To: All Msg #7, Jan-29-93 08:36PM Subject: Re: Tombstone pterodactyl In article +lt;28JAN1

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From: James J. Lippard To: All Msg #7, Jan-29-93 08:36PM Subject: Re: Tombstone pterodactyl Organization: University of Arizona From: (James J. Lippard) Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: sci.skeptic In article <>, (James J. Lippard) writes... >Does anyone in this group happen to have a copy of a book by Janet and >Colin Bord called "Strange Animals" or something like that, from Stackpole >Press? If so, could you please email me the date of the story in the >Tombstone _Epitaph_ about a group of cowboys allegedly shooting a >giant prehistoric bird in the desert? Fortean Times #65 contains an >interview with John Keel in which he says that no such story could be >found in the _Epitaph_, but I know he's wrong because I looked it up >on microfilm about five years ago, but sent my only copy to a friend >and no longer have the date, which I got out of the Bord book. >(What the story lacked, but which people claim to have seen somewhere, >is a photograph.) Well, I got the date and finding the article was easy. Here it is: Tombstone Epitaph, April 26, 1890, p. 3 FOUND ON THE DESERT. A Strange Winged Monster Discovered and Killed on the Huachuca Desert. A winged monster, resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings, was found on the desert between the Whetstone and Huachuca mountains last Sunday by two ranchers who were returning home from the Huachucas. The creature was evidently greatly exhausted by a long flight and when discovered was able to fly but a short distance at a time. After the first shock of wild amazement had passed the two men, who were on horseback and armed with Winchester rifles, regained sufficient courage to pursue the monster and after an exciting chase of several miles succeeded in getting near enough to open fire with their rifles and wounding it. The creature then turned on the men, but owing to its exhausted condition they were able to keep out of its way and after a few well directed shots the monster partly rolled over and remained motionless. The men cautiously approached, their horses snorting with terror, and found that the creature was dead. They then proceeded to make an examination and found that it measured about ninety-two feet in length and the greatest diameter was about fifty inches. The monster had only two feet, these being situated a short distance in front of where the wings were joined to the body. The head, as near as they could judge, was about eight feet long, the jaws being thickly set with strong, sharp teeth. Its eyes were as large as a dinner plate and protruded about half way from the head. They had some difficulty in measuring the wings as they were partly folded under the body, but finally got one straightened out sufficiently to get a measurement of seventy-eight feet, making the total length from tip to tip about 160 feet. The wings were composed of a thick and nearly transparent membrane and were devoid of feathers or hair, as was the entire body. The skin of the body was comparatively smooth and easily penetrated by a bullet. The men cut off a small portion of the tip of one wing and took it home with them. Late last night one of them arrived in this city for supplies and to make the necessary preparations to skin the creature, when the hide will be sent east for examination by the eminent scientists of the day. The finder returned early this morning accompanied by several prominent men who will endeavor to bring the strange creature to this city before it is mutilated. --- Last time I looked this up, I looked through many following issues to see if there was a follow-up article. I didn't find one. Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721


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