WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — Two people on Thursday said they saw a big reptilian-like bird while driving on the Interstate 80 through Nevada.
Bud Davis, a 54-year-old IT executive from California, told Cryptozoology News he and a relative were driving to Winnemucca when they came upon the unusual sight.
“We noticed the creature in the median of the highway,” he said about the June 11 encounter. “It was about 3 feet off the ground and about 20 feet from our car on the driver side,” he continued.
Davis believes that the animal had just began to take flight right before their vehicle approached at 11 p.m., as it was reportedly having problems getting off the ground.
“It was struggling get enough lift to be able to fly over the car once it saw us. The creature’s wings cleared the front windshield by only inches, so we both saw the thing very clearly as it flew across the front of our vehicle, left to right, and out of sight.”
The man describes the bird as being grey in color and had a long and thin neck. Its head, says Davis, was also thin and pointy with a long beak. He remembers it had a “crest” on the top of its head.
“The body was hump-like, and appeared to be heavy. Thin long legs. The wings were diamond-shaped, and had claws at the end of each wing. A long thin tail. From tip of beak to tip of tail, it was longer than the windshield was wide so we’d estimate the overall length at 4-5 feet. The wing span was wide — when in the open position, the left wing tip was positioned beyond the hood of our vehicle. The bottom half of the right wing was not visible, it was covered by the roof of the car, so we’d estimate the width tip-to-tip to be 6 to 7 feet,” explained Davis.
The IT executive thinks the bird looked like a pterosaur, a flying reptile believed to have lived during the Jurassic and went extinct by the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago.
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 reptile.
In 1890, Arizona newspaper The Tombstone Epitaph reported that two ranchers had allegedly killed a “winged monster”, similar to an “alligator”, in the desert between the Whetsone and Huachuca mountains.
“The article about the pterosaur in particular made me particularly curious. When I looked up some images for those, I realized that is what we had to have seen,” said Davis.
In Late April, a Louisiana man claimed to have seen a similar flying creature he believes was responsible for cow mutilations in 1978.
Next month, another person came forward stating he had seen a dinosaur-like bird at a public park about 50 miles northwest of Tucson in 2002.
In 1927, a similar event reportedly took place in the Australian town of Fernvale when a few giant birds visited the area, causing panic among the town’s residents.
And Davis says that he knows what he saw was real, but the sighting, which lasted 15 seconds, didn’t allow for any picture or video taking.
“Up until this evening I had never heard of a pterosaur before, but the image I looked up is exactly what we saw… It was awesome and frightening at the same time,” he said.
Interstate 80 in Nevada cuts across the Lahontan Valley, a desert some people still refer to as the Forty Mile Desert.