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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Missing Children Found in Caves

First, if you have any information on any unusual flying creature observed in or near a cave, please contact me, Jonathan Whitcomb, at:

Contact Whitcomb by email

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Bracken-Cave-Texas

A typical cave entrance, this one in Texas

Pterosaur Caves in General

Before getting into the missing-persons cases of Mike McDonald in Arizona and Timothy Farmer in Australia, consider other reports that tie caves to ropens (or other modern pterosaurs).

The following are limited quotations from the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition (more about caves can be found in this book):

Another [native] man, also interviewed by Blume, examined a magazine-cover illustration of a pterosaur and said that he had seen those creatures himself. He estimated their size, perhaps wingspan or length, at six to seven feet, “bigger than a man.” They eat fish “out of the water” and live in caves. [page 22]

Stopping to refuel at Kampalap [Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea], they learned that villagers occasionally see the ropen as it leaves a cave, most recently three weeks earlier. [page 95]

. . . he heard of an old story of the flying creature that is called kor on islands north of Umboi. During World War II, some Japanese had bombarded a cave inhabited by the creatures because some of their soldiers had been attacked by them. [page 134]

“I live in Lamero, Kentucky. . . . I have a friend who lives near Renfro Valley, which is about twelve miles north of me. Its a wooded area as well, with . . . several caves. And I’m talking a lot of caves, lol. This county is seriously like swiss cheese [page 228]

Timothy Farmer in a Cave in Australia

This two-and-a-half-year-old boy was found in a cave in New South Wales, Australia, in May of 1954, after he became missing from the family’s front yard the previous day. I learned about this case from the book Missing 411 The Devil’s in the Detail, by David Paulides. (Keep in mind that the pterosaur-abduction hypothesis—PAH—is my idea, not his.)

Timothy was found without serious injury in that cave by a waterfall in a gorge, but how does that relate to a modern pterosaur? That little boy could not have climbed down there without serious injury; rescuers had difficulty getting down there. It’s far more likely he was carried to the cave.

But why should it be a pterosaur? Why not a Bigfoot or other unclassified cryptid? For one thing, it was the strange stare that met the rescuers when they found Timothy. Mr. Paulides says, in his book, that children found alive are usually semiconscious or unconscious and a strange stare is common.

This fits the model of the modern-pterosaur attack in which a debilitating mist prevents an animal or human victim from putting up much of a struggle when the predator flies off with its prey.

Does the shock of abduction cause many children to have memory problems and other mental weaknesses when found by rescuers? Simple reflection repudiates that notion, for these are not rare mental breakdowns but common symptoms, found in children of various ages, including two-year-olds.

In addition, rescuers in this 1954 search in Australia found one of Timothy’s shoes before they found him, another connection with the standard model of a flyaway abduction by a pterosaur. A victim sometimes falls out of a piece of clothing or a shoe, which sometimes saves the person’s life.

In this case, the flying creature probably accidentally pulled the shoe off the child, and Timothy fell a very short distance to the ground. The predator dropped the shoe and flew back to locate the boy. It then again grabbed him and flew away to its cave. Fortunately, rescue time came before ropen dinner time, in this case.

Mike McDonald in a Cave in Arizona, USA

This two-year-old was found fifteen miles from where he became missing, in 1945 in southern Arizona, asleep in a small cave. Like the case in Australia, he was found the day after he disappeared. Mike had no injury other than a small cut on one foot.

Could the two-year-old have wandered that far, so quickly, and found a cave by good fortune, as a safe haven to sleep? No. Something took the child to that cave and it was not a bear or a mountain lion. The most likely animal would be a flying creature large enough to carry him by grabbing him almost entirely by the clothing.

I don’t think rescuers in Arizona found Mike asleep because it was naptime, and I don’t think that one small cut on that one foot was from walking fifteen miles. The family dog was also found at the same time the child was found: standing guard at the cave entrance. That would explain why there was no ropen having lunch in that cave, for no family dog will stand having its human become any animal’s lunch.

We still may have a mystery in the case in Australia: Why was Timothy found alone in that cave? Perhaps noisy rescuers arrived just in time, and the ropen decided to eat out while the strangers came to call; perhaps another exit allowed the animal to escape without being noticed. Anyway, everyone can be grateful that the rescuers noticed that cave . . . everyone except that ropen.

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Mist Used in Attacks on Humans?

. . . how an attack is accomplished, since these animals are considered by me and my associates to be modern pterosaurs with wings that may be delicate in comparison with the bodies of other large predators. The answer is in a few reports that suggest a debilitating vapor or mist is ejected at the victim.

Missing Persons in USA

Much of what I have learned so far has been from the nonfiction book Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada (by David Paulides) and from what I have learned from some reports of apparent pterosaurs. . . . we do have some direct eyewitness accounts that suggest at least a few modern pterosaurs can appear threatening to humans in the USA.

Can Ropens Hide in Caves?

So where might a ropen hide in daylight? On Umboi Island, some natives say that the ropen . . . lives in a cave. Yet a deep cave in a cliff is not necessarily essential for a sleepy ropen who needs a safe bedroom for daylight napping. For a small ropen, why not a hole in a rock, just a modest little cavity?

Pterodactyl Attacks in Yosemite?

These weird disappearances are not confined to Yosemite, nor even to the United States. Several factors do seem to tie together cases that are separated by long distances and sometimes separated by decades.

Nonfiction books by Jonathan Whitcomb

Books like the cryptozoology genre Live Pterosaurs in American and the cross-genre Searching for Ropens and Finding God

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Is Jonathan Whitcomb a Paleontologist?

I have never suggested that I, Jonathan Whitcomb, am a paleontologist, although I surely know more about pterosaur fossils than the average person on the street. I am an expert on reports of apparent living pterosaurs, commonly called pterodactyls by the eyewitnesses. In other words, I am a cryptozoologist.

I’ve received emails from eyewitnesses from five continents plus islands in the Pacific, emails about flying creatures that resemble “primitive” or “prehistoric” animals more than any bird or bat. On occasion I am able to talk with an eyewitness by phone or by face-to-face interview. One critical point here, unappreciated by some paleontologists, is that those eyewitnesses come from various countries and have different backgrounds and beliefs, including differing religious beliefs. Why is that critical? Significant similarities in the descriptions include featherless appearances, a cone-like appendage at the back of the head, and a long tail, sometimes described with a “diamond” at tail-end.

What about the fossil experts, in particular those paleontologists who ridicule the possibility of living pterosaurs? They know about individual creatures that have died, those few rare individuals that left evidence of their existence in fossils. I believe that’s what paleontology is about. So how much do those few critics know about eyewitness reports? Very little, it seems. Some like to generalize and imagine misidentifications of common birds and bats; rarely does a paleontologist even acknowledge a particular sighting, a real encounter with some flying creature.

Jonathan Whitcomb in a mini-documentaryJonathan David Whitcomb, cryptozoologist

Expeditions in Papua New Guinea

One paleontologist has visited Papua New Guinea once, to my knowledge, on an expedition supposedly for discovering a modern pterosaur. That was the television-show expedition production of Monsterquest, the episode showing several westerners, and many natives, on the island of New Britain. Consider what is written in the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (fourth edition, by Whitcomb) regarding that paleontologist:

Consider the words of a paleontologist who participated in an expedition for Monsterquest. He explained his opinion, why a pterosaur is not likely still living: “It flies; they would have been seen by lots of people.” Well, if only 1% of the encounters gave some kind of impression of a pterosaur or dragon appearance, that’s 70,000 persons: “lots of people” indeed, in my opinion.

I extol the participation of my friend and associate Garth Guessman, in his part in the Monsterquest expedition; he believes in the reality of living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere, as I do. But that paleontologist hardly seems like an ideal person to take on a search for an extant pterosaur.

Here are some of the Americans who have sincerely searched for the ropen (apparent long-tailed pterosaur) in Papua New Guinea:

  • Garth Guessman
  • David Woetzel
  • Jonathan Whitcomb
  • Paul Nation
  • Nathanael Nation
  • Carl Baugh

Woetzel and Guessman met many natives on Umboi IslandTwo associates of Whitcomb: David Woetzel (left) and Garth Guessman (bottom), on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, 2004, a few weeks after Whitcomb’s expedition

More about paleontologists

Consider the following from Searching for Ropens and Finding God:

. . . but paleontologists, those thought to be the greatest experts on pterosaur fossils—they consider it almost impossible for one of those species to be alive, and the key point is “almost.” I have learned that critical detail from communicating with a few paleontologists and from reading what a few of them think about reports of modern pterosaurs.

I have also seen the results of a survey of biology professors from some of the largest universities in the western United States. Of the few that responded to the questionnaire, the probability of a species of living pterosaur was put at 0% to 5%, with an average of 1.5%. Half of those professors who responded believed it was very unlikely but possible.

In other words, not all paleontologists and biology professors are completely convinced that all species of pterosaurs must have become extinct. That is far from what some critics and skeptics have said in deriding the work of those of us who still hope for a wonderful scientific discovery. Please keep up your hope in a discovery, for we keep looking and we keep interviewing eyewitnesses.

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Expert in modern “pterodactyl”

The title is “Jonathan Whitcomb: Pterodactyl Expert,” although the one that appears guilty of libel spells it . . . I don’t mean to imply that everything on this forum thread is without merit. But all commentators except the one initiating the discussion appear to me to practice bulverism rather than comment on any specific sentence that I have written.

Whitcomb, Woetzel, Guessman, and Nation in PNG

Does a live pterodactyl fly over villages of some  southwest Pacific islands? Many testimonies  suggest nocturnal long-tailed creatures (called  “Rhamphorhynchoids” by some) having names  like “ropen” and “duwas” (Don’t confuse with  “duah,” a Western mistake), live in coastal areas  of the mainland of Papua New Guinea, as well  as on the islands of Umboi and Manus.

Jonathan Whitcomb interviewed on Monster-X Radio

I was delighted with the two hour interview I had with the two hosts of the Monster X Radio online broadcast: “Johnny Bigfoot” and Shane Corson. We did not get into any details about the Marfa Lights of Texas, but we did discuss the bioluminescent-pterosaur concept, and Susan Wooten mentioned her experiences watching the Bingham Lights of South Carolina.

Books by Jonathan D. Whitcomb

Live Pterosaurs in America and also Searching for Ropens and Finding God

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4th edition, front cover: Searching for Ropens and Finding God

Nonfiction cryptozoology/inspirational book

Ropen book in its fourth edition

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Ropen Expedition by Woetzel and Guessman

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. Consider the following quotations from Searching for Ropens and Finding God (fourth edition):

Page 93

Guessman and Woetzel left California October 17, arriving in the city of Lae on October 19, Papua New Guinea time, where they met missionary Jim Blume and his wife . . . 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.

Garth Guessman and David WoetzelGuessman and Woetzel arrive at an airport in Papua New Guinea

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Page 94

Interviews by Blume suggest that the bioluminescence may relate to secretions that seem to drip from the creatures as they fly, like “sparklers” falling to the ground. The secretions are said to burn human skin, even with serious burns. . . .

Rather than take a ship, as I had, those three [David Woetzel, Garth Guessman, and Jacob Kepas] flew to Umboi Island in a small plane, searching the landscape as they passed over the center of the island. Because the pilot had no interest in zigzagging, they flew directly to the northern coast which they followed to the air strip at Lab Lab.

Here the three ropen investigators met Peter Ake, magistrate of Mararamu Village, and the four men took a banana boat along the northeast coast. Kepas interprets between English and Tok Pisin, but Peter also interprets between English and the local dialect of Kovai.

Page 95

Stopping to refuel at Kampalap, they learned that villagers occasionally see the ropen as it leaves a cave, most recently three weeks earlier. . . . The creature flies to a promontory north of the village, landing and waiting on a tree top before flying out to the reef. . . . Guessman, Kepas, Peter, and Woetzel continued on the banana boat northwest, leaving it near Aupwel, where they were greeted by many local villagers. An older man, Patrik Sual . . . told the investigators that he sees the ropen once a month, only from a distance; it flies from mountain to mountain.

Page 97

The three men not only came close to ropen habitat, they became close to the villagers, becoming officially adopted into three families. They were honored as they received new names: Guessman was named Bok Sigil (Bok is a brown eagle, Sigil means “cliffs”); Woetzel, Ropen Lailai (Lailai is the tallest peak of Mount Sual); and Kepas, Ropen Barik (one of the major mountains of Umboi).

Woetzel and Guessman met many natives on Umboi IslandDavid Woetzel (left) and Garth Guessman (bottom)

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Crater lake "Bono" at Mount Sual, Umboi Island

Bono, the crater lake of Mount Sual on Umboi Island

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Page 97, continued

On October 23rd, Guessman, Woetzel, and Kepas hiked up Mount Sual with five men and four boys; they descended into the caldera, setting up camp fifty meters from the shore of Lake Bono. Their lookout post, near the bushes six meters from the shore, gave a panoramic view of the lake, but after a grueling climb the first night of observations tested their resolve to stay awake. . . . On the third night, rain stopped observations. Previous ropen sightings suggest these peaks, including Mount Sual, harbor one of the creature’s resting spots. Unfortunately these three nights at Lake Bono gave little rest for man, none for the ropen. Disappointed, the men returned to Arot on the fourth day, sliding down the muddy trail in the rain. Two days later their luck would improve.

Thank you to Garth Guessman and to David Woetzel for allowing us to learn of their expedition through their photos and the records of their interviews, only a small portion of which can be included in this post.

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The two Expeditions of 2004

The last leg of our journey took us through the villages of the western coast and down to the government station of Bunsel. While at Bunsel we met some folks that explained to us their traditional belief that the Ropen feasts on a particular kind of large mollusk. We had heard reports from other villages about these clams (some of which are reported to litter mount Bel). But the villagers were able to show us some of the shells, as big as 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter!

Bioluminescent Ropen

Let’s compare the words of four witnesses: three natives on Umboi Island and one British biologist on the mainland of New Guinea. Each describes flying lights: on two sides of Umboi and on the mainland to the west of Umboi.

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Ropen Only Extinct on Wikipedia

Last month, the “Ropen” page was deleted on Wikipedia, apparently with the aid of self-appointed editors, one of whom carelessly deleted a valid entry that would have saved that page from deletion. Nevertheless, one online dictionary has maintained that page, or one very similar to it:

Ropen in an online encyclopedia

On Umboi Island the word “ropen” refers to a large nocturnal creature that glows briefly as it flies. The ropen is the subject of folklore (like a man but also like a spirit) but it’s believed by some natives to be a real animal.

“TheFreeDictionary” is not without problems in the page on ropens. It displays a conservation status (“Vulnerable” with listing “IUCN 3.1”), but the International Union for Conservation of Nature does not show anything online with the word “ropen.” I find the online encyclopedia reference to “vulnerable” interesting but it can be misleading: The ropen is still a cryptid (as of early September, 2014), not officially listed as a living species in biology text books and other resources in biology.

Regarding the definition of “ropen,” that encyclopedia-dictionary quotation is outdated. In my nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God, it is defined thus: “A modern pterosaur with Rhamphorhynchoid characteristics.”

Food for the Ropen (quoting from the appendix of that book)

In the summer of 2007, in clear daylight, a giant ropen appeared to be chasing a flock of birds over a wildlife sanctuary near the University of California at Irvine. That may relate to the two “dragons” reported in California newspapers in 1891, creatures that were also called “pterodactyls.” They were reported to have devoured mudhens in a pond “at two or three champs of the jaws.”

Danger to Humans

Although Marfa Lights in Texas have been occasionally reported to be friendly, a large ropen, in some areas of this planet, would love to take you out, to eat. According to Gerald McIsaac, author of Bird From Hell, people have been attacked in northern British Columbia, sometimes killed, by flying creatures he believes are modern pterosaurs. I’ve read his book and communicated with him for years, and I’ve come to believe he may be right.

Where do Ropens Nest?

In his book Bird From Hell, McIsaac reports a nest encounter in British Columbia. A teenage girl had hiked up a hill alone one summer day and found a large nest with about twenty eggs. As she was about to pick up one of them, a strange creature attacked her, and she ran down the hill and escaped. I read nothing about wings on that creature, but McIsaac believes it was a pterosaur.

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Sep12, 2014, encyclopedia entry for "Ropen"“Encyclopedia-TheFreeDictionary” entry for “Ropen” (Sep 15, 2014)

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Ropen Pterosaur

Many species of pterosaur may have  become extinct, but at least a few of the  two main types have survived. They are  sometimes called “pterodactyls,” “flying  dinosaurs,” “dinosaur birds,” or “dragons.”

Ropen – a Modern Pterosaur

Not only natives have seen this “dragon”  or “pterodactyl” in Papua New Guinea. In  1971 (when the islands were known as  “New Guinea”), the Brian Hennessy, of  Australia, witnessed something strange on  the island of Bougainville: a long-tailed  flying creature that had not a feather in  sight.

Ropen Light Sighting

“My sighting was so quick that it was impossible to get a video—maybe 2 seconds  . . . almost golden and shimmering around the edges. . . . There was no tail and it was flying horizontal from  Mt. Barik toward  Mt. Tolo [on Umboi Island in 2004, a few weeks after the Whitcomb-Paina expedition in that same area of Papua New Guinea].”

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New Book on Living Pterodactyls

Searching for Ropens and Finding God says little about religion but a lot about how persons of various faiths have contributed to the early stages of a wonderful scientific discovery: modern non-extinct pterosaurs. The Introduction of the book explains, “Yet this is not mainly about religion, not in the usual sense. It’s less likely to take you to church than into the lives of ordinary persons who have encountered extraordinary flying creatures, and into the lives of Christians who have risked their health, even their lives, in searching for living pterosaurs.”

4th edition, front cover: Searching for Ropens and Finding God

 

Nonfiction book by Jonathan Whitcomb (fourth edition)

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Part of the Book Description (subject to revision after April 17, 2014)

Fly above common true-life adventures as you dive into what may become the most unsettling scientific  discovery since Copernicus and Galileo: Living pterosaurs of the modern world—what a discovery!

It soars above disputes about religion, revealing why an official discovery of an extraordinary animal has been delayed for so long. Above all, this explores human experiences—of eyewitnesses and those who interviewed them. People have become connected by common encounters; persons of various faiths, with various levels of education, from various countries and cultures, have seen a living pterosaur, commonly called “pterodactyl.”

Notwithstanding the delay in the official scientific discovery, eyewitnesses from around the world continue to encounter these flying creatures: featherless, long-tailed, often larger than any known bird.

A few Americans explored a few islands in the southwest Pacific, in brief expeditions scattered between 1993 and 2007, looking for a modern pterosaur. “Creationist” each man was labeled, yet many of those following them carried no religious purpose.

Eyewitnesses of “Pterodactyls”

The first paragraph of the first chapter explains where the author got the idea of extant “pterodactyls.”

It looked like a dead pterodactyl: not fossil bones but with skin, like it had died recently. Could those creatures, non-extinct, still fly? Although I could not verify the photo was genuine, the idea within that image in a soon-forgotten book would be awakened four decades later, to plunge me into the most dramatic adventure of my life: exploring a remote tropical island, searching for giant living pterosaurs.

The book includes the sighting report by a World War II veteran: Duane Hodgkinson

I was stationed in Finschhafen, New Guinea, with the U.S. military. While there, I made several trips into some of the surrounding native villages with a friend of mine and a native guide (provided by the Australian government). On this one particular trip, we had the wonderful opportunity to witness a pterodactyl take off from the ground and then circle back overhead and to the side, giving us a perfect side view which clearly showed the long beak and appendage protruding from the back of its head . . .

Basic Book Information

List Price: $17.50
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
paperback
360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1502865526
ISBN-10: 1502865521
BISAC: Religion / Religion & Science

Fourth edition (first two titles were “Searching for Ropens”)

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A different book:

New Cryptozoology Book: Pterosaurs in Australia [not the above; a different book, in Kindle digital format]

FREE online download of a pdf book

When a Child is the Eyewitness

We have eyewitness sighting reports from around the world, from encounters with apparent living pterosaurs, for many years. Some of those eyewitnesses were not adults but children. It’s not surprising, considering how many often a child enjoys playing outside while adults are indoors. But what do we do with those sighting reports.

I’ll tell you. I treat them the same way I treat reports from adults. I record details and publicize them along with other reports. Are children less dependable? What difference does it make, for many of the reports are given to me by adults who were children when the sighting occurred. How rare are the children who contact me while they are still kids!

Pterosaur Sighting in Oklahoma

From the third edition of the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America:

. . . about 1985 . . . in Woodward, Oklahoma, near a small river, at about noon, a fourteen-year-old became terrified at the sight of a pterosaur-like creature.

“I was walking to the small river where I usually caught carp fish. . . . a large animal took off into the air. . . . it was a dinosaur. I went to my knees so that it would not see me. I was afraid it would eat me. I stared at the back part of the head because it was exactly like the ones depicted in books. . . . had a long neck and wide wings just like in the movies or in books. It had no feathers and it was flying around and looking downwards into the fields. . . .”

From the second edition of the nonfiction Searching for Ropens:

. . . an old man [in Papua New Guinea] . . . described how, before wooden coffins became popular, the deceased were wrapped in leaves. One night, after a burial, the ropen approached, glowing brightly; the villagers tried to stay awake to protect the grave, but the ropen stayed awake longer: In the morning, the grave was empty. . . . he was a small boy when the creature robbed the grave.

Other examples could be given for sightings in which the eyewitness was a child, but I’ll let this suffice for now. Credibility is not actually much harmed by the age of the one encountering the apparent pterosaur, for the details in the descriptions are generally similar to what is told to us by eyewitnesses who were adults during at the time.

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Pterosaur Sighting in North Carolina

The eyewitness also reported what appeared to be two legs that were held out behind the creature and a long tail that had “a spade at the end.” Perhaps the most critical factor in the observation was that the legs were separate from the long tail that had a structure at its end, for that suggests a non-extinct Rhamphorhynchus-type pterosaur.

Child Care

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