Living Pterosaurs in England

By the modern-pterosaur researcher Jonathan Whitcomb

My investigation, over the past fourteen years, of reports of apparent living pterosaurs verifies what other researchers have learned: These extraordinary flying creatures are nocturnal, at least most of them and for most of the time. Let’s now look at one of those apparent exceptions.

Pterosaur Sighting in Shropshire, England

This is not a rumor I found on the internet or a third-hand account related to me by one of my cryptozoology associates. The lady sent me an email, just last week, and here is a small part of what she said (I’ve made some changes in punctuation, etc):

First let me introduce myself, my name is _____. I am a mother of four and I am 32 years old. I live in Britain on the Welsh border in an area called Whitchurch, Shropshire. I may now add that I am in the best of health mentally, I do not take any form of narcotics nor prescription pills and I do not drink. . . .

With that out the way, I will now tell you what I have seen and the reason as to why I have contacted you. Two weeks ago . .  [mid-morning] I went into the garden to play with my cat, a usual occurrence for me as I love my cats. Anyway, we live near a wildlife reserve which has an abundance of birds and wildlife, including eagles and hawks, heron, geese, swans etc. its usual for them to fly overhead and I see them flying . . .

I saw two pterodactyls, side by side, flying past the tree. . . . [with at least one of them she noticed] a giant-sized beak and the wings had no feathers. . . . [The two flying creatures were] grey in colour . . .

She was stunned. After devoting some time to research all the birds she could find, birds in England and elsewhere, apparently nothing seemed to fit what she had seen. But the most impressive difference, to her, was the sound of the screech of the two apparent pterosaurs that had flown through that area of Shropshire in September of 2017. No bird call was close to that sound.

I suggest that these two flying creatures may be related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea: a large Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. Like the ropen, the two seen in daylight in Shropshire may actually be mostly nocturnal. Perhaps they were disturbed in daylight and so flew into the air when they would normally be sleeping.

landscape photo - Shropshire, England

A lovely rural area of Shropshire, England

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Other “Pterodactyl” Sightings in England

The blog post linked above appears to have been published online before October 21 of 2012. I’ll summarize two of those reports of apparent pterosaurs:

Near the town of Glossop, Paul Bennet  saw something like a bird, but it had leathery
wings. He mentioned the word pterodactyl in his 1982 report.  At about the same time, Jean Scofield reported, from about 35 miles to the north, in the town of Yeadon, a huge “bird” and estimated the wingspan to be about ten feet.

Could These Flying Creatures be From Africa (Kongamato)?

I can see how some cryptozoologists might speculate that these “pterodactyls,” what some would call “dinosaur birds,” are like the kongamato of Africa and might even be from that continent. I would suspect, however, that such speculation would include the assumption that large flying creatures like these could not have been living in England for centuries without being discovered by scientists. That’s another subject entirely.

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Live pterosaur in Africa

A few years ago, a man from Africa sent me an email about his encounter one night in July of 1988, when he was a boy in Sudan. . . . he noticed, on the roof of his uncle’s house, a strange winged creature. It was about four to five feet tall as it perched, and only about ten feet from a light bulb . . .

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Discovery of a 19th Century Living Pterosaur

In January of 2017, the physicist Clifford Paiva and I talked by phone and agreed that the photograph now called “Ptp” has an authentic image of a modern pterosaur.

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Living pterosaur on Umboi Island

. . . our investigations of apparent nocturnal Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea! . . . Gideon Koro related how he was terrified at the sight of the giant ropen that flew over Lake Pung (around 1994). He and his friends were only children (or in their early teens) when they had climbed up to the crater lake on Siasi (Umboi) Island, Papua New Guinea.

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Dinosaur Birds

The pterosaur is known by several names in the United States: “dinosaur bird,” “flying dinosaur,” and perhaps the most popular “pterodactyl.” In Papua New Guinea, it is known by many names: “ropen,” “duwas,” “indava,” and “kor.” But what shocks many Americans and Europeans are eyewitness reports that these supposedly “ancient” and “extinct” flying creatures are alive . . .

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Kongamato of Africa

Introduction to reports of living pterosaurs in Africa

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Flying Creature

You have seen a flying creature unlike any bird or bat. It’s more like a pterosaur but alive, a “flying dinosaur.” What do you do?

