Ropen (Pterosaur) in Draper, Utah

By the nonfiction cryptozoology author Jonathan Whitcomb

I write books about flying creatures whose descriptions suggest living pterosaurs. In general, most of the reports that get to me appear to actually have been from those non-extinct pterosaurs, strange as that may sound to many people. That strangeness may sometimes be a problem.

For those new to this blog, a pterosaur is not actually a “flying dinosaur,” although many Americans call it by that incorrect name. It is a featherless non-bat flying creature. People several centuries ago probably mostly called them “dragons.” The big problem with the strangeness of one of those words or the phrase “flying dinosaur” is this: When a community or neighborhood might potentially be in danger, how do you warn them about a large ropen? It’s just too easy for anyone ignorant of those animals to assume the person reporting one is crazy or a fanatic.

If you don’t already know, a ropen is a particular kind of modern pterosaur, one that has a long tail. The end of that tail, when somebody looks at that end rather than at the menacing beak, often is seen to have a structure, sometimes called a “diamond.”

This morning I interviewed, face-to-face, an eyewitness of an apparent living pterosaur that flew over his backyard in Draper, Utah, on Sunday, November 4, 2018. He  seemed perfectly credible to me, and I also talked with his wife and found nothing wrong with her deportment.

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new houses in Draper, Utah

Houses west of the one where a ropen flew over the backyard in November of 2018

The creature flew over their backyard at about 5:30 p.m., on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at a height of possibly less than 50 feet at one point. The closest it came to the man, in horizontal distance, may have been about 85 feet.

The wingspan seems to have been between about 16 feet and about 28 feet. Those wings had a very uneven shape to them in the trailing edge.

Other eyewitnesses have reported a similar flying creature in western Draper, the other encounters being about two miles away in the year 2017.

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Pterosaur in Draper, Utah

On June 26, 2017, my wife and I met with several eyewitnesses in a neighborhood of Draper, Utah, (in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley) a few miles west of the Wasatch Mountains. Each of the four persons we talked with lived within about 300 yards of each other and a little south of the Swire Coca Cola complex . . .

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Book for a 10-year-old girl

To precisely judge what might be the best Christmas (or birthday) gift for a ten-year-old girl requires knowing the interests of that child. If you’ll excuse me for promoting my own book, however, please consider my new nonfiction The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur. It’s for middle-grade children and youth up to about fourteen years old.

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Flying dinosaurs

Press release on these flying creatures (pterosaurs)

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Ropens may catch fish

A native village leader on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, encountered a strange light shining down on him as he was in a canoe, over a reef at night, while his buddy was underwater trying to catch fish with a flashlight.

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Pterosaur sightings in Utah

. . . we stared up at the night sky . . . [My brother] suddenly noticed something and started yelling something about a giant bird . . . At around the same time, the animals in the farm next to us started going berserk. . . . Suddenly as I looked up at the night sky, the farm animals started up again and then I saw it.

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Are modern pterodactyls dangerous?

The “pterodactyl attacks” do not seem to come just from the imagination of the author of Bird From Hell, although he displays a keen sense of imagination in his writing (not necessarily in any negative sense of “imagination”). He reports quite a few cases in which residents of a sparsely-populated area of British Columbia have been attacked at night by a large flying creature.

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Books about non-extinct pterosaurs

A limited revision of Searching for Ropens and Finding God, the fourth edition, does include new material at the end of the appendix, an interview I had with Professor Peter Beach and with the nonfiction author Milt Marcy.

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New Book for Children

By the investigative journalist Jonathan Whitcomb

[Updated November 14, 2018; the book was published on Nov 8th]

I wrote the nonfiction book The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur for several purposes. As a gift giver for a child or teenager, you need to know what this does and does not do and what benefits it can give to the young reader. I recommend it for readers between about the ages of eight and fourteen; for some ten-year-olds (and eleven and twelve) it will be exceptionally delightful: easy to understand yet stimulating.

This is not about dinosaurs in the usual sense but about pterosaurs, commonly called by many English-speaking Westerners “pterodactyls” or “dinosaur birds” or “flying dinosaurs.” Some people, in the past and in the present, have called them “dragons.”

It’s not about how they all died many millions of years ago or about why they all died. It’s more like a true-life adventure, getting into eyewitness testimonies from men, women, teenagers, and children, common people from two continents. This book explores what they actually saw, or at least what they tell us that they saw, and why we can learn from the many similarities in the reports: what the animals looked like, or what they’re reported to look like.

