Automobile drivers can be distracted by many irrelevancies. Take, for example, a giant pterodactyl. I know that some skeptic can suggest drinking was the cause, but not everyone who drives a car has detailed delirium tremens hallucinations with giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs. In addition, even if one driver imagined a ‘dactyl or dinosaur bird flying in front of the windshield, such an imagination would never have an impact on other drivers, causing them to pull over to the side of the highway as the imaginative driver kept on driving normally.
Let’s take some driving examples from the second edition of the nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America.
South Carolina Sighting
Susan Wooten was driving . . . to the town of Florence, on a clear mid-afternoon in the fall of about 1989, following a girl who lived in her dorm . . . Where the road was surrounded by woods and swamps, Wooten saw something flying from her left, then passing in front of her, behind her friend’s car. “It swooped down over the highway and back up gracefully over the pines,” but its appearance was shocking: “It looked as big as any car . . . NO feathers, not like a huge crane or egret, but like a humongous bat.”
We’re not in Kansas Anymore
I had seen an extremely large bird that resembled a pterodactyl some years ago when [I was] driving to town from the family farm between Rush Center and Larned, Kansas. I could not believe my eyes as I immediately thought of a prehistoric bird when I saw it. It must have had a wing-span of 16-20 feet.
I never said too much to anyone about it because, of course, such a claim raises eyebrows. . . . It did not appear to have feathers. . . . I’ve never seen any bird in Kansas a fraction of that size or with the appearance of this bird. . . . [It] looked textbook pterodactyl.
Pterosaur Catching Sparrows in Ohio
I was driving across a bridge out to my friend’s house, when the damn thing nearly ran into the side of my car . . . so incredibly graceful. . . . it effortlessly flew over my car and that is when I stopped (in fear of having it hit my side window) and got out of my car to see it fly over the other side of the bridge. That is when I seen it swoop lower and start catching those sparrows. I think these [long-tailed creatures] are migratory, I’ve seen this thing on another occasion the following summer.
Another Pterosaur Sighting in Ohio
At 11:15 p.m., she was driving near Kenton, Ohio, on Route 309. With clear sky and a still-full moon, the landscape was brightly lit. A creature swooped down—an obvious “pterodactyl”—gliding gracefully over the hood of her car. She watched it fly into some dense underbrush of trees. Because of the brightness of the moon (several hours before the eclipse) and the nearness of the creature’s flight, she saw it clearly. OJ was impressed with that slow smooth flight, with no wing flapping. She told me, “It was very eerie . . . Sent shivers over me.”
Why do so many reports of live pterosaurs in the United States involve eyewitnesses who are driving? What takes most of our time when we are not at home or in some building? Much of our outdoor time involves driving. Even when we set aside time to be out in nature, much of our time involves driving to and from the wilderness area.