Legend Says this Illinois ‘Thunderbird’ Picked Up a Small Child
Is there really a bird strong enough to pick up a child? Many believe that answer is yes and that it really happened in Illinois and they have video to prove it.
The case of the Illinois "Thunderbird" dates back to a video that first surfaced at Lake Shelbyville, Illinois back in 1977. The History Channel even had an episode of Monster Quest which referred to this "Bird-Zilla" that is said to have picked up a small child. Atlas Obscura confirms the "picking up a small child" aspect of this story.
There are many turkey vultures that frequent the area where I live in Illinois. To my eyes, that's the first thing that this video brought to mind.
However, no turkey vulture is strong enough to pick up a child and there are multiple stories that claim this legend is no legend, but truth. It's not just Lake Shelbyville, Illinois either, but also Alton where a "thunderbird" is said to have existed since the days of Native Americans calling this land home.
You think this is just a strange legend that only existed 45 years ago? Think again. WCIA also shared a video showing how the Illinois "Thunderbird" is still talked about today.
Is there really one of these huge predator birds that flies in our skies? Considering all the camera phones, you'd think there's be more video available and you'd be correct. This one is said to have a wingspan of 8 feet according to the person who captured the video.
Perhaps this is just legend. Maybe it's been huge turkey vultures all of these years in Illinois. Or, maybe something legendary still lurks above us. The truth is...up there.