Living Pterosaurs? Not by Glen Kuban

To start, I recommend the following web page reply to Glen Kuban’s criticism of research into living pterosaurs:

Are All Pterosaurs Extinct?

But Whitcomb’s web page does not go nearly far enough in emphasizing the testimonies of Brian Hennessy and Duane Hodgkinson. Glen Kuban’s web page ignores those two witnesses entirely. Hennessy and Hodgkinson witnessed “prehistoric” looking flying creatures in daylight, at fairly close range, with locations being Bougainville Island and the Finschhafen area, respectively, both in New Guinea, which is now the nation of Papua New Guinea.

Kuban shows images of two “flying foxes” in flight, suggesting “that at least some” sightings of pterosaurs are misidentified fruit bats. That choice of Kuban’s, to show those two images, may be related to the absence of any mentioning of the names “Hennessy” and “Hodgkinson.” Both men described a long tail and a head crest, and Hodgkinson’s estimate for tail length was “at least” ten to fifteen feet. Since he said “at least,” let’s take this to mean it is unlikely to have been less than ten feet. Critics might argue that the surprise of his encounter would have made him exaggerate, so let’s say the actual tail length might have been as little as eight feet, although I believe it was much longer. Eight feet is longer than the entire wingspan of the largest fruit bats, and those two images shown on Kuban’s web page make it obvious that those bats have practically no tail, at least not visible.

I found another reason that Kuban may have been hesitant to mention Hodgkinson’s report. In Whitcomb’s scientific paper, in a peer-reviewed journal, Hodgkinson reports that the creature was running for some distance before becoming airborne. If I recall, the length of the legs-plus-feet was several feet, and the stomach of the creature was several feet above the ground while it was running. No fruit bat would ever make any impression even remotely like that, even if it could run along the ground before becoming airborne. That is ludicrous.

If Glen Kuban were to write a paper for a peer-reviewed journal, a paper dealing with sightings that include Hennessy’s and Hodgkinson’s, I would be most happy to critique it. But why does Kuban go on and on, with paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, about irrelevancies? I hold up these two witnesses, Hennessy and Hodgkinson, for their reports annihilate any possibility of fruit bat misidentification.

In addition:

In light of suggestions on the blog post “Handing Out Criticism,” I should mention that Mr. Kuban may have made positive contributions in paleontology, regardless of his faulty reasoning on modern research and field work regarding reports of modern pterosaurs. But paleontologists in general do not seem to make reasonable armchair cryptozoologists.

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About Norman Huntington AKA Jonathan Whitcomb

Passionately supporting research into living modern pterosaurs
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