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A super-sized bird in Alaska
Scripps ^ | 10/15/2002 | Pter Forco

Posted on 10/15/2002 7:19:33 PM PDT by SteveH

A super-sized bird in Alaska By PETER PORCO Anchorage Daily News October 15, 2002

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A giant winged creature, like something out of Jurassic Park, has reportedly been sighted several times in Southwest Alaska in recent weeks.

Villagers in Togiak and Manokotak say they have seen a huge bird that's much bigger than anything they have seen before.

A pilot says he spotted the creature while flying passengers to Manokotak last week. He calculated that its wingspan matched the length of a wing on his Cessna 207. That's about 14 feet.

Other people have put the wingspan in a similar range.

Scientists aren't sure what to make of the reports. No one doubts that people in the region west of Dillingham have seen a very large rapto-like bird. But biologists and other people familiar with big Alaska birds say they're skeptical it's that big.

A recent sighting of the mystery bird occurred Oct. 10 when Moses Coupchiak, a 43-year-old heavy equipment operator from Togiak, 40 miles west of Manokotak, saw the bird flying toward him from about two miles away as he worked his tractor.

"At first I thought it was one of those old-time Otter planes," Coupchiak said. "Instead of continuing toward me, it banked to the left, and that's when I noticed it wasn't a plane."

The bird was "something huge," he said. "The wing looks a little wider than the Otter's, maybe as long as the Otter plane."

The bird flew behind a hill and disappeared. Coupchiak got on the radio and warned people in Togiak to tell their children to stay away.

Pilot John Bouker said he was highly skeptical of reports of "this great big eagle" that is two or three times the size of a bald eagle. "I didn't put any thought into it."

But early this week while flying into Manokotak, Bouker, owner of Bristol Bay Air Service, looked out his left window and 1,000 feet away, "there's this big ... . bird," he said.

"The people in the plane all saw him," Bouker said. "He's huge, he's huge, he's really, really big. You wouldn't want to have your children out."

Nicolai Alakayak, a freight and passenger driver from Manokotak who was flying with Bouker, said the creature looked like an eagle and was as large as "a little Super Cub."

Comparison to an eagle, certainly. Super Cub? Probably not, scientists said.

"I'm certainly not aware of anything with a 14-foot wingspan that's been alive for the last 100,000 years," said federal raptor specialist Phil Schemf in Juneau.

Schemf, other biologists, a village police officer and teachers at the Manokotak School said the sightings could be of a Steller's sea eagle, a species native to northeast Asia and one of the world's largest eagles. It's about 50 percent bigger than a bald eagle.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com.)

Copyright © 1999 Scripps Howard News Service


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: alaska; bird; cryptozoology
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1 posted on 10/15/2002 7:19:33 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: SteveH
It's a dinosaur. We're doomed.
2 posted on 10/15/2002 7:21:53 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: SteveH
I suppose that it can happen... The "experts" can be wrong... For years, people in North Kansas City (MO) had claimed that there was a mountain lion roaming around up there, but they were repeatedly told that they were wrong or mistaken...

Well, Yesterday morning, a driver accidentally hit and killed a mountain lion! Not too far from the big amusement park (World's of Fun) in North KC!

Mark
3 posted on 10/15/2002 7:23:00 PM PDT by MarkL
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To: SteveH
Does it have big feet?
4 posted on 10/15/2002 7:23:04 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: AM2000
...wingspan matched the length of a wing on his Cessna 207.

Marinate for one hour in a gallon of Tabasco sauce...

5 posted on 10/15/2002 7:24:57 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: SteveH
I'm certainly not aware of anything with a 14-foot wingspan that's been alive for the last 100,000 years," said federal raptor specialist Phil Schemf in Juneau.

Federal raptor specialist? Must be from the mohair division.

6 posted on 10/15/2002 7:25:21 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: SteveH
Probably an experimental RPV
7 posted on 10/15/2002 7:25:27 PM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: Brett66
Could be a Lynx expert in his spare time.
8 posted on 10/15/2002 7:27:35 PM PDT by tet68
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To: SteveH; dighton

9 posted on 10/15/2002 7:27:44 PM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
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To: SteveH
If that Cessa 207 Only had a 14 ft wing span it would never fly.

