The Thunderbird is a widespread figure in Native American mythology, particularly among Midwestern, Plains, and Northwest Coast tribes. Thunderbird is described as an enormous bird (according to many Northwestern tribes, large enough to carry a killer whale in its talons as an eagle carries a fish) who is responsible for the sound of thunder (and in some cases lightning as well.) Known as the Wakinyan by the Sioux, there are people within the cryptozoological community who believe that the legends are based on a real animal, and furthermore, one which still exists today.
Yesterday several people drew my attention to a news story which was spreading across the Internet like wildfire. It appears that TV coverage of The American Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, last Sunday a huge, bird-shaped shadow was cast over the race track.
Various people have claimed that it was a condor, but there are no condors in Texas.
Graham Inglis writes:
"It seems the phenomenon was observed on the original live coverage. Could it have been a 'green screen' overlay added by the tv coverage team, for reasons of a publicity stunt?
At a spectator event where an unexpected shadow passes, one would expect a few people to involuntarily look upwards. The argument that "they were all watching the racing" doesn't really hold water, as many people at a sporting event are just as likely to be using their phones, consuming a snack, talking to friends, or just looking around the sports arena for other participants.
Furthermore, in car racing, the track typically is under observation from a variety of angles and often by several cameras too. It seems odd that a condor or an aircraft of any description could glide low enough to cast a prominent shadow, yet not be directly observed by anyone. Until we're told what the source of illumination was, one can't infer object size by measuring the shadow. A Texas afternoon would normally receive a fair amount of sunlight even in October, but floodlighting is often used on racetracks even in daylight".
So, sadly for all the people who are claiming that this is conclusive proof of the existence of the Wakinyan.... Sadlyu, it is nothing of the kind. Not yet, at least.