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Mass Flying Creature Sightings In Texas Circa 1976

Posted by: Monster Island News on November 11th, 2013

Written By: Ken Hulsey

It is surprising how certain events from your childhood stick with you over the years and make subtle changes in who you are as a  person.

One such series of events that I remember vividly to this day, were a series of reports of ‘flying monsters’ that came out of Texas in  our nation’s Bicentennial year (1976).

Since I was a very young lad, and I just so happened to have lived in Texas at the time, these reports both fascinated and terrified me.  Throughout the year reports seemed to be coming in quite frequently, and our local television news would start off it’s broadcast with  the latest news on the monster.

I can still remember during the summer months being afraid to go outside and play, believing that the monster may swoop down and  attack me or possibly carry me off.

Though my research online only revealed news stories from that time period centering on sightings from an area close to the  Texas/Mexico border, in actuality they were coming from all over the state. Descriptions of the creature varied from that of a flying  dinosaur (pterosaurs) to something that looked more like a dragon with a head like a bat or even a gorilla.

Here is an excerpt from an article I found online by David Hatcher Childress the recounts some of these sightings:

“Officer, There’s a Pterodactyl in My Backyard!”

That there were sightings of pterodactyls in the 1800s, I have no doubt. In fact the sightings in the Sonora Desert continue to this day.  In the early months of 1976, a rash of “flying reptile” sightings were reported in the Rio Grande River Valley along the  Mexican-American border.

One of the first encounters was in the early hours of December 26, 1975 when a rancher named Joe Suárez discovered that a goat he  had tied up in a corral in Raymondville, Texas (about 30 miles north of the Rio Grande in southeastern Texas), had been ripped to  pieces and partially eaten by some unknown assailant. The goat had been mauled from the right side and was lying in a pool of blood  with the heart and lungs missing with the snout bitten away. The blood was still wet and warm when police officers examined the  carcass. They could find no footprints around the goat and concluded that a flying creature of unknown origin had caused the death.

Then, in the same town, on January 14, 1976 at about 10:30 in the evening on the north side of Raymondville, a young man named  Armando Grimaldo was sitting in the backyard of his mother-in-law’s house when he was attacked by a strange winged creature.

“As I was turning to go look over on the other side of the house,” said Armando to the Raymondville press, “I felt something grab me,  something with big claws. I looked back and saw it and started running. I’ve never been scared of nothing before but this time I really  was. That was the most scared I’ve ever been in my whole life.”

This strange flying attacker had dived out of the sky-and it was something Grimaldo described as being about six feet tall with a  wingspread he estimated as being from ten to twelve feet. Its skin was blackish-brown, leathery and featherless. It had huge red eyes.

Grimaldo was terrified. He screamed and tried to run but tripped and fell face first into the dirt. As he struggled up to continue running  for his mother-in-law’s house, the beast’s claws continued to attempt to grasp him securely, tearing his clothes, which were now  virtually ripped to shreds. He managedto dive under a bush and the attacking animal, now breathing heavily, flew away into the sky.

Grimaldo then crashed into the house, collapsing on the floor, muttering “pájaro” (Spanish for bird) over and over again. He was taken  to the hospital, treated for shock and minor wounds, and released.

Blazing Red Eyes

A short time later, in nearby Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, a similar creature slammed into the mobile home of Alverico Guajardo  on the outskirts of town. Alverico went outside his trailer to investigate the crash into his house. When he noticed a large animal next  to the crash site, he got into his station wagon and turned the lights on to see the creature, which he later described as “something from  another planet.”

As soon as the lights hit it, the thing rose up and glared at him with blazing red eyes. Alverico, paralyzed with fear, could only stare  back at the creature whose long, batlike wings were wrapped around its shoulders. All the while it was making a “horrible-sounding  noise in its throat.” Finally, after two or three minutes of staring into the headlights of the station wagon, it backed away to a dirt road  a few feet behind it and disappeared in the darkness.

These were just the first of a number of bizarre encounters with seemingly prehistoric “birds.” Also in January of 1976, two sisters,  Libby and Deany Ford, spotted a huge and strange “big black bird” by a pond near Brownsville. The creature was as tall as they were  and had a “face like a bat.” They later identified it out of a book of prehistoric animals as a pteranodon.