14 feet of wing on each side would be more like it.
10 posted on 10/15/2002 7:28:09 PM PDT by BADJOE
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To: SteveH
Darned it, we left the chicken coop open agin down here in Texas!
11 posted on 10/15/2002 7:28:33 PM PDT by Cvengr
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To: SteveH
I had to work in Kodiak today with these things swarming all over!!!
12 posted on 10/15/2002 7:28:38 PM PDT by ALASKA
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To: BADJOE
Oooops! He did say a wing. : )
13 posted on 10/15/2002 7:29:27 PM PDT by BADJOE
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To: MarkL
Mountain Lions supposedly dont exist in Nebraska either, but ive talked to several people who have seen them or have friends that have seen them. Some of them have tracking collers on them, but the government denies they exist. So if there here, their definately down there.
14 posted on 10/15/2002 7:30:41 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: SteveH
I guess you know about the "Thunderbird" legends. A lot of folks think small populations of huge predatory birds called Tetratorns survived from prehistoric times to the present or near present day. Lots of sightings in Illinios
15 posted on 10/15/2002 7:31:09 PM PDT by Ahban
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To: Cicero
You know what they say about birds: The bigger the wingspan, the bigger the... feet.
16 posted on 10/15/2002 7:31:39 PM PDT by xm177e2
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To: SteveH
Pray to God that this thing doesnt take a dump on your car.
17 posted on 10/15/2002 7:32:02 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: SteveH
I've been to Alaska...
It's one of those Mosquitos they have up there!
18 posted on 10/15/2002 7:33:03 PM PDT by CHATTAB
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To: SteveH

Stellar's Sea Eagle

19 posted on 10/15/2002 7:33:52 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: SteveH
This is true,saw one once after leaving Klondike Mike's.
20 posted on 10/15/2002 7:35:59 PM PDT by mdittmar
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To: Cvengr
Did you hear about Alaska thinking of splitting into two states, North Alaska and South Alaska.

I guess that would probably make Texas the third largest state in the Union.

21 posted on 10/15/2002 7:36:26 PM PDT by alaskanfan
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To: SteveH
We really are doomed!:


22 posted on 10/15/2002 7:36:36 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: SteveH
It was probably just one of those North Slope mosquitoes that wandered to far south.
23 posted on 10/15/2002 7:38:17 PM PDT by alaskanfan
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To: SteveH
This story reads like the prelude to a 50's Sci Fi flick.

John Agar would play the pilot, James Whitmore the heavy equipment operator.

24 posted on 10/15/2002 7:38:51 PM PDT by DWSUWF
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To: Ahban

25 posted on 10/15/2002 7:39:21 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: Eska
Seen this flyin' around by you??

SR

26 posted on 10/15/2002 7:40:09 PM PDT by sit-rep
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To: SteveH
I grew up and live in the Houston area. I remember when I was a kid...about 6 years old...that there was this story on Channel 13's 10 o'clock news about a giant bird. I used to stay with my great-grandfather a lot and he always watched channel 13. I have always remembered the story but can't remember a lot of details. It was about 1975 or so...and they ran the story at the end of the broadcast. they talked of a giant bird sighting in the Houston area and it was supposed to be bigger than anything they could explain. Pretty interesting.
27 posted on 10/15/2002 7:41:48 PM PDT by NELSON111
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To: alaskanfan
Which Texas? Present day? or the other several states it was split into?......of course Alaska ain't so big if it were kept in the sun allowed to thaw for a couple a years. ;^)
28 posted on 10/15/2002 7:43:30 PM PDT by Cvengr
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To: SteveH
We should have listened to the Enviorfreaks.

Global warming is melting the glaciers of northern Alaska and releasing the frozen dinosaurs.

I predict conservatism will collapse under the weight of this revelation.

29 posted on 10/15/2002 7:45:38 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: SteveH
Hillary has taken to wearing mu-mu's while riding her broom. Why all the fuss?
30 posted on 10/15/2002 7:47:08 PM PDT by SCHROLL
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To: AM2000
France surrenders.
31 posted on 10/15/2002 7:47:14 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: SteveH
Wait a minute...14-feet wide?

Is Hillary! stumping for a Dem in Alaska?

32 posted on 10/15/2002 7:47:35 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: SteveH
Albatross wings run 10 or so feet, don't they? 14 feet wouldn't be too far out of line.
33 posted on 10/15/2002 7:48:44 PM PDT by T. P. Pole
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To: SteveH

34 posted on 10/15/2002 7:52:07 PM PDT by Nick Danger
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To: alaskanfan
I guess that would probably make Texas the third largest state in the Union.

