From: Ron Schaffner (

CARRIED OFF - 10 year-old Marlan Lowe and his mother Mrs. Ruth Lowe claim that one of two large black birds with eight-foot wingspans tried to carry Marlan off in its claws Monday evening in Lawndale, Illinois. Although several birds experts say that no bird native to Illinois could lift 70 pound Marlan. Mrs. Lowe say that Marlan was carried 20 feet before the bird dropped him when he struck the bird with his hand. (UPI)

Source: Boston Evening Globe; Thursday, July 28, 1977
Credit: Loren Coleman


Lawndale, Ill. (UPI) - James O. Danels shook his head. If I had just had a can of beer earlier. then I could have said I imagined it. But I didn't have any beer that day."

So Daniels is convinced the two huge black birds that attacked a group of children playing in his neighbor's back yard were not an hallucination. One of the birds tried to carry away a neighbor's 10-year-old son.

The neighbor, Mrs. Ruth Lowe, said she was cleaning the family camper Monday evening when she heard a scream from her son, Marlan. She said she reached the backyard in time to see the boy, who weighs 70 pounds battling a huge bird that was carrying him two feet off the ground.

She said the bird then dropped Marlan and then, joined by another bird, flew toward Kickapoo Creek near the central Illinois community of Lawndale.

Mrs. Lowe said the birds, which resemble condors, were black with single white rings around their necks and eight- foot wingspands.

"They were the biggest things I've ever see," she said.

Daniels, his wife Betty and Mrs, Lowe's husband Jake ran into the yard in time to see the birds.

Mrs. Lowe said she did not tell police about the incident until Thursday because she was afraid they would not believe her.

"I though if I tell the police, they'll think I'm crazy, and they did", she said.

But Logan County officials said the story is not being discounted because of the number of credible witnesses who reported seeing the birds.

Experts said no birds indigenous to central Illinois would be strong enough to lift a child.

Logan County Conservation Officer, A. A. Mervar agrees the witnesses say birds, all right, but they were probably nothing but turkeys or king vultures.

Daniels conceded the point, but Mrs. Lowe said she and her son are convinced the birds were condors because they match pictures of condors they saw in a book.

Mervar also said, "I don't think the child was picked up." Daniels, however, said the birds, which probably weighed 50 - 60 pounds each may have been able to pick up the running boy with the help of his momentum.

"Other than that, I can't tell you what the varmits were," he said. "If I had had a shotgun, I could tell you what they were."

Source: South Middlesex News, Thurday; July 28, 1977
Credit: Loren Coleman


Burlington, Kentucky. (AP) - A five-pound puppy remains in critical condition today while wildlife experts try to decide whether it was attacked by an Americal Bald Eagle.

Mrs. Greg Schmitt, Rabbit Hash, Ky., said the beagle was snatched from her farm and dropped in a pond 600 yards away. Mrs. Schmitt said she did not see the incident but that a 7-year-old neighbor boy did. He said it was a "big bird" which took the puppy skyward.

The veterinarian, Dr. R. W. Bachmeyer, of Walton, Ky., said wounds on the puppy might have been caused by talons.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer; September 2, 1977