Thunderbirds, Skinwalkers, and More!

skinwalker– – The season finale of Monsters and Mysteries in America went off with a bang in their “Desert Wasteland” episode, treating us to tales (and tails) of thunderbirds, skinwalkers, nightstalkers, and not to be forgotten, aliens!  The American Southwest may be a desert wasteland, but it’s rich in really cool folklore!  Of course, I was hooked, and wouldn’t have been disturbed unless there was an earthquake or I was on fire.

Now since at least the 1960’s, cattle mutilations have been reported in this domain, and it ain’t Ronald McDonald or the Burger King that’s doing it!- – Now who could be mutilating the cattle, excising pieces and organs of them with bloodless, surgical precision?  This question served as the springboard for an introduction to things supposedly possessing the capability for such mayhem, namely thunderbirds or skinwalkers.

Now Thunderbirds here do not refer to the legendary Ford sportscar, but rather to pterodactyl-like flying creatures with wingspans of perhaps thirty feet or so, long referred to in Native American folklore.  Skinwalkers are my personal favorite of the things covered, a kind of demonic assassin created by magic to harass and harm.  A type of male witch, the skinwalker can change form at will, often taking the shape of wolves or coyotes although owls or other bird forms are also known, and any shape is possible!  Skinwalkers execute curses at the behest of someone else, and in human form could be anyone, even a neighbor.

Nightstalkers as presented are an enigmatic bipedal creature that can come in different shapes.  Their form is indistinct, although red eyes are commonly noted.  As their name suggests, they tend to come at night, and can haunt dreams.  Claw-like scratches on flesh and metal are reported by those who contend that they have encountered them.

Aliens are commonly considered as potential cattle mutilators, presumably possessing the technology capable of bloodless organ excision.  In the southwest, alien grays have been reported to abduct and “harvest” humans, in one case supposedly removing a fetus from a pregnant woman.  The biological father of this child reported being again abducted years later, and introduced to the product of that pregnancy.  Presumably the kid would get some pretty advanced schooling!

All in all, the episode had great, captivating stuff, but did I  believe all of it?  I see the purpose of such shows as being to entertain and inspire wonder, and to cause us to consider alternative explanations of phenomena.  I love such shows dearly…but I’m not quite ready for the tinfoil hat brigade yet!

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4 Comments on “Thunderbirds, Skinwalkers, and More!”

  1. carycomic Says:

    Thanks to that Elias Koteas movie, a few years back, the terms “werewolf” and “skinwalker” are now permanently interchangeable in the minds of most Caucasian-Americans. Yet, from the description you gave above (basically, a multi-purpose shapeshifter), I would say the term “skinwalker” should be more synonymous with “diablero.” The term used for one of Rrchard Kiel’s two guest appearances on the original KOLCHAK THE NIGHTSTALKER series.


    • vulpesffb Says:

      Don Juan, the enigmatic teacher of New Age author/anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, was supposedly himself trained in sorcery by a diablero. Some say that the last diablero was killed in 1942 by an irate village, who burned him alive. Others say that non-native diableros still exist.

      Castaneda himself reports having seen a creature twice the size of a normal coyote while traveling a lonely Mexican road at night with two companions. Speculation is made that the super-sized coyote may have been a diablero…


      • vulpesffb Says:

        Of all the unexplained phenomena in the American southwest, I most fear one referred to only as, “the Adobe Acrobat…”


        • carycomic Says:

          I fear only the spam ads for Adobe, in general. Because, it’s been my experience that they’re named all-too well.



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