Gitmo Pterosaur Revisited

Getting back to pterosaurs in Cuba, I noticed something interesting in Patty Carson’s testimony. She said, “It had little teeth, a LOT of them.” Well, Rhamphorhynchoids had teeth and long tails, generally, and the Gitmo pterosaur does as well, even though Eskin Kuhn did not see any teeth in the mouths of the two that he saw. That does make sense. Carson saw a winged creature on the ground, and she thought it had been eating or resting just before it stood up to look at her and her brother; she saw teeth in a mouth that was slightly open. Kuhn saw two winged creatures flying with their mouths closed; he saw no teeth. This difference in what was observed makes perfect sense in context with each sighting, for each saw a very different pterosaur activity.

For those coming upon this subject for the first time, modern pterosaurs in Cuba, I refer to two previous posts I wrote on this subject:

Two Pterosaur Sightings in Cuba

Patty Carson, has kindly agreed to having her real name used to substantiate her sighting and to support the Marine’s account of his sighting.

Gitmo Rhamphorhynchoid

The Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay military base) had modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs, at least a few decades ago, so the Caribbean may still host such a “flying dinosaur.” I use that non-technical phrase in this post, for those flying creatures, because Patty Carson probably used that phrase or one like it.

I think it timely to display the original sketch by Kuhn.

two pterosaurs sketched by eyewitness Eskin Kuhn

I notice something strange or at least unusual in the way the legs relate to the wing-structure. It has been suggested by one skeptic that this unorthodox feature should caste doubt on the validity of Kuhn’s sighting, that no pterosaur had that kind of feature. In a similar way, we could reject all future discoveries of fossils of pterosaurs, if all of those discoveries included new features or aspects that had not been observed on the fossils previously discovered. In other words, has paleontology really progressed to the stage where there are no longer any new discoveries to be made? I think not. If that strange structure with wing membranes connecting to legs were found in a newly discovered fossil, it would be exciting to paleontologists, not causing any of them to automatically dismiss the fossil as a fraud or hoax.

I also noticed what Carson wrote after looking at Kuhn’s sketch: “The proportions of the head are very good, and the body and the hind legs are exactly as I remember.” It seems to me that this supports Kuhn’s depiction of the way the wings attach to the legs.

Kongamato of Africa

The pterosaurs seen by U.S. Marine Eskin Kuhn, in 1971, in Cuba, may be related to the kongamato of Africa.

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Hornbill Bird Comes in Next to Last

Which of the following explains best the sightings in Papua New Guinea? In particular, I mean the sightings by Duane Hodgkinson, Brian Hennessy, Gideon Koro, Jonah Jim, and Jonathan Ragu.

  1. Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur
  2. Unknown species of giant bat
  3. Hornbill bird
  4. Manta ray or Stingray fish

I propose that the above order is correct. For now, I concentrate on the suggestion, made by Dale Drinnon, that Hornbill birds account for some eyewitness reports, although he seems at least a bit unclear about which sightings. Before going on, it seems best to refer to a long blog post on Live Pterosaur. I highly recommend this post:

Hornbill Birds and a Live Pterosaur

A skeptic of the possibility of living pterosaurs gave half a sentence to the subject of Hornbill birds as the cause of sighting reports of live pterosaurs. The problem with that suggestion? Details in the sighting reports bear no resemblance to anything like a Hornbill.

Almost anyone who reads that post, or even part of it, will realize the obvious: The important sightings were not of anything even close to the Hornbill bird.

How did Drinnon arrive at the idea that sightings by Hodgkinson and Hennessy were of some kind of Hornbill bird? Since he gives not details, at least not that I have read, I presume it is the word “Hornbill” itself. The psychologist Brian Hennessy, eyewitness to the 1971 Bougainville flying creature, did mention the word “horn” when he described what he had seen. But when we examine details, we learn that it was something far different from the structure at the top of a Hornbill bird’s head. Hennessy’s choices from a selection of silhouettes resulted in the following, a sort of composite sketch of the head. The one on the top is for Hennessy’s sighting; the one on the bottom, Hodgkinson’s:

Hodgkinson and Hennessy composite sketches of ropen pterosaur

Now compare that kind of “horn” with the structure on the head of the Hornbill:

Hornbill bird

See the enormous difference between the ropen head crest and what a Hornbill bird has.

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Kongamato Pterosaur and Hoax Possibility

I would like now to look at an account of Kongamato, in Africa, in context with accounts of similar flying creatures in Cuba and in Papua New Guinea, far to the west and east of Africa respectively, and then I would like to look at the hoax possibility. It seems reasonable to me that if a modern pterosaur could live in one of those areas, it could live in the other two as well, even though there may be some variation in species, coinciding with differences in opportunities for finding food, etc.

Sudan Pterosaur – interview by Whitcomb

One night . . . the boy noticed something on the roof of a nearby hut . . .  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 . . . The eyewitness was sure about the head crest and the long tail.

The eyewitness in Sudan saw something in the tail of the creature that reminded him of the tail of a lion. This could have been from observing a pterosaur, in particular a Rhamphorhynchoid tail vane that had some fur; of course that is speculative, but it does make sense.

Gitmo Pterosaur in Cuba – and using other sources

Patty verified that the sketch drawn by Kuhn is very similar to what she had seen in 1965 . . .

“It was as tall as a man when it stood up on it haunches.”

Patty explained to me that . . . the wings were like bat wings, in a way, but not at all transparent.

She is sure of the structure at the end of the tail . . . and estimates the “diamond” was about five inches long and about three inches wide.

This eyewitness of the “Gitmo Pterosaur,” Patty Carson, made it clear in her interview with Whitcomb that she did not see the head crest at first, for the creature’s head was facing her and her brother. But that perspective soon changed as the creature prepared to fly away, and Carson was then able to see the head crest. In addition, she verified that the sketch drawn by Kuhn was very similar to what she had seen, so we can take it as the same type of flying creature, seen in the same area of Cuba, a few years apart.

Ropen in Papua New Guinea

Much has been written about the ropen, so I will not quote much here. I will say that much of what is available is through the writings of Jonathan Whitcomb, which may bring up the possibility that one person, Whitcomb, may be involved in some elaborate hoax. After all, he is the source of both the Carson report and the Sudan report. I would like to look at that hoax potential now.

Hoax Possibility

To find out if Whitcomb has been carrying out a hoax, we need to go back to when he first became involved. His 2004 expedition in Papua New Guinea has much written about it, by him or course. If he were carrying on a long hoax he would probably have invented a trip to Papua New Guinea as well. But Garth Guessman and David Woetzel had their expedition to the same island of Umboi, and it was only a few weeks after Whitcomb’s supposed explorations there. The difficulty with proving Whitcomb has been carrying on a hoax, including a false expedition on Umboi Island, seems to be insurmountable when we consider that the other two Americans talked with natives who had remembered Whitcomb’s recent visit. In addition, Whitcomb videotaped many interviews on Umboi, with his own voice in the audio track of those videos. He later spent about twelve months writing his first book, much of which was about that expedition. It seems he must have actually gone to that island in Papua New Guinea.

What about the Gitmo Pterosaur? Could Whitcomb have invented this eyewitness Patty Carson? The problem with that possibility is this: Patricia Carson is now an RN living in Riverside, California, a fact that is easily available through a simple online search. She apparently has nothing to hide about her encounter with the strange flying creature at Gitmo many years ago. She is open to being interviewed by other interviewers.

It seems obvious that Whitcomb has not been carrying on an elaborate hoax for years. Perhaps he is not in a position to be the most objective person to evaluate reports of modern pterosaurs, but bias on one side or the other is a human frailty, not limited to those who believe that “extinction” has been overblown for those animals.

More on Kongamato

Wikipedia says, “Eyewitness accounts say the creature has teeth, leathery wings, a beak.” Patty Carson noticed many teeth on the Gitmo Pterosaur. She also noticed the lack of feathers. She also said that “the skin was a leathery, brownish reddish color.” Wikipedia says that some reports indicate the kongamato is “either red or black in color.” These are too many description similarities to throw out reports without consideration. The pterosaurs observed in Cuba are probably related to at least some of those observed in Africa.

