By the nonfiction cryptozoology author Jonathan Whitcomb
I write books about flying creatures whose descriptions suggest living pterosaurs. In general, most of the reports that get to me appear to actually have been from those non-extinct pterosaurs, strange as that may sound to many people. That strangeness may sometimes be a problem.
For those new to this blog, a pterosaur is not actually a “flying dinosaur,” although many Americans call it by that incorrect name. It is a featherless non-bat flying creature. People several centuries ago probably mostly called them “dragons.” The big problem with the strangeness of one of those words or the phrase “flying dinosaur” is this: When a community or neighborhood might potentially be in danger, how do you warn them about a large ropen? It’s just too easy for anyone ignorant of those animals to assume the person reporting one is crazy or a fanatic.
If you don’t already know, a ropen is a particular kind of modern pterosaur, one that has a long tail. The end of that tail, when somebody looks at that end rather than at the menacing beak, often is seen to have a structure, sometimes called a “diamond.”
This morning I interviewed, face-to-face, an eyewitness of an apparent living pterosaur that flew over his backyard in Draper, Utah, on Sunday, November 4, 2018. He seemed perfectly credible to me, and I also talked with his wife and found nothing wrong with her deportment.
Houses west of the one where a ropen flew over the backyard in November of 2018
The creature flew over their backyard at about 5:30 p.m., on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at a height of possibly less than 50 feet at one point. The closest it came to the man, in horizontal distance, may have been about 85 feet.
The wingspan seems to have been between about 16 feet and about 28 feet. Those wings had a very uneven shape to them in the trailing edge.
Other eyewitnesses have reported a similar flying creature in western Draper, the other encounters being about two miles away in the year 2017.
On June 26, 2017, my wife and I met with several eyewitnesses in a neighborhood of Draper, Utah, (in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley) a few miles west of the Wasatch Mountains. Each of the four persons we talked with lived within about 300 yards of each other and a little south of the Swire Coca Cola complex . . .
To precisely judge what might be the best Christmas (or birthday) gift for a ten-year-old girl requires knowing the interests of that child. If you’ll excuse me for promoting my own book, however, please consider my new nonfiction The Girl who saw a Flying Dinosaur. It’s for middle-grade children and youth up to about fourteen years old.
Press release on these flying creatures (pterosaurs)
A native village leader on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, encountered a strange light shining down on him as he was in a canoe, over a reef at night, while his buddy was underwater trying to catch fish with a flashlight.
. . . we stared up at the night sky . . . [My brother] suddenly noticed something and started yelling something about a giant bird . . . At around the same time, the animals in the farm next to us started going berserk. . . . Suddenly as I looked up at the night sky, the farm animals started up again and then I saw it.
The “pterodactyl attacks” do not seem to come just from the imagination of the author of Bird From Hell, although he displays a keen sense of imagination in his writing (not necessarily in any negative sense of “imagination”). He reports quite a few cases in which residents of a sparsely-populated area of British Columbia have been attacked at night by a large flying creature.
A limited revision of Searching for Ropens and Finding God, the fourth edition, does include new material at the end of the appendix, an interview I had with Professor Peter Beach and with the nonfiction author Milt Marcy.