“Searching for Dragons” – a sort-of-new Book

It seems that the official publication date for Searching for Dragons will be early in 2012, but this is really the third edition of Searching for Ropens. For those who were offended at the religious overtones in the first two editions, or those who would have been offended if they had read one of those editions, this new edition is being promoted as a nonfiction book in pure cryptozoology genre.

Portions of an early version or versions are being leaked out, but I will not try to review what is now available, for reviews should be in plenty when the actual book is in print. According to normal publication procedure, review copies will be in print long before the official publication date. That is what makes it possible for back covers to have glowing praises for a book that is only just published, according to that official date.

Probably nobody expects this new version to be singing the praises of Charles Darwin, even if Biblical interpretations are not actively promoted. But why should we read only what agrees with Darwin’s common ancestry? At any rate, one paragraph of the title page does mention Darwin:

“Believe what you will about Darwin’s writings on the common descent of all life on earth. But these pages extol the credibility of natives whom Darwin would have thought less evolved than himself, natives some Westerners consider superstitious and unworthy of belief when their testimonies appear to contradict the extinction assumptions that support Darwin’s ideas. Believe what you will about Darwin, but most native and Western eyewitnesses that we have interviewed have been found credible.”

Since this is a new edition of Searching for Ropens, with a new title, readers can expect much of the content to be about expeditions in Papua New Guinea, including the one that the author himself led in 2004.

Official Web Site of Searching for Dragons

Whitcomb . . . disputes an old idea that they are misidentifications of . . . fruit bats, for in an early expedition in Papua New Guinea, two natives were interviewed and they described a ropen holding itself upright on a tree trunk (fruit bats hang upside down from branches). Whitcomb’s book also describes . . . [a] bioluminescent glow that may help the nocturnal ropen catch fish at night.

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Tacoma, Washington, Sightings

Last year, I wrote a little about two pterosaurs observed together on a country road in the state of Washington:

Two Modern Pterosaurs in State of Washington

I was riding my bike home from a friends house around 5 pm . . . I heard a strange noise . . . looked to my left, and on a wood plank fence were two of the biggest bird like creatures I could ever imagine! . . . the first thing I noticed was their heads . . . could they be dinosaurs? . . . They were Huge!

Now a new reported sighting in Washington has caught my attention.

More Pterosaurs in Washington State

It silently swoops down at you with giant bat wings. . . . We keep our chickens and goats, small dogs and cats safely housed at night, however two of our cats who sneaked out one night onto the roof disappeared without a trace of fur, blood or any evidence of what exactly happened.

I would like to add more, from the original report.

Tacoma, Washington, Pterodactyls or Pterosaurs

We live in the pacific northwest (near Tacoma, WA) on many acres of mostly tree covered land with a creek. We have seen and heard a strange nocturnal, batlike creature. This thing is huge, light grey, skin with no fur, feathers or scales . . .

It makes a sound like a jungle monkey or bird, thus we refer to it as the monkey bird . . . There were two of them together and they seemed fearless of me when they swooped down at me more than once and returned way up to the top of the highest trees. I couldn’t get a look at the faces or eyes, mainly the huge grey bat wings approximately 4′ span are what I could see. They seem to show up every summer always after dusk anytime through the night.

What catches my attention here are the combination of nocturnal behavior and bat-like association. I know that an observer’s use of the words “after dusk” and “bat-like” do not mean that what was observed must have been pterosaurs. But the combination of un-bat-like size and strange vocalizations suggests something strange.

Some eyewitnesses describe large nocturnal flying creatures that are much larger than any known bats for the areas in question in the United States, and long Rhamphorhynchoid tails on featherless flying creatures make a convincing case for modern pterosaurs. It is within that context that I suspect that the “jungle monkey bird” sighting may be a related species.

Flying Dinosaurs

Contrary to the proclamations of some critics, the rarity of reports of eyewitnesses is from the ridicule that many of them face after telling people what they saw; it is not generally from insanity or dishonesty. In developed countries, the extinction of all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs has been dogmatically taught to us from early childhood. This indoctrination, in the United States, makes it difficult for eyewitnesses to talk.

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Various Pterosaur Sightings

It seems timely to me to report a few pterosaur sightings that are not as well publicized.

Live Pterosaurs in America, second edition, page 39:

[In 2001] in Camden, Maine, a creature with “leathery” wings was reported to have flown over a residential neighborhood. The wingspan was estimated at twenty-four feet.

