Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
draconic chronicler

Crawfordsville Monster - An American Dragon?

56 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

draconic chronicler

Interesting account of an inexplicable flying creature found on the "Eyes Behind" website http://www.subversiveelement.com/Crawfordsville.html. Yes, in 1891 it was calle a 'dragon' by the witnesses and suggests something writhing about in the air like a Chinese dragon that apparently flew without wings. What was it?

The Crawfordsville Monster

One of the most bizarre of all cryptozoological cases comes out of Crawfordsville, Indiana during September of 1891. A story carried by the Indianapolis Journal for September 5th said that at two o'clock the previous morning a "horrible apparition" appeared in the sky overhead, where two men who were working on a wagon saw it. The men estimated that the creature was about one hundred feet in the air, twenty feet long and eight feet wide. And living it did seem, as it was apparently propelling itself with several pairs of fins and circled a neary house. It disappeared shortly after into the east but soon returned. The two men at that time fled for their lives. However they were not the only observers of this monstrosity, a Methodist pastor named Rev. G. W. Switzer and his wife also saw the animal, if that is what it was.

The creature returned the following evening, and this time there were hundreds of eye witnesses. The citizens of Crawfordsville described a violently flapping "thing" with a flaming red "eye." The creature writhed as though in great pain, "squirmed in agony" and sounded a "wheezing, plaintive noise" as it hovered at 300 feet. At one instance it swooped down on a band of onlookers who swore they could feel it's "hot breath."

Was the story true? Charles Fort investigated the matter, he was convinced that there was no Rev. G.W. Switzer. To his surprise he learned that there was indeed such a man and corresponded with the man who did affirm the story. Later a reporter named Vincent Gaddis investigated the matter. He interviewed dozens of witnesses who all related the tale of the mass sighting, telling him the story was true.

Gaddis wrote that "All the reports refer to this object as a living thing."

Edited by draconic chronicler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stuman

Do you have any evidence such as pics or videos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
draconic chronicler
Do you have any evidence such as pics or videos?

Regretably, video cameras did not exist in 1891, and even cameras were not yet common, privately owned items, and were bulky and used only by specialists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jobot37

Gotta say the website doesn't look too reputable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rosenrot

I wish someone could find the newspaper entry on this. Unfortunately, I think the only way would be to search the Indianapolis library as it's probably on microfilm. But it's an interesting read anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SoulFire
Do you have any evidence such as pics or videos?

LOL - video in the 1800's :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Gremlin

soulfire did you get your avatar from that site?

is the site yours?

i agree with the poster who says it doesnt look too reputable.

can the story in the journal be verified...does it exist?

i for one dont believe a word of it.

so either they were all on drugs, hallucinating, or lying.....or the event never existed and was made up....like the 'witnesses'.

other explainations could include a kite, or windsock-type hot air balloon....made as an obvious hoax...

was there a chinese community in the area? labouring on railway lines?

too many questions to take this seriously

a fun read though.

Edited by lil gremlin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eight bits

Please compare the findings of the Montgomery County Historical Society, based on local investigative journalism at the time, available in pdf format here:

http://www.lane-mchs.org/Crawfordsville%20monster.pdf

Fortunately, two eyewitnesses tracked the creature. John Hornbeck and Abe Hernley “followed the wraith about town and finally discovered it to be a flock of many hundred killdeer.” The many birds’ wings, white under-feathers, and plaintive cries contributed to the belief of many eyewitnesses that the creature originated from the otherworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow

Killdeer don't flock like that... And several hundred birds wouldn't create an image of something like that, anyway. You need thousands.

If you want to blame it on birds, blame it on starlings. They can create incredible "images" when they flock.

Imagine if you saw that at night, what it would look like to you.

But given the story takes place at 2AM, I doubt it was birds...?

I have to hand it to DC for finding interesting stories. :)

Edited by Ebonykrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eight bits

While killdeer flocks are typically small, exceptional flocks of hundreds of individuals have been reported by competent observers.

A flock of 1200 turned up on the ground in this report from 1992-93:(p 10)

http://www.calwater.ca.gov/Admin_Record/C-053393.pdf

Reports of flights in the few hundreds can easily be located on the web.

Large killdeer flocks are rare, as you say, but they do happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
drakonwick
While killdeer flocks are typically small, exceptional flocks of hundreds of individuals have been reported by competent observers.

