Pterosaur Sightings and Eyewitness Activities

What are eyewitnesses doing when they encounter apparent pterosaurs? Activities vary widely, but several things are more common, namely driving or sitting as a passenger in a motor vehicle, and enjoying some form of recreation on or near a body of water (creek, river, lake, or sea).

Driving While Under the Influence of a Pterosaur

I doubt we will ever have Drive Safely While Witnessing a Live Pterodactyl Week. But in the United States, driving may be the most common activity when someone sees an apparent living pterosaur . . . Within a period of about three years, I received reports of at least ten sightings involving driving, in seven states: South Carolina, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio (3), Georgia (2). With sighting dates from about 1980 to 2007, one involved driving a tractor, the rest involved driving a car.

Pterosaur Interupts a Bike Ride

“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?”

Boyish Trespassing in a Swamp

Tom Carson . . . had no knowledge of his sister’s 1965 sighting until he spoke with Patty a few weeks ago (the flying creature seen by her was an apparent Rhamphorhynchoid). His three-second encounter was about a year later, in 1966, but in the same area of Cuba: Guantanamo Bay. . . . The flying creature he saw seems to have been the same species as the one his sister had seen and the one Eskin Kuhn would see in 1971. Tom told me it appeared to have no feathers and was bigger than a pelican. The tail was odd, like one would expect of the shaved tail of a dog.

Looking Through a Telescope

Around 2007, a man was looking through his telescope when he saw a “dinosaur bird.”

“My father has been the subject of much ridicule after claiming to have seen a ‘dinosaur bird’ fly across the moon. His neighbor has a telescope and they’d been watching the sky when they saw it. My sister and I dismissed it, although I couldn’t think of anything he could have seen and mistook for a ‘dinosaur bird.’ My father later told me that he’d done some research and learned that they were called ‘ropen.’ . . .” [page 31 of Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition]