According to legend, the old men of the tribe were opposed to leaving their homelands and said that the journey was madness. They said too that the famine was a scourge which the Master of Life inflicted upon his people for their crimes; that if the punishment were endured, it would pass; if ran from, the results would follow them forever. The legend also states that the old men added that they would rather perish by inches on their native hills, that they would rather die that moment, than leave their land forever, to live with plenty upon strange lands. The legend goes on to say that the young men were enraged and promptly killed the old men.
After killing the elders, the question of the disposal of their remains was a problem. According to the legend, they wished in some way to sanctify the deed by offering up the bodies to the Master of Life. They agreed to decapitate the bodies, burn them, and to sink the heads together to the bottom of the lake. One of the young chiefs who planned the crime died when he became entangled in the ropes that bound the heads together and drowned.
The legend goes on to say that bubbles and slime appeared on the lake, heralding a terrible monster: a giant head with wings, which the tribe could apparently never escape.
Many of the Iroquois were supposedly troubled by the Flying Head which, when it rested upon the ground, was taller than a man. This supposed monster was coated in thick black hair, it had wings like a bat, and talons.
One evening after they had been plagued a long time with fearful visitations, the Flying Head came to the door of a lodge occupied by a single female. She was sitting before the fire roasting acorns which, as they became cooked, she took from the fire and ate. Terrified by the power of the woman, who he thought was eating live coals, the Flying Head left and bothered them no more. An alternate version of this part of the legend says that, rather than seeing a woman eating acorns and thinking she was eating live coals, the Flying Head stole live coals from her and tried to eat them, thinking they were acorns. The results of course disastrous, the Flying Head flees in agony, never to be seen again.