Whitcomb Replies to Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle printed “What’s going on in Marfa?” in the Sunday, December 19th, 2010 issue, in response to a press release, “Unmasking a Flying Predator in Texas,” by Jonathan Whitcomb. This is a reply to that Houston Chronicle article about the Marfa Lights of southwest Texas.

I was delighted to receive, in my mailbox on Christmas Eve, the “G” section of the Houston Chronicle. I daresay neither Mr. James Bunnell nor I have received much attention for our nonfiction books (his about strange lights in southwest Texas, mine about eyewitness accounts of apparent living pterosaurs and strange lights in the southwest Pacific and in Texas and elsewhere). My relationship with Marfa, Texas, may deserve more attention here.

Over the past seven years, I have received emails (from eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs) from various parts of the world: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. But most of the reports come from Americans: Many sightings have been in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, and in other states. More reports come from California and Texas than from any other two states.

Most of those persons appear to be credible, notwithstanding their accounts of seeing incredible flying creatures (one eyewitness is a professional psychologist; one is a scientist, several are plane pilots). A significant portion of the sightings have been in Texas.

I believe that Claudia Feldman put far more work and more thought into her Houston Chronicle article than did the writer of a recent Houston-Press blog post, who was only sarcastic. Thank you, Ms Feldman.

I was grateful to read that Mr. Stephan said, regarding the precise causes of the more-mysterious lights of Marfa, “It’s all speculation at this point.” I was also grateful to read that Mr. Bunnell said, “The details we still don’t understand.” And I don’t blame either of them for doubting that my nocturnal-pterosaur hypothesis is worth considering; it does seem extremely paranormal (and neither Bunnell nor Stephan is a biologist who is aware of reports of glowing flying predators in various parts of the world; their specialties are in other areas of science).

I believe I understand Mr. Stephan’s invitation to visit Marfa for six months or say no more “about dinosaurs.” (Actually, I use the technically correct word: “pterosaurs.”) But do we really need another Californian visiting Marfa? We have had so many encounters and reported sightings already. I believe that we need more clear thinking, more close-examination of important sighting reports, than we need more sightings from a distance.

Regarding Mr. Stephan’s suggestion, I will agree to say nothing more about pterosaurs around Marfa when most of the following nine conditions have been met:

  1. When credible, respectable eyewitnesses in Texas stop sending me reports of living pterosaurs
  2. When flying lights (recorded by Mr. Bunnell’s cameras) stop flying, just above bushes, at the same speed (faster than birds but slower than airplanes) as the ropen of Papua New Guinea is reported to fly
  3. When those lights around Marfa, the ones people attribute to intelligent flight (but which are obviously not car headlights or other common things) stop returning to that area near Marfa every few weeks, resembling the roaming-hunting pattern of returning predators
  4. When none of the scientists studying the Marfa Lights ever has any sighting like this: A flying light thrashes about in nearby bushes, like “an animal” would.
  5. (To be general) When a biologist with an advanced college degree in biology carefully examines all data from the many reports of apparently-intelligent flying lights around Marfa, and then proclaims no relationship to any behavior of intelligent predators that hunt as a group
  6. (To be specific) When no biologist (who teaches biology at a college) ever observes, in the state of Washington, flying lights just above the surface of the Yakima River, lights that change in intensity, appear like meteors but under the cloud cover (and sometimes not straight but curving in flight, sometimes up rather than down, mostly parallel to the river)
  7. When no biologist observes, over the Yakima River, a bright flash that causes nearby Nighthawk birds to screech in terror, as if they were being hunted by large flying predators
  8. When no biologist, in the state of Washington, ever observes a nocturnal flying creature (associated with strange flying lights) that has “a bat-like wing” (words of a biology professor) and, according to an associate camped with the professor at that time, that same flying creature (that flies, with bat-like wings, over their heads) is described as having a long beak and a long neck
  9. When eyewitnesses, from various parts of the world, stop sending me reports of large or giant flying creatures with long tails but no feathers, and some of those flying creatures glow while they fly at night

I admit that the hypothesis of bioluminescent predators attracting insects to catch insect-eating bats is speculative (and both Mr. Bunnell and I have found problems with my predator-bat-insect interpretation), but the nocturnal-predator idea in general–that fits the behavior of Bunnell’s CE-III ML’s (a type of “Mystery Light” seen near Marfa) better than anything else. They behave too intelligently to be from anything non-living.

I don’t set myself up as somebody who knows exactly what’s going on around Marfa. But I suggest that some of those Marfa Lights know what they’re doing; regardless of human knowledge or ignorance, CE-III Marfa Lights themselves know exactly what’s going on.


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6 thoughts on “Whitcomb Replies to Houston Chronicle

  1. Pingback: Marfa Lights up in the Houston Chronicle | Modern Pterosaur

  2. Please note that the Houston Chronicle article by Claudia Feldman is far better than the sarcasm of an early-December blog post in the Houston Press.

    The problem with the Houston Chronicle article, “What’s going on in Marfa,” is not that standard journalistic practice was set aside; on the contrary, standard practice was maintained. The problem is with a weakness in Western culture itself, which is mirrored in the major media. We have been indoctrinated, since early childhood, into the idea that all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs must have become extinct millions of years ago. Feldman was simply following standard procedure, even when it meant being unfair to my investigation of Marfa Lights.

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