Well, that was a short report, but other sightings have been reported in New England, from the same page of the same cryptozoology book:

Also in the Northeast (east of Buffalo, New York), a “pterodactyl” was seen. “ . . . my friend and I were canoeing in the creek accessed from my back yard, when we sighted a very strange creature that we had both thought to be a prehistoric bird. Immediately, I thought ‘pterodactyl.’ It was a greyish color with no apparent feathers. “It was only visible for a few moments before it disappeared into the tree line.”

Pterodactyl in Ontario

In Brampton, Ontario, Canada, while driving to work . . . at about 8:00 a.m. EST, my mother and I saw a strange bird-like creature flying low and close to the car about 20 feet away from us.

It caught my attention because it didn’t look like any kind of bird
I have ever seen before. . . . to my astonishment as it turned it looked exactly like a miniature pterodactyl like you see in the movies like Jurassic Park . . . it was much smaller, having a wingspan of about four feet.

It was gray and did not appear to have any feathers. . . . It had a long, skinny, pointed tail extended straight behind it that had sort of a diamond shape at the tip. It also had a long neck extended out in front of it as it flew.

Cryptozoology Books

“. . . a sighting I had back in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s . . . one late afternoon, I had just brought out the tractor to pick up the bags of cucumbers when I noticed a strange looking bird in the sky. . . . The thing that caught my eye was that it looked like something straight out of the dinosaurs era . . . What stood out was the long pointed head and the fact that there was a very long tail between the legs and with a ball shaped on the end of it.”

I would also like to suggest some new online sources and posts related to the concept of a modern pterosaur.

Searching for Dragons

About the upcoming third edition of what used to be called “Searching for Ropens.”

Although Whitcomb admits that nobody has yet come up with a clear photograph to disprove . . . declarations that all pterosaurs are extinct, he disputes the suggestion that the ropen is an unknown bat [like something related to the Flying Fox].

Cryptozoology Books (not a blog)

“I can hardly put this book down. It is quite astonishing to read of creatures so large that they can lift a human up into the air or rob a corpse from a new grave. They even glow at night with bioluminescence.. . . This book is so refreshing.  Jonathan Whitcomb is to be congratulated for giving us a glimpse of our world denied us by the wildlife ‘experts’ from western countries.”

Cryptozoology Book (Actually a different site than the above, although in the same subject of modern pterosaurs)

“Americans, for years, have reported obvious living pterosaurs, with sightings in Washington state, California, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Rhode Island . . . “Discover for yourself these amazing yet true stories and why they are usually absent from news headlines . . .”

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Pterosaur Near Singapore

About half a century ago, a boy watched two “squawking” pterosaurs in what was then a rural area. That place may now be a developed part of Singapore. Here is part of his account, which he reported to Jonathan Whitcomb:

I live in Singapore, an island at the tip of the Malay Peninsula (South East Asia). There are many much bigger islands south of my country, and they form the Indonesian Archipelago. In one of the islands there, I believe it was Sumatra, there was a recent sighting of a similar kind a couple of years ago. I believe in nearby Philippines there was also another recent sighting as well. This gives rise to the credence that such creatures are/were territorial and they live in a cluster colony.

I have seen a pair of them way back in the early 60’s when I was a small boy. I was wondering some distance from the village . . . one hot afternoon in a forested area when I came across a pair of them flying together and circling some tall palm trees (those with small orange coloured fruits) and then helping themselves to the fruits. They were making cries which sounded like squawking in the process. They were large (and at that time I thought nothing more of them as I was of the notion that such bird like creatures were the order of the day – at such a young age at that time I never knew they were thought to be extinct.

Modern day paleontologists claim pterosaurs to be meat eating, but the pair that I saw in our boyhood showed that at least some species were herbivores.

Singapore Pterosaur

The main point of credibility for pterosaurs living in and around Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia comes not from this sighting in the Singapore area. It comes from many reports of apparent pterosaurs

Philippines Pterosaurs Seen by Eyewitnesses

I can clearly remember that there had already been a lot of stories going on, people claiming to see the “Tiktik” or a legendary large bat-like creature which sucks the juices out of men at night. So that night as I walking on the streets, this large creature flew about 5 storeys somewhere above me. It was slightly lit up by the street lamps and, as I recall, it looked a like a really large bat, as I can see the shape of the wings which were flapping in intervals with skin a little lighter that that of a bat’s. The wingspan is about 4-6 meters tip to tip.

