Hometown Tales Podcast

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Yukon, AK - The Thunderbird

Thunderbirds don’t really exist, do they? Long before European settlers came to America, native Americans have been telling tales of birds and beasts of this vast land. One animal was the “Mutughowik” or Thunderbird. Unfortunately most of the newcomers didn’t bother believing in these stories; simply discounting them as the ramblings of “savages”. Luckily, these tales have survived as legends handed down through the centuries.

In 1699, a Jesuit priest named Eusebio Francisco Kino was told of a large bird by Pima Indians in Arizona. One bird was described as a monster, living in a local cave, flying around and eating as many people as it could catch. According to legend, the monster bird was followed to its lair and the braves quietly built a large pile of wood in front of the cave. The wood was lit and the bird was reported to have died. ??But are they more than legend? Do these still exist??Only a few years back, a giant bird (reported to have been the size of a small plane) was seen flying over Togiak. One resident claimed it appeared like something out of the movie “Jurassic Park.” The bird was said to have a wingspan of 14 feet.