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Recent Sightings of Modern Pterosaurs

By the living-pterosaur cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb

For several months, I have been busy studying and writing about the Ptp photograph (which was apparently recorded before about 1870; I’ve recently written a book about it: Modern Pterosaurs), but I continue to receive eyewitness reports of apparent pterosaurs, especially from the USA. Just yesterday (June 1, 2017) a lady from North Carolina sent me an email, including the following:

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I just left . . . when I saw the shadow of big wings on the ground, so I looked up and I saw a winged, brown, species of [pterosaur] flying in the sky in the afternoon around 6 pm while me and a guy was standing at the bus stop.

It was pretty big! It was flying away from us, it had a long tail with a crest on its head that resembled a Rhino-horn-Bill bird. I’m in shock!!

I replied:

Thank you . . . for telling me about this. Could you give an estimate for how far away it was from you?

She answered:

. . . it was probably between 80-100 feet off the ground. I stand at that bus stop almost everyday so if I see it again, I will get my phone out! It was gliding slowly while slightly flapping its wings. My life has been changed forever. I hope I see it at again, I was a skeptic at first, but not now. [her mother and uncle had reported something similar, when they were children, but their mother did not believe them.]

I asked:

You mentioned a long tail. Did you notice [any] detail in it?

She answered:

Yes, the tail looked like it was in the shape of a lions tail, or a (paint brush) if you know what I mean? The tail was brown, long, and at the end of it; there was a diamond shaped bulb. . . . The crest was long enough that it matched the length of its beak.

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Whitcomb photo of the Los Angeles River

Los Angeles River, a little east of Griffith Park (photo by Jonathan Whitcomb)

Pterosaur Sighting North of Los Angeles

I got an email in mid-May of 2017 regarding an apparent pterosaur seen in the San Fernando Valley of California. Here is part of it:

I had the weirdest sighting just recently, maybe 10 days ago approx. . . . saw it when driving towards Encino, somewhere between 134 and 101 [freeways]. I’m a perfectly sane 31 [year-old] man.

I was VERY fond of dinosaurs when I was a kid and . . . know a lot of the
subject. However, I could’ve never expected to see a pterosaur flying
over Los Angeles…. I’m from [northern Europe] and live partly (about half the year) in LA. It was a clear day. I know it was not a bird. Contact me
in my mail, I’ll give you a full story! Thanks . . .

I replied:

Thank you very much for telling me. . . . Yes, I would very much like to know about your sighting, thank you.

He continued:

Maybe May 8th or 9th I was driving on 134 towards Ventura and 101. It was a perfectly clear and sunny weather and the traffic was heavy at maybe approx 10-12 am. The traffic was slow, creeping speed at the point where I was, and I kinda was just lookin around in my car when I saw something oddly large flying in my left corner of the eye. When I looked directly to it,
the very first thing that came in to my mind was that it was not a bird.

It was quite large, bigger than ie. an eagle. Its head and neck resembled
clearly that of a pterosaur more than a bird, and the most remarkable thing that I noticed right away and saw very clearly, is that it had a tail of
some sort. The tail was quite long and seemed to have some sort of wider
part at the end of it.

It moved very differently than a bird would. It just glided through the air effortlessly but in a very straight line at first. It looked like it was moving slow, but then suddenly it was already way ahead of me and i was looking at it from behind. It may have moved quite fast actually.

It flew across 134 heading somewhat to the same direction with the freeway and then I saw it flap it’s wings; the movement of the wings looked somehow different than when birds flap their wings. It was
kinda slower, but maybe because of the size of the wings. The movement was different. I don’t know the words to describe it well enough since English is not my mother language.

. . . The traffic started moving and I had to start paying attention to driving and I lost sight of it. At no point did I start to reach for my phone to take a picture, since I was driving and also I felt it would be futile to try and capture it from such a long distance, keeping a steady hand and operating the car at the same time in the freeway traffic where it’s stopping and moving constantly.

. . . I must say that I’ve never thought that there could be pterosaurs still living, it never occurred to my mind. . . . Never thought of it. But this sighting made me google “pterosaur sightings Los Angeles” to see if anyone else had had this type of weird experience around this city. And to my greatest surprise I found some similar sightings, and to my even greater surprise, in the very same area, near Griffith [Park]! . . .

I replied:

Thank you very much for the many details that you provided. You are
correct about sightings in California, for we do have many there,
including many in Los Angeles County. I’ll pass along this sighting to my associates.

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Modern Pterosaur in North Carolina

Universal extinction is the assumption, in Western culture, regarding pterosaurs, so when somebody reports a pterosaur sighting in Raleigh, North Carolina, we can expect objections from skeptics.

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Civil War Pterodactyl Photo

It seems that either confirmation bias or belief perseverance (or both) has played a role in how some persons have interpreted [and then wrongfully rejected] the photograph.

