Thunderbird Art

In West Virginia, February 1st 1895, A ten year old girl named Landy Junkins was running errands for her parents. It was a cold winter day in Bergoo, Webster County. She was making her way through the snow to check on old Mrs. Warnick who lived a couple of miles away. She started though the large frozen field ahead of her, but she never made it to Mrs. Warnick's place, nor did she ever make it home. She was never seen again.

Everyone went out looking for the young girl, but all their searching turned up was a lone set of small footprints that went out into the middle of a large frozen field and stopped. This tragedy would be only the beginning of the horror stories coming from Owl Head Mountain during this long, hard winter.

Not far from the field where Landy disappeared, a farmer named Hance Hardrick had put up a shed to shelter his sheep through the bad weather. When he went out to check on the sheep he found one sheep missing, with a large hole ripped through the roof of the shed. There were no footprints in the snow but the farmer's own. Whatever did the damage had to be able to fly, and it had to be big enough to carry a full-grown sheep.

On February 7th 1895, Deputy Sheriff Rube Nihiser and his son would become the first people to actually see the beast. They were tracking deer through the woods near the base of Owl Head Mountain when they heard the cries of a doe. The two men were stunned when they came upon the scene, giant bird with huge talons and a monstrous beak was attacking the doe and her fawn. The bird stood taller than a man and had an enormous wingspan. Rube fired a rifle shot as the beast scooped up the screaming fawn and flew away as, leaving the torn up doe with her eyes pecked out. The hunters escaped unnoticed and unharmed but the next person to meet this winged nightmare was not so lucky.

The next day, Peter Swadley was out hunting with his dog, Gunner In Taylor County. Out of nowhere he was attacking in a flurry of great huge wings. Giant claws ripped at him and a giant beak smashed against his head like an axe. Gunner ran at the bird and attacked it from behind. The bird let go of Peter and went after the dog. Gunner protected his owner but was carried away in the bird's talons. A neighbor found Peter and got him to a doctor. He may be the only man who can say he survived an attack by the Thunderbird of Owl Head Mountain.


Monsters & Ghosts of West Virginia by Eric Turner and Isaac McKinnon

Strange West Virginia Monsters by Michael Newton
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