It seems to me that the skeptics who dismiss reports of modern pterosaurs do so from ignorance of a number of critical eyewitness accounts and how those accounts relate to each other. Spitting out “hoax” or “misidentification” proves nothing except that some skeptics are experts at spitting.

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Gitmo Rhamphorhynchoid

The Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay military base) had modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs, at least a few decades ago, so the Caribbean may still host such a “flying dinosaur.” I use that non-technical phrase in this post, for those flying creatures, because Patty Carson probably used that phrase or one like it when she told her father, the base commander, about her terrifying experience in 1965, when she and her younger brother saw it.

In my last post, I had assumed that there were more than two children who were eyewitnesses in 1965, but I have since learned that there were only two. We cannot depend of the second child, however, because he was only four at the time and now has no memory of the experience. If I understand correctly, however, the two years difference in age may not be the primary factor in memory, for Patty Carson, who was six years old at the time, has always had a better memory the average and she seems to have indicated that her memory is better than her brothers (Whitcomb phone interview, May 4, 2011).

I have also learned that Carson, later in childhood or adolescence, was inquisitive and sharp and recognized one or more images of pterosaurs at the Smithsonian, when her father worked in Washington D.C.

Flying Dinosaur Still Flies in Cuba

I have recently learned that Eskin Kuhn is not the only eyewitness of a large long-tailed pterosaur (Rhamphorhynchoid) at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. On May 4, 2011, I interviewed, by phone, Patty Carson, who now lives in Southern California but who witnessed a “flying dinosaur” at Guantanamo Bay, in 1965. Although she was only a child at the time, she immediately told her family about the frightening encounter, and although her family disbelieved her at the time, her testimony of the appearance of that flying creature now verifies the plausibility of Kuhn’s 1971 sighting. Patty verified that the sketch drawn by Kuhn is very similar to what she had seen in 1965.

More Support for a Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaur in Cuba

A problem keeps popping up in my investigation of reports of living pterosaurs. Eyewitness usually report to me a sighting where nobody else has ever before reported one. Lake Pung on Umboi Island in Papua New Guinea is an exception, as is a secret location in North America. But now a new report supports a previous sighting report. Patty Carson, of California, has reported to me her encounter with a large pterosaur that popped up in some scrub brush on the Guantanamo Bay military installation, many years ago.

Her sighting confirms the credibility of the eyewitness Eskin Kuhn, who long ago reported his 1971 encounter. But Patty saw a similar creature in 1965, when she was just a child.

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Two Pterosaur Sightings in Cuba

I know that I have previously written about Eskin Kuhn’s sighting of two pterosaurs in Cuba, in 1971, but very recently another eyewitness, a lady living in California, has come forward, supporting the U.S. Marine’s testimony with her own sighting report. Patty Carson observed a single pterosaur, about six years before the sighting by Kuhn, but was disbelieved for decades and unaware that anyone else, other than the ones with her at the Guantanamo Bay installation in around 1965, had seen anything similar.

She, Patty Carson, has kindly agreed to having her real name used to substantiate her sighting and to support the Marine’s account of his sighting.

Pterosaur Sightings in Cuba

We were walking through [a] scrub area, and suddenly it [the “pterodactyl”] sat up, as if it had been eating something or resting. . . . right in front of us about thirty feet away. . . . I looked at his [Eskin Kuhn’s] drawing, and if I had to make any changes I would make the tail maybe six inches shorter and the wings maybe 10% longer, maybe even 15%, but the proportions of the head are very good, and the body and the hind legs are exactly as I remember.

Pterosaur observed by Eskin Kuhn in Cuba in 1971

I have additional information, more than is found on the above KSN News report:

Words of Patty Carson

“All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound, in a big hurry, more of a scramble, and flew to its left and disappeared behind trees and terrain. It seemed to get some of its takeoff power from jumping with its hind legs. It did have a tail and it had a diamond shaped tip, (didn’t get to see if it had hairs on it) The skin was a leathery, brownish reddish color. It had little teeth, a LOT of them.”

