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  #1  
Old 24 January 2008, 08:14 PM
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Icon97 Eagle carries off infant

Comment: Do you know of an instance in the last couple of years where an
infant child was carried off by an eagle at a picnic at Lake Palestine,
just outside Tyler, Texas?

The rumor continues by saying that the child's father hunted down the
bird, killed it, and is currently serving time for the act.
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  #2  
Old 24 January 2008, 08:19 PM
RichardM RichardM is online now
 
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Hard to prove a negative, but it wasn't in the newspaper or on radio or TV news that I recall for the past many years. Could have happened while I was out of town I suppose but I doubt it.
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  #3  
Old 24 January 2008, 10:05 PM
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I'm sure my mom would've told me if she'd heard it (as I have not lived here for more than 6 months,) and a search of Tyler's newspaper archives gives nothing. I vote bull-puckey.
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  #4  
Old 24 January 2008, 10:08 PM
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I live less than two hours from Tyler - I would very have heard about it, it would surely have made the news here. As my SIL lives in Tyler and as she has to alert my MIL to every tragedy that happens and my MIL has to then phone me to inform me of the latest morbid event (like having my own news wire service), and as I didn't get a phone call asking me what I thought about the poor little baby carried off by that eagle, I am doubtful this made the news if it did happen.
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  #5  
Old 25 January 2008, 01:48 AM
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I doubt it as well. While I don't know the carrying capacity of an Eagle, I would say that a young kid (or evan an infant) that would be fighting the bird would not be worth carrying off very far. This kind of attack doesn't sound consistent with eagle attack patterns since they usually attack very small prey in the wild.
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  #6  
Old 25 January 2008, 02:10 AM
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I live within 30 miles of Tyler and Mr. S and I have heard the legend, but never seen or heard any hard evidence that it really happened. If it had happened in the 10 years that I've lived here I'm sure I would have seen it on the news and whatnot.
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  #7  
Old 25 January 2008, 02:12 AM
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I did a search on the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. The only species of eagle I could find in Texas is the bald eagle, which apparently tops out at 14 pounds. Assuming a 6 pound infant, that's nearly a 50% increase in weight. I don't know that the bird would have enough lift at that kind of a weight increase to fly.
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  #8  
Old 25 January 2008, 02:33 AM
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That happens in the book Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates, only it was a toddler rather than an infant, it wasn't Texas, and, IIRC, the book described the bird as a "raptor" rather than specifically as an eagle.
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  #9  
Old 25 January 2008, 03:04 PM
RichardM RichardM is online now
 
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So the reality is that some one read Bellefleur while cruising on Lake Palestine?
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  #10  
Old 25 January 2008, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
I did a search on the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. The only species of eagle I could find in Texas is the bald eagle, which apparently tops out at 14 pounds. Assuming a 6 pound infant, that's nearly a 50% increase in weight. I don't know that the bird would have enough lift at that kind of a weight increase to fly.
It is possible that a Golden Eagle could be found near Tyler. They are native to Western Texas but wanderers are not unheard of. I can't say if any have been documented as seen around Tyler, but even if they haven't they would still be hypothetical there. Breeding populations would be unlikey there as these would probably be documented. These birds are very conspicuous. A golden is capable of carrying something like an infant. Which species (golden or bald) could or would do such a thing is irrelevant because the story is filled with unacceptable claims. It's really quite absurd.

Implausibilities

1. An eagle attacked and carried off an infant from a picnic at Lake Palestine.

2. A man is in jail for killing the eagle.

3. This incident was not national, or international headline news.


Why implausible?

1. An infant at a picnic is going to have numerous adults nearby. Eagles really don't like to be near people, especially so in the context of a noisy picnic crowd. The infant would not likely be in an exposed or isolated situation at that picnic (instead think baby carrier, stroller, playpen, etc. because this is an infant). A picnic is just not the scenario where an eagle would do this even if it could.

2. It is ridiculous to even begin to imagine this man sitting in a jail. It is illegal to kill an eagle but the circumstances of this incident would not warrant incarceration and probably not result in a fine. The UL does not explain what "hunted down" means (minutes later, hours, days, weeks?), and one could begin to imagine if it was an act to recover the baby. It is not illegal to kill a protected animal under conditions of self defense, and it is an easy extension for that to be true in cases of defending the life of another person. Even if this situation could somehow reach the point of jail sentencing we would expect an immediate pardon before any jail door slammed shut. The only exception I could imagine is if the man did not lose a baby and it was a bogus excuse for killing an eagle. I am talking about a false police report on a grand scale. But that is another UL which has not yet been told. "Tyler Man Kills Eagle, Then Lies About It Carrying Off An Infant".

3. How could this story possibly escape major media coverage? Even imagining that it might have only been limited to local coverage is just absurd. You would first see coverage of the incident itself, and then of the man being later jailed for killing the eagle. Is this the kind of story that Reuters would choose not to run worldwide?

I cannot imagine any thinking (adult) person who would believe this UL as it is told. That is true even if they don't know much about eagles. That kind of gullibility might be grounds for wondering if such a person should even be tending to any real infants in their life. I would ask for their driver's license to see if they are a resident of Mars.

I don't know if this UL is prevalent anywhere. If it does have legs, then it's probably not because people actually believe it, but instead is because people are trying to verify if it is true. You run some risk of sounding like an idiot if you ask someone this. Don't ask, "Have you heard this story about the eagle and the infant?", unless you don't mind the answer being a question like, "Are you crazy or something?" Instead, ask "Have you heard the Urban Legend about the eagle and the infant?" Then wait for a reply like "It's not an Urban Legend".

Snopesters may unwittingly cause the spread of this UL by doing nothing more than asking others about it. Those people may begin to ask others as well. It could spread like wildfire even if nobody actually believes it. It spreads not because it is plausible, but because it is so implausible and unheard-of that people are compelled to ask around. Lots more could be said about this UL and the general theory of ULs.
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  #11  
Old 25 January 2008, 05:19 PM
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It could grip it by the husk....


(c'mon, SOMEONE was going to say it sooner or later)
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  #12  
Old 25 January 2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
It could grip it by the husk....


(c'mon, SOMEONE was going to say it sooner or later)
I wasn't going there at all, but you almost owed me an unsplashed copy of Christianity and Judaism.

The non-migratory edition.
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  #13  
Old 25 January 2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
It could grip it by the husk....
It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple matter of weight ratios!
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  #14  
Old 25 January 2008, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlushingBride View Post
It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple matter of weight ratios!
Well, a California condor, sure...
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  #15  
Old 25 January 2008, 06:08 PM
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But what I was thinking was maybe the eagle thought the baby was a hobbit.
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  #16  
Old 25 January 2008, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlushingBride View Post
It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple matter of weight ratios!
Wait a minute! Supposing two eagles carried it together?
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  #17  
Old 25 January 2008, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Base Ten View Post
Wait a minute! Supposing two eagles carried it together?
You mean they could suspend it from a vine?
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  #19  
Old 25 January 2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
Well, a California condor, sure...
But then again California Condors aren't migratory..


Quote:
You mean they could suspend it from a vine?
What held under the dorsal guiding feathers?

did "watched Monty Python enough times" dy
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  #20  
Old 26 January 2008, 06:19 AM
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While I pretty much agree with Barns & No Bull, the incident is certainly not without precedent in the history of UL's:

London Express, 1904: EAGLE CARRIES OFF CHILD

Baby Stolen by Eagle, 1888:

More Avian Abduction Legends
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