By Shane Cochrane
Texas is so full of snakes – many of them venomous, like rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths – that Texans have had to learn to live with them. But the snake that a Texas farmer saw in July 1873 really had him rattled. Not only was it the size of a telegraph pole, it had been flying over his house when he saw it.
He wasn’t the only witness to this strange and terrifying sight. A group of men who had been working in the fields at the time described how, at one point, the snake coiled itself up “and thrust forward its huge head as if striking something.”
This Texas tale was met with scepticism – until a Kansas man came forward with a very similar story.
Could there really be giant flying serpents in the world?
A few years later, on 30 May 1888, the serpent – or one just like it – caused quite a stir when it paid a visit to South Carolina.
It was first seen by three young sisters, who were walking through some woods in Darlington County. The girls were reportedly spellbound by the creature as it flew silently overhead – and couldn’t take their eyes off it until it disappeared.
Later, the serpent appeared over the nearby village of Grassland. As it flew past the Methodist church in the village, sunlight glinting off the weathervane on the steeple of the church attracted the creature’s attention. It dropped out of the sky and began to circle the church – menacingly.