Caribbean Flying Creatures

We were  somewhere between Cuba and  Haiti. . . . around 2:00 A.M. . . . my  daughter and I returned to our  cabin. She went out on the  balcony and called me out about  15 minutes later to see something  wierd. . . . I stepped onto the  balcony . . . Off in the distance  were two, very, very large . . . pink/orange [luminescent] like the flying dinosaurs.

__________________________________________________________

Live Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan Whitcomb, second edition

Reports of huge flying “pterodactyls” in American skies have floated around the internet for years; but before about 2005, details were scarce. When an eyewitness was named, the interviewer was often anonymous; even when an eyewitness was credible, and the account published in a newspaper, the story was ridiculed, discouraging others who had also seen strange flying creatures. Where could eyewitnesses go? What a predicament for them! Who would believe their reports?

Learn the truth for yourself, the truth about modern living pterosaurs in the United States of America.

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Reply to Drinnon re. Ropens

In my last post, I mentioned problems with the stingray interpretation by Drinnon regarding the kongamato of Africa. Most sightings, it seems to me, make much better sense as observations of a modern pterosaur. Also, winged lizards do not fit well many details from eyewitness sightings.

I now reply to Drinnon’s post about the ropen of Papua New Guinea.

Drinnon put up no less than four photos of Manta rays, two of which are shown jumping up well above the surface of the sea. But not one of those four photos looks even remotely like the drawings of modern pterosaurs, or the ropen, shown at the top of his post. From reading his post and looking at all of those photos, I suspect Drinnon has not done enough research or is too deeply entrenched in the dogma of universal pterosaur extinction.

There are other serious problems with the idea that sightings of Manta rays are the source of reports of giant long-tailed pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea. Before quoting one of the commenters, I have some of my own comments about the basics of scientific reasoning, for Mr. Dinnon seems to have gotten things upside down.

He says, “A sighting made by a married couple in Perth, Australia, is typical,” and then quotes their description of the flying creature whose wingspan they estimated at 30-50 feet. He then moves into a brief overview of the 1944 and 1971 sightings by Hodgkinson and Hennessy, respectively.

The next paragraph I find especially interesting, for it reveals at least part of the reason why Dinnon is unconvinced that modern pterosaurs still fly. I quote:

There is a problem in all of these sightings (which occur world-wide and in fact are becoming more and more frequent with the passage of years) in that the body conformation is NOT what you would expect of a giant Pterosaur.

Here is the crux, the reverse of what Dinnon thinks it is. When a scientific hypothesis or theory come into conflict with human experience, that original idea is normally questioned, if not rejected. Human experiences, especially when a number of them coincide, normally cause a conflicting hypothesis or theory to be discarded, not the reverse, otherwise science itself would be vaporized and the word “science” would come to mean something like dogma, enforced by something other than reasoning.

To be specific, Dinnon seems to take it for granted that no modern pterosaur could be different than what he knows from pterosaur fossils. I have known a number of paleontologists who make this same mistake. If a new fossil reveals a new type of pterosaur, they revise their ideas of what a pterosaur could be like. But if somebody observes a living modern pterosaur, then the paleontologist objects to it on the grounds that it does not exactly match any presently known fossil. That is poor reasoning!

Now I would like to quote part of that comment on that blog post, noting that it makes fun of the Manta ray interpretation, mocking it:

Yep, the ropens are actually MANTA RAYS! . . . The mantas’ biggest trick was always blasting out of the water and then, instead of gliding a few feet before crashing back into the ocean like normal mantas, they gathered altitude and speed, changed their entire physical configuration, and then flew inland dozens of miles.

It’s a rather long comment, so I’ll leave it at that. Drinnon’s reply included this:

Well of course you missed that line about there are some of the reports that refer to a type of giant hornbill. . . .

Well then, it seems to me rather strange that the title of the post is “Ropens, Pterosaurian Sightings And Manta Rays.” Most of the photos were of Manta rays. The reference to the giant hornbill is buried in that post, and it seems to me irrelevant to what Hodgkinson saw, a giant featherless flying creature with a tail at least ten to fifteen feet long, with separate legs, different from the tail, that were seen to run while the creature was getting airborne in that small jungle clearing in New Guinea.

