To illustrate how sightings of pterosaurs stretch across the United States, let’s look at excerpts from the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (second edition), starting in the Western U.S.A.:
In July of 2008, I received a phone call from a man who reported a very large flying creature . . . in Orange County . . . north of the University of California at Irvine. He described the dark gray or black animal as 30 feet long, with 15-16 feet of that being a tail. [The creature flew] “at low altitude,” in front of his car, over the road (Campus Drive), into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.
I received an email from man who reported a pair of ropen-like creatures in the state of Washington. His account of the 1987 sightings included some descriptions that differed from those by other eyewitnesses . . .
“I lived in the country with my parents on a . . . ranch. I was approx. 1/2 mile from home, riding [a bike] down an old country road . . . I looked to my left, and on a wood plank fence were two of the biggest bird-like creatures I could ever imagine! I almost crashed my bike! They were about 50 ft from me; the first thing I noticed was their heads, then I thought this can’t be! Could they be dinosaurs?”
“ . . . wanted to tell someone about a sighting I had back in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. I grew up on a farm and picked cucumbers to make money as a kid. . . . one late afternoon, I had just brought out the tractor to pick up the bags of cucumbers when I noticed a strange looking bird in the sky. . . . The thing that caught my eye was that it looked like something straight out of the dinosaurs era. It scared the . . . out of me right away. I knew it was not a sand hill crane, which we have a few hundred migrating thru.”
In the Northeast (east of Buffalo, New York), a “pterodactyl” was seen. I received this email in mid-2007, just weeks after the sighting:
“ . . . my friend and I were canoeing in the creek accessed from my back yard, when we sighted a very strange creature that we had both thought to be a prehistoric bird. Immediately, I thought ‘pterodactyl.’ It was a greyish color with no apparent feathers.”
I received an email from a lady [OJ] who had recently witnessed . . . a “pterodactyl,” at night in Ohio. . . . 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. . . . OJ was impressed with that slow smooth flight, with no wing flapping. She told me, “It was very eerie . . . Sent shivers over me.”
“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.”
RG and his friend, in the late afternoon of a clear day, were startled by a flying creature less than 150 feet away. For about fifteen seconds, they watched it fly, about fifty feet high, before it disappeared into some trees. The general appearance was “leathery” and it had a pointed beak and head appendage. The total length, about five feet, included about two feet of tail, the end of which had a “flange or sail.”
. . . in the early morning hours (they had not been drinking or using drugs), the two men saw a creature fly over the roof of the house, toward the backyard. A “long pointed thing protruding from the back of its head,” made visible by a flood light illuminating the underside of the creature, as it moved its head to look at them—that is what prompted DR to think it was a pterosaur.