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Posted by Steve Busti

I had spoken with this gentleman on a previous occasion, and asked him if he could give me a detailed account of his eye-witness sighting of what he believes was a flock of gigantic birds, possibly the fabled Thunderbird of Native American lore. Here’s his story:

On Saturday July 5th 2008, I witnessed, along with others, what can only be described as an extraordinary event in the Rio Grande Valley.  I was in South Texas, visiting from Missouri and staying with my brother in McAllen.  It was around 6:15 PM and my brother and I had just finished watching the Yankees-Red Sox game and the post-game show to see if the Cardinals had played yet.  We went out on the patio for a cold beverage and a smoke.

We had visited for a few minutes when I noticed two large indiscriminate black objects in the distance, and I asked out loud “What the hell are those?”. I pointed them out to my brother, who acknowledged he saw them… but he couldn’t identify what he was seeing. As I stood up and took a few steps on the patio towards the back yard, I was thinking to myself… UFOs?… hang gliders?… neither fit with what I was looking at.

Just then, a commercial airliner that was apparently coming in for a landing (or possibly a departure) at McAllen Int’l Airport had swung around in an arc behind the objects…and for a long moment I could see the two indiscriminate black objects superimposed upon the body of the airliner, and I immediately blurted out excitedly, “It’s those G** D*** Big Birds from the History Channel… Holy S***!” (and then a few other words… expletives)… I told my brother to get his wife so she could see what we were seeing.

As I walked all the way out into the yard from underneath the patio, I glanced back to the southeast in the direction the birds had come from. Much to my surprise, there was an entire line of giant birds that stretched a good half mile to three quarters of a mile in the sky- in a straight line. As the birds moved from the SE to the NW, you could clearly make out that there were thousands of smaller birds swarming around the big birds in the center of the convoy… cause that’s what it looked like… a military convoy.

There were the original 2 birds that we saw, then a considerable distance – as much as a quarter mile or better… between the first two and the next group, which was either 4 or 5 birds… I can’t remember for sure. But each of those 4 or 5 birds had a swarm of smaller birds around them… then there was a considerable distance that I would again judge to be a quarter mile or better – and then two solitary birds bringing up the rear. The birds flew “single file” through the sky. We were viewing the birds from the same side as their left wingtips.

My brother’s wife arrived in the backyard as the middle group of large birds passed with the swarms of smaller birds – thousands of them. She exclaimed “Oh my god… it’s their babies!” Also, it was easy to see with the naked eye that some of the Big Birds were bigger than others. Even my brother, who is blind as a bat, could see that the Big Birds were different sizes… I specifically asked him this as we watched this odd procession cross the sky.

I then recalled one specific detail from the History Channel documentary as the last two birds in the procession passed by. As the last two birds passed by our sight line, the final bird in the procession spread it’s wings out and it looked like a nearly perfect rectangle. I turned to my brother’s wife and asked her, “What shape is that?” She looked at me oddly and said “a rectangle”. This rectangular shaped wing, which I’ve never seen on a bird before, was one of the unique characteristics of the Big Bird as reported by eyewitnesses in Texas and other states on the History Channel program.

Of course, no one had a camera – I even went next door to see if the neighbors were home to see if they had one. Nobody home. Took me a good 5 minutes to find my car keys and get out the door and by that time the birds were out of visible sight. I drove in the general direction the birds were heading, but I never saw them again.

I called the McAllen Police Dept to file a report. They sent an officer out from animal control to take the information. He tried to tell me we probably saw migrating white cranes. I called the airport to see if there would be possibly radar tracts or returns that would show something, or if any pilots had reported seeing anything unusual. No luck. I called and spoke with the editor of The Monitor (McAllen’s major newspaper)… who my brother knew personally because the editor’s daughter was a friend of my niece. He was intrigued but showed no interest in following up on the story. I even emailed a cryptozoologist about the encounter, but I never heard back.

Just a few months ago I spoke with Dr. Patrick Redding from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center about the incident. He was one of the experts who appeared on the History Channel program. 
I shared all of the details about the sighting as well as my hypothesis on where the birds may have originated from and where they were heading that day.

Seventeen days after the sighting, Hurricane Dolly made landfall in the region. It is my belief that the Big Birds moved their flock/pod purposefully to avoid the obvious weather conditions coming ashore. In addition, if you backtrack the vector the birds were traveling in the sky, a couple of different possible points of origin make themselves evident… as well as a couple of possible destinations. I have my own theories about that specifically – but who wants to go down to Mexico these days?