Modern Pterosaur and Extinction

Details are what make scientific progress possible, but Naish seems to always avoid mentioning any details involving sighting reports that are taken most seriously by the cryptozoologists most actively involved. He can write many paragraphs without mentioning even one sighting report, yet he tries to make it appear that all reports are wrong. It seems that all that is needed is the idea that standard assumptions of paleontology are threatened or at least appear to be threatened.

Modern Pterosaur Home

From the non-fiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (first edition, appendix, page 85), we read:

“A vicious web site includes these key words: ‘Creationist Claims, Fabrications, Falsehoods, Idiocy . . . Stupid Lies, hoax. . . .’ The body of the web page refers to our “delusional eyes.” I find that combination of descriptions interesting, for one definition of ‘delusion’ is ‘a false belief or opinion,’ and the act of telling a lie involves communicating something contrary to what the deceiver believes: an unlikely combination. But those who read that page may come to believe that something is wrong with me and my associates, and that may cause them to write about our unreliability on other forum pages, and this may be used to mock the concept of modern pterosaurs. The ‘vicious’ circular reasoning is completed by the original reason we were attacked: We proclaimed the possibility of modern pterosaurs.

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Live Pterosaurs in America, second edition, back coverCryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America

Read the amazing  but true stories that newspapers almost never tell their readers: eyewitness reports of living pterosaurs in the United States. Learn for yourself the astonishing secret: Flying creatures, many of which are huge and featherless and many of which have long tails, are not extinct but still living. Be among the less than 1% of Americans who know about these amazing encounters across North America. Read Live Pterosaurs in America.

Know what very few Americans know about these fascinating nocturnal flying creatures.

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Namibia, Africa, Recent Sighting

Jonathan Whitcomb recently received an email from a man living in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, in southwest Africa. The anonymous eyewitness seems to be a native of Belgium, but he has been living much of his life in Namibia. After his wife disbelieved his account of the “prehistoric animal” that he had seen flying one morning, he dismissed the encounter from his mind. When he learned that other people had similar sightings, he contacted Whitcomb, giving the cryptozoologist his lengthy account.

2011 Pterosaur Sighting in Namibia

I paid attention to the wings as it would allow for identification – but this bird did not have any feathers, at least not any spread primary feathers (as eagles often show). It looked more like a large bat with distinctly brightly coloured (yellow-brown, orange?) protrusions, where birds have carpal joints (like some ‘spur-winged birds’). It showed a long, very long, slim neck (like of cranes or flamingos) . . .

The overall colour . . . was bright (whitish?). The colour of the body-and-wings was brownish . . . For the wingspan I would venture to say (based on comparison with again overflying aeroplanes’ wingspan) . . . that it was half of that of a small plane’s wing span . . .

Pterosaurs in Africa

Sudan Pterosaur:

. . . early one night in 1988, the boy noticed something on the roof of a nearby hut. Lit up by the patio light, perched on the edge of the roof, the creature appeared to be four-to-five feet tall, olive brown, and leathery (no feathers). A “long bone looking thing” stuck out the back of its head, and its long tail somehow resembled that of a lion.

Flying Snake or Pterosaur in Namibia:

. . . The flying snake, or whatever it was frightened Michael Esterhuise, a farm hand, severely and left a trace on the ground and a burning smell . . . It shot into the air again and made a sound like “wind blowing through a pipe” according to Lawrence Green in “These Wonders to Behold” (1959)

Marfa Lights Explained (Pterosaurs)

Of course, some of the strange lights observed by tourists visiting Marfa, Texas, can be explained as ordinary: car headlights on a nearby or distant highway; those lights are seen about every night. But other strange lights, observed only a few times each year, cannot be from car headlights. Those “mystery lights” have been labeled “CE-III” by James Bunnell, author of the book “Hunting Marfa Lights.”

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Scott Norman Pterosaur Sighting

From the second edition of the book Live Pterosaurs in America, we read:

A few months after my late-2004 expedition in Papua New Guinea, I met Scott Norman. My associate, Garth Guessman, introduced me to this cryptozoologist who had explored in central Africa, searching for the Mokele-mbembe. Scott never saw the Mokele dinosaur in Africa, but two years after I met him he became, I believe, the first American cryptozoologist to observe the clear form of a living pterosaur while searching for one.

