Dragons of Los Angeles

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Dragons of Los Angeles
Mar 112013

Do you believe in flying dragons? Have you ever seen a large long-tailed featherless flying creature? If so, you’re not alone.

For several days, I questioned the eyewitness by emails, and I interviewed her by phone three days after the sighting. She admitted that she did not have time to determine if the three “dragons” had no feathers, for they flew over her car while she was driving on a freeway. Her first impression was that they were large and not birds, assuming it was some kind of stunt, perhaps with kites. She realized they were not kites when she saw their tails move.

She was driving north on the Interstate 5, just east of a golf course on the east side of Griffith Park, in Los Angeles, on Sunday, March 3, 2013. The flying creatures flew almost exactly over her car in the opposite direction. It was just minutes before sunrise, so the sky was no longer dark and she could see the undersides of the “dragons.” They were light colored and had a peculiar shape.

She admitted that she had no confidence in estimating how high they were flying or how large they were. She mentioned nothing to me about the nearby Los Angeles River, but I was struck by its proximity. It’s common for a sighting in Southern California to be near a storm channel or river bed (see “San Fernando Valley Sighting” below). In this case, the creatures were only 150 feet away from the Los Angeles River, a major storm drainage channel, flying parallel to it.

Question: “Did you see any neck on any of them?”

Answer: “Yes, that was another thing that tipped me off that they were not birds. They each had a distinct neck between body and head, that was more narrow and clearly visible.”

Question: “Did you see any feet on any of them?”

Answer: “I did not notice their feet.”

Question: “Is it possible that what appeared to have been tails were actually their feet held behind them?”

Answer: “I suppose it’s possible but they looked a lot like tails to me. Long and thin with a bigger point at the tip.”


Approximate location of sighting of three "dragons" - satellite image of a portion of Griffith Park (golf course) and Los Angeles River

Approximate location of sighting near Colorado Street overpass

satellite image of a part of Griffith Park, Los Angeles, including I-5 freeway and river

Top arrow: direction of “dragon” flight — bottom arrow: direction of car — blue: banks of L. A. River


Griffith Park Dragons?

This morning . . . [within five minutes of 6:10 a.m.]  I saw three “dragons” flying over the 5-North freeway between Griffith Park and Glendale. They appeared to be several feet long, with a head:body:tail ratio that was certainly not that of a bird.

Sightings of Pterosaurs

A few years ago, a psychologist, Brian Hennessy, was interviewed concerning a reported sighting of a large “prehistoric” creature seen on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. The psychologist was not analyzing the mental health of the eyewitness; that psychologist, Brian Hennessy, was himself the eyewitness.

Pterosaur Sighting in South Carolina

The huge featherless creature swooped down over the highway, maybe only “twenty feet” high and only “twenty five” feet in front of the car.

Are bats Food for Pterodactyls in Los Angeles?

During my teenaged years in Pasadena, when I enjoyed watching small bats at night, my younger sister had a friend, Dianne. She told my sister about the big “pterodactyl” she had seen flying around the mountains north of Pasadena.

San Fernando Valley Sighting

Only a little over a mile north of the Los Angeles River

A couple was walking their dog at about 10:30 p.m., near the corner of Burbank Blvd and Woodman in the city of Sherman Oaks, California, when they saw a “very large, winged creature” gliding about 300 feet overhead. The woman described glowing or reflective portions of the wings; she described them to me in a way that suggested they were much dimmer than the bright flashes of ropens.

May 312011

Although the word “dragon” does not usually come up, Australians sometimes see a giant long-tailed living pterosaur, regardless of the label put to it. The most famous sighting is probably the Perth creature, seen by a married couple who were taking a walk one evening in December of 1997, but similar flying creatures have been seen on the east coast and in the south.