A flock of 1200 turned up on the ground in this report from 1992-93:(p 10)

http://www.calwater.ca.gov/Admin_Record/C-053393.pdf

Reports of flights in the few hundreds can easily be located on the web.

Large killdeer flocks are rare, as you say, but they do happen.

As well upon reading this, the incident itself seems to be a rare occurrence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SoulFire
soulfire did you get your avatar from that site?

is the site yours?

i agree with the poster who says it doesnt look too reputable.

can the story in the journal be verified...does it exist?

i for one dont believe a word of it.

so either they were all on drugs, hallucinating, or lying.....or the event never existed and was made up....like the 'witnesses'.

other explainations could include a kite, or windsock-type hot air balloon....made as an obvious hoax...

was there a chinese community in the area? labouring on railway lines?

too many questions to take this seriously

a fun read though.

NO - i've had this avatar for a long time. i didn't even know they had those gifs on their page until you asked me that & i went & looked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Skeptic Eric Raven

Mr. DC. How about giving us a video of a dragon?Hmm. There have been cameras for a long time now, but no pics of dragons. Since you have a supposed dragon friend, why don't you take a picture of him and post it. :tu:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
draconic chronicler
Mr. DC. How about giving us a video of a dragon?Hmm. There have been cameras for a long time now, but no pics of dragons. Since you have a supposed dragon friend, why don't you take a picture of him and post it. :tu:

Several of the nessie and champ videos, as well as some others are all genuine recordings of dragons. Because of their extreme wariness, it is no longer possible to get those 'close up sightings' that have occured so many times in the past. As stated before, attempting to take a close up photograph of a dragon is extremely foolhardy and can lead to unfortunate consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
draconic chronicler
Killdeer don't flock like that... And several hundred birds wouldn't create an image of something like that, anyway. You need thousands.

If you want to blame it on birds, blame it on starlings. They can create incredible "images" when they flock.

Imagine if you saw that at night, what it would look like to you.

But given the story takes place at 2AM, I doubt it was birds...?

I have to hand it to DC for finding interesting stories. :)

Actually there are other sightings in the 1800's that were described as 'dragons' and seen by a number of people. They are actually easier found in UFO type books rather than cryptid ones.

In this case the 'bird' explanation seems rather lame considering how disturbed people were by it and clearly describing the red eye, and actually feeling its hot breath. It is interesting that the American "mothman" is also described with glowing red eyes. Perhaps this is the first actual eyewitness report of this creature.

Edited by draconic chronicler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Skeptic Eric Raven
Several of the nessie and champ videos, as well as some others are all genuine recordings of dragons. Because of their extreme wariness, it is no longer possible to get those 'close up sightings' that have occured so many times in the past. As stated before, attempting to take a close up photograph of a dragon is extremely foolhardy and can lead to unfortunate consequences.

Considering all the photos look like crap, your argument falls short. Your statements like" all genuine recordings of dragons." Really, were you there, no. I didn't think so. I will be waiting with baited breath for you to take a pic of your dragon source. Thanks.

Edited by Eric Raven The Skeptic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dariune99
Considering all the photos look like crap, your argument falls sharp. Your statements like" all genuine recordings of dragons." Really, were you there, no. I didn't think so. I will be waiting with baited breath for you to take a pic of your dragon source. Thanks.

All of which is totally irrellevant to this thread. I dont like DC or much of what he says but this thread is a reasonable question based on an interesteing (if unlikely) story.

I dont see any reason to start a row in a dragon thread when it seems to me that dragon threads are of ill repute at the moment. A shame as that is what kept me coming back here now and again.

In answer to the original question im afraid i dont buy the story at all. The site is ... questionable at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
In this case the 'bird' explanation seems rather lame considering how disturbed people were by it and clearly describing the red eye, and actually feeling its hot breath. It is interesting that the American "mothman" is also described with glowing red eyes. Perhaps this is the first actual eyewitness report of this creature.

I would believe it. Though I am skeptical, of most things, I just don't see how blaming something that disturbed so many people on birds would work. It would be completely reasonable to say it could have been a flock of birds if it wasn't 2AM (but there's no way to call it anything for sure, seeing as we're not going to the 19th century anytime soon to find out). I like the idea that it was a giant flock of starlings--or killdeer (because they are beautiful and strange), but the fact that it occurred at 2AM seems odd, to say it was caused by birds. I would say it was just a flock of birds if it wasn't for 1) the time of day, 2) the fact that these people are probably used to seeing large gatherings of squawking avians.

