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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. Sincerely, Christopher Scott Miesner

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

Painting by Mark Hallett © 1988

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