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Pterosaur sighting in San Fernando Valley

A report of a large flying creature in Sherman Oaks, California, suggests similarities to the ropen of Papua New Guinea. A man reported the creature after he and his girlfriend observed it while taking a walk at about 10:30 p.m., on September 21, 2009.

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Pterosaur Sightings near Griffith Park (Los Angeles), California

The most recent California pterosaur sighting report that I have received is from a flyover of Interstate-5, on May 13, 2013, just southeast of Griffith Park. It was south of Los Feliz (at the I-5), in Los Angeles, just a mile and a half south of where another eyewitness observed three “dragons” flying over the same freeway, two months earlier.

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Confirmation Bias and Living Pterosaurs

By the modern-pterosaur author Jonathan Whitcomb

Glen Kuban has written a long online article: “Living Pterosaurs (Pterodactyls)?” I now acknowledge that he often revises that page, and details that I publish, including quotations, may be seen by him, resulting in corrections that he will make in it. If things continue as they have, in the months of March, April, and May, of 2017, however, the most serious problems in “Living Pterosaurs” will not be much affected by his changes. Why? He continually falls into confirmation bias.

In keeping with his tendency to fall into this kind of error, he has recently fallen into confirmation bias in his writings on the Ptp photograph that the physicist Clifford Paiva and I have been examining. He mentions that the animal in this photo resembles a Pteranodon (apparently meaning it gives some persons that impression), but he gives two lists of reasons why the animal differs from what is now known to paleontologists from fossils of the Pteranodon. He gives those two lists as if they were evidence against that animal being a modern pterosaur.

In reality, Paiva and I have not declared that it must be a species of Pteranodon. We simply suggest it appears similar. In other words, we have stated something very similar to what Kuban states or implies: It gives some persons the impression that it is like a Pteranodon. In compiling those two lists, Kuban believed he was giving people evidence that the animal seen in that photo was not a modern pterosaur. In reality, his two lists are completely irrelevant.

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possibly genuine photo of a 19th-century pterosaur

Kuban himself uses the word “Pteranodon” in his page of criticisms

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The Nature of Confirmation Bias

When a person wants an idea to be true, he or she can be misled by wishful thinking. The person may stop gathering information when the evidence already gathered appears to confirm the views or prejudices he or she would like to be true.

From an objective perspective, a piece of evidence may have a number of possible interpretations, but when someone falls into confirmation bias, that person looks only at an interpretation that fits what he or she wants to be true.

Even when one piece of evidence is actually more likely to fit a person’s desire, it can lead to confirmation bias if that person then refuses to look at any other evidence that could contradict what he or she wants to be true.

Let’s look at one example:

“Very Relevant” Blunder in Glen Kuban’s “Living Pterosaurs” 

The skeptic mentions the use of the word ropen in the village language of the PNG native Jacob Kepas, a Baptist minister. Papua New Guinea has hundreds of local languages. In the village tongue of Pastor Kepas, “ropen” means  bird.

But the skeptic Glen Kuban makes a big mistake in his online article: “This seems like a very relevant piece of information.” It’s more like the opposite: totally irrelevant, unless you believe that a hippopotamus must be a horse that lives in a river.

In the real world, one language often takes a word from another language, but that word can easily change its meaning in the language doing the borrowing. That seems to have happened with the Kovai language of Umboi Island and the local language of the natives of the village where Kepas lived as a child. Which language was first to use the word ropen is unknown, but the other one likely did the borrowing, unless a third language was involved.

For anyone wanting to carry Kuban’s insinuation to its destination, answer this question: Do almost all trees have human hands growing out of them? The answer: No. Since “ropen” in one language means bird, must the word ropen in another language mean bird? No.

As a bird very slightly resembles a modern pterosaur of Umboi Island, a human hand very slightly resembles a branch of a tree. In the Tok Pisin language of Papua New Guinea, the phrase “han bilong diwai” means a tree branch, but word-for-word it appears to say “hand of a tree.” (Han comes from the English word hand.) In other words, that connection between two languages is not evidence that the nocturnal flying creature that glows as it flies over Umboi Island is a species of bird. It is completely IRRELEVANT to the controversy in the Western world over interpretations of eyewitness accounts of apparent modern pterosaurs.

Glen Kuban has again fallen into confirmation bias, expecting to find evidence against extant pterosaurs in modern times, finding something that looks like it may be such evidence, and jumping to the conclusion that it is. Publishing it online, in the long article “Living Pterosaurs”—that practically proves that he did fall into confirmation bias, regarding the word ropen existing in two different languages.