The person speaking here is the author, Jonathan Whitcomb. For copyright reasons, I will not quote too extensively from the book. But I can say that Scott Norman was skeptical, in July of 2007, when another cryptozoologist convinced him to help them search a secret location in the United States, where one or more pterosaur-like flying creatures were reported to fly at night.

He realized the location was close to the residence an old friend in that state, so he agreed to go. After arriving at the search area, he examined part of a video that the other cryptozoologists had recently recorded one night; they thought it might be a pterosaur, but Norman thought it more likely to have been a bird.

This means that Norman was not biased in favor of a modern pterosaur when he stayed up one night to take his turn watching for the flying creature. What he saw flying over a shed he observed with an open mind, not making any hasty conclusions from any emotional state of mind.

I think it appropriate to quote what some other cryptozoologists, besides Whitcomb, have said about Scott Norman and about his sighting of a possible pterosaur.

Chad Arment Quotes Scott Norman:

I was sitting in a chair, sideways towards the shed looking up at the starry skies, when this animal came gliding just over the shed and into the field and then I lost it. I did not tell them about the sighting until later that morning, I had to sleep on and think about what I saw.

The animal I saw had an 8-10 foot wing span, the wings were bat-like in shape, the inside had that wavy type of look. The body was about 5-6 feet in length, the neck about 1-2 feet in length, the head was about four feet in length, and the head was key for me: it has a crest that was about 2 feet in length, fit that of a pteranodon, don’t know how else to describe it. Our contact had a similar type of sighting three years ago in daylight. In his sighting he saw a long tail, I did not see one, and all of the pteranodon pictures I’ve seen show a real short stubby one. The animal I saw was stockier compared to some of the drawings of pterosaurs I’ve seen. The animal in the video that’s supposed to be a pterosaur and the animal I saw are two different animals.

The Passing of a Great Cryptozoologist

The cryptozoological community was shocked and saddened at the death of Scott T. Norman. He passed away on February 29, 2008, just two weeks before he would have turned forty-four.

Loren Coleman:

Scott T. Norman was one of the good guys in cryptozoology. When not involved with his cryptozoology, his work, or his church, Scott was also a First Responder, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and, for example, was activated and helped out at the Irvine Wildfire last fall in California.

Scott was a deeply religious man whose faith was with him always, and who was calm and intelligent. He will not be able to return to Africa, but Africa had become part of him. I am glad he was able to live his dreams before he left us.

I am totally in shock and send out my empathy, sympathy, and sorrow to his friendly family.

Scott, keep searching.

_________________________________________________________

front cover of the non-fiction book Live Pterosaurs in AmericaLive Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Second edition published November 20, 2010

How are sightings in the United States related to those in the southwest Pacific? How do some apparent nocturnal pterosaurs pertain to bats, and how are bats irrelevant? How could modern living pterosaurs have escaped scientific notice? These mysteries have slept in the dark, beyond the knowledge of almost all Americans, even beyond our wildest dreams (although the reality of some pterosaurs is a living nightmare to some bats). These mysteries have slept . . . until now.

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Giant Pterosaur Between Australia and Indonesia

In 2008, a Britten-Norman Islander airplane, a fairly light plane having two engines, was being flown by two very experienced former navy-pilots. They were mostly done with flying from Australia to Indonesia, being at 6500 feet altitude and over the sea, when the pilot saw something coming straight at him, on a collision course. He thought it must have been another plane, somehow at the wrong altitude for that heading. He put his plane into a dive, catching the attention of the copilot, who had been looking down at a chart or something. The approaching flyer also dived, so the pilot banked to the left, saving them all from disaster.

What set apart this near collision from other emergencies was what happened in the brief seconds when the other flyer passed by the Britten-Norman Islander: The two men saw it flap its wings; obviously it was no plane.

Both men said the same word at the same time: “pterodactyl.” This is not to say that those pilots were anxious to promote the concept of non-extinction of pterosaurs, for they made it clear, in their communications with the cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb, that they were not taking any position on any interpretation of what they saw. In other words, they were not biased in favor of a pterosaur interpretation. But they could find no other logical explanation for it, even though some people would think a modern pterosaur illogical.

The pilot was serious enough about the pterosaur possibility that he phoned Whitcomb to report the encounter, which was a recent encounter.

Possible Ropen off Indonesian Coast

The incident was 150 miles southeast of Bali, Indonesia. It was reported, in August of 2008, by the pilot, to the investigator Jonathan Whitcomb.

