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.


Smoky Mountains of North Carolina

Smoky Mountains in North Carolina



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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 . . .



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.



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 . . .


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.


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.


Living pterosaur in Kansas

Sightings in the following states of the USA:

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


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]”


Featherless flying creature in Virginia

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


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.


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 . . .




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.


Pterosaur Declaration

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


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.


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.


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.


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 . . .


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.


ropen eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson, a World War II veteran

The late Duane Hodgkinson, who was a flight instructor



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


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.


American soldier sees a “pterodactyl”

Duane Hodgkinson saw a living pterosaur


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.


Books by LDS Authors

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


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 . . .


Living Pterosaurs in England

By the modern-pterosaur researcher Jonathan Whitcomb

My investigation, over the past fourteen years, of reports of apparent living pterosaurs verifies what other researchers have learned: These extraordinary flying creatures are nocturnal, at least most of them and for most of the time. Let’s now look at one of those apparent exceptions.

Pterosaur Sighting in Shropshire, England

This is not a rumor I found on the internet or a third-hand account related to me by one of my cryptozoology associates. The lady sent me an email, just last week, and here is a small part of what she said (I’ve made some changes in punctuation, etc):

First let me introduce myself, my name is _____. I am a mother of four and I am 32 years old. I live in Britain on the Welsh border in an area called Whitchurch, Shropshire. I may now add that I am in the best of health mentally, I do not take any form of narcotics nor prescription pills and I do not drink. . . .

With that out the way, I will now tell you what I have seen and the reason as to why I have contacted you. Two weeks ago . .  [mid-morning] I went into the garden to play with my cat, a usual occurrence for me as I love my cats. Anyway, we live near a wildlife reserve which has an abundance of birds and wildlife, including eagles and hawks, heron, geese, swans etc. its usual for them to fly overhead and I see them flying . . .

I saw two pterodactyls, side by side, flying past the tree. . . . [with at least one of them she noticed] a giant-sized beak and the wings had no feathers. . . . [The two flying creatures were] grey in colour . . .

She was stunned. After devoting some time to research all the birds she could find, birds in England and elsewhere, apparently nothing seemed to fit what she had seen. But the most impressive difference, to her, was the sound of the screech of the two apparent pterosaurs that had flown through that area of Shropshire in September of 2017. No bird call was close to that sound.

I suggest that these two flying creatures may be related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea: a large Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. Like the ropen, the two seen in daylight in Shropshire may actually be mostly nocturnal. Perhaps they were disturbed in daylight and so flew into the air when they would normally be sleeping.

landscape photo - Shropshire, England

A lovely rural area of Shropshire, England


Other “Pterodactyl” Sightings in England

The blog post linked above appears to have been published online before October 21 of 2012. I’ll summarize two of those reports of apparent pterosaurs:

Near the town of Glossop, Paul Bennet  saw something like a bird, but it had leathery
wings. He mentioned the word pterodactyl in his 1982 report.  At about the same time, Jean Scofield reported, from about 35 miles to the north, in the town of Yeadon, a huge “bird” and estimated the wingspan to be about ten feet.

Could These Flying Creatures be From Africa (Kongamato)?

I can see how some cryptozoologists might speculate that these “pterodactyls,” what some would call “dinosaur birds,” are like the kongamato of Africa and might even be from that continent. I would suspect, however, that such speculation would include the assumption that large flying creatures like these could not have been living in England for centuries without being discovered by scientists. That’s another subject entirely.



Live pterosaur in Africa

A few years ago, a man from Africa sent me an email about his encounter one night in July of 1988, when he was a boy in Sudan. . . . he noticed, on the roof of his uncle’s house, a strange winged creature. It was about four to five feet tall as it perched, and only about ten feet from a light bulb . . .


Discovery of a 19th Century Living Pterosaur

In January of 2017, the physicist Clifford Paiva and I talked by phone and agreed that the photograph now called “Ptp” has an authentic image of a modern pterosaur.


Living pterosaur on Umboi Island

. . . our investigations of apparent nocturnal Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea! . . . Gideon Koro related how he was terrified at the sight of the giant ropen that flew over Lake Pung (around 1994). He and his friends were only children (or in their early teens) when they had climbed up to the crater lake on Siasi (Umboi) Island, Papua New Guinea.


Dinosaur Birds

The pterosaur is known by several names in the United States: “dinosaur bird,” “flying dinosaur,” and perhaps the most popular “pterodactyl.” In Papua New Guinea, it is known by many names: “ropen,” “duwas,” “indava,” and “kor.” But what shocks many Americans and Europeans are eyewitness reports that these supposedly “ancient” and “extinct” flying creatures are alive . . .


Kongamato of Africa

Introduction to reports of living pterosaurs in Africa


Flying Creature

You have seen a flying creature unlike any bird or bat. It’s more like a pterosaur but alive, a “flying dinosaur.” What do you do?


