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Man Claims Seeing Giant Birds in Puerto Rico: I Know What the Hell I Saw

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A man claims that he saw two birds “the size of airplanes”.

pterosaur pterodactyl thunderbird sighting

Manuel Ponce, a 48-year-old HVAC technician from Virginia, told Cryptozoology News on Wednesday that he was on a cruise with his family and church members when he saw the flying creatures.

“It happened right after 9/11,” Ponce said. “We had just booked a cruise with Royale Caribbean in January of that year. We had 28 members of our congregation,” he added.

The man claims that after a strong tropical storm, the captain managed to land in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“We arrived there in the morning. The day was on and off, rainy with spurts of sunlight every hour or so. We hired a guide for half a day, he took us to some places of interest.

As the guide took the group near a beach, Ponce explains, they noticed a “a real dark rolling rain cloud coming quickly”.

“That’s when I saw them. At the very top of the storm cloud… I saw two giant birds. I pointed up to everyone in the group, including now my ex-wife and the guide, but the birds went straight up.”

The man described the creatures as birds “the size of airplanes” with a 30 foot wingspan. Their necks were surrounded by a “white ring” and they had straight beaks.

“Their wings were straight, with feather protruding at the ends of their wings,” he recalls.

The alleged sighting reportedly lasted about five seconds and Ponce said he was the only one to see the flying animals. He added that he tried to snap pictures but that he had not enough time to capture the image.

And Ponce, who says he has told the story to his congregation, friends and family, says most of them don’t believe him.

“Only my two sons believe me. I know what the hell I saw,” he said.

Thunderbird, also known as Roc, is the nomenclature used by Native Americans to refer to bird-like creatures with reptile features that are believed to be related to the extinct pterosaurs.

In August 2015, a man in Michigan claimed to have seen a “giant bird” with a 10-foot wingspan.

In July 2015, two people in Nevada reported seeing a creature that reminded them of a pterosaur, a flying reptile believed to have gone extinct about 65 million years ago.

Two weeks later, a minister and her daughter claimed to have seen an unidentified flying creature that looked like it was “straight out of Jurassic Park”.

In October 2015, a California man snapped a photograph of what he believed to be a “prehistoric bird”.

Wilson says this was a flying reptile. Credit: C. Wilson

Wilson says this was a flying reptile. Credit: C. Wilson

In 1890, Arizona newspaper The Tombstone Epitaph wrote about two ranchers killing a “winged monster” similar to an “alligator” in the desert between the Whetsone and Huachuca mountains.

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  1. Alan Lowey

    May 18, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I recollect another thunderbird sighting with the distinctive white ring around the neck.

  2. Jeff

    May 18, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    The giant bird I saw one Summer years ago had no white ring around it’s neck. It wasn’t reptilian at all. It was more like a giant raven. Maybe 25 to 30 feet from wingtip to wingtip. I did notice the ends of it’s wings were flat while gliding, but when it flared it’s wing tips to turn upward, it extended it’s long finger-like feathers, in the process.

  3. Meagan

    June 23, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Could be frigate birds. The females are black with white around their necks and they have long, straight beaks. Can’t account for the size, though. Unless they were just closer than he thought, and the feather wingtips, since frigate birds wings come to a sharp point. Possibly could be Osprey. The photo of the October 2015 siting looks like a frigate bird, or albatross.

    • Manuel Ponce

      February 21, 2019 at 12:46 am

      When I said straight, they weren’t like a parrot or a pigeon beak, think of an Eagles beak but long. Clouds aren’t close to the ground. And why would two birds be in front of a storm cloud just circling? full of lightning and noise? I hunt and have 20/20 vision, and good aim, as I scored a 98 in a marksman competition in Virginia in 2015. Are you an expert in birds? What the hell are your credentials?

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