Texas would still be second in population.

35 posted on 10/15/2002 7:52:56 PM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: Cvengr
Still no contest. Did you know that Alaska has more shoreline than the rest of the U.S. put togeather? The tides are so extreme that at extreme low tide the state grows by 1/4.
36 posted on 10/15/2002 7:54:41 PM PDT by alaskanfan
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To: SteveH
Was the pilot that reported the sighting perhaps an ex-Northwest pilot.
37 posted on 10/15/2002 7:57:03 PM PDT by SKI NOW
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To: denydenydeny

38 posted on 10/15/2002 7:58:40 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Husker24; MarkL
When I lived in FL, I saw two Florida panthers in an area in which they were not supposed to exist.
39 posted on 10/15/2002 7:59:10 PM PDT by agrandis
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To: SteveH
There was a simply fascinating show on either Discovery Channel or TLC or one of those........some time back........about giant birds like this. The stories........the legends dating back hundreds of years.........are legion. The sightings, even in modern times, are numerous. Even the legend of the "Thunderbird" from American Indian lore is tied to these creatures. It was, again, truly fascinating. These guys (sort of a cross between a giant vulture and a giant eagle) are simply enormous and can definitely carry away a sizeable human child.

Here in NC, where I live (only this was out in the mountains in the western part of the state), there is a mountain that the Indians feared. Many of their children disappeared, never to be seen again, and it is said they were taken by these giant birds (not based on their conjecture; based on eyewitness accounts). There was even an interview with a perfectly normal family..........who damned near lost one of their sons when one of these "super birds" grabbed him and carried him halfway across their very sizeable yard..............the bird eventually dropped him (he was about nine years old and just a bit too large).

Anyway, cool-but-scary stuff. I have absolutely no doubt that these folks saw this type of critter.

40 posted on 10/15/2002 7:59:17 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: alaskanfan
The tides are so extreme that at extreme low tide the state grows by 1/4.

Translation: One quarter of the state is all wet.

41 posted on 10/15/2002 8:00:13 PM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: SteveH
Paging Art Bell...Paging Mr. Art Bell....white courtesy telephone please!
42 posted on 10/15/2002 8:00:18 PM PDT by albee
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To: SteveH
A Bald Eagle that size will mean that we'll just have to mint bigger quarters.
43 posted on 10/15/2002 8:01:53 PM PDT by Hell to pay
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To: DWSUWF
This story reads like the prelude to a 50's Sci Fi flick.

I remember seeing a film where the scientist found a frozen "THING" in a ice cave. They cut it out and defrosted it...and that is how we got Bill and Hillary Clinton.

44 posted on 10/15/2002 8:02:27 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: Psycho_Bunny
Wait a minute...14-feet wide?
Is Hillary! stumping for a Dem in Alaska?

The report said its wingspan was 14 feet wide, not its butt!

45 posted on 10/15/2002 8:03:06 PM PDT by uglybiker
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To: alaskanfan
Well of course our Texas sized chickens fly to Alaska. Where else might they find enough room to range? Heck, they'd trip all over them selves in Rhode island.
46 posted on 10/15/2002 8:05:18 PM PDT by Cvengr
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To: Husker24
Albatrosses "occasionally" get blown North of the Equator.

Known colonies are banded too. Maybe upgraded to those tracking devices.

Heard something about Mountain Lions on RCI tonight.
Didn't pay attention as to the where the cats were "spotted" but the interview went something like:

"What's the genetic difference between the Eastern and Western?"
"None."
"So its just of matter where they roam?"
"Yes, but it's real interesting that they're spotted in the East now. We thought they were extinct..."

47 posted on 10/15/2002 8:05:26 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: tubebender
"...I remember seeing a film where the scientist found a frozen "THING" in a ice cave. They cut it out and defrosted it...and that is how we got Bill and Hillary Clinton..."

Well, I recall that being the source of: "The Thing Called Bill!"

But I thought that Hillary's debut was in: "It Came From Godzilla's Ass!"

48 posted on 10/15/2002 8:07:27 PM PDT by DWSUWF
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To: Godebert
I saw a great special on the Discovery channel recently on eagles. Some that plucked big monkeys out of trees in Africa...some that dined only on turtles that they smashed on rocks...some that were expert at snatching snakes...faschinating.
49 posted on 10/15/2002 8:08:18 PM PDT by Monti Cello
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To: SteveH

50 posted on 10/15/2002 8:08:37 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
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