Giant Bat or What?

Flying Creature With no Feathers

Sometimes a person will refer to the flying fox as a “giant bat.” That type has many species, generally being fruit eaters, but it is the largest known bat, in general.

giant bat called "flying fox"

At other times, somebody will see a giant flying creature that has no feathers but is not a fruit bat. When it has a long tail, then of course it is not a flying fox, for that kind of bat has almost no tail.

But what is it that people see when the say “giant bat” but they include a long tail in their description? We need to look into what it was that reminded an eyewitness of a bat. I believe many instances are from the featherless aspect of the flying creatures. We are so much accustomed to thinking of large flying creatures as birds, unless there are no feathers; then we think “bat.”

Now Think “Pterosaur”

Eskin Kuhn was a talented artist when he observed two flying creatures in Cuba in 1971. He was a United States Marine, stationed at the military base at Guantanamo, also called “Gitmo.” Within minutes of his astonishing sighting, he sketched those two creatures and we now have the benefit of seeing approximately what he had seen:

two pterosaurs sketched by eyewitness Eskin Kuhn

Those long tails make it obvious that those two flying creatures were not some species of giant bat. They look much more like Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs.

A few years earlier, in 1965 or so, at that same military base in Cuba, a child saw the same kind of flying creature. This one also had a long tail and no feathers:

Gitmo Pterosaur sketched by eyewitness Patty Carson

This sketch by the eyewitness Patty Carson is obviously not from an observation of a fruit bat. Although not in the sketch, the creature had a long tail, like the tails on the two flying creatures seen by Eskin Kuhn, in that same part of Cuba.

To put it in a nutshell, some sightings of giant flying creatures are from encounters with long-tailed pterosaurs, even if eyewitnesses mention the words “giant bat.”

Giant Fruit Bat

Flying Foxes sleep hanging upside down during daylight hours, sometimes on branches crowded with dozens of cousins and neighbors, chattering at each other.

Do Pterosaurs Eat Bats?

Pterosaurs sightings are often around where bats are seen at night. Eskin Kuhn has mentioned finding many bats in caves at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

How Big do Pterosaurs Get?

The “Perth Creature” seen by an Australian couple in 1997 may have had a wingspan as great as fifty feet. The minimum size that they thought it could have been was thirty feet in wingspan.

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About Norman Huntington AKA Jonathan Whitcomb

Passionately supporting research into living modern pterosaurs

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