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Confirmation Bias in a Skeptic of the Ptp Photograph

I suggest the writer of that page [BAMPP] has fallen into both confirmation bias and belief perseverance. The combination of the writer’s bias and the extreme length of his online page can cause readers to assume that there must be serious problems with living-pterosaur investigations.

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Pterosaur in an old photograph

I don’t know if the Ptp photograph was from Vicksburg in 1864; that appears to be just an online rumor. But Clifford Paiva and I have examined evidence that it was recorded before about the year 1870 . . .

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Skeptical responses to the Pteranodon photograph

The winged creature with a Pteranodon-like head shown in Figure-1—that was officially declared to be a genuine pterosaur by Clifford Paiva* and me, Jonathan Whitcomb, on January 14, 2017.

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Photograph in the book Modern Pterosaurs

My friend and associate Cliff Paiva suggested I write this little book, after we agreed that the image of an apparent Pteranodon, in an old photograph, was a real animal.

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When a Child Sees a Pterosaur

I got the following email early in May of 2016 (quoting most of it here, with only a very few spelling corrections):

Mr. Whitcomb,

Three of my children, [up to age eight] are quite sure that they observed a pterosaur above our home in Pottstown, PA, today, mid-afternoon. . . .

Today, while I was at work, my wife contacted me about this. She said that she heard the kids suddenly start screaming in the back yard, and rushed out to see what it was. She is accustomed to the kids playing loudly and such, but said that this was very different–that there was a mix of sincere terror and excitement which was not playing. They were screaming that they just saw a pterosaur. My wife did not see it.

There is no doubt in my mind that they truly believe that they saw a pterosaur. That doesn’t mean that they did–but they truly believe that they did.

When my wife first told me, my first thought was that this was probably a heron. I’m concerned that cryptozoology be credible, and I don’t want to gullibly believe every report just because I want to believe it. But as I interacted with my kids about this, I grew to suspect that they may really have seen something unexpected.

I know that perspective in the sky is very uncertain, but I wanted to get my kids’ impressions of size nevertheless:
They guess that the body was “about as long as a lion.” They guess that the wingspan was “one and a half of our
bathrooms…maybe a little less.” Our bathroom is eight feet long. They guess that the tail was as long as “one and a half broomsticks.”

They emphasize repeatedly that the tail had a knob at the end.

I thought that perhaps, if this were a misidentification, the “tail” might actually be legs, and the “knob” the feet. BUT they insist that they saw short legs and feet BESIDE the tail. THAT is what I find most curious. . . .

They agree that it was tan colored, and that it did not seem to have feathers. “Like elephant skin.” They say that the knob at the end of the tail may have had some kind of fur on it . . . it seemed different, but they weren’t sure what it was.

If they were imagining things, they probably would have mentioned a head crest, since they’re familiar with that image. But, interestingly, they all agree that they did not see any head crest. My oldest noted that it flew directly overhead, so he could not have seen a head crest if there were one. . . .

It was flying east. We live on the west outskirts of town, so presumably it flew over Pottstown.

My younger two saw it flap several times, then glide. My oldest did not see any flapping–he looked up a few seconds later than they did and only saw it glide overhead.

Anyway, the features which most impressed them were the “snout,” the long tail with a knob at the end, and the hands/feet besides the tail. They are very excited about these features. . . .

Thanks.

So what do you do when a child sees a pterosaur? For me, it’s the same as when an adult sees one: get the details like the following:

  • Where was the sighting?
  • When was the flying creature seen? (date and time)
  • Did it have a tail? (if so, was it long?)
  • Were there any feathers?
  • Did it have a head crest?
  • About how big was the wingspan?
  • How many persons were eyewitnesses to it?
  • What did the flying creature do? (flapping wings?)

In this sighting report, much of the information was given to me by the father, who provided many details from what he learned from questioning his children, so I had fewer questions to ask. According to the three eyewitnesses, we have the following:

  1. It was in Pottstown, Pennsylvania
  2. In the first week of May, 2016, mid-afternoon
  3. It had a long tail, maybe six feet long
  4. “It did not seem to have feathers” – maybe fur
  5. It flapped its wings a bit then glided

But should the testimonies of three children be summarily dismissed because of their young ages? Definitely not in this case, for we have three children who were interviewed soon after the sighting, by a father who carefully questioned them. I feel that this father was objective in trying to determine what the children saw.

