Thunderbird Defeathered

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 7th, 2009

As I earlier suggested privately, immediately to the photographer, and was noted publicly by comment makers here, regarding the Pennsylvania “Thunderbird” photograph, the proper investigative procedure is to return to the sighting/photo location and take comparative images.

The individual who submitted the original thunderstorm photo is a busy man, but forthrightly finally was able to return to snap some photos.

He sends them along, and openly admits the mystery is over. Here is the final flight of this one. See his photos below.

The photographer writes, in part:

“Appears that the light post theory was correct. I went back and took a couple photos and you will find them attached. Sorry if it caused anyone nightmares of thunderbirds. Seeing something that looked like a low flying plane and later seeing the picture must have played tricks on my mind. Anyway, I haven’t been back to that WalMart since I took the storm picture. Company presidents really should shop at WalMart more; maybe then they wouldn’t receive over the top bonuses! HA.”

Here’s the original again:

As you recall, several Cryptomundo readers came up with the proper solution, with Tom Burke submitting the following analysis of the photograph first discussed here:

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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “Thunderbird Defeathered”

  1. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Maybe you just solved the problem of the missing thunderbird nests — they nest in Walmart parking lots, where they are mistaken for lamps! 😉

  2. mystery_man responds:

    I appreciate the photographer’s honest effort to get to the bottom of this and coming forth to share the findings.

    Like I said before, I didn’t think the photographer was willingly deceiving or hoaxing us. Something showed up on film that they couldn’t understand and was curious. I’m glad we got to the definitive answer behind this one. It would be nice to have this kind of drive to get absolute answers from some of the photographers of other blobsquatches and whatnot.

    Good work.

  3. Insanity responds:

    Though not from the exact same perspective, it does confirm the suspected conclusion. Thanks to the original photographer to going back, something of a rarity in these investigations.

  4. kittenz responds:

    This has still been a very instructive incident, because it illustrates the natural human desire to put a label on an unrecognized object, and also how ambiguous even clear photo evidence can be.

  5. Dr. Strings responds:

    Agreed, and it also illustrates the leaps people make when seeing an odd or unknown object or creature. An oddity, aberration, or unrecognized lifeform appears in a photo or video, and suddenly the mind jumps to the far-flung reaches of monsters and legends. Lends credence to that theory of the witness “seeing what they believe should be there” instead of what it might actually be. It’s still an amazing photo just for those clouds and that sky.

  6. roylehew responds:

    This Thunderbird stuff is interesting. I checked my “Mysteries of the unexplained” book after reading the older thread about the arizona picture. Kim was right, the picture is not there. Page 45 talks about erratic enigmatics.

  7. Harold responds:

    This has been an excellent example of how this sort of thing can be analyzed and investigated. Huge kudos to the photographer for following-up on this. And thanks for the very cool cloud photo, too!

    By the way, are those hotels in the background? I sure hope they are, and not townhouses. I can’t imagine anyone leaping at a piece of real estate that offers such a lovely view of a well-lit parking lot!

  8. planettom responds:

    Great follow up and input from everyone. Nice to see this one fully explored and examined. Great work!

  9. Bigfoot73 responds:

    How diligent and honest and considerate of the photographer to go back and sort this out for us!
    Let’s hope fate rewards his integrity with a sighting of a real t-bird one day.

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