The San Antonio Light newspaper reported on February 26, 1976, that three local school teachers were driving to work on an  isolated road to the south of the city on February 24 when they saw an enormous bird sweeping low over cars on the road. It had a  wingspan of 15-20 feet and leathery wings. It did not so much fly, as glide. They said that it was flying so low that when it swooped  over the cars its shadow covered the entire road.

As the three watched this huge flying creature, they saw another flying creature off in the distance circling a herd of cattle. It looked,  they thought, like an “oversized seagull.” They later scanned encyclopedias at their school, and identified the creature as a pteranodon.

And here is another from Blue Road Runner.com:

These reports didn’t gain real notoriety until the mid-1970s, when a number of sightings of large birds or bats surfaced in Rio Grande  Valley, Texas. The first report came from the town of San Benito, where three people reputedly encounters with a bald-headed  creature. But rumors had long circulated among the Mexican inhabitants of the town about a large bird-like creature, believed to make  tch-tch-tch sounds.

On New Year’s Day, 1976, two girls near Harlingen watched a large, birdlike creature with a “gorilla-like” face, a bald head, and a  short beak. The next day, a number of three-toed tracks were found in the field where the creature had stood . On January 14,  Armando Grimaldo said he was attacked by the creature at Raymondville. He said it was black, with a monkey’s face and large eyes.  Further reports surfaced from Laredo and Olmito, with a final sighting reported from Eagle Pass on January 21.

Though reports of flying dinosaurs over Texas reached it’s pinnacle in 1976, the state has been a ‘hot spot’ for such sightings since the  1800s. Things quieted down throughout the late 1970s, then unexpectedly there were another rash of sightings again in the early  1980s, followed again by a period of little to no reports.

Periodically reports of flying creatures still surface from time to time in Texas, but never to the extent of the ones that all surfaced in 76.

For Further Evidence Visit Monster Island News

About Monster Island News
Founder of the popular monster and sci-fi blogs Monster Island News and Godzilla 3D News and Information. Ken Hulsey began his writing career in 2000 when he founded kensforce.com a popular site with fans of Japanese sci fi/monster movies (Godzilla, Gamera and the like) and other B movies. In 2008, he closed down his original site and created the blog "Monster Island News" a showcase for classic horror/monster films and independent/alternative cinema.


5 Responses to “Mass Flying Creature Sightings In Texas Circa 1976”

  1. Ken Hulsey via Facebook responds:

    Hope everyone enjoys my article. If you have seen a flying reptile please contact me with your sighting for a follow up article.

  2. alan borky responds:

    “these reports both fascinated and terrified me.”

    Ken would you not say the moment you first became aware there might be such creatures it was as if a crack in your mental sky opened out to reveal a much bigger vaster an’ very much stranger universe might exist than you’d ever before consciously allowed yourself to suspect?

    In other words though terrifying it was also life enhancing an’ mind expanding?

    An’ yet there’s hordes of people who because they KNOW for a FACT these things never’ve existed spend their entire lives to the point it becomes their career chasin’ down an’ rubbin’ such FACTS in the face of madmen like me an’ wide eyed open minded speculative souls like you.

    Why is it such a problem because some people think such critters might exist an’ others actually believe?

    Oh but don’t mind me mate I’m just insane.

  3. Goodfoot responds:

    I’m trying to visualize “a pteranodon with the face of a bat”.

    But I’ve been interested in this since around that time, thought I don’t recall reading of these events. Or maybe I did; I subscribed to Ivan T. Sanderson’s mag, as a member of SITU. What was the mag called?

    And I couldn’t imagine a better setting for living flying saurians than the Texas-Mexico border region.

  4. Dufusyte responds:

    Good to know the dimorphodons in New Jersey have cousins in Texas.

  5. Goodfoot responds:

    alan borky: Mind-blowing, psychedelic, even! Much the same feeling as seeing a young black panther in my home town… didn’t see the head, as the thing was going into some brush, but I saw the body and that large, cylindrical tail. Made me high for days. It looked to be about the height of a human adult knee.



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