I believe that they saw a ropen, a long-tailed pterosaur, and I’ll be looking for others to come forward with what they saw flying overhead in the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, area in the first week of May.

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Pterosaur Sightings in the United States of America

On a pleasant day in June of 2012, I walked into the Sheriff station in Lakewood, California, two miles northeast of my home in Long Beach. I knew better than to tell a police officer of my concerns about the safety of family pets now that pterodactyls had invaded the community. . . .

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Duane Hodgkinson saw a "pterodactyl"

YouTube video: interview of a World War II veteran (eyewitness of a pterosaur)

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Mysterious Ropen Lights

Another report of flying lights has surfaced, this one from a wilderness area of Oregon. It seems that the mysterious lights that have been reported to fly over the Yakima River in the state of Washington—those are also seen to fly over a river in Oregon, reported by two cryptozoologists from the Portland area.

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Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs in Acambaro

Where is the physical evidence for modern ropens, or extant long-tailed pterosaurs? It’s there to see, for those who are open-minded enough to look. But let’s now examine the bigger picture: non-extinct dinosaurs, at least in some species and at least at some time in human history. Let’s look at Acambaro, Mexico.

The Julsrud Figurine Collection

In 1945, the German merchant Waldemar Julsrud (an immigrant) discovered a clay figurine at the foot of El Toro mountain, near Acambaro, Mexico. He already owned an extensive collection of ancient art and recognized the importance of the new discovery. He agreed to pay a local man, Odilon Tinajero, one peso for each similar figurine that could be recovered without too much damage. Jurlsrud gave no guarantee of any payment for broken pieces, especially not for pieces that appeared impossible or impractical to try to put together.

Julsrud eventually collected about 32,000 figurines (Mystery in Acambaro, by Hapgood). That number is significantly absent in skeptical articles that declare the works of art to be recent fakes. Who in the world would participate in such an extraordinary endeavor when the whole thing was a hoax? Probably nobody. So this huge collection of figurines is in fact genuine, at least with most pieces, but we have much more evidence that just this number: 32,000.

One of the leading experts in recent years, Dr. Dennis Swift, has said that the collection at one time numbered 33,500, at the time that the collection was at its largest. Only a small portion of them represent dinosaurs.

The people who created and collected the figurines are of the Chupicuaro culture, which existed many centuries ago. It’s important to note that there are many styles of art represented in these figurines, and the Chupicuaro people may have collected art from diverse sources and supported artists who had a variety of skills and styles.

Julsrud owned tens of thousands of ancient figurines, for many years. During all that time, he never sold one of the pieces of art, with one exception: One figurine was sold to someone for scientific examination and testing. This is an important point when we examine the possibility of hoaxes: Why would anybody pay one peso each for tens of thousands of ceramic figurines, when almost none of them were ever sold? Indeed, Julsrud made it a rule to refuse to sell any of those works of art.

Don Patton has been an active field investigator for years, including work in Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, and Canada (dinosaur excavations) and in Cambodia (he examined an apparent Stegosaurus image on an ancient temple wall). He was introduced to the Acambaro figurines collection by Charles Hapgood, who investigating the many thousands of art pieces with the help of Erle Stanley Gardner. Both Hapgood and Gardner became convinced that the figurines were genuine ancient works of art.

Although very few pieces may appear to be obvious ropens, we can see some evidence for living pterosaurs in this vast collection.

ancient dinosaur art, Acambaro, Mexico

Ancient figurines that seem to represent dinosaurs (Acambaro, Mexico)

Answers to Skeptics

The following relate to criticisms by skeptics. Charles C. Di Peso concluded that the figurines were fakes (a), so we’ll start with the opinions of Di Peso, an American archaeologist. A major credibility problem with this man comes from the time he spent in the home of Waldemar Julsrud: Di Peso studied the vast collection not in months or in weeks or in days but only in four hours.