Recent Sightings of Modern Pterosaurs

By the living-pterosaur cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb

For several months, I have been busy studying and writing about the Ptp photograph (which was apparently recorded before about 1870; I’ve recently written a book about it: Modern Pterosaurs), but I continue to receive eyewitness reports of apparent pterosaurs, especially from the USA. Just yesterday (June 1, 2017) a lady from North Carolina sent me an email, including the following:

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I just left . . . when I saw the shadow of big wings on the ground, so I looked up and I saw a winged, brown, species of [pterosaur] flying in the sky in the afternoon around 6 pm while me and a guy was standing at the bus stop.

It was pretty big! It was flying away from us, it had a long tail with a crest on its head that resembled a Rhino-horn-Bill bird. I’m in shock!!

I replied:

Thank you . . . for telling me about this. Could you give an estimate for how far away it was from you?

She answered:

. . . it was probably between 80-100 feet off the ground. I stand at that bus stop almost everyday so if I see it again, I will get my phone out! It was gliding slowly while slightly flapping its wings. My life has been changed forever. I hope I see it at again, I was a skeptic at first, but not now. [her mother and uncle had reported something similar, when they were children, but their mother did not believe them.]

I asked:

You mentioned a long tail. Did you notice [any] detail in it?

She answered:

Yes, the tail looked like it was in the shape of a lions tail, or a (paint brush) if you know what I mean? The tail was brown, long, and at the end of it; there was a diamond shaped bulb. . . . The crest was long enough that it matched the length of its beak.


Whitcomb photo of the Los Angeles River

Los Angeles River, a little east of Griffith Park (photo by Jonathan Whitcomb)

Pterosaur Sighting North of Los Angeles

I got an email in mid-May of 2017 regarding an apparent pterosaur seen in the San Fernando Valley of California. Here is part of it:

I had the weirdest sighting just recently, maybe 10 days ago approx. . . . saw it when driving towards Encino, somewhere between 134 and 101 [freeways]. I’m a perfectly sane 31 [year-old] man.

I was VERY fond of dinosaurs when I was a kid and . . . know a lot of the
subject. However, I could’ve never expected to see a pterosaur flying
over Los Angeles…. I’m from [northern Europe] and live partly (about half the year) in LA. It was a clear day. I know it was not a bird. Contact me
in my mail, I’ll give you a full story! Thanks . . .

I replied:

Thank you very much for telling me. . . . Yes, I would very much like to know about your sighting, thank you.

He continued:

Maybe May 8th or 9th I was driving on 134 towards Ventura and 101. It was a perfectly clear and sunny weather and the traffic was heavy at maybe approx 10-12 am. The traffic was slow, creeping speed at the point where I was, and I kinda was just lookin around in my car when I saw something oddly large flying in my left corner of the eye. When I looked directly to it,
the very first thing that came in to my mind was that it was not a bird.

It was quite large, bigger than ie. an eagle. Its head and neck resembled
clearly that of a pterosaur more than a bird, and the most remarkable thing that I noticed right away and saw very clearly, is that it had a tail of
some sort. The tail was quite long and seemed to have some sort of wider
part at the end of it.

It moved very differently than a bird would. It just glided through the air effortlessly but in a very straight line at first. It looked like it was moving slow, but then suddenly it was already way ahead of me and i was looking at it from behind. It may have moved quite fast actually.

It flew across 134 heading somewhat to the same direction with the freeway and then I saw it flap it’s wings; the movement of the wings looked somehow different than when birds flap their wings. It was
kinda slower, but maybe because of the size of the wings. The movement was different. I don’t know the words to describe it well enough since English is not my mother language.

. . . The traffic started moving and I had to start paying attention to driving and I lost sight of it. At no point did I start to reach for my phone to take a picture, since I was driving and also I felt it would be futile to try and capture it from such a long distance, keeping a steady hand and operating the car at the same time in the freeway traffic where it’s stopping and moving constantly.

. . . I must say that I’ve never thought that there could be pterosaurs still living, it never occurred to my mind. . . . Never thought of it. But this sighting made me google “pterosaur sightings Los Angeles” to see if anyone else had had this type of weird experience around this city. And to my greatest surprise I found some similar sightings, and to my even greater surprise, in the very same area, near Griffith [Park]! . . .

I replied:

Thank you very much for the many details that you provided. You are
correct about sightings in California, for we do have many there,
including many in Los Angeles County. I’ll pass along this sighting to my associates.



Modern Pterosaur in 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.


Civil War Pterodactyl Photo

It seems that either confirmation bias or belief perseverance (or both) has played a role in how some persons have interpreted [and then wrongfully rejected] the photograph.


Pterosaur sighting in San Fernando Valley

A report of a large flying creature in Sherman Oaks, California, suggests similarities to the ropen of Papua New Guinea. A man reported the creature after he and his girlfriend observed it while taking a walk at about 10:30 p.m., on September 21, 2009.


