On July 25, 1977, 10-year-old Marlon Lowe was at his Lawndale, Illinois home. It was just a normal day, playing with some friends in the backyard, when some giant birds appeared.
"…. Marlon Lowe was playing in his family's yard with a few friends. As he was walking across the yard, two huge, black birds flew over. One of the birds swooped down as it passed over him and grabbed him in its talons. Seven people watched as the huge avian carried Marlon across the yard. It dropped the boy after it had gotten to the other side of the house, apparently because of his mother's screams.
"Jerry Coleman, from Decatur, Illinois, interviewed Marlon and his mother only a few hours after the incident.
"'I'll always remember how that thing was bending its white neck,' Ruth Lowe, Marlon's mother, said. 'It seemed to be trying to peck at Marlon as it was flying away.'
"She compared the bird's appearance to a condor, but compared its size to an ostrich. She spent many hours in the library after the incident, trying to find out what the bird was, but she had no success. A local sheriff said it had been a turkey vulture, but she disagreed. That's what normally happens when a mysterious creature is seen, be it a Thunderbird, Bigfoot, or something else. Police always say it's a known animal, because people might panic if they knew a bird big enough to fly away with people was around their town!"
This post is excerpted from my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More From Across America, which covers this and many other sightings of thunderbirds and other weird winged things.