Perth Pterosaur

“My husband and I both sighted a huge creature flying over a densely populated area, while we were out walking one night in Perth, Western Australia on the coastline around 10:30 pm . . . it had a ruddy reddish brown leathery skin . . . it had a long tail and a wingspan that we estimated at between 30-50 feet across. . . .” [correlates with Gideon Koro’s account]

“This creature was huge and never in my life have I ever seen anything that remotely resembled it until I found a page on Pterosaurs . . . My husband works in a scientific field and he observed it and took in much more about it than I.

“What we saw did not appear to have a long neck, at least we could not see it from the angle . . . yes, we believe it did have a tail, and don’t believe they were feet, but actually a tail . . .”

Modern Pterosaur in Australia

“In the early 1990s I was living in . . . South Australia. . . . [I] drove . . . out to Western Australia . . .  [to] see the outback. . . . stopped . . . set up the tent . . . [something] looked like an airplane, far away. . . . maybe a couple hundred feet [high]. . . . it got nearer to me, I noticed that the wings were actually flapping gently . . . no sound. It was getting closer . . . had a wingspan [of about] 15 or 20 feet. It got close . . . leathery . . . no feathers at all.”

Giant Pterosaurs in Australiaeast coast, north of Brisbane

During his farm chores, between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., he [a boy of about twelve years old] forgot something and had to backtrack. . . . at the door of a shed, he saw a large creature with wings. It was on the roof of the shed, just above the door where he had recently been standing.

The boy had a brief view of the body and wings of the creature. It was larger than an average man six feet tall, with wings that folded to the side and back . . .

The giant pterosaur of Australia may be related to the long-tailed Kongamato of Africa or the long-tailed featherless flying creature seen in Sudan, Africa. It may also be related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, although it could be a different species, notwithstanding the ropen is sometimes described as being a giant.

Are Dragons Pterosaurs?

Are all fictional stories based upon people or animals that never existed? Let’s be careful not to rush to conclusions about dragons, for fantasies, though fictional, are often based upon some truth. The story of Little Red Riding Hood is fictional, but grandmothers and wolves are both real.

What do dragons and pterosaurs have in common? Celtic dragons had arrows at the end of their tails, which may relate to pterosaur tails. What about Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur tails? Are not dragon tails also long? Perhaps most noteworthy  are the wings: both pterosaurs and flying dragons have featherless wings.

Flying Dragons in Papua New Guinea

 Pterosaurs, Southwest Pacific  Comments Off on Flying Dragons in Papua New Guinea
Feb 072011

The old engine groaned as the small ship turned north, just off the coast of the mainland of Papua New Guinea. We were mostly covered from the temporate nightly showers, as we gazed out over the sea. Natives gathered around as an old sailor told me about the giant flying dragon that his people call “wawanar.” Around Pilio Island, natives say that Wawanar “owns the land and the sea.”

“You try catch Wawanar?” The old man asked, smiling.

“No, I want to take photo.” I replied.

The sailor’s face showed doubt about me, not about the wawanar, but there was not much else to say, so most of the natives returned to their giant bed, a huge dirty tarp that lay over the cargo area of the ship. We were still hours away from Siasi, also known as “Umboi Island,” the home of the glowing ropen.

Who decides when a foreign word is translated into the English “dragon?” As my bodyguard-interpreter (Luke Paina) and I listened to the old sailor, no interpretation was needed, for he spoke a little English. But the English “dragon” comes to mind when a creature (legendary or not) is described as large, with wings and a long tail, and without feathers. Dragons, in various parts of the world, may be actual living creatures, modern living pterosaurs, in spite of Western indoctrination into universal extinctions of all of their species.

In Papua New Guinea, some of the words, among many languages, for the giant nocturnal flying creature is “kor,” “seklo-bali,” “indava,” “duwas,” “wawanar,” and “ropen.” Of course there may be more than one species, but the flying dragon of the night is not the giant fruit bat we call “flying fox.” The flying dragon of Papua New Guinea is often described as glowing, for the flying light is often all that is seen. But when it is seen clearly, up close, it has a long tail and no sign of feathers.

See also Marfa Lights of southwest Texas