  1. Di Peso had samples of one or more of the figurines tested and found no evidence of any recent origin (b). This detail is absent in the Acambaro page of Wikipedia (a).
  2. Di Peso said that the surfaces of the figurines “displayed no signs of age [probably referring to patina]; no dirt was packed into their crevices” (a). But Dr. J. Antonio Villia Hennejon said that the figurines “were encrusted with dirt and other materials [patina].” In addition, “during Easter week of 1951 [Dr. Hennejon] spent two days with Julsrud cleaning the dirt and patina off recently excavated ceramic pieces” (b).
  3. Di Peso said that “though some figurines were broken, no pieces were missing” (a), but “Tinajero [the man doing much of the excavations] was very careful with the excavation process so as not to break the pieces, and the broken ones were cemented together before being brought to Julsrud” (b). In addition, it would have taken at least several days to carefully unpack all the boxes and more days to give them even a cursory examination. Yet Di Peso was in the Jurlsrud home for only four hours. In reality there were many broken pieces (b).
  4. One skeptic said that the collection was so vast that the many thousands of figurines would have to be hoaxes. Perhaps this non-scientist was thinking that great discoveries in archaeology cannot be made without quick acceptance from many scientists or that it’s impossible for anyone to find any vast number of ancient artifacts even if many years are spent in the endeavor, no matter where the discovery is made. That non-expert apparently was ignorant of the absence of any ceramic home (or in other) industry in this part of Mexico, in modern history (only anciently). He was probably also ignorant of a number of investigations in Mexico, official government investigations included. Those found that there was no manufacturing of ceramics anywhere in that area in recent history (b).

(a) Wikipedia page “Acambaro Figures”

(b) “The Dinosaur Figurines Of Acambaro, Mexico” (Bible.ca/tracks . . .)

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Apparent Ropens in the USA

I had no idea that many Americans had encountered, in the forty-eight contiguous states of the USA, flying creatures like the ropen.

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Dinosaurs in Acambaro, Mexico

Many people assume dinosaurs never lived at the same time as humans. Not so, for some ancient human cultures were in contact with dinosaurs, shown in their art.

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Dinosaur Figurines of Acambaro

The same modern ideas [about the appearances of dinosaurs] are reflected in clay figurines from the Pre-classical Chupicuaro Culture (800 B.C. to 200 A.D.) found near Acambaro, Guanajuato, Mexico.

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Images of Clay Dinosaurs of Acambaro, Mexico

Fascinating ancient art depicting living dinosaurs

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Coexistence of Humans and Dinosaurs at Acambaro

Now, Professor Hapgood is an interesting individual. He is essentially fair-minded, well-balanced, and not given to hasty decisions . . .

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Ten Years Ago on Umboi Island

According to Blume, in a wide area of Papua New Guinea, many nationals give similar descriptions: bat-like wings, long body, tail with a flange, pelican-like bill, and a “comb” (more rounded than horn-like) on the back of the head.

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Carbon Dating Dinosaur Bones and Acambaro

. . . many thousands of artistic representations of apparent dinosaurs are found on the Acambaro figurines of Mexico. Detailed analysis, in recent years, demonstrates that the anatomy and stances of some of these dinosaurs fit more neatly within recent scientific ideas about those dinosaurs that appear to be represented.

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Dinosaurs Living With Humans

. . . why does [Wikipedia] say there “are several thousand” of those figurines [in Acambaro, Mexico] when one of the leading experts in the world, Dr. Dennis Swift, says over 37,000 were discovered?

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Dinosaur Fossils Dated With Carbon-14

Direct Radiometric Dating of Dinosaur Bones

Dinosaurs and pterosaurs, we have long been taught, became extinct many millions of years ago . . . or did they? The discovery that bones from an Acrocanthosaurus and a Triceratops, not to mention several other types, were alive and part of living dinosaurs only tens of thousands of years ago—that astonishing discovery was met with immediate . . . censorship.

The carbon-14 dating research (C-14 or radiocarbon dating) was done over a period of years, with many samples from bones of several types, including:

Allosaurus (excavated in Colorado)

Hadrosaurus (Alaska and Montana)

Apatosaurus (Colorado)

Acrocanthosaurus (Texas)

Triceratops (Montana)

Blatant Censor Instead of Correction

If some scientist giving a lecture in a science conference makes a mistake, why not correct that mistake? Conference leaders may add an addendum to the official website, after the oral presentations are completed, with details about why the conclusions of that speaker may have been in error. Specific details can be included in that addendum, with future responses possible for the one who gave the lecture and was later corrected. Open discussion, with details, makes for an atmosphere where the truth may come into open view.

So why did two chairmen of the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore delete one of the oral-presentation reports from their official website? They gave no warning to the Paleochronology group. The whole report was just deleted from public view, with no online explanation.

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scientific conference report censored

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Notice the absence of report number five in the above image from the official conference web site. The Paleochronology group asked for an explanation; they were given the following:

blunt explanation for censorship

Notice this: “There is obviously an error in these data.” So where is the error and what exactly is that error? No explanation is given by these two chairmen. Science, meaning real science, thrives in details. The details given in the conference lecture itself included explanations for how contamination was avoided in the bone samples sent to the carbon-14 testing laboratory and much more.

