The Texas woods are home to many a scary thing…
40th Anniversary of the scariest documented encounter with Texas’ Big Bird! It occurred just north of Raymondville in Willacy County. On the evening of January 14th, 1976, twenty-six year old Armando Grimaldo was having a cigarette on his mother-in-law’s porch. His estranged wife Cristina was sleeping inside the house at the time. As Armando would later put it, “I heard a sound like the flapping of bat like wings and a funny kind of whistling. The dogs in the neighborhood started barking. I looked around but I couldn’t see nothing. I don’t why I never looked up. I guess I should have, but as I was turning to go look over the other side of the house, I felt something grab me, something with big claws. I looked back and saw it and started running. I’ve never been so scared in my whole life.”
Armando described his assailant as having a ten to twelve-foot, bat-like wings with dark, leathery, featherless skin and a monkey-like face with large red eyes. He did not recall a beak. As he attempted to flee from his attacker, Grimaldo could feel its claws grasping and then tearing his jacket and shirt. In desperation, he dove down onto the ground and crawled on his belly until he was under a bushy tree. The traumatized man could hear the creature’s heavy panting, as it flew off into the night. Soon after, his neighbors found him screaming and shaking in his back yard. Armando reportedly was in shock when Cristina called the police a little later.
When help arrived on the scene, he was repeatedly mumbling the word pajaro, which is Spanish for bird. He was then taken to Willacy County Hospital, where it was determined that he had escaped any real injury. However, Grimaldo did remain bed ridden for two days after the incident. (From Big Bird: Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters by Ken Gerhard).
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