Sometimes I think that the most ignorant persons on earth, regarding pterosaur extinction, are biology professors and paleontologists. An unnamed biology faculty member at UCLA recently said, “Pterosaurs are extinct and have been for 10s of millions of years. Period.” That was in response to a question about the ropen of Papua New Guinea. It would have been better to simply admit ignorance of eyewitness sightings and perhaps ask about details.
What paleontologist knows about the reported pterosaur flying near the university at Irvine, California? Probably not any professor at that university, for it was a non-faculty member who saw the animal fly in front of his car one summer day a few years ago.
I would guess very few, if any, biology professors know about the “pterodactyl” sighting between Australia and Indonesia, a few thousand feet above the surface of the sea. The pilot and copilot were knocked out of their comfort zone by the huge flying thing that almost collided with their two-engine prop plane a few years ago.
Paleontologists can talk about and write about particular extinctions of pterosaurs, and they can do that until the paint flakes off the walls, but it is all speculation. Which of them knows about the Australian psychologist Brian Hennessy, who saw a long-tailed “prehistoric” creature flying over a dirt road on Bougainville Island, New Guinea? The paleontologists are ignorant of such encounters, for their heads are always buried in their old presumptions.
If Duane Hodgkinson and his army buddy did not see a “pterodactyl” in that jungle clearing west of Finschhafen, New Guinea, in 1944, what did they see? It could not have been any mechanical toy, for it was too big and sophisticated and too early in history. It could not have been a bird, for it had a wingspan of about thirty feet and a tail at least ten or fifteen feet long, even if it had feathers. It could not have been the largest species of bat for the flying fox fruit bat has nothing like a tail anywhere near that size, even if there had been extreme exaggeration in tail length estimate.
What did the married couple see in Perth, Australia, as they were taking a walk on a warm evening in December of 1997? The husband worked in a scientific field, and he reported a size of around thirty to fifty feet for the long-tailed flying creature. The wife was ridiculed for making the sighting public, accuse of telling a lie. She was offended at the accusation but kept on insisting that she and her husband had observed the pterosaur-like creature. That observation, by the way, was for minutes, with some of that time revealing much structure in the lighting from a nearby sports stadium. Why would she subject both of them to riducule, for years, if they had not actually seen what they said that they had seen? A hoax makes no sense here.
It’s not that professors of biology and paleontology are somewhat less informed about one or two reports of modern pterosaurs. Most of them seem totally ignorant of over a hundred critical pterosaur sightings, reports from a few decades ago to a few weeks ago.
One night, whilst sitting on the ground by the tents (a fair way from the noise and commotion of the festival), I saw what I at first assumed was an owl gliding over the campsite (I assumed that because it was night time, and obviously no other birds would be out-bar things like nightjars-which this was not!) – it passed right over us, probably about 30-40ft high, and as I watched it, I realised it was definitely no owl I’d ever seen before. It was the colour of suede/sand, looked like the same sort of texture as suede (i.e no feathers), had a long thin tail, and didn’t flap once.
“ . . it had a ruddy reddish brown leathery skin; (we could see its underneath as it flew over us at about 300 ft up; the glow from all the ground lighting made that possible), it had a long tail and a wingspan that we estimated at between 30-50 feet across. . . .”
A recent survey of biology professors in the USA reveals not all of them are completely convinced that all species of pterosaurs became extinct by 65 million years ago.