Raw censorship in this deletion of an abstract—that deserves an investigation. Here are some clues for why the report was censored (unfortunately no pterosaur fossils were tested, only dinosaurs):

Carbon-14 Dating Results for Dinosaurs (BP=before present)

Acrocanthosaurus (Texas, five samples): 23,760 to 32,400+ years BP

Allosaurus (Colorado, one sample): 31,360 years BP (+/- 100 years)

Apatosaurus (Colorado, one sample): 38,250 years BP (+/- 160 years)

Hadrosaurus #1 (Alaska, two samples): 31,050 to 36,480 years BP

Hadrosaurus #2 (Montana, five samples): 22,380 to 25,670 years BP

Hadrosaurus #3 (Colorado, one sample): 37,660 years BP (+/- 160)

Triceratops #1 (Montana, three samples): 24,340 to 33,830 years BP

Triceratops #2 (Montana, two samples): 30,110 to 39,230 years BP

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Typical error potential listed for the above C-14 testing is only a few centuries but sometimes even less than one century. Notice how greatly the above data vary from the millions-of-years figures commonly proclaimed in Western media and textbooks.

Radiocarbon dating of dinosaur fossils has generally not been done until recent years, for the great majority of scientists had assumed such testing would be pointless. Carbon-14 should not exist in dinosaur bones, for it should have decayed away millions of years ago. But that idea comes from the assumption that those creatures actually lived millions of years ago, an assumption now challenged by other scientists.

Those astonishing data give a clue why the research report was censored: It was revolutionary in a way that those two chairmen did not like.

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dinosaur with mouth openDinosaurs have been carbon-14 dated to much more recently

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Carbon-14 Dating and Dinosaurs

Radiocarbon dating is the most accurate and most verifiable of the radiometric dating systems. . . . Sad to report: Because so many paleontologists have so long assumed that all dinosaurs became extinct many million years old, the abstract of the report by the Paleochronology group was censured, deleted from the conference website because they did not like to consider such an apparently revolutionary discovery.

Radiometric Dating of Recent Dinosaur Bones—Censored

It now appears obvious that both kinds of animals [dinosaurs and pterosaurs] lived together much more recently, although two supposedly scientific authorities have censored this discovery, in my opinion, preventing public viewing. Decide for yourself if this is a case of censorship.

Radiocarbon Dating of Dinosaur Fossils

Carbon-14 dating was recently performed on dinosaur fossils,1 and the results were presented at the Western Geophysics Meeting in Singapore, August 2012, a gathering of approximately two thousand scientists. . . . Compared to the conventional theory of dinosaurs’ being at minimum 65 million years old, the time it would take soft tissue to degrade and the < 50,000 year ages reported from carbon-14 dating are less than 1 tenth of 1 percent of the expected age for the dinosaur fossils.

Radiocarbon Dating Acrocanthosaurus and Triceratops

Radiocarbon dating is the most accurate, most studied, most verified of all the radiometric dating schemes. One of the chief reasons for this is that absolute dates for carbon material can be absolutely independently verified for certain parts of its useful range.

Dinosaur Bones Have Radiocarbon (C-14)

. . . they gave 14C [carbon-14] dating results from many bone samples from eight dinosaur specimens. All gave dates ranging from 22,000 to 39,000 years . . . But if dinosaurs really were millions of years old, there should not be one atom of 14C left in them.

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Are Modern Pterosaurs “Pseudo-Dragons?”

This is a reply to the post “The Pseudo-Dragons of Genesis Park, Part 13” by Owosso Harpist. For the most part, it’s a scathing attack on the online writings of my associate David Woetzel. Yet it refers to living-pterosaur investigations in general and accuses me and my associates of being not only delusional but potentially dishonest, so I must respond.

I am not replying to the whole post, for it is long, but certain mistakes need correcting. I point out these errors, not to imply that everything that Owosso Harpist has written is faulty, but simply to put as much truth as I can before as many online readers as possible.

To the best of my knowledge, Owosso Harpist (a pen name) is an amateur harpist who works part time as a janitor. I do not relate this to ridicule O.H., for I myself worked as a janitor in my younger years. In addition, as a young adult I once played a wind instrument in a duet, for a wedding prelude, in which my sister played a harp similar to the one now played by O.H.; I respect this musical instrument and those who seek to master its use. I relate these things because that’s about all that I know about this person except for the critical writings that include this post “Pseudo-Dragons . . .”

Point by Point Reply to Part of the Post by O.H.

Q: Are creationists deluded, thinking any large flying creature is a pterosaur?