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Stingray Interpretation for Kongamato

Dale Drinnon, on a post with many references to non-pterosaurs in Africa, offers an interesting suggestion for the origin of the word “kongamato.” He says that the kongamato was “originally a water-monster that arose from the water and overturned canoes.” He offers this explanation, that a stingray “might be able to upset a small canoe,” meeting the requirement for the literal meaning of “kongamato,” which I believe is something like “he who overturns boats.”

Drinnon then makes a broad statement, declaring that no pterosaur could ever overturn any canoe because no pterosaur would have enough mass. I disagree, submitting the following as more convincing than the reasoning of Drinnon:

Objectiveness and Live Pterosaurs

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.

How are small boats usually overturned? A human in a small boat makes a wrong move. Put yourself into that small boat and how would you react to an attack by a reported-dangerous flying creature with many teeth? How could you avoid making a wrong move for a small boat? How easy for a terrified human to overturn a boat that was dive-bombed by a Kongamato!  What difference does it make if the mass of that flying creature is insufficient to overturn a boat by only an impact?

The above blog posts also goes into details about how presumptuous it is to assume that no modern pterosaur could be different than those species we know from fossils.

Pterosaurs or Stingrays in Africa

Regardless of what caused natives, long ago, to name this frightening creature, many reports of apparent pterosaurs in Africa involve featherless creatures flying over land, not jumping out of water, as a stingray may do on occasion. Although some modern pterosaurs appear to live close to water (even catching fish on reefs, as is the case with the ropen of Papua New Guinea) the sighting reports themselves, when details are noted, eliminate any reasonable possibility that what was seen was a stingray.

It’s not that Drinnon offers the freshwater stingray as an explanation for most sightings of what have been called “kongamato” in Africa. He offers a winged lizard as a better candidate, but I suspect he has taken too narrow a perspective in disregarding living pterosaurs as an explanation.

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Glowing Pterosaurs Interpretation of Marfa Lights

Of course the precise concept of “glowing pterosaurs” for Marfa Lights seems speculative, at least until an eyewitness comes forward in that area of Texas and the sighting ties together flying balls of light and pterosaurs. That said, eyewitnesses in other parts of Texas, and in surrounding states, testify of flying pterosaurs.

I would like to now give my opinions on recent writings on this subject of Marfa Lights.

Caribbean Flying Creatures

Actually, the title is “Marfa Lights and Glowing Pterosaurs,” but the section on a sighting in the Caribbean Sea is what I will now examine. I found it interesting that their inquiry with the cruise ship company was unanswered. I see nothing suspicious in this eyewitness account, at least nothing suggesting any hoax. This particular brief account of this report leaves out the fact that this lady had not been drinking.

We were  somewhere between Cuba and  Haiti. . . . around 2:00 A.M. . . . my  daughter and I returned to our  cabin. She went out on the  balcony and called me out about  15 minutes later to see something  wierd. . . . I stepped onto the  balcony . . . Off in the distance  were two, very, very large,  pink/orange flourescent (sic) birds  flying behind each other. They  looked like the flying dinosauers (sic).

I know a bit more about this sighting report. The eyewitnesses mentioned that she knew that “dinosaur” was not the correct word, but she had forgotten the correct word.

Mysterious Marfa Lights

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, that hunts as an intelligent unit, perhaps somewhat similar to the group-hunting behavior or large predators such as some whales and seals.

I like the comparison with whales and seals rather than predatory birds, for those denizons of the deep sometimes will hunt in coordinated ways. Marfa Lights sometimes seem to do the same, of course in the air rather than underwater.

Marfa Lights Chasing Cars

Why would large flying predators always avoid moving automobiles at night? I like this open-minded approach to eyewitness reports of this behavior that James Bunnell believes is very strange.

Linda Armstrong was driving to Marfa, Texas, on the night of October 8, 2008, when she was startled to see a bright white light in her rear-view mirror; it seemed to be gaining on her car. Two aspects of her encounter each discredit the Fata Morgana mirage explanation: The light passed her and followed the curvature of the highway ahead of her. If the light had been a Fata Morgana mirage, it would have remained in the rear-view mirror, and it would not have followed the curvature of the road.