According to the second edition of the book Searching for Ropens (by Whitcomb), the bat-like flying creature that has a monkey face is called “ahool.” Apparently it eats fresh-water fish. One eyewitness described a head crest and an upright posture on tree trunks; a ropen of Umboi Island has also been seen to hold itself upright on a tree trunk.

Ropen Over Indonesia

The pilot saw the creature for about 5-6 seconds; the co-pilot, for only about 2-3 seconds. The co-pilot later reported that a common explanation–pelican–has problems: What the two ex-navy pilots had seen was too big and the wrong color (darker than the pelicans he knows live there).

Dinosaur Bird or Pterosaur

A “dinosaur bird” is actually what some eyewitnesses call a living pterosaur. These flying creatures have been observed all over the world, but they seem to be nocturnal, at least for the most part.

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Giant Pterosaur in New Mexico

I refer to an eyewitness sighting report in the second edition of Live Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan Whitcomb, copyright 2010.

“I live in central N.M.. Fourteen years ago, in [Socorro], N.M., me and a close friend, who now has a masters in biology, were hiking during the midday sun at [a] box canyon and something blocked the sun for a moment. We both looked up to see . . . a large flying animal.

“It had a 20-30 foot wingspan and was about the same length long. It had a long tail with [a] seeming spike at the end. Its head was very pterodactyl shape with a fluted back pointy head. It glided at about 700 feet in a westward direction . . . We watched it glide . . . and land somewhere on the southern expanse of Magdalena Mountains.”

It was interesting to me that the man related another sighting, about one month later, at the same place and about the same time of day and under the same conditions.

New Mexico Pterosaurs, Living in 19th Centuries

From “Weird New Mexico” (web site):

One man, Leroy Jones, used to talk about area ranchers in the late-1800s who swore they had seen pterosaurs — reptilian and enormous and startlingly alive — swooping over the desert hills and scrub brush of New Mexico’s southwestern Boot Heel.

New Mexico is just west of Texas, and Western Texas has a mystery, weird flying lights, that may relate to living pterosaurs in North America:

Mysterious Marfa Lights

Since early 2010, substantial circumstantial evidence has accumulated for the hypothesis that the more-mysterious of the flying lights around Marfa, Texas, are caused by the bioluminescence of a group of flying predators, unclassified by science.

_________________________________________________________

front cover of the non-fiction book Live Pterosaurs in AmericaLive Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Second edition published November 20, 2010

How are sightings in the United States related to those in the southwest Pacific? How do some apparent nocturnal pterosaurs pertain to bats, and how are bats irrelevant? How could modern living pterosaurs have escaped scientific notice? These mysteries have slept in the dark, beyond the knowledge of almost all Americans, even beyond our wildest dreams (although the reality of some pterosaurs is a living nightmare to some bats). These mysteries have slept . . . until now.

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Giant Pterosaurs in Australia

I think that “giant” is a good-enough word for these flying creatures that have been reported across the continent of Australia. It certainly seems to have been a giant pterosaur that was seen by the couple taking an evening stroll in Perth, for they estimated the wingspan at 30-50 feet.

Pterosaurs in Australia

Perth Creature, Western Australia

“We had been walking in the evening . . .  In the distance I perceived an object in the sky. At this point it was rather indistinct and wondering what it might be I watched it as it approached. . . . it was some sort of flying creature, and my first thought was that it must be some very large bird . . . Its progress had brought it closer and while its shape did resemble a bird I thought by now that . . . it must be the largest bird I had ever witnessed.

“. . . about a quarter mile north of us and quite high. . . Within a minute or so it had reached our position and was about 250 or 300 feet above us and slightly inland. The area was moderately well lit and I saw that it seemed to be a light reddish-tan color. It did not appear to be covered with feathers but had a leathery texture. Soon after it passed us it flew over a more brightly lit sports area which highlighted even more the leathery appearance also bringing more detail to view. The wings were the most definite leathery feature . . . The body also still appeared leathery, though textured as though possibly covered with fine hair or small scales, the distance preventing any finer observation other than that it was slightly different texture than the wings . . .”

If I correctly remember the sighting report, the following account of a flying creature was from the Redcliffe area, north of Brisbane, Australia:

Pterosaur Sightings in Australia

East Coast of Australia

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.

Although terrified, 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, reminiscent of bat wings.

