Â Oct 9, 2006
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.
â€œI am not crazy and I donâ€™t go around seeing things!â€ 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 familyâ€™s farmstead. One of these solo treks proved more terrifying than exhilarating though.
â€œI can remember it so clearly in my mind,â€ Grawe recalled. â€œI can still see it all today. It gives me shivers just thinking about it. Even now, I cannot believe what I saw.â€
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.
â€œI was walking down toward Kaiser Creek. It was a beautiful summer day. I would guess mid- to late-Julyâ€¦the beans were up in the fields. I had to walk up this hill and at the top of the hill was a pondâ€”a beautiful, really secluded area. Adjacent to the hill is a â€˜hollerâ€™ 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.â€
â€œAnd then I saw them, there were three of them, two big ones and a little one. I say â€˜littleâ€™, 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 hugeâ€”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 heronâ€™s, and somewhat hooked. Their heads were feathered, not bald like a buzzard.â€
â€œThe two big ones were smart enough to roost on the ground, but the little oneâ€”the child I assumeâ€”seemed more naÃ¯ve. It tried to perch on a tree. This was a thin tree, but it had to be forty feet tall. The tree buckledâ€”completely bentâ€”under the little birdâ€™s weight!â€
â€œI dropped to the ground just shaking in fear and tried to hide in the beans. I guess it worked, because they didnâ€™t act like they saw me. The big ones started flapping their wings and the earth was literally reverberating from itâ€”the beans were waving! The wingspan must have been at least twelve feet. I just started praying â€˜Oh my God protect me!â€™â€
Grawe remained in the beans for several more minutes until the three creaturesâ€”with mighty, wind-creating flaps of their wingsâ€”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 areaâ€™s first observer of a â€œbigclawâ€, 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 Illinoisâ€¦of which I will no longer attempt to speculate upon as to their origin.
posted by Scott Maruna Biofort.blogspot.com