This book explores why people did not believe eyewitnesses at first and why people are beginning to believe them in recent years. Indeed, some cryptozoologists are completely convinced that many eyewitnesses have given us reports that deserve serious scientific investigation. I am one of those cryptozoologists who believe what many eyewitnesses have told me. Again, the reader can decide what to think.

Critical Thinking

Unlike almost all nonfiction books on dinosaurs and pterosaurs, this one does not indoctrinate readers into what to think. It reports what three eyewitnesses said about  flying creatures in Cuba (1965 and 1971) and compares those accounts with others: four eyewitness accounts from Los Angeles County in the 21st century and seven eyewitness accounts from Papua New Guinea.

The book explains, in simple English, the three most important points about what a person tells us and then explains the credibility of the reports mentioned:

  1. The person is telling the truth and is not mistaken
  2. The person is telling the truth but is mistaken
  3. The person is telling a lie

The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur reports human experiences. It allows the reader to decide what to believe: The final statement on the title page says, “You, the reader, decide what you want to believe.”

Please do not misunderstand what this book suggests. From the many species of pterosaurs that are now known to many scientists through fossils, it is obvious that countless species of this flying creatures have lived in the past. The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur suggests that one long-tailed species has survived and that this uncommon nocturnal animal has avoided official scientific discovery partly because it rarely appears in daylight. Unfortunately for eyewitnesses, when such an animal is reported and described, almost nobody believes it . . . until recently.

Here are brief quotations from this book for kids and teens:

From first chapter

. . . One day in 1965, a few children were walking near some tall grass in eastern Cuba. Patty was about six years old and was with her little brother. Suddenly an animal stuck its head up above the grass, about thirty feet away from Patty.

As the children looked at the animal, nobody moved. Not just the head but the upper part of the wings were showing. It looked confused, like it had just woken up and was looking around to see what was happening.

After about five seconds, the creature jumped up and flew away. It had a leathery brown coloring, with no sign of any feathers. The end of its long tail was diamond shaped.

From second chapter

Six years after Patty saw the flying “dinosaur,” a United States Marine saw two “pterodactyls” at Guantanamo Bay. Most people did not believe him. It’s not just children that have that problem, for many people believe that all of those flying creatures became extinct many millions of years ago.

. . . The two pterosaurs flew together, slowly flapping their wings. They were not far from Eskin and maybe 100 feet high. He described their wing flapping: “graceful.” He had a clear view, as they flew from the sea, going inland.

Wingspan is the distance from one wingtip to the other. Eskin thought the two pterosaurs each had a wingspan of about ten feet, but he said that it could have been as small as eight feet or as large as twelve feet. It’s hard to tell how big something is if it’s up in the air and you have never seen anything like that before.

sketch by Patty Carson: long-tailed featherless flying creature

This sketch was drawn by the eyewitness Patty Carson

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Two pterosaur sightings in Cuba

I would here be writing mostly about those interviews in 2004, except that I’ve just started a new nonfiction cryptozoology book for children: The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur. That’s why I need to concentrate on two pterosaur sightings in Cuba . . .

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People who see “flying dinosaurs” (pterosaurs)

The “flying dinosaur” of Papua New Guinea is often called ‘ropen.’ It seems to be a large Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur, far larger than any of the fossils of those long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoids known, at least into the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Missing children and living pterosaurs

I don’t accuse all ropens for all the disappearances of children who go missing in North America. But the reported sizes of some of these flying creatures makes it possible for a small number of them to go bad in the worst way, like a few mountain lions and a few bears that we have heard of over the decades.

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Cryptozoology book on pterosaurs

Since the time of Darwin, many scientists have assumed that some general types of animals became extinct long ago. One of the assumptions is that all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs died off before any humans existed.

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Children who saw a modern pterosaur

Wesley Koro, Gideon’s brother, was one of seven boys who saw the ropen fly over a crater lake on Umboi Island (about 1994).

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Pterosaur books

. . . some of the nonfiction books are entirely about these featherless flying creatures and others include cryptids of other types or even are mostly about paranormal events in general . . .

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Kids see a pterosaur in England

. . . last weekend two of my children were playing in the garden . . . around 10 a.m. [and] my son of 13 years came running in to me saying he saw a giant big brown bird with giant wings. . . .