I swear to God and on my grandmother’s grave that these are the facts as truthfully, honestly, and accurately as I remember them. If I was asked to take a lie detector test about the information that I have shared from this encounter, I would readily agree. I have nothing to hide nor gain from sharing this encounter with those that would be interested. I have no doubt these Thunderbirds exist. I saw them… just as many others have. As far as I know, my brother, his wife, and I are the only ones to ever report an encounter with a group of the creatures and their possible offspring or symbiotic companions.

Christopher Scott Miesner

Anyone who would like to speak with Scott about his sighting is welcome to contact me at steve@museumoftheweird.com and I will forward him your info.

Painting by Mark Hallett © 1988

  1. Gaspar Hinojosa II

    Hi i just wanted to comment that I’m from Mcallen,TX and i too have seen the huge black bird. A couple of months ago I was waiting at the light on 10th st and the expressway then all of a sudden i saw this huge black bird gliding down to the trees next to the expressway. I made a horrible mistake i was going to park somewhere close so i could at least take a picture of it but i looked at my watch and notice i was going to be late for work. I seriously should of taken the picture, now i completely regret it. I know i missed an opportunity of a life time.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm

  2. Hey Steve and all,
    I am a Valley native and remember the big bird scare of the mid 70’s.
    Two cops from my hometown claimed to have seen it as well.

    I’ve been thinking of doing a short doc on the subject.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm

  3. jenny

    Its was last year 2010 of sept.12 time 10:48pm got home from my neice bday party around that time, i love to see the stars so i looked up n i spottedsomething very weirdi thought it was a plane butdidnt have blinking lights and i looked at it again and it was a huge bird it looked like a dinosaur and colored brownish and greenish like i guess ?? Huge wings and long huge tail , my mom even saw it and a plane was following it. Flew around my house so the next day i check around 11pm and saw it again, i wanted to flim it but it was to dark . I saw it 3times.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

  4. Not to be a kill-joy, but it’s virtually impossible to determine the size of an object in the sky at a distance. The poster mentions an airliner behind the bird, but when one is focusing at infinity, it’s impossible to tell how much space is between the object in the foreground and the object in the background. As for the “little birds,” it is clear that the poster hasn’t spent time in the outdoors. Mockingbirds, jays, and other small birds routinely chase and harass birds of prey who stray too close to their nests. The big birds you likely saw were either turkey vultures, great blue herons, or white egrets.

    I lived in the valley during the big bird sightings of the 1970s and never saw any big birds that I couldn’t identify. I have also spent a lot of time in the outdoors hunting and fishing and have seen really large birds up close. All the birds I mentioned have wingspans of five feet or greater.

    Again, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but this is more than likely a case of mistaken identity. Even the response by Gaspar, is likely a misidentification. If you haven’t been up close and personal with large birds, you don’t realize how big they actually are. Sorry if I’m ruffling feathers…pun definitely intended!



    October 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  5. steven

    okay me my brother and friend went out around 6 and stood till 8-ish practicing.NOW i live in Hialeah Florida.and its freaking full of vultures and i used to think those birds were giant.I looked them up on the internet and their max wing span is 6FT.Florida red head vulture.

    After awhile of practicing i sat down resting.Then i just looked up and this BIG ASS BIRD was flying over us and over the tree.It just needed maybe 2-3 feet of extra wingspan to completely cover half the width of the top of the tree.I got up screaming”look how big that bird is!!!”we all saw it gray and it flew till we didn’t see it anymore.Not once it flapped its wings.It was gliding straight across but this thing had a 3 times bigger wingspan than any of the big ass vultures iv seen.THIS SHIT WAS HUGE.Im 6ft and 2 inches.The vulters max size are 6ft and i thought they were huge when i see them up in the sky and many up close but they dont look 6ft in length from the sky.THIS big ass bird we saw had length of wings bigger & taller than me FROM that height in the sky.

    after it passed my friend said.”steven(me) you think that bird could uv picked us up?”we all saw same thing this shit was HUGE.

    was it a vulture maybe?
    an eagle!?
    a seabird or something!?*no F**** seabirds fly in my area*
    or of course we can reach out and call it..Thunder bird!!?!?

