Monday, October 09, 2006

New 1970's Illinois Giant Bird Witness Steps Forward

I spoke recently with a witness to an Illinois giant bird. She witnessed her spectacle though in 1973, rather than the more sighting-clustered year of 1977.

“I am not crazy and I don’t go around seeing things!” insists Joni Grawe. The problem is that she did see something that to most people would be considered beyond the realms of believability.
Today Grawe, 49, is a group benefits specialist for a paralegal agency out of Illinois and a former realtor, Sunday school teacher and substitute teacher in the public school systems. In 1973 though, she was simply young woman who witnessed a mind-boggling sight.
At this time, Grawe was a typical sixteen-year-old farm girl from El Dara, Illinois in Pike County who enjoyed nature and would often hike the hills and woods of her family’s farmstead. One of these solo treks proved more terrifying than exhilarating though.
“I can remember it so clearly in my mind,” Grawe recalled. “I can still see it all today. It gives me shivers just thinking about it. Even now, I cannot believe what I saw.”
Grawe literally paused for a moment. I could not tell if the memories were overwhelming her or if she was having second thoughts on telling me her 33-year-old story. She assured me that she had never before told anyone outside of her family circle of her encounter.
Thankfully, she continued.
“I was walking down toward Kaiser Creek. It was a beautiful summer day. I would guess mid- to late-July…the beans were up in the fields. I had to walk up this hill and at the top of the hill was a pond—a beautiful, really secluded area. Adjacent to the hill is a ‘holler’ surrounded by trees. When I was nearing the hill, I heard this trumpet-like screech. It was so strange, unlike anything I had ever heard before.”
“And then I saw them, there were three of them, two big ones and a little one. I say ‘little’, but there was nothing little about it! They were the biggest most frightening birds I have ever seen. The big ones were literally as big as a person standing there. Not thin like a stork, but huge—thick as a person. They looked prehistoric. They were all gray colored, wrinkly-skinned and matted. Their beaks were not ridiculously long, not like a heron’s, and somewhat hooked. Their heads were feathered, not bald like a buzzard.”
“The two big ones were smart enough to roost on the ground, but the little one—the child I assume—seemed more na├»ve. It tried to perch on a tree. This was a thin tree, but it had to be forty feet tall. The tree buckled—completely bent—under the little bird’s weight!”
“I dropped to the ground just shaking in fear and tried to hide in the beans. I guess it worked, because they didn’t act like they saw me. The big ones started flapping their wings and the earth was literally reverberating from it—the beans were waving! The wingspan must have been at least twelve feet. I just started praying ‘Oh my God protect me!’”
Grawe remained in the beans for several more minutes until the three creatures—with mighty, wind-creating flaps of their wings—departed via flight. Grawe ran the whole half of a mile home in shock and terror from what she wad just witnessed. She had just become the area’s first observer of a “bigclaw", a name coined by the Pantagraph newspaper out of Bloomington, Illinois (and a clear play off the term Bigfoot) some four years later.

Just one more affidavit of the enigmatic avian sightings in Illinois...of which I will no longer attempt to speculate upon as to their origin.


Anonymous said...

I saw the same thing in the 60's near Naveau while setting on a 5 gallon pickle bucket eating a sandwich and drinking a orange whistle. The 3 birds were across the road about 20 yards away and were bigger than any turkey vultures I had often seen? They were black with feathered heads. When I finished lunch I got up and put away my pickle bucket and they flew off towards the River. I made the delivery several more times but never saw them again. hty

Supernatural said...

I saw the same bird in the NW Burbs about 3 years ago 05-06 ish. Contcat me if you want to hear what happened.

Aaron said...

about 5 years ago me, my brother, and my dad were driving from Pittsfield, Il. to Quincy, IL. and we had a flat tire so we stopped to change it. Me and my brother were waiting outside the car and we saw a large black figure about 200 yards out in the field, it looked like a man standing in the field. This thing started to fly away and its wing span looked to be right around 10 to 12 feet. my dad saw it too and we all still talk about it to this day. I am very familiar with turkey buzzards and eagles, i grew up right on the mississippi so i saw them all the time, this bird we saw was much much larger

Anonymous said...

I saw a giant bird outside of Rockford in the early 90s. It was jet black. It was roosting in a tree. I estimate the wingspan was 12 to 15 feet. I am in the shapeshifter camp.

Anonymous said...

I was 11 when I seen that thing ran in the house every one just humored me and that was that, it took sometime before I wasent scared to go out side without the fear of seeing it agian .This happened in the late 50"s maybe 58 in the inner northside of the city of Chicago, I lived with nightmares for about two years of this bird getting me then they just stopped now it"s just a memory almost like it ever happened.

Anonymous said...

I have just seen such a bird. I was driving home around 2 hours ago and was next to a large bayou area. On the edge of the bayou was a very large dead oak tree. I first noticed the bird sitting on the very top. It jumped off and free fell for a moment before flapping its enourmous wings and hovering before gliding off. I estimate its wings were at least 10 feet in span.