 

Dragons and Flying Snakes

By cryptozoology author Jonathan Whitcomb

I sometimes encounter the word dragon, in my communications with eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs, but rarely encounter or use the phrase “flying snake,” unless it’s in reference to the fiery flying serpent in the Bible or in the Book of Mormon. We now look at a chapter in the book Strange & Unexplained Happenings, Volume 3, by Jerome Clark and Nancy Pear, with subtitle “When Nature Breaks the Rules of Science” (International Thompson Publishing, 1995).

paranormal book by Jerome Clark and Nancy Pear

Third volume of the paranormal book by Clark and Pear

The first section of the chapter “Folklore in the Flesh” has a number of references to old sightings, at least some of which could have been encounters with non-extinct pterosaurs. The title of this section, for pages 447-452, is “Flying Dragons and Other Sky Serpents,” and it begins by quoting from Historia Anglorum by Henry of Huntingdon (c. 1088 to c. 1157):

Red signs appeared in the sky after sunset, and horrid serpents were seen in Sudsexe*, with great amazement. . . . [19 years later] exceptional flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air . . .

*”Sudsexe” is the ancient word for Sussex in England.

Yet glowing dragons and reports of flying snakes are not confined to English folk tales and legends from many centuries ago. We also find, in Strange & Unexplained Happenings, an account of a strange flying creature in what is now southern Namibia, and this was investigated by Marjorie Courtney-Latimer (sometimes with the spelling Courtenay), famous for her discovery of the living coelacanth in the early 20th century.

A farmer sent his 16-year-old son to investigate why he heard reports of a large flying snake in nearby mountains, for native shepherds had gone on strike because of it. The boy not only had his own encounter with the creature but was rendered unconscious as he noticed a strong odor after the huge flying “snake” had landed. I suspect he encountered a large ropen, what my associates and I believe is a long-tailed modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.

In 2011, I communicated with a man who reported recently observing an apparent living pterosaur in Windhoek, Namibia. It appeared to be about half the size of a private airplane and seemed to be devoid of the primary feathers which are commonly seen on the ends of the wings of large birds.

A few years ago, I received a number of sighting reports from Southern California, and the following words and phrases were sometimes used:

  • dragon-pterodactyl
  • dragons

The descriptions of the flying creatures led me to believe that they had seen living pterosaurs, even when some of the sightings were in populated cities in Southern California. These animals are not at all confined to ancient legends or in remote wildernesses where people rarely venture. They fly whenever and wherever they chose to fly, although they are generally mostly nocturnal.

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Are Dragons Pterosaurs?

Both grandmothers and wolves are actual living beings of this world, even though the story “Little Red Riding Hood” is a fictional story. In a similar way, old legends need not be 100% fictional.

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Living Pterosaurs in North Carolina

People in North Carolina, and in other states of the USA, need to know that these sightings are taking place.

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Fiery flying serpent

The Bible mentions fiery flying “serpents” as real animals, causing death to many of the people of Israel in the desert many centuries ago.

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Living pterosaur in Namibia

I recently received an email from a man in Windhoek, Namibia (southwestern Africa). A few weeks ago, just after breakfast, at about 10:00 a.m., while sitting in his garden, he saw what he . . . later thought [was] more like a “prehistoric animal.”

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“Pterodactyls” in California

Over many years of research and interviewing eyewitnesses, I’ve often encountered reports of pterosaur sightings in California, flying creatures that many Americans would call “pterodactyls.”

 

More “Pterodactyls” in North Carolina

By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan D. Whitcomb

This answers some of what is found in two newspaper articles published online, both of which reported, in mid-January of 2018, sightings of apparent living pterosaurs, or “pterodactyls,” in North Carolina. They also commented on my writings on these flying creatures. Because of mistakes and weaknesses in these two newspaper stories, I don’t want to make them too dominating in search engine results: I won’t provide links here, but both articles should be easy enough to find.

“Are there flying dinosaurs in NC? One woman says she’s seen them 3 times in Raleigh” — in the News & Observer, January 11, 2018 (N&O)

“Flying Dinosaurs Sightings Are On The Rise in North Carolina” — in Charlotte Stories, January 12, 2018 (CS)

I don’t mean that publishing those two news articles did more harm than good, not at all. People in North Carolina, and in other states of the USA, need to know that these sightings are taking place. It’s just that accuracy and fairness were far from perfect.