I think that comparing it to Mothman gives a better image, seeing as there are several reports of a Mothman-like figure appearing under those conditions. I would doubt it's the first eyewitness report of Mothman--or a similar creature, given that legend has been around for centuries, especially among Native Americans. It is the first story I've heard of a creature described in that way, though, however unprofessional that site looks.

Wikipedia seems to have more information regarding the Crawfordsville "Monster".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawfordsville_monster

http://www.rense.com/general50/whatthe.htm - Also has some things to say, and some strange comparisons in relation to the sighting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Incorrigible1
It would be completely reasonable to say it could have been a flock of birds if it wasn't 2AM (but there's no way to call it anything for sure, seeing as we're not going to the 19th century anytime soon to find out). I like the idea that it was a giant flock of starlings--or killdeer (because they are beautiful and strange), but the fact that it occurred at 2AM seems odd, to say it was caused by birds. I would say it was just a flock of birds if it wasn't for 1) the time of day, 2) the fact that these people are probably used to seeing large gatherings of squawking avians.

"Ornithologists tell us that the vast majority of birds migrate at night. Using internal navigational systems yet to be fully understood by humans, birds travel vast distances at night using the darkness to safely avoid predators. As dawn breaks migratory birds will find suitable habitat to feed, rest, and then proceed on to their nesting or wintering grounds.

For those of us interested in understanding the full cycle of migration in our area, Bedford Audubon’s early morning bird walks look at just one piece of the puzzle. Although they are visually pleasing, spring and fall morning walks will only identify a small number of species that actually stop in our area. Since most species of birds migrate during the night in large numbers, they cannot be visually recorded in the same way as those seen in daytime bird walks.

Recently, ornithologists have begun using two types of technology to enhance their ability to track migratory bird patterns; one is the use of NEXRAD radar and the other is through the recording and deciphering of the birds’ night flight calls."

http://www.bedfordaudubon.org/night_trax01.html

Edited by Incorrigible1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Otterclaw

An interesting story, but I agree that the website is questionable. However, if it is true (unlikely) then we can most likely put aside pointing the finger at birds, considering the creature had a bright read eye and if it flew close enough to the eyewitnesses that they could feel "its hot breath" they would probably notice the shapes of hundreds of different birds, not one mass of them.

Most likely, though. This story could be a "big fish" tale, in which the locals were frightened at seeing a flock of birds that they thought was monster, disappointed when they found out otherwise, and then when telling the tale to others they slightly exaggerated the story over and over until it they turned it into a "real" monster.

The starling videos on youtube are amazing, though. I think I can finally confirm that the black smoke on Lost, is indeed, starlings.

Edited by Otterclaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BigDaddy_GFS
The men estimated that the creature was about one hundred feet in the air, twenty feet long and eight feet wide. And living it did seem, as it was apparently propelling itself with several pairs of fins and circled a neary house.

Sounds very much like a giant ROD. Maybe that was a 'queen', and all we see today are 'larvae'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Undeadskeptic

Save it for your blog DC. This is clearly an unreliable story from an unreliable site, we don't need this garbage on the forums again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SoulFire
Mr. DC. How about giving us a video of a dragon?Hmm. There have been cameras for a long time now, but no pics of dragons. Since you have a supposed dragon friend, why don't you take a picture of him and post it. :tu:

so you're saying that dude has a friend that is a dragon ? ? ? surely, you're making that up eric, right ? ? ? :hmm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Otterclaw
so you're saying that dude has a friend that is a dragon ? ? ? surely, you're making that up eric, right ? ? ? :hmm:

He has a friend that's a dragon? I would kill to have a dragon-friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
"Ornithologists tell us that the vast majority of birds migrate at night....

Touché.

considering the creature had a bright read eye and if it flew close enough to the eyewitnesses that they could feel "its hot breath" they would probably notice the shapes of hundreds of different birds, not one mass of them.

I'm all for it being birds, and I think the only part about it that's questionable is the "red eye". A large flock of birds could easily cause a gust of warm wind--think about all those beating wings and flight patterns, and I'd imagine that that many birds together would smell...rather foul.

But you know, it's not like we're going to find out what it was anyway. o_o

Quit the bickering and stop changing the direction of the thread. Honestly, if you want to jab at DC do it some other way. :/ It's competely stupid to have a discussion ruined because you have to mock his every topic. Good lord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.