By CBS News / cbsnews.com
Seventeen years ago, while floating through this spooky swamp in Arkansas, Tim Gallagher and Bobby Harrison saw a ghost. “Neither one of us knew what we were looking at,” said Harrison. “And we’ve been birding all our lives. It turned up on edge. And you could see those white trailing edges of the wing.”
“That’s when you knew?” asked correspondent Conor Knighton.
“Just locked in. We were both locked in,” Gallagher said.
“We both yelled, ‘Ivory-Bill!'” Harrison laughed.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was thought to be totally extinct. Gone. Dead forever. The last good film of one was taken back in the 1930s. And yet, Gallagher and Harrison were sure that was the bird they’d seen.
Even now when he thinks about it, Harrison said he gets “real emotional.”
The men had traveled to Arkansas after kayaker Gene Sparling reported seeing an Ivory Bill in the same spot a few days earlier. Once Gallagher saw one with his own eyes, he convinced his colleagues at Cornell University to conduct a massive search, a search that eventually led to a bit of blurry video.