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Marfa Lights Like Warmer Nights

Whether or not CE-III Marfa Lights are caused by pterosaur-like creatures similar to the ones in Papua New Guinea, we need to determine if they are very likely caused by any kind of creature, or if they could be non-biological. We also need to consider the warm-blooded question, well handled on this post: “How do Pterosaurs Survive the Cold?”

The data recorded by James Bunnell is priceless. The 52 sightings recorded by his cameras, from late in 2000 through late in 2008, give us detailed weather data, including the temperatures when sightings began, what he calls “at start.” I list totals, by percentage of total, for four temperature gradations:

  1. 32 F or colder: 11.5%
  2. 32.1-39.9 F: 4%
  3. 40.0-49.9 F: 11.5%
  4. 50.0 or higher: 73%

That coorelates well with nocturnal hunting by predators that prefer reasonable temperatures, obviously. Could this be related to ground temperature in a way supporting some kind of energy from the earth? Bunnell’s data does not smile on that conjecture, for when the total sightings are subtotaled by season of the year it shows 43% in the Spring, hardly a season to be noted for high ground temperature. By comparison, only 19% of the sightings were in the summer.

Examining the details from the eight sightings in Winter, we see the following, in order from coldest to hottest, remembering that this refers to the temperature when the sightings first began on the nights in question:

21.2 F., 24.8 F., 24.8 F., 32.9 F., 37.4 F., 43.7 F., 48.2 F., 82.4 F.

We see that five of the eight are above freezing, which is notabley moderate for that high desert area of southwest Texas, on Winter nights. The February 9, 2001, reading of 82.7 F. looks out of place, but I presume it was an unseasonably warm night.

Could the warmer temperatures be related to a non-biological energy source closely related to the atmosphere? There’s a problem with that potential coorelation. In my post “Analyzing Data for a Marfa Lights Interpretation,” I mentioned the nights of July 14-15, 2006, (July 15th and 16th Universal Time) which involved appearances only one minute apart, 38 and 37 minutes after sunset. But the weather differed in temperature, Dew point, humidity, and wind speed. How could such a close coorelation be the result of something primarily related to the atmosphere, when atmospheric conditions were so different?

Everything points to a group of intelligent bioluminescent flying predators that have some preference to warmer temperatures, but that still need to hunt at night, even when it is colder and less ideal. The potential complexities involving multiple species of prey and possibly more than one hunting technique, depending on weather and prey, make this a difficult puzzle, but the data does well support this biological interpretation.

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Analyzing Data for a Marfa Lights Interpretation

In Occam’s Razor and Marfa Lights, I wrote about comparing the fourth hypothesis of James Bunnell with the “nocturnal flying predators” hypothesis. Simplicity awarded the flying predators with victory, for “Electromagnetic Vortexes” requires too many unknown entities. Now I would like to write about data accumulated by Bunnell and included in the “B1” table of his book, Hunting Marfa Lights.

First, we need to come to an understanding about the potential uses of bioluminescence of large flying creatures. They are not resticted to hunting prey. Other potential uses may include courtship and protecting territory. Although some reports of Marfa Lights include a word like “play,” it would be too speculative to deal with that possibility at present. We also need to understand that intelligent predators that hunt as a group may use more than one technique in their group hunting.

We need to understand that this predator hypothesis need not involve living pterosaurs.

We also need to understand that the cameras set up by Bunnell cover only a limited area of the plain where Marfa Lights are reported, and there may have been periods of time in which one or more cameras were not functioning or functioning at less than their optimum level. Within the hypothesis of bioluminescent flying predators, we need to consider these limitations.

Table “B1” of Bunnell’s book is filled to the brim with data, including start times and end times for the mystery lights. Other data include “Was moon up?” and wind direction, as well as temperature, humidity, visibility, and sunset times.

For the moment, I would like to analyze one small portion of the data.