The following account does not directly involve Australia, but the sighting was in Papua New Guinea, which is north of Australia, and giant pterosaurs would have little difficulty in flying from one land area to another:

Giant Ropen Pterosaurs

Duane Hodgkinson, now a flight instructor in Livingston, Montana, in 1944 was stationed near Finschhafen, in what was then called New Guinea. After he and his buddy walked into a clearing, they were amazed as a large creature flew up into the air. The men soon realized that it was no bird that started to circle the clearing. It had a tail “at least ten to fifteen feet long . . .

Jonathan David Whitcomb, a forensic videographer, interviewed Hodgkinson, in 2004, and found his testimony credible. In 2005, Garth Guessman, another ropen investigator, in Montana video-taped his own interview with Hodgkinson and the session was analyzed by Whitcomb, who became even more convinced the World War II veteran was telling the truth.

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Modern Pterosaur Details

Darren Naish the paleontologist seems to me, in some of his writings, to be almost an enemy to cryptozoological research related to modern pterosaurs. He is determined to support pterosaur extinction in the face of increasing reports of eyewitness sightings.

Details are what make scientific progress possible, but Naish seems to always avoid mentioning any details involving sighting reports that are taken most seriously by the cryptozoologists most actively involved. He can write many paragraphs without mentioning even one sighting report, yet he tries to make it appear that all reports are wrong. It seems that all that is needed is the idea that standard assumptions of paleontology are threatened or at least appear to be threatened.

Naish has said that “Fossil evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly that pterosaurs did not survive beyond the end of the Cretaceous, and the sightings of pterosaur-like animals that have been reported appear to be a combination of hoaxes and misidentification of large birds and bats.” He then gives not a milligram of detail about even one sighting, let alone the many that have been investigated in detail by those who have written scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals of science: David Woetzel and Jonathan Whitcomb.

I’m sure that I have said this before, but it bears repeating. “Fossil evidence” does not demonstrate the extinction of even one species, let alone all species of pterosaurs. If that is not enough to astonish us, “overwhelmingly” strikes me as ludicrous for any scientist to use for an assumption of something that is so hotly contested, for that same word could just as well be used as follows: “Fossil evidence overwhelmingly lacks the power to demonstrate the extinction of all species of pterosaurs.”

In respect to the many eyewitnesses, those who have neither been mistaken with birds or bats or corrupted by a desire to perpetrate a hoax, I offer some details on a few sightings:

Dactyl or Delirius Driver?

I know that some skeptic can suggest drinking was the cause, but not everyone who drives a car has detailed delirium tremens hallucinations with giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs. In addition, even if one driver imagined a ‘dactyl or dinosaur bird flying in front of the windshield, such an imagination would never have an impact on other drivers, causing them to pull over to the side of the highway as the imaginative driver kept on driving normally.

South Carolina Sighting by Wooten – part of “Dactyl” post

Susan Wooten was driving . . . to the town of Florence, on a clear mid-afternoon in the fall of about 1989 . . . Where the road was surrounded by woods and swamps, Wooten saw something flying from her left, then passing in front of her . . . “It swooped down over the highway and back up gracefully over the pines,” but its appearance was shocking: “It looked as big as any car . . . NO feathers, not like a huge crane or egret, but like a humongous bat.”

Living Pterosaurs in the Philippines

“. . . what he called a “pterodactyl,” in fact two flying together, when he was a boy in the city of Pagbilao, Quezon Province . . . . they have long tails about 3 to 4 meters long . . .it is not a bird: They don’t have any feathers. . . . “I saw them clearly: the SHAPE, their BAT-LIKE WINGS, a LONG NECK and . . . They have a long beak. . . . They don’t have any feathers . . .”

Pterosaur in Cuba

It was a beautiful, clear summer day . . . I was looking in the direction of the ocean when I saw an incredible sight. It mesmerized me! . . .  I saw two Pterosaurs . . . flying together at low altitude, perhaps 100 feet, very close in range from where I was standing, so that I had a perfectly clear view . . . they had a long tail trailing behind with a tuft of hair at the end.”

Setting aside details now, here is something general about the kongamato of Africa:

Kongamato Pterosaur in Africa

He believes a large stingray could overturn a boat (“Kongamato” means overturner of boats), declaring that a pterosaur would never have enough mass to overturn a boat. I find a number of serious problems with that pterosaur-impossible assumption, although there may have been some instances of large stingrays being labeled “Kongamato.” The point is twofold: His dismissal of the pterosaur possibility is flawed and the dependence on the label “Kongamato” can cause problems as well as solve them.

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