Heard it before I saw it; my first thought was “wild pig?” See, we tend to rule out known animals first. ;-)

  5. fuzzy responds:

    DWA – “…my first thought was “wild pig?”

    Perhaps that’s because it was going “Oink?”

  6. dogu4 responds:

    Thanks for that…very interesting and I’m looking forward to the release of the movie.
    I hope the movie brings to the attention of the public, not just the controversy over the possible identification, but as Cornell’s John Fitzpatrick, who we see in the film, said last year when announcing that his team of ornithologists had indeed seen the bird and was commencing a fully supported effort to document it further, that the real import of this discovery may be the emerging awareness that since unregulated poorly managed commecial activities which had impacted the once great ecological systems of the southern lowlands had been largely stopped, the region has begun to rebound and offers a possibility to re-knit these once natually productive habitats.
    Bring back the Pleistocene.

  7. DWA responds:

    fuzzy: See? there’s more than one way to make my point. ;-)

  8. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone good morning wow this looks a very informative brand new documentary . thanks bill

  9. size 13 responds:

    Seen in Eastern Arkansas? Hmmmm, how bout checkin’ out the Kiamichi’s in S.E. Oklahoma? Great place to see Sassy and Ivory Billed on the same day. But if ya did ya better have a good camera cause ain’t nobody gonna believe ya. Will be goin’ to Honobia this fall,with a good camera. ; )

  10. Ceroill responds:

    Excellent. I’m a long time ‘fan’ of the Lord God Bird. Since I was a kid I have suspected it wasn’t truly gone. Then again, if you go by Fortean thought, nothing is ever truly gone. I agree though, a Pileated is an impressive bird on its own. Seeing an Ivory Bill must be really intense.

  11. planettom responds:

    Can’t wait to see this documentary.

  12. redneck rick responds:

    all I know is after that video was released it sure ruined my deer hunt that year, that patch of woods was covered up with people looking for that bird.



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