Definition of “Cryptozoology”

I’ll give my own definition:

Cryptozoology is a collection of human activities, each of which involves some degree of positive thinking about the possibility that a potentially real animal, one that has not yet been accepted as real by Western scientists in general, is a real animal.

I suggest that the above definition is more accurate than many others, especially the one on Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the writers of the N&O news article chose to use something like the Wikipedia definition.

Using the above definition, however, can help people to understand that cryptozoology is not pseudoscience, not unscientific, and is not a branch of zoology. The Wikipedia article is not 100% wrong, yet it is far from accurate and completely wrong in saying “it does not follow the scientific method.” It could be more accurate to say that scientists do not follow the scientific method in their common daily routines.

In reality, any cryptozoologist can use the scientific method as much or as little as he or she chooses. For example, I have used wingspan estimates from a compilation of sighting reports and came to conclusions based upon the shape of that overall numeric data. That was only one step in a process, however, for the scientific method involves a number of processes. The final stage came to this: the overall data from the 128 more-credible sighting reports points to these encounters being with real animals, and most of the sightings, if not all of them, were most likely of modern living pterosaurs.

wingspan estimates for modern pterosaurs

Seventy-four of the eyewitnesses made estimates for wingspan

From the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (cryptozoology book)

Am I (along with my Associates) Crazy?

The News & Observer article may not be far off when it says, “Dismissed as lunacy by paleontologists and other academics, Whitcomb’s work . . .” In reality, however, only a tiny fraction of the paleontologists of the world, or even in the United States, are likely aware of my work. Among those limited numbers who know about my living-pterosaur investigations, a few have been vocal in criticizing my work and writings or ridiculing the religious beliefs of me and my associates. In reality, only a tiny fraction of my writings have been about religion, and the critics have usually written as if they knew my religious beliefs. In other words, they write about what they imagine I believe rather than about what I have actually written or about what I actually believe.

Why do I mention that kind of belief here? Many of the scientists who criticize the ideas of me and my associates often write about our religious beliefs, something even mentioning religion more than they mention anything scientific.

If my associates and I are in the minority, among Western scientists and researchers, regarding religious belief in scriptures (like those about the Flood of Noah in the Bible) that does not make us crazy. It may, however, make us resemble Sir Isaac Newton much more than our critics resemble him, in terms of belief in the Bible.

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Smoky Mountains of North Carolina

Smoky Mountains in North Carolina

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4th edition, front cover: Searching for Ropens and Finding God

Fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God, by Whitcomb

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Pterodactyl sighting in Raleigh, North Carolina

Universal extinction is the assumption, in Western culture, regarding pterosaurs, so when somebody reports a pterosaur sighting in Raleigh, North Carolina, we can expect objections from skeptics.

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Apparent Living Pterosaurs in North Carolina

Where do these flying creatures appear? They have been reported in Raleigh, Durham, Asheville, Wilmington, and in other areas of N.C.

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Talk-show interview of Whitcomb early in 2018

Whitcomb wrote nine editions of four nonfiction books, one scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal of science, and over a thousand web pages and blog posts on sighting reports of featherless flying creatures described like pterosaurs.

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Living Pterosaurs

Glen Kuban (GK) and I have a few things in common. We’ve both been writing about reports of apparent extant pterosaurs (or those who believe in them) for a long time, and we’ve written a lot. I started late in 2003; and GK, in 2004. We differ, however, in how we interpret those reports.

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Living Pterosaurs Declaration on “Clear Thinking”

The second part of PLP goes into more details, regarding encounters with apparent extant pterosaurs, compared with DLP, and there is limited overlapping of what sightings are covered.

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Living Pterosaur in South Carolina

I may have included the following eyewitness report of a living pterosaur in one of my nonfiction books, but it seems that I have not previously published the account online, so here it is . . .

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Statistics on Living Pterosaur Sightings in the USA

By nonfiction-cryptozoology author Jonathan Whitcomb

This morning I published a news release:

Living Pterosaurs in the United States (abbreviated title)

Expect a revision of the list in 2018, so the map may look different after additional sighting reports are added. Why publish a press release now, when the sighting list is not yet complete? It will never be complete, for people continue to encounter these featherless flying creatures in the USA, but the public needs to know what is flying overhead in North America and in Hawaii, and they need to know it now.

The list itself is not in that press release but it was written based upon what I discovered  from comparing the number of sightings with state populations.

These 161 reports are only a tiny fraction of the actual encounters American have had with apparent living pterosaurs over the past few decades. The actual number could be a thousand times that many. In other words, this sample may be too small to draw many conclusions about where in the USA non-extinct “pterodactyls” are more common. It may give us a hint about human nature, however.

map of the USA - sighting reports of living pterosaurs

The statistical figure for Hawaii (not shown) is 44.1

The top eight states, in relation to human populations, for reported pterosaur sightings are as follows, with actual number of sightings in parenthesis. The numbers on the right are reports per six-million human residents or the equivalent in ratio.

Hawaii (ten) = 44.1

Utah (nine) = 19.5

Oklahoma (seven) = 11.2

Kansas (four) = 8.4

Arkansas (four) = 8.3

Virginia (ten) = 7.5

Georgia (twelve) = 7.4

West Virginia (two) = 6.5

Clarification of Pterosaur Reports and Human Population

The numbers on the right are for comparing the number of reported sightings per six million persons. Since the populations of Virginia and Georgia are more than six million each, the number of reports are greater than the numbers on the right. In other words, if six million people lived in Virginia, then the number of reports would have been seven or eight (7.5). The actual number of reports from Virginia, however, is ten, for the actual number of people living in Virginia is over eight million.

Why are Sightings Reported so Frequently in Hawaii?

I offer the following possible reasons why so many reports are from Hawaii:

  • People stay out of doors a lot there, all through the year
  • The climate may better support modern pterosaurs
  • People may be more open to believing in what they see in HI

I’ve noticed, over the years, that some reported sightings of flying “pterodactyls” come from eyewitnesses who seem to spend more time outdoors than the average person. It could be when they’re driving or riding as a passenger in a car. Some of the other eyewitnesses were watching the stars at night or just enjoying a beautiful outdoor scene. Hawaii is a perfect place to look around outside, so we should not be shocked that sighting reports are more numerous from that state.

Pterosaurs may actually thrive in this tropical paradise, and people may instinctively recognize that possibility. That makes the third point more likely: When someone sees an apparent pterosaur flying over an island of Hawaii, he or she will probably be more likely to accept that what was apparently seen was actually what it appeared to be.

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Pterosaurs living in Hawaii

Last night I got a phone call from Les Kouke, who now lives in Colorado Springs. He had sent me an email, a few years ago . . . was living on the isand of Oahu, Hawaii, when he was twelve years old. It was around 1970 when he saw the creature flying about a hundred feet high . . .

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Pterosaur sighting in Utah

Where was that flying thing [looking like a dragon] flying? Over Stansbury Island, which is in the Great Salt Lake of Utah.

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Pterodactyl flying in Oklahoma

. . . my friend that was with me immediately said “Is that a dragon!?” It had a long tail, pointed wings straight to the side, short head. I thought it was a giant bat, but it would have to be the largest bat in the world.

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Living pterosaur in Kansas

Sightings in the following states of the USA:

  • California
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Kansas
  • Texas
  • Florida

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Pterodactyl seen in Arkansas

“It was probably 1982 when me and my older brother were sitting in our carport [in Texarkana, Arkansas] It was getting dark but there was plenty of light in the sky when we saw what we believe to be a [pterodactyl]”

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Featherless flying creature in Virginia

. . . the bird (?) I saw was much bigger and looked like a pterodactyl.

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Large creature or dragon flying in Georgia

It now seems plausible that a species of ropen lives in Georgia [USA]. David Schroder has allowed me to reveal his real name.

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Living Pterosaur in Georgia, USA

By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

A few days ago, I received an email from a lady who wants to remain anonymous:

I saw this flying creature in the winter of 1999 in Roswell, GA while I was walking out to my car in my apartment complex. I saw a shadow, looked up and it was gigantic and my mind had a hard time making sense of it. The closest thing I could compare it to in that split second was a pelican but it’s face was shaped differently and it was absolutely enormous. Years later I casually mentioned it in front of my boss and her husband and her husband looked weird all of a sudden and asked where I had seen it and I said Roswell, GA and his wife said that he had see one there in the same town and then the husband changed the subject.

