Commonwealth Journal

Features

May 31, 2011

A Harrowing Tale that Indeed is True

Somerset —  

“Now, they won’t laugh at me any more.”
Tyler Lloyd has gone back to McCreary County Middle School with proof an eagle picked up his great-great-grandfather and carried him 200 feet before dropping him to the ground.
“We were studying about birds and I just decided to tell them about this eagle,” said 13-year-old Tyler. “They laughed at me ... one boy made up a story about riding a coyote to school ... they made up a bunch of stories. They laughed. They even called me a liar.”
Russell Schenk wasn’t pleased his grandson’s integrity was in question because he told a story handed down by his family.
“James Meece, the boy picked up by the eagle, is my grandfather on my mother’s side,” Schenk told the Commonwealth Journal. He called the newspaper to see if there are records of the incident that his grandson could take to school and prove he didn’t make up the story.
There are several stories about the eagle picking up little James Meece. The incident occurred in September 1929 on Bald Mountain at Ruth in eastern Pulaski County. Bald Mountain juts upward beside Haunted Cave Road off Ky. 192. 
The Commonwealth Journal several years ago did two or three stories about the incident. Bald Mountain was so entangled by underbrush it was impossible to get to the peak of the hill where the eagle picked up the child.
The original story about the incident was written by W.O. McIntyre, mayor of Danville, for the St. Louis Post Dispatch Sunday Magazine. The article, published in October 1929, was accompanied with photographs of 8-year-old Jim Meece, victim of the eagle’s talons. United Press picked up the story and distributed it nationwide.
Three of the Meece boys, Jim (James), Trimble and George, children of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Meece, were playing on Saturday with Clyde and Cecil Phelps. The Meeces lived in a clearing at the top of the mountain and the Phelps children had come from their home at the foot of the mountain.

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