Pterosaur Sightings near Griffith Park (Los Angeles), California

The most recent California pterosaur sighting report that I have received is from a flyover of Interstate-5, on May 13, 2013, just southeast of Griffith Park. It was south of Los Feliz (at the I-5), in Los Angeles, just a mile and a half south of where another eyewitness observed three “dragons” flying over the same freeway, two months earlier.


Confirmation Bias and Living Pterosaurs

By the modern-pterosaur author Jonathan Whitcomb

Glen Kuban has written a long online article: “Living Pterosaurs (Pterodactyls)?” I now acknowledge that he often revises that page, and details that I publish, including quotations, may be seen by him, resulting in corrections that he will make in it. If things continue as they have, in the months of March, April, and May, of 2017, however, the most serious problems in “Living Pterosaurs” will not be much affected by his changes. Why? He continually falls into confirmation bias.

In keeping with his tendency to fall into this kind of error, he has recently fallen into confirmation bias in his writings on the Ptp photograph that the physicist Clifford Paiva and I have been examining. He mentions that the animal in this photo resembles a Pteranodon (apparently meaning it gives some persons that impression), but he gives two lists of reasons why the animal differs from what is now known to paleontologists from fossils of the Pteranodon. He gives those two lists as if they were evidence against that animal being a modern pterosaur.

In reality, Paiva and I have not declared that it 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. In compiling those two lists, Kuban believed he was giving people evidence that the animal seen in that photo was not a modern pterosaur. In reality, his two lists are completely irrelevant.


possibly genuine photo of a 19th-century pterosaur

Kuban himself uses the word “Pteranodon” in his page of criticisms


The Nature of Confirmation Bias

When a person wants an idea to be true, he or she can be misled by wishful thinking. The person may stop gathering information when the evidence already gathered appears to confirm the views or prejudices he or she would like to be true.

From an objective perspective, a piece of evidence may have a number of possible interpretations, but when someone falls into confirmation bias, that person looks only at an interpretation that fits what he or she wants to be true.

Even when one piece of evidence is actually more likely to fit a person’s desire, it can lead to confirmation bias if that person then refuses to look at any other evidence that could contradict what he or she wants to be true.

Let’s look at one example:

“Very Relevant” Blunder in Glen Kuban’s “Living Pterosaurs” 

The skeptic mentions the use of the word ropen in the village language of the PNG native Jacob Kepas, a Baptist minister. Papua New Guinea has hundreds of local languages. In the village tongue of Pastor Kepas, “ropen” means  bird.

But the skeptic Glen Kuban makes a big mistake in his online article: “This seems like a very relevant piece of information.” It’s more like the opposite: totally irrelevant, unless you believe that a hippopotamus must be a horse that lives in a river.

In the real world, one language often takes a word from another language, but that word can easily change its meaning in the language doing the borrowing. That seems to have happened with the Kovai language of Umboi Island and the local language of the natives of the village where Kepas lived as a child. Which language was first to use the word ropen is unknown, but the other one likely did the borrowing, unless a third language was involved.

For anyone wanting to carry Kuban’s insinuation to its destination, answer this question: Do almost all trees have human hands growing out of them? The answer: No. Since “ropen” in one language means bird, must the word ropen in another language mean bird? No.

As a bird very slightly resembles a modern pterosaur of Umboi Island, a human hand very slightly resembles a branch of a tree. In the Tok Pisin language of Papua New Guinea, the phrase “han bilong diwai” means a tree branch, but word-for-word it appears to say “hand of a tree.” (Han comes from the English word hand.) In other words, that connection between two languages is not evidence that the nocturnal flying creature that glows as it flies over Umboi Island is a species of bird. It is completely IRRELEVANT to the controversy in the Western world over interpretations of eyewitness accounts of apparent modern pterosaurs.

Glen Kuban has again fallen into confirmation bias, expecting to find evidence against extant pterosaurs in modern times, finding something that looks like it may be such evidence, and jumping to the conclusion that it is. Publishing it online, in the long article “Living Pterosaurs”—that practically proves that he did fall into confirmation bias, regarding the word ropen existing in two different languages.



Confirmation Bias in a Skeptic of the Ptp Photograph

I suggest the writer of that page [BAMPP] has fallen into both confirmation bias and belief perseverance. The combination of the writer’s bias and the extreme length of his online page can cause readers to assume that there must be serious problems with living-pterosaur investigations.


Pterosaur in an old photograph

I don’t know if the Ptp photograph was from Vicksburg in 1864; that appears to be just an online rumor. But Clifford Paiva and I have examined evidence that it was recorded before about the year 1870 . . .


Skeptical responses to the Pteranodon photograph

The winged creature with a Pteranodon-like head shown in Figure-1—that was officially declared to be a genuine pterosaur by Clifford Paiva* and me, Jonathan Whitcomb, on January 14, 2017.


Photograph in the book Modern Pterosaurs

My friend and associate Cliff Paiva suggested I write this little book, after we agreed that the image of an apparent Pteranodon, in an old photograph, was a real animal.