She later sent me another email:

I remember that after the face threw me off, as not being one of the closest animals I could compare it to, a pelican, it’s face was longer and not as gentle looking, and I also noticed that it’s feet had claws or talons and I knew that they did not look like pelican feet. I did not notice a tail at all. But it all happened so quickly. The apartments where I was living at the time were brand new and they were near wooded areas but the strange thing is that when I saw the shadow on the asphalt I though it had to be a low flying plane or something because the shadow was so large but then when I looked up and saw it I was truly shocked . . .

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How Many Americans Have Seen a Living Pterosaur?

. . . between 50,000 and 4,000,000 Americans have seen an obvious pterosaur at some time in their human lifespans.

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Pterosaur Declaration

We also invite people to become aware that at least three scientific papers have been published on the subject of modern pterosaurs.

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Missing Children Found in Caves

This two-and-a-half-year-old boy was found in a cave in New South Wales, Australia, in May of 1954, after he became missing from the family’s front yard the previous day. I learned about this case from the book Missing 411 The Devil’s in the Detail, by David Paulides.

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How can Modern Pterosaurs Remain Hidden?

It was a fledgling mocking bird, not yet able to fly. It was trying to hide in the flower garden near the front door of a family child care facility. Strange to tell, that baby bird was seen by only one person that week, although many parents and children had walked past that part of the flower garden, countless times missing the fledgling; the bird was only inches from people who overlooked it. And it was not a large flower garden, by any means.

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Long-tailed flying creature in Georgia

As it lept out from the woods, I saw it from below, and the tail was very long with a shape on the end. Its wings were probably half-spread and I saw several dark thin horizontal bands across the belly. . . . As it crossed my path, in front and slightly above me, I saw it had a head that was curved, like a hammer; the head had a crest on the top.

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Living pterosaurs in Georgia

For years people in Georgia have seen flying things unlike birds, sometimes creatures with long tails and no feathers and too big to be a bat. Sometimes a person will notice something like a head crest at the back of the creature’s head . . .

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Ropen Seen by Duane Hodgkinson

By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

Over the past thirteen years, I’ve often written about the pterosaur sighting by Duane Hodgkinson. My associates and I consider his sighting report to be one of the more important ones in our field of cryptozoology.

Why do I mention his ropen sighting again? The skeptical writings of Glen Kuban need to be answered, for his recent remarks about Duane Hodgkinson can be extremely misleading, even if Kuban is sincere and even if he has never been dishonest. Indeed, he seems to me to have mislead himself, but I’ll save that subject for later.

“Living Pterosaurs” by Glen Kuban

As of late October, 2017, this web page is enormous: According to Character-Count-Online, it has 229,223 characters, which is more text than is found in many books. At 5.1 characters per average word, “Living Pterosaurs” would have almost 45,000 words, but it seems that Kuban sometimes uses longer words: Character-Counter-Online reveals his online publication has only 36,273 words. Take it in context: Many web pages and blog posts have between 100 and 400 words.

What’s the relevance? This web page is apparently orchestrated to convince people of one or more of the following:

  1. Living-pterosaur cryptozoological investigations have failed
  2. Eyewitness reports of non-extinct pterosaurs have practically no value
  3. “Creationists” who believe in living pterosaurs are wrong
  4. All pterosaur species are extremely likely to have become extinct many millions of years ago

So what’s wrong with those points? In Western societies, mass extinctions of all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs are taken for granted. Axioms of standard paleontology are trumpeted into our ears since early childhood, so what’s wrong with somebody publishing a web page portraying that all pterosaurs are extinct? It’s the many hundreds of paragraphs. “The lady doth protest too much.”

If the investigations into eyewitness reports of apparent living pterosaurs are as worthless as Kuban portrays them to be, then why did he write and publish a web page that is about 100 times as large as a typical web page on the internet? Why has he gone to such enormous trouble to convince people of what the vast majority of Westerners take for granted: the idea that all species of pterosaurs are long extinct? Surely part of the reason is because somewhere deep down he has come to doubt that extinction axiom and is trying to convince himself that my associates and I are completely wrong.

Duane Hodgkinson — Eyewitness of a Living Pterosaur (LP)

Before reading any part of Glen Kuban’s web page, please be aware of the following:

  • Kuban probably never communicated with Hodgkinson
  • Kuban possibly never interviewed ANY LP eyewitness
  • Kuban is NOT a cryptozoologist

With the above three points in mind, after reading the following feel free to visit Kuban’s “Living Pterosaur” web page, for you’ll then be better prepared to be objective in comparing our differing opinions about the possibility of living pterosaurs.