    December 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

  6. Omar

    I myself have seen it and i am from mission, i will not share my story on here but if you want to know about mine email me at westside3335@yahoo.com or text my phone number 956-307-8068

    January 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

  7. Ja'von

    I was at Bloch Park in Selma, AL about 12 midnight standin by the water. And I heard this loud noise like no other, sounded like a dinosaur or a woman getting slaughtered. I looked across the water and saw HUGE wings flyin’ away. It was so big that it flew away slowly, and u can hear the wings producing some kind of wind noise as it flew away. I wanna report this but I don’t know who to go to and if they will believe me or not. But I have witnesses. if u guys know what I should do, email me at Mrsmiley1989@gmail.com cus that bird looks dangerous and I dont think people know that its at our park. And it may be more than 1 of them.

    January 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

  8. david godsey

    Looks like a buzzard to me!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

  9. Jeff Wallace

    In July of 2002 or so, while at our annual 4th of July family reunion on Lake Martin near Dadeville, Alabama, I decided to take several friends and relatives out for a moonlight boat ride to the far side of the lake. I knew the lake very well but it was a fairly dark night with very little moonlight. It was probably around 10pm and we were running along at around 25 to 30mph between the Dixie Sailing Club and the Kowaliga Bridge, when I glanced up and saw a huge dark bird cruising right over the boat. The thing appeared to be no more than 15 to 25 feet above us. This animal was huge and had square wingtips. As I stared up at it speechlessly, my daughters’ boyfriend noticed I was looking up. As he turned to look up as well, the bird turned slightly and veared up and away, dissappearing into the dark night sky with a couple of flaps of its’ wings. Bo only caught a glance of it, but I got an extended look as it appeared to be surveying the kids inside the boat. This unbelievable creature was about as long as my 21 foot skiboat and had a wingspan of probably twice that length. I’d never seen anything like it, before or since. Beleive it or not, I know what I saw, and it wasn’t a plane, nor a glider,… this was a living, breathing creature of enormous proportions. I am convinced this was a legendary thunderbird. UniqueArt@yahoo.com

    January 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm

  10. Brandon waddy

    About 2 weeks ago I spotted this big black bird that they call the Texas thunderbird in the woodlands Texas . Just outside of Houston Texas. It was the most amazing yet the terrifying thing Iv ever laid my eyes upon. It hard a very dark presence to it. So here’s my story… Me and my friend were camping in the woods at a park called lakeside that we would always go too. It was about 4am in the morning and me and my friend were still up talking about stuff that was pretty dark and depressing for about An hour Mabye 2 I lost track. I was laying down in the tent and my friend was sitting up. All of the sudden he started telling me he was hearing footsteps coming towards our tent from probly about 200 feet away. I told him it was probly a deer or something but he said no it was a 1 2 step not a 4 step. I started to listen more and he was right it was something walking towards us on 2 feet. I could see the terror in my friend Sean’s face it scared the hell out of me. All of the sudden the footsteps stopped and we waited about 10-15 min to exit the tent because we both had to go to the restroom. After we were both done taking a piss on either side of the tent we walked to eachother and started talking about what we heard for about 2-5 mins. Then all of the sudden I got a weird feeling in my stomach that told me to look straight up I felt a presence of something dark and evil. When I looked up I saw the giant black bird standing on a branch probly 5-10 feet above me . It was the most massive bird Iv ever seen in my life. It stood at least 7-12 feet tall and was at least 5 feet in width. It was the blackest thing I’d ever seen. It was super wide with small shiny black shoulders and had a small black shiny bald head with a short curved beak and was looking directly into my eyes. After I saw it it jumped off the branch which left the very thick branch swing for about 10 seconds after this thing had to weigh at least 100-170 pounds. I watched as it swooped off into the woods and I saw how incredible and long it’s wing span was. It had to have been a least 15-20 feet wide. And had Square rigged cuts in its wings. It dident have to flap its wings once it just glided. Then me and my friend ran out of the woods in pure terror and fear. So that my story. Thank you for reading. And please leave a responce if you have seen this bird in the Houston area.

    November 3, 2015 at 10:17 pm

  11. Kevin

    I got one video of a huge bird on I phone video.
    I would love to identify it. Who should I show it to?

    January 1, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    • Send it to us and we’ll post it. Surely one of our weirdo community should be able to help!

      January 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm