Pterosaur Sighting by Scott Norman

 Africa, Dinosaurs, North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Pterosaur Sighting by Scott Norman
Sep 152017
 
pterosaur eyewitness Scott T. Norman

By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

Ten years ago this summer (2007), the young cryptozoologist Scott T. Norman had a sighting of an apparent Pteranodon in Central California. I will not allow his encounter to evaporate from the memory of cryptozoology enthusiasts. He was a highly respected investigator, having gone on an expedition to Cameroon, Africa, in 2001, in search of the Mokele-mbembe, what some cryptozoologists believe is an extant sauropod dinosaur.

I think it’s time to say more about the sighting location than I have done in the past. It’s been ten years now, long enough, I think, for the explorers to have done their searching in secrecy. I will not reveal the precise location, only that it may in the Fresno area of California. Scott Norman would probably have agreed for that general revelation to be made, since it’s been ten years since his pterosaur sighting. Chad Arment had already revealed the general location (Fresno area) in early 2008.

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lecture by cryptozoologist Scott Norman

Scott Norman talks about his pterosaur sighting (about two days after the encounter)

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Overview of Encounter

  • Sighting was at about 2:00 a.m.
  • It flew overhead, over a building and into a field
  • At least 8-10 feet in wingspan
  • The wings were bat-like
  • The flying creature had a head crest: at least two feet long
  • It flew completely silently
  • Sighting was for 15-20 seconds
  • Scott was the most skeptical of the observers
  • It looked like a pterosaur, but he was not 100% sure

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Creation-science lecture by Garth Guessman in 2007

Garth Guessman also lectured on living pterosaurs (2007, in California)

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From Garth (at the same meeting in 2007)

  • Big flying creature in that area
  • Has a big head crest
  • Long tail has a diamond-shaped flange
  • Pterosaur-like wings

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Missing Persons: Strange Cases in National Parks

One of the American national parks that has been long plagued by strange cases of missing persons is Yosemite, in central California. I doubt that it is only a coincidence that some of the eyewitnesses of pterosaurs in California have reported huge flying creatures.

I do not speculate that the apparent Pteranodon observed by Scott Norman, in the Fresno area of California in 2007, was one of the those that may have attacked people, but some of the apparent pterosaurs seen in this state seem to be even larger than the one seen by Scott.

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Scott Norman and the “Pterodactyl” Photograph

. . . the large sizes of apparent extant pterosaurs, reported by some eyewitnesses in North America, may be connected to some of the more mysterious missing-persons cases that have never been solved.

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LDS Author Jonathan Whitcomb

Nonfiction dragons, or “pterodactyls,” as described by eyewitnesses around the world, beginning in Papua New Guinea . . . the “Bible of modern pterosaurs” . . . Searching for Ropens and Finding God [nonfiction book]

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Scott Norman, Pterosaur Eyewitness

Scott T. Norman, American cryptozoologist and explorer, passed away on February 29, 2008, at the age of forty-three. He was a passionate investigator of cryptids, even taking part in an expedition in central Africa to search for the Mokele-Mbembe.

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Missing persons and modern pterosaurs

Some of the strangest missing-persons cases may relate to a few individual animals of one species of ropen in North America . . . [a theoretical example follows] When a person is alone in a wilderness area in the United States, a large hungry ropen may attack, subduing the human by a mist or vapor that is debilitating when inhaled by prey.

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Flying Creatures and Missing Persons

I’ve finished reading the nonfiction [book] Missing 411 Western United States & Canada, by David Paulides, an extraordinary book that brings up many questions.

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Civil War Soldiers With a Pteranodon

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Civil War Soldiers With a Pteranodon
May 112017
 
Whitcomb's nonfiction book about an old photo of a pterosaur

By the cryptozoology author Jonathan D. Whitcomb

Let me make this clear at the beginning: I do not proclaim that the animal in the Ptp photograph must have been a species of Pteranodon very similar to what has been already discovered, in pterosaur fossils, before 2017. Early in this year, the missile defense physicist Clifford Paiva and I came to an agreement, after a phone conversation, that the animal was a modern pterosaur. Yet we did not make any declaration, then or since, that it must have been extremely similar to some species of Pteranodon that is now known to scientists.

old photograph declared genuine

The photograph being discussed, now called “Ptp”

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A vocal critic of living-pterosaur investigations

One skeptic has written a long online article, orchestrated to discourage people from taking living-pterosaur investigations seriously. It mentions the Civil War photograph but emphasizes every possible detail, that the writer could imagine, that could throw it into the most unfavorable light.

I don’t exaggerate when I call it a “long” article, for it contains about 13,000 words (only a small portion of it is about the Ptp photograph). Obviously I won’t be responding to all of it in this little post, but we can look at some of it.

“Giant Pteranodon-like pterosaur” in the photo

Those are his own words, that skeptic who wrote that long online attack against modern-pterosaur research. He may remove that sentence, should he eventually read what I here write, yet the point remains: After many years of writing and rewriting and refining his long online article, those were his own words, “giant Pteranodon-like pterosaur,” and he apparently was not quoting anyone else’s words. In other words, he got the impression that the image resembles that kind of pterosaur, at least in some way.

Not that he supports the idea that the animal shown in the Ptp photograph greatly resembles what is now known, from fossils, about Pteranodons. But he and others get the impression that it is like that kind of pterosaur, so let’s look briefly at his two lists of reasons he gives for how it is NOT like a Pteranodon. (I’ll not go over every item in the list, for Paiva and I are not contending that it must have been a Pteranodon.)

1) It has teeth, but Pteranodons were toothless

Look closely. The beak of that apparent pterosaur does NOT have teeth anything like Rhamphorhynchoid teeth. In fact those are not necessarily “large teeth” in the technical sense, but could very well be an irregular shape of the beak. And why should paleontologists have already discovered fossils of all the species of Pteranodon that ever lived?

2) The beak is the wrong shape

In the real world, beaks of flying creatures come in many different shapes, even in pterosaurs. In fact, it seems that there is no such thing as a wrong shape for a beak.

3) The head is “too small” (in comparison with the rest of the animal)

Perhaps this was a species of Pteranodon that has not yet been discovered, one with a smaller head. Maybe it is different enough that it should be classified as a different species of pterosaur. The point is this: It was a pterosaur. Remember that Paiva and I have agreed with the point made by this skeptical writer: The animal in the photograph gives one the impression that it was a Pteranodon.

I’ll go no further on this subject, for those two lists have little relevance. The animal was an obvious pterosaur.

Civil War soldiers in the photo

The skeptic mentioned missing fingers on the hand of one of the apparent Civil War soldiers. I have written extensively about this elsewhere, and it’s on my Youtube video “Introduction to the Old Photograph Ptp.” The skeptic said that it relates to “modern photo editing.” Nonsense. I’ve worked in animation and have experience with a number of software systems for editing images (including Photoshop). The only imaginable way those missing fingers could have come about through digital image processing, to the best of my knowledge, is ridiculous. It would require finding a photo with a Civil War soldier who had his hand out, as if holding a rifle, when HE HAD NO RIFLE. An image of a rifle would then be pasted onto that image, causing the ends of the man’s fingers to disappear. I feel sure that never happened.

How much better is the following explanation! The man was holding onto the ramrod of the rifle, with his finger tips. Since the ramrod is also not visible in the photo, we can assume it was, from the camera perspective, behind the body of the rifle. In other words, don’t be surprised that those finger tips are unseen.

If one were to look deeply into the origin of accusations of Photoshop manipulation, that person would most likely discover that the person responsible is not any kind of expert on digital image manipulation.

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Copyright 2017 Jonathan David Whitcomb

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Pterosaur news release

Two American scientists have declared that a photograph, that was previously assumed a hoax made through Photoshop, was not created through any digital image-manipulation trickery.

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Civil War pterosaur photo

I had come to recognize witness credibility, as a forensic videographer, and I noticed that almost none of the natives mentioned anything about their superstitions or legends of the ropen. In fact, almost none of them had any clear sighting of the animal, admitting they had seen it only briefly and at a distance . . . with one exception.

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The Bible and a photograph of a pterosaur

I just finished writing the nonfiction Modern Pterosaurs, which supports a Biblical timetable regarding the Flood of Noah [although this is not a religious book; it is in the nonfiction-cryptozoology genre].

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Photo of a Pteranodon

I’ve recently been communicating, by emails, with a skeptic who has written much to persuade people to disbelieve in modern pterosaurs. Here’s part of what I told him in reply to a couple of his questions . . .

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Advertisement

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Whitcomb's nonfiction book about an old photo of a pterosaur

Cryptozoology book Modern Pterosaurs

This new nonfiction book is subtitled “Human encounters with living pterodactyls.”

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Apparent Civil War Pterodactyl Photo

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Apparent Civil War Pterodactyl Photo
Feb 022017
 

By modern-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

Have you ever checked out two books from a library, finding one fascinating but the other boring? When the due date approaches, which one will you remember to return to the library?

The following photograph has been around for a long time. It may be the image that caught my attention around 1968, while I was browsing the shelves of a public library in Pasadena, California. Other persons seem to remember this “pterodactyl” photo from about that time. Perhaps it was in one of the old “Believe it or not” books, or something similar, from the mid-20th-century.

old photograph declared genuine

Figure-1: Apparent Civil-War Photograph of a Modern Pterosaur (Ptp)

Unfortunately, the two-books story is only symbolic. I do not have the old library book gathering dust on my book shelf and waiting for someone to open it and gaze at the above image. But the photo itself has been sitting around for a long time, visible online but not recognized for what it is: evidence for a modern pterosaur. It is now labeled “Ptp.”

The point is this: The accumulating fine is a delayed confirmation that people all over the world have not been crazy for seeing large featherless non-bat flying creatures overhead. Eyewitnesses in Western countries have mostly kept quiet, not wanting to be labeled “crazy” or “foolish.” It’s time to stop that accumulating penalty and take that image off the shelf.

Don’t confuse the Ptp Civil War photograph with the Freakylinks-TV-show hoax photo. That television series, on the Fox Network, aired from 2000 to 2001, and Civil-War reenactors were used to create an imitation of what is now called “Ptp.” Notice the difference in Figure-2:

confusion from similar photos of a flying creature

Figure-2: Hoax reenactment on the left and the original on the right (click)

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Evidence for Authenticity

Both photos have some origin in photographic recording. The Freakylinks hoax was staged with real men who were not really Civil War soldiers, and the photo was manipulated to look old, possibly through Photoshop. The other photograph, now declared to have a genuine image of a modern pterosaur—that one shows evidence of authenticity in more than one way. Detailed image-analysis by the physicist Clifford Paiva confirms my own examination: A recently-deceased modern pterosaur was indeed photographed.

Much has already been written, early in 2017, on this. Let’s take a look at two clues on the ground in front of the apparent Pteranodon. These would not be expected from a Photoshop hoax creation of a pterosaur model (digital, inside a computer) or from a physical model. They could be expected, however, if a real animal had been photographed.

What would we expect if a large animal had been shot dead by Civil War soldiers? Would the creature likely have fallen to the ground in a perfect location to be photographed: perfectly visible in a clearing? No, it would probably fall dead in a poor location. When the photographer arrived, however, he would ask the soldiers to drag the carcass into a nearby clearing, out from under the bushes or other hindrances to photography. Would not the dragging leave a mark on the ground? Quite possibly, if not quite likely.

Now click on the Figure-1 image. Notice the drag mark on the ground: from the lower right to near the end of the beak of the dead flying creature. Now look at the ground just in front of the wing on our right. Below the second soldier from the right is a broken-down little tree; it’s just in front of the wing.

Now combine those two pieces of evidence. To be properly photographed, a large animal would need to be dragged out into a clearing where it could be seen clearly and have sufficient light. Before getting to that final resting place, however, the small tree would have been broken down and leveled to the ground. It looks small enough that the sapling could have been stepped on to do that.

Notice that those two clues make much less sense if the soldiers had spent a lot of time constructing a physical model. In that case, the construction would have taken place in the clearing, with no need to drag the model anywhere. And that tiny tree would have been no real problem, hardly big enough to obscure the view of the model.

No consider the placement of the soldiers in Figure-1 (Ptp photo). Where would the photographer have asked the soldiers to stand? If it was a real animal, he’d want the men standing behind the body of the monster. If it was only a constructed model, however, they would have all agreed to stand in front of the fake dragon, especially placed for hiding the greatest weaknesses in their creation.

“What Happened to Pterosaurs?”

The following is taken from an old page I had published online many years ago: “A Weakness in Western Mentality.” I was afraid that it had become extinct when my web host discontinued service, but fortunately it was preserved. Here is part of it, partly revised:

It seems we have a conflict  between reports of eyewitness encounters  and  “accepted”  scientific ideas about pterosaur extinction. That needs careful evaluation. It’s unwise to summarily dismiss foreign testimonies simply because they seem to contradict popular assumptions of many Western scientists.

Accepting universal pterosaur-extinction blindly, without leaving open any door for objective investigation, is not scientific but smells of dogmatism. Such skepticism is not worthy to be associated with the word “science” unless there is some solid evidence for the extinction of ALL species of pterosaurs. There is no such evidence.

On the other hand, holding a skeptical eye to claims of pterosaur extinction is valid if there is a reasonable number of eyewitnesses of pterosaur-like creatures living alongside humans. The most recent estimate of eyewitness numbers is as follows (paraphrased from the fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God):

Of the billions of persons now living, the number of those who have had some kind of encounter with a modern living pterosaur is quite possibly between 7-million and 128-million.

Conclusion

When taken in the context of countless eyewitness accounts of modern pterosaurs, the Ptp photograph must be examined with an open mind. Details in the image suggest a real animal was photographed. The resemblance of that winged creature to a Pteranodon is not evidence of a fraud but evidence that eyewitnesses around the world are telling the truth.

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Copyright 2017 Jonathan D. Whitcomb

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Pterosaur in a Photograph

The photograph we’re examining here is called “Ptp” and has been around much longer. It was surely used, by the producers of Freakylinks, as a model for their crude imitation. . . . Ptp photograph, now declared to have a genuine image of a modern pterosaur

Ptp – Civil War Pterosaur Photograph

The photograph now called “Ptp” has been around for a long time, possibly in one or more books in the mid-20th century, according to a number of persons who report remembering it.

Don’t get Strung Along by the Smithsonian

Science writer Brian Switek, in an August, 2010, post for the online Smithsonian Magazine, titled his remarks “Don’t Get Strung Along by the Ropen Myth.” . . . [but that post has serious problems] Switek seems to have entirely failed to comprehend what is entailed here.

Civil War Pterosaur Photo

Pteranodon is a genus of pterosaurs that included some of the largest known flying reptiles. . . . For over 200 years, people in these areas of the United States have reported enormous birds.

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Jan 012015
 

Of all the names we might consider for these animals, let’s now use Unidentified Flying Creature or UFC. The following will be set aside for the moment, although some or all of them could apply:

  • ropen
  • dragon
  • pterosaur
  • pterodactyl
  • flying dinosaur
  • fiery flying serpent

Mysterious Disappearances of People

Humans can go missing for many reasons, the least common, quite possibly, from being carried away by a “flying dinosaur.” Yet among the strangest of cases of missing people, the circumstantial evidence has mounted up to this bizarre conclusion: The best explanation for some of these is that people are carried away into the air.

This about the following. Dogs often fail to track or follow the scent for a short distance and stop. I know that some people will suggest a Bigfoot carries away people; but how do you explain a dog that tracks a man to a vertical cliff in Yosemite? That man had neither the physical ability nor the climbing equipment to ascend vertically. The direct interpretation is simple: Something lifted that man up into the air near that cliff. (This does not mean that the UFC flew straight up, that would be unnecessary and exhausting; that was simply the spot where the man’s body was lifted up into the air as the UFC flew alongside the cliff.)

The nonfiction paperback Missing 411 Western United States & Canada, by David Paulides, mentions many cases where tracking dogs could not track. That does not necessarily mean those dogs were afraid of the scent of a Bigfoot, a scientifically non-classified primate reported to live in North America. Those dogs could just as well have an aversion for following the smell of a giant pterodactyl. Yet the best explanation we have, for the moment, is that some of those persons are lifted up from the ground.

Concerning the disappearance of eight-year-old Dennis Johnson, in Yellowstone National Park in 1966, a newspaper quoted one of the searchers: “It was nearly as if he had been snatched from the face of the earth.” Others have made similar statements about strange disappearances.

Clothing or Shoe Found Missing From a Found Person

It’s not very unusual for one shoe or one or more articles of clothing to be missing from a live person or body. This can be explained by the victim falling out of a shoe or shirt or pants or coat, while being carried a short distance above the ground. The shoe or clothing or shoe is then dropped in one location while the unidentified flying creature turns around and flies back to look for its prey. That is why some of the survivors are found in bushes, where the vegetation both cushioned the fall and hid the person from the returning predator.

Kuhn's sketch of Cuban pterosaurs

Two very large flying creatures seen in Cuba in 1971

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Missing Children and the Ropen

Many other cases give significant circumstantial evidence that large flying creatures have, on occasion, carried away a child. Many such cases have no resolution, meaning no child or body was ever recovered.

Missing Persons and Cave Appearances

This two-year-old [Mike McDonald] 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.

Vapor or Mist Used in Attacks on Humans?

I would say the substance ejaculated from the mouth or head of the pterosaur is a mist, described by one eyewitness as a “smoke.” This very well could be part of the origin of old legends of fire-breathing dragons.

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Fourth edition of this nonfiction cryptozoology book

The ultimate nonfiction book on modern pterosaurs

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non-fiction paperback "Searching for Ropens and Finding God"Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition, by Jonathan Whitcomb

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Recent Pterosaur Sightings

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Recent Pterosaur Sightings
Oct 312014
 
Fourth edition of this nonfiction cryptozoology book

West Virginia

Ricky Kearns, of Point Pleasant, WV, and other members of his family witnessed a strange flying creature on the night of October 20, 2014, as they sat outside, gazing up at the sky.

The teenaged boy reported:

I’m mind blown right now and this is why I’m writing to you. This happened to me about an hour ago. My dad, my baby sister, and I were outside in the hot tub. We were just talking … [My little sister] spots this giant winged creature flying across the sky . . . I’m [now] terribly upset that I didn’t immediately get out and grab my phone to video or take a picture. I was in all honest awe and didn’t even think that I would resort to a dead end on diagnosing this sight. It was WAY UP in the sky, and it’s wings were flapping slowly, so explaining that it was a large creature high up rather than a small creature flying low. But it was glowing.

This part of West Virginia is near the border with Ohio, near where the Kanawha River meets the Ohio River. Ricky estimated that it had “at least a 25-30 ft wingspan.”

Oklahoma (mid-Sep-2014)

The eyewitness in Oklahoma City reported:

I have always thought Bigfoot was really cool but never paid any attention to really anything about pterosaurs existing today . . . This morning at around 8:30 it went from bright morning to a black sky in just a few minutes. . . . it was such a freaky change in weather . . . On my way back from the store, I was watching the sky and saw a few birds and this really big bird with leathery wings and a long tail with a lion tuft type of thing. This is what the shape suggested. I didn’t see any feathers. I didn’t see a crest on it’s head but I was looking up almost directly under it so I don’t know if I could tell that from that angle. It wasn’t flapping. Mostly gliding but slight movement from the wings they definitely seemed bat like.

New Mexico

Early in September of 2014, two men were gazing through their telescopes one night. One of them reported:

This sighting was between 2-2:30 in the morning as my buddy and I are avid astronomers i.e.: Star gazers, or as I have come to calling it “Star geekers” . . .

He answered questions that I (Jonathan Whitcomb) put to him:

Q: Could you estimate the length of the sighting in seconds?

A: Not counting what I saw fly through my field of vision (about 3-5 seconds) while I was attempting to center the Andromeda galaxy in my telescope (which I am now fully convinced was the creature btw) I would have to say between 6-8 seconds.

Q: Did you notice a tail?

A: I thought I noticed “something” trailing not far behind this ‘thing’ although my friend says he did not notice anything. Was there something that attached the trailing ‘thing’ to the main body? No. In my estimation there was about 10′ between the main body and the little something that trailed it. So to say that I noticed a tail…no sir I can not, in so far as I did not see anything that connected the little glowing “bit” that trailed and followed the main body. This is the best that I can answer this question.

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fourth edition of Whitcomb's nonfiction paperback book

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – by Jonathan Whitcomb

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From page 180 of the fourth edition of this nonfiction book:

Sighting reports often suggest only a lone eyewitness, meaning the one reporting the creature was alone and took no notice of anybody else who saw it. Yet I was surprised earlier in 2013, when I analyzed the more credible accounts, for apparently 43% of sightings involve two eyewitnesses. I also learned 47% thought they were alone, although some unobserved persons may also have been witnesses.

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Flying Creature

Do you call  the police? The newspaper? Animal  control? A nearby university? A brief  reflection makes it obvious: None of those  will do. Other American eyewitnesses have been  called “crazy” for reporting what they have seen.

I hope you’ll contact me,  Jonathan Whitcomb. As far as I know, I am  the only person on earth who has devoted  anything like a full-time effort, over years,  to interview eyewitnesses of apparent living  pterosaurs or ropens, promoting the idea that  these flying creatures are not extinct but  very much alive.

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Sightings in Western United States of America

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Sightings in Western United States of America
Jun 032014
 
small farm and surrounding neighborhood in Grantsville, Utah

Pterosaurs sightings have been reported in Washington state, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, and in other states. Some are recent reportings of encounters years ago, others are recent observations, all are within the past 30 years. We’ll see what is revealed in the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America, but let’s first look at what is documented in the new nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God. These two books have only limited overlapping in sightings, by design of the author.

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State of Washington

I got an email from another eyewitness in October of 2012: “. . . It flew over me, and my home on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, just yesterday. Seriously, it flew low, made no noise, and cast a shadow as if it were a small aircraft. It freaked me out . . .” He got the impression it may have been featherless but he’s not sure. He also said, “At first I thought pelican, but I know pelicans and this was much larger with less head weight, much larger wings, somewhat short considering the wing span, greyish in color . . . freaky.” [from page 232 of the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (third edition)]

State of Oregon

In May of 2010, a man and his wife were driving, at mid-day, on the I-84, by the Columbia Gorge in Oregon, when something flew across the highway. The man reported, “It was pretty good size and the thing that really stood out was that it had a long tail and unusually shaped wings, different from a bird because they seemed to be more curved.” [also from page 232]

State of Arizona

A lady was collecting rocks with her son, near Tucson, Arizona, in about late 2011, when they found something most unexpected. . . . Whatever it was, it acted like a baby, notwithstanding the wingspan appeared to be six to eight feet “at least.” The poor thing was in panic, hardly able to stand upright while flapping its wings at the two humans who were only about fifteen feet away. The lady told me, “It was almost toppling over onto its face.”

. . . the top of its head had a “knot protruding” . . . the arms “grew into the wings.” The beak was narrow, with no teeth. But they had no time to wait for teeth to grow. . . . [They] left the area when they thought of the mother of the eight-foot-wingspan baby. . . .

Now let’s turn to the book Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd edition).

Desert Sighting in California

“I have been haunted for close to twenty years by what I saw in the desert. . . .

  • Q: What desert was this?
  • The [Anza-Borrego] State Park.
  • Q: What time of year was it?
  • To the best of my recollection it was in the spring
  • Q: How well did you see the form or shape of the creature?
  • Well enough to remember some details and to never forget what I saw. We were sitting in the late afternoon shade of a ridge, on lawn chairs, enjoying the solitude and peace and quiet of the desert when it passed over. I caught the sight of it with the corner of my eye and looked up. It was soaring along the side of a plateau not far from us. We knew what it looked like. In fact, I remember saying ‘. . . that looks just like a Taradactyl!’ . . . What I saw was large and very much alive. . . . Its skin, I say skin because there were no feathers, . . . looked like dull leather sort of dusty looking. It seemed to soar like a large raptor. The back of the head was pointed.

San Fernando Valley, California

. . . my girlfriend and I saw a creature last night (9/21/2009) . . . [It] baffled us. It was a very large, winged creature that was gliding maybe 100 yards above us. We stared at the creature in disbelief because it was so strange . . . it didn’t look like a bird really. . . . my girlfriend has 20-20 vision and she told a few minutes later that it had lights on it. That didn’t strike me as right so I asked her if she was sure and she said they weren’t lights exactly, but that the wings had a glow or reflection. . . . I begin my search for “flying creature” on Google. One link led to another and eventually I discovered something known as a Ropen. That was it! The description matched exactly what we saw, down to the glow. [Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition, by Jonathan Whitcomb]

Not all sightings of apparent pterosaurs in the United States are reported in the two books, although over two hundred of the pages document American “pterodactyl” sightings. Consider the following Utah sighting.

Grantsville, Utah

small farm and surrounding neighborhood in Grantsville, Utah

South of the Great Salt Lake—there’s where we find Grantsville

When I was 14 years old, I lived in Grantsville . . . There was a small play ground . . . One night, my brother Dallin [and] step brother Jonathon and I were sitting on top of a small exercising trampoline . . . We had a blanket wrapped around us as we starred up at the night sky pondering many things that 13 and 14 year old kids ponder. There was a small farm next to our apartment complex . . .

. . . Dallin suddenly noticed something and started yelling . . . a giant bird . . . At [about that] time, the animals in the farm next to us started going berserk. . . . Jonathon . . . started staring up at the sky and yelling similar [things]. . . . I was slightly reluctant [thinking it could be a joke] as I began sliding down the slide to see what all of this was about.

. . . Suddenly as I looked up at the night sky, the farm animals started up again and then I saw it. . . . A beautiful phoenix soaring above me in the night sky and soon after disappearing as if into thin air. I was awestruck. I began to wonder what type of animal this was. But within minutes higher up in the sky I saw it again and appeared soaring above us and then vanished again. I had a very scientific mind for my age at the time and soon developed a theory that this creature was a bioluminescent and nocturnal bird that would “disappear” using the same effect that happens to our eyes when we are in a bright room and suddenly the lights go out. There is a space of time where we can see nothing. I decided it used this to help it hunt. I did not even hear about ropens until nearly a decade after.

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The spiritual/cryptozoology non-fiction book "Searching for Ropens and Finding God," by Jonathan David Whitcomb

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – spiritual true-life adventure

 Excerpts from Title Page:

This flies high above a common true-life adventure, revealing the early stages of what may become the most unsettling scientific discovery since Copernicus and Galileo. It soars above disputes about religion, revealing why an official discovery of an extraordinary animal was delayed for so long. . . . Three American Christians—one middle-aged LDS-Mormon high priest and two younger Protestant Young Earth Creationists—explored parts of Umboi Island in two separate expeditions in 2004, interviewing native eyewitnesses of the elusive ropen. They returned home even more convinced that long-tailed pterosaurs live, even thrive, in Papua New Guinea.

Excerpts from Introduction

Expect answers in this book: why my associates and I traveled to a remote tropical island to search for living pterosaurs and why so few professors have given us any hope that they still live. . . . After reading this book, if one person finds a reason to live and abandons thoughts of suicide, what a reward for all of us involved! This is not a textbook for preventing suicide, yet I suggest each of us can find ways to bring meaning into the lives of persons around us, motivating all of us to keep living and learning.

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