Garth Guessman and I have interviewed Duane Hodgkinson extensively with independent interviews. Guessman and I understand what this World War II veteran told us about his army buddy, the other man who also saw the huge “pterodactyl.”

To the best of my (Jonathan Whitcomb) knowledge, that army buddy never did anything like deny seeing a giant pterodactyl except within the first few seconds or minutes of their sighting. Nothing in our interviews with Hodgkinson indicate anything other than the following:

The army buddy was adamant about not wanting to talk about the encounter. He never denied that they had seen a pterosaur, in the usual sense of denying something. He never said anything that would suggest there was any bird or any bat involved. He simply insisted that he would keep quiet about what they had seen. In other words, he made it clear that he would never admit that they had seen a gigantic living pterosaur.

In other words, it’s quite possible that, after leaving that jungle clearing, the buddy never mentioned the encounter, preferring to keep quiet about it for the rest of his life.

Now see what Kuban says in the October 7th version of “Living Pterosaurs:”

“Hodgkinson’s friend and fellow witness to the incident was a biologist, and denies that they ever saw a pterosaur.”

Take that in context. Kuban apparently never communicated with either Hodgkinson or the army buddy. Guessman and I have interviewed Hodgkinson, and it was clear to us what the veteran said about the buddy who had no desire to tell anybody that they had seen a living pterosaur the size of a small airplane. The denial was ONLY immediately after the sighting, and nothing was said by that buddy about any possibility of any misidentification.

In other words, that buddy preferred to pretend that they had seen nothing at all. If anyone has interviewed that man, I would be interested to know what he said, but all we have to go on, for now, is what Hodgkinson has told us.

Kuban says, “Whitcomb displays a large degree of confirmation bias here, by fully trusting Hodgkinson’s word and memory, while dismissing without basis the testimony of his more scientifically knowledgeable friend.” Yet Kuban never seems to have interviewed either eyewitness, and Guessman and I have interviewed the only one who has, apparently, ever been interviewed regarding this sighting in 1944.

Kuban seems to have completely missed the point that seems perfectly clear to me and to Guessman: The army buddy had no intention of setting himself up for ridicule. Why would any soldier want to be laughed at and made to look like a fool?

Do Guessman and I, who have personally interviewed Hodgkinson, have a bias that is more severe than that of Kuban, who has apparently never interviewed anyone? Let’s look at this logically:

If the buddy was indeed “more scientifically knowledgeable,” as Kuban says he was, then why is no mention ever made about any possible misidentification? Why did neither of the eyewitnesses, apparently, ever say anything about any misidentified bird or bat? Only one explanation do I see here: Almost any person with education in science who saw a strange bird or bat in a jungle clearing, and who had a companion who said that it was a pterodactyl, would say SOMETHING about the possibility that it was a bird or a bat. Why did that “scientifically knowledgeable” man insist that they had seen nothing? It’s this: Hodgkinson was right and no bird or bat was involved.

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ropen eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson, a World War II veteran

The late Duane Hodgkinson, who was a flight instructor

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A Psychologist saw a Living Pterosaur

Sighting on Bougainville Island, New Guinea, in 1971, and how it relates to the pterosaur sighting by Duane Hodgkinson

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Nonfiction books for LDS

The nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God was written for readers of all faiths, with astonishing eyewitness accounts from around the world, from ordinary persons from different cultures and religions.

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American soldier sees a “pterodactyl”

Duane Hodgkinson saw a living pterosaur

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Confirmation Bias and Living Pterosaurs

Paiva and I have not declared that it [the apparent pterosaur in a photo] must be a species of Pteranodon. We simply suggest it appears similar. In other words, we have stated something very similar to what Kuban states or implies: It gives some persons the impression that it is like a Pteranodon.

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Books by LDS Authors

This includes the cryptozoology book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (by Jonathan Whitcomb of Murray, Utah).

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Cryptozoology books for Mormons and other Christians

I knew from the beginning that some readers would be LDS, yet I mostly had a broader audience in mind: Christians who had long maintained faith in the Savior of mankind but who had become troubled by the philosophies of the world, in particular indoctrination into the extreme naturalism philosophy . . .

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