Something is up in Altamont, MO.
It’s summer and the high temperatures are not helping farmers. Even though it hasn’t been a dry year in the state, the last few weeks have been a little hotter than usual.
“When some of us go water the plants at night, we notice the mess,” said Adrian, -his last name was omitted as he wished to remain anonymous- who has been farming for over 20 years. “I got a phone call from my son Anthony at 2 in the morning, he was very agitated, I figured something was very wrong.” That’s all Adrian needed to hear; for two weeks, his family has been living in a state of stress and insomnia. Every other night, when they drive to their land to water their corn field, there are bouts of noises they have never heard before.
“See we don’t know what that is. We know there are animals out here, we know that, but this sound gives me the goosebumps. It goes like a tapping sound as if somebody was chattering their teeth, only much more faster and louder, then silence, then shrieking. This ain’t coyotes or wolves or anything like that. I saw something and that is not from this land. That I’m sure. It was there standing before me, pointed the flashlight at it, it was darn big. Then a sudden movement, fast as heck, and it was gone. The plants moving like jelly, dust all over my face.”
Adrian’s son describes an eight foot tall winged creature with a long muzzle that resembled “the face of an alligator.” The animal was featherless and its skin was grey, with a wingspan of over 80 feet that looked like “the wings of a bat.” The almond-shaped eyes appeared red under the stream of light pointing at them -known characteristic of certain rodents, opossums and birds- but they were most likely brown or black in color.
The legend of a giant bird, also known as “Thunderbird”, is known among Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest.
Interestingly, it wasn’t Indians that showed evidence of the bird for the first time. In 1890, a strange story was published on the Arizonian newspaper The Tombstone Epitapth.
April 26, 1890
FOUND IN THE DESERT
A STRANGE WINGED MONSTER DISCOVERED AND KILLED ON THE HUACHUCA DESERT
A winged monster, resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings, was found on the desert between the Whetsone and Huachuca mountains last Sunday by two ranchers who were returning home from the Huachucas. The creature was evidently greatly exhausted by a long flight and when discovered was able to fly but a short distance at a time. After the first shock of wild amazement had passed, the two men, who were on horseback and armed with Winchester rifles, regained sufficient courage to pursue the monster and after an exciting chase of several miles succeeded in getting near enough to open fire with their rifles and wounding it.
The creature then turned on the men, but owing to its exhausted condition they were able to keep out of its way and after a few well directed shots the monster partly rolled over and remained motionless. The men cautiously approached, their horses snorting with terror, and found that the creature was dead. They then proceeded to make an examination and found that it measured about ninety-two feet in length and the greatest diameter was about fifty inches. The monster had only two feet, these being situated a short distance in front of where the wings were joined to the body.
The head, as near as they could judge, was about eight feet long, the jaws being thickly set with strong, sharp teeth. Its eyes were as large as a dinner plate and protruded about half way from the head. They had some difficulty in measuring the wings as they were partly folded under the body, but finally got one straightened out sufficiently to get a measurement of seventy-eight feet, making the total length from tip to tip about 160 feet. The wings were composed of a thick and nearly transparent membrane and were devoid of feathers or hair, as was the entire body. The skin of the body was comparatively smooth and easily penetrated by a bullet.
The men cut off a small portion of the tip of one wing and took it home with them. Late last night one of them arrived in this city for supplies and to make the necessary preparations to skin the creature, when the hide will be sent east for examination by the eminent scientists of the day. The finder returned early this morning accompanied by several prominent men who will endeavor to bring the strange creature to this city before it is mutilated.
You can read the original text here.
Despite the unnecessary use of violence depicted on the story -a cryptozoologist’s first rule is an extreme respect for the cryptid being studied- the description is very similar to the creature that the family in Missouri witnessed a few days ago. Allegedly, the paper also carried a picture of the bird; researchers all across the internet and forum members have looked for this photograph to no avail.
In 2009, the Argentinian newspaper Los Andes published images of a winged creature flying over the lake El-Nihuil. In the UK, the Telegraph covered the incident under the title “UFO or pterodactyl over Argentinian lake?”
“The object, photographed by a fisherman near San Rafael over an artificial lake called El-Nihuil, was, according the the newspaper Los Andes, witnessed by more than one person.”
The possibility of a pterodactyl-like creature inhabiting the lands of America remains open for most serious cryptozoologists. Unlike mammals, birds have an ample opportunity to hide away from the human eye, nest somewhere away from any sign of civilization and only come down at night to hunt their prey. Many pictures portraying giant birds have been doctored before in the past, making researchers wary of these type of claims. Adrian said he will set up a few trail cameras along the corn field to see “what comes up.” Until then, we will have to stick to their testimony.