We will presume, for the moment, that a group of bioluminescent flying predators spend much of their glowing time, but not all of it, hunting one or more types of prey in different areas that include southwest Texas and possibly adjoining areas of Mexico. I say “much” because there may be occasional courtship behavior and terrritorial disputes in which bioluminescence is manifest.

We will also presume that this group has more than one, but not many, sleeping locations in this part of North America. At night, they may fly to a number of close areas surrounding particular sleeping areas. After a certain number of days or weeks they may move to another sleeping area, with its attendant surrounding hunting areas.

We will also presume that this group of predators have more than one hunting technique, depending not only on the kind of prey but on the conditions of the hunt. For example, bats may be hunted when they are feeding on insects in the air or when they are hibernating in a cave, necessitating a different technique for hunting the same prey.

We now notice the resulting complexity of potential behaviors and area patterns resulting from the above conditions. On any particular night, it would be unlikely that even one of Bunnell’s cameras would pick up even one CE type mystery light. But we have room for at least one prediction.

Over a period of months, some of the nocturnal hunting excursions may be especially successful, even if the prey is a species of small animal like a bat, in particular the Big Brown Bat that is common in this part of Texas. This bat is “big” only when compared with other bats in this area of North America, for it is only about half a pound in weight. What can we predict after an especially successful hunt? The next night may see those predators hunting in the same area or a nearby area. If the successful hunt were early in the evening, soon after sunset, the second night may also be early in the evening.

We now examine some of Bunnell’s data for camera recordings of significant mystery light appearances from late 2000 through late 2008. About 20% of those nights involve the return of mystery lights on at least two consecutive nights, never more than three nights in succession, and only one occurance being that maximum length. When the night-successions themselves are counted, it is only about 11%.

The following dates are in Universal Time, not Texas dates, although the sunset times are local for Texas time. Sorry if there is any confusion.

What is most important is this: 75% of those one-night successions involved starting times less than twenty minutes apart, for example one hour and nineteen minutes after sunset on May 8, 2003 and one hour and thirty-eight minutes after sunset on May 9, 2003. On July 15-16, 2006, mystery lights first appeared only about one minute apart: thirty-eight and thirty-seven minutes after sunset, respectively.

How important is that one minute difference? First I’d like to get just a bit off the subject. When Bunnell’s cameras record a mystery light or lights on any particular night, it is usually after weeks or months since the last recording. An exception is the occasional one or two nights in a row of appearances. But there seems to be a total absence of 3-10 nights between appearances. That would be expected of a group of roaming predators, for they change hunting locations after one or two nights in one area, not soon returning to an area in which most of the easy prey may have already been recently caught.

Getting back to that one minute difference between July 15th and 16th, in 2006, we now look at a typical difference in when a mystery light first appears after sunset. The average difference in first appearance after sunset, between sighting nights, those which may be as much as months apart, is two hours and thirty-six minutes, which is a lot more than one minute. This involves those night successions that were more than seven days apart, and 89% of them were. I found that about 79% of those were more than thirty minutes apart and about 93% were more than five minutes apart, with the smallest difference being one succession at three minutes apart. Turning away from those successions that were weeks apart, one minute, for the July 15-16 succession, is extremely close.

How is that July 15-16, 2006, event coorelated with the bioluminescent flying predators hypothesis? On the first night, hunting was very successful, so on the second night the predators left their den a minute earlier, arriving only 37 minutes after sunset, instead of 38, to hunt in that same general area.

As stated in my previous post, “Occam’s Razor and Marfa Lights,” Bunnell’s best hypothesis is called “Electromagnetic Vortexes.” But it seems to me that it could be difficult to explain the above data with the EV hypothesis. We now look at other data, relevant to these two appearances 24 hours apart.

On the second night, the temperature at the beginning of the appearance was two degrees C. cooler than the first night. There were other differences: “Temperature Change (day high to ML Start)” and Dew Point and Humidity and wind speed were all significantly different. Why would a non-living energy, under such varied conditions, begin its appearance at almost the same time after sunset on two successive nights? “Bioluminescent flying predators” wins again.

For more information, see “Lions, Pterodactyls, and Marfa Ghost Lights.”

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