A: Do an online search with apparent pterosaur. Notice that the vast majority of pages are either written by me, Jonathan Whitcomb, or are about one of my books about modern pterosaurs. I often use the phrase “apparent pterosaur” because I recognize that an individual sighting may have come about from something other than a pterosaur.

I have also noticed that some of my associates have also shown caution in their conclusions about individual sighting reports, at least sometimes. I don’t know where O.H. got this idea about extreme bias among creationists, but it appears this critic has not done enough research, at least not with an open mind to the possibility that my associates and I might not always be entirely wrong.

Q: Do “details” in reports indicate sightings are of NON-pterosaurs?

A: O.H. mentions no details, in the first part of her post, but I will do so now: Patty Carson saw a featherless winged creature at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in or around 1965. That flying creature had teeth and a long head crest. It also had a flange at the end of its long tail. Here is the sketch she drew of what she encountered:

sketch by Patty Carson: long-tailed featherless flying creature

If this critic uses the word pterosaur only for precise species known from fossils, I can understand why she might think that eyewitness report details differ from what we know from fossils. But I and my associates use the word pterosaur in a more general sense, meaning we include those modern flying creatures that appear to be descended from pterosaurs that were related to the ones that left fossils that paleontologists have already discovered.

Q: Is “every” report of a living pterosaur “without proof of evidence?”

A: Eyewitness testimony is a form of evidence. In fact there would be no science or scientist without testimonies of human experience. What O.H. may have been thinking about is physical evidence to accompany testimonies.

Yet even there, this critic seems to be thinking only in a narrow sense: a dead or living pterosaur or an egg, perhaps. But the greatest weakness in this critic’s statement about “every” report is this: Owosso Harpist probably has very limited knowledge of the actual sighting reports. Why did she fail to mention the name of Patty Carson or the following names?

  • Brian Hennessy
  • Jacob Kepas
  • Sandra Paradise
  • Eskin Kuhn
  • Peter Beach
  • Evelyn Cheesman
  • Sherry Cooper
  • Professor Steven Watters

Q: Is “every” report “likely” to be from a native who is plagued by superstition?

A: Where does O.H. get that idea? Has that critic observed and listened to my videotaped interviews with natives on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea? I see nothing on this particular post (Pseudo-Dragons . . . Part 13) that supports that possibility. I learned about native superstitions in some villages of Umboi Island. I interviewed natives in three villages, including Gomlongon and Opai. Almost without exception, those witnesses reported details to me that were not part of their superstitions. They simply told me what they had seen.

Q: Have natives “likely” been paid by creationists to give a particular kind of report, in other words “false reports?”

A: Where is the evidence? Where did O.H. get that idea? That may be not far from the worst possible form of bulverism.

Q: Were natives “likely” “coerced” into giving a particular kind of testimony?

A: This speculation has the same weakness as the previous accusation and deserves to be dismissed.

Accuracy in the Duane Hodgkinson Report

Owosso Harpist does point out a real weakness in one of David Woetzel’s web pages. My associate quotes from a book by James B. Sweeney, A Pictorial History of Sea Monsters (1972), which has many mistakes that are not immediately corrected by Woetzel. (See the above link.) But even with all of those mistakes, a person is more likely to learn the truth from those words than from much of what I have seen in the post written by O.H.: “The Pseudo-Dragons of Genesis Park, Part 13.”

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Are Pterosaurs “Still Dead?”

I consider much of these criticisms to be bulverism, which involves changing the subject by trying to point out another person’s weakness. I would be happy to write only about the concept of modern pterosaurs, but the accusations against me need to be addressed.

Dr. Donald Prothero and “Fake Pterosaurs”

For those who go to that link in question, it may become obvious that I was not trying to deceive anybody concerning reports of modern living pterosaurs, including the flying creature called ropen; for those who read only that post by Prothero, however, it can seem like I’ve tried to deceive people about the ropen and that I did so almost single-handedly. Let us look deeper.

A Modern Pterosaur

Countless eyewitnesses, in many countries  across the planet, have pondered what it  was they had seen. But ropens continue to  fly overhead, continuing to shock humans  who had assumed that all pterosaurs had  become extinct millions of years ago.

Ten Year Anniversary of a Ropen Expedition

A few weeks after my expedition on Umboi Island, David Woetzel and Garth Guessman arrived in Papua New Guinea. It’s now been ten years since our two expeditions in 2004, but what we learned from interviewing natives—that still needs more publicity, for few Americans have heard about our discoveries in cryptozoology.

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