Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 20th, 2006
Two new publications have appeared on the little-discussed subject of what is popularly referred to as "flying dinosaurs." These two works, however, are at separate ends of the cryptozoology continuum.
One is a non-fiction review of the sightings over North America of pterodactyl-like creatures, and the other is a comic graphic novel. Intriguingly, their promotional imagery is reminiscent of each other.
In Volume 10, Number 2 of the journal Wonders, cryptozoologist and the journal’s editor Mark A. Hall tackles living dinosaurs, first in an article about ones that soar. The flying variety over his home continent are detailed. Also Hall writes of "other beasts resembling dinosaurs" that are reported around the globe, "including a carnosaur to rival anything in the movies."
Mark A. Hall has been writing about mysterious natural phenomena for over thirty years. Since 1992, his journal Wonders has covered many mysteries in the fields of cryptozoology, anthropology, and the uncharted world of forteana. Additionally, his books have contained ground-breaking theories, intriguing conclusions, and often forgotten, overlooked evidence for cryptozoologists and hominologists to ponder. Hall’s past work on Thunderbirds is well-known, and this new contribution on "flying dinosaurs" extends his view of what’s occurring in the sky.
Now, in a weird twist of fate, comes word of another new work on “flying dinosaurs.” But will the arrival of a graphic funny novel muddle two threads of inquiry that non-fiction cryptozoologists have always tried to unravel?
In 2005, Cryptozoo Crew author Allan Gross decided to do a little background research for his forthcoming story. He traveled to Alaska, as he says in his press release, "to find the hidden truth behind the legends and sightings of the mythical Thunderbird, often considered to be a surviving flying dinosaur." Ooops, did he say "Thunderbird" = "surviving flying dinosaur"?
Be prepared for a wild ride in the world of the Cryptozoo Crew’s newest book-length comic, Call of the Thunderbird.
The graphic novel is a comixture of Thunderbird lore and phrasology with flying dinosaurs. I suppose this is okay because it is a totally humorous fictional treatment, but I think it does not assist understanding what’s going on out there in the field. Or in the skies.
The confusion that occurs when the word "Thunderbirds," which traditionally has been about giant birds, is employed to label pterodactyl-like flying reptiles, is unfortunate. Nevertheless, it’s cryptofiction, it’s more strange theories that have little or no reality to them, from the minds of writer Allan Gross and artist Jerry Carr. We sometimes, I guess, in cryptozoology, have to suspend critical reality for a laugh or two. Apparently.
The Call of the Thunderbird is a story about the origins of the cryptozoo hero, Tork, according to artist Jerry Carr, who enjoyed drawing the youthful, colorful Tork as a child in this 2006 graphic novel. Unlike the Gross and Carr first book, which was a collection of short satiric stories, this one is a more indepth, full length adventure. For a humorous break, and more about the Cryptozoo Crew’s work, visit their website.
For a flight back into reality, Mark A. Hall’s book, Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds is highly recommended for an overview of the genuine story behind flying teratorns, Bighoot, Mothman, and other giant birds in the US, Canada, and around the world.