Los Angeles County’s Modern Pterosaurs

Why would it be difficult to believe in modern pterosaurs that fly through the skies of Los Angeles County? Would the San Fernano Valley sighting appear too unbelievable because it is too close to Universal Studios? Then what about the Umboi Island ropen sightings? An island with a “prehistoric” creature sounds like Jurassic Park, a movie produced by Universal Studios. Americans who have been raised watching science fiction movies about dinosaurs and pterosaurs may find it strange that one of those creatures might actually fly over Hollywood at night. But that’s what appears to be happening, at least sometimes in some parts of Los Angeles County.

I know of one cryptozoologist, who will remain nameless, who was preparing to go on an expedition to Papua New Guinea to search for modern pterosaurs. He had hardly begun his preparations when he got a message from somebody who reported to him a sighting of a large pterosaur in the cryptozoologist’s own general area, only about ten miles from his house. That cryptozoologist carried through with his expedition in Papua New Guinea but found it difficult to believe in a large pterosaur so close to his front door.

But if modern pterosaurs now live in remote jungles north of Australia, where did they live a thousand years ago? Surely in those same jungles they lived ten centuries ago. So what would keep individual creatures from venturing out? What would keep them from spreading out across the planet over a period of a thousand years?

Why would a large pterosaur avoid Los Angeles County? It has many bodies of fresh water and many storm drainage systems. Under the assumption that the creatures are nocturnal, they would not be seen often, and even when they were, they would not always be recognized as anything other than large birds in the dark.

Los Angeles, California, downtown, at night

Live Pterodactyls in Los Angeles County

Just before sunset, she was amazed to see a giant “pterodactyl” fly “straight up” over a mountain ridge, perhaps in the Henneger Flats area.

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Television Episode of “Destination Truth” – Ropen

The ropen-chupacabra episode on Destination Truth was broadcast before I started writing on this blog. Since this television episode is being covered now in other blogs, I’ll jump in.

Josh Gates in a jungle in Papua New Guinea

I watched this episode and enjoyed it. Josh Gates led the way, at least with the way the show episode was produced, for he seemed to be calling the shots, at least symbolically.

The climax was when Josh and one or two others entered a cave at night. They found insects, spiders, bats, and human bones. They did not find any ropen.

Soon after the cave adventure, they set up cameras nearby, hoping for some sighting at night. They were not disappointed, for a strange flying light appeared over the sea, out beyond the high cliff on which they had set up their four cameras.

expedition results in recording a weird flying light at night

Pterosaur on Destination Truth

Gates asked a native eyewitness about the flying creature that glows at night. Fabian appeared to have significant experience observing that creature

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Nocturnal Ropen Appears in Daylight in Southern California

On June 19, 2012, over a storm drain in Lakewood, California, in clear daylight at about noon, a long-tailed featherless creature sat on a telephone line, making strange burping noises. A lady, who desires to be anonymous, was sitting at her computer, under her gazebo in her backyard, when she realized that the strange noises were not coming from her dog, who was barking wildly.

Ropen in Lakewood, California

She looked up to see a strange winged creature that immediately flew off, startled by the human who had suddenly come out from under the nearby gazebo. . . . The long-tailed creature flew off to a large tree in a neighbor’s yard, whereupon the lady ran into her house to tell her husband. The two of them then drove around the neighborhood, camera in hand, searching for what the lady later referred to as a “dragon pteradactal.”

The next day, she and her husband were interviewed by the cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb. She estimated the wingspan at five and a half feet. Whitcomb realized that she could not have seen a Frigate bird, sometimes mistaken for a pterosaur, for the lady described a long neck and a “triangle on his tail, like a dragon.”

Three and a half days later, at about midnight, the husband went out into the backyard to search for any sight of the creature, for Whitcomb had mentioned that it was probably mostly nocturnal. He did not see anything but heard a strange noise in the neighbor’s backyard. He later imitated the sound for his wife to hear; she responded that it was the same noise that she had seen just a moment before she had seen the creature.

The next day after the man’s audio encounter, he told Whitcomb that he used to see many possums around the storm drain but in the past twelve months they have almost all disappeared. Whitcomb concluded that the ropen had been catching possums and rats at night, in that area of Lakewood, California.

deep storm channel under where a ropen had perched in mid-day

Storm channel where a ropen was seen in Lakewood, California

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The two big Objections to Modern Pterosaurs

What are the two most persuasive arguments against modern living pterosaurs?

  1. Hoax
  2. Misidentification

No other objections come very close to those two, the big ones. But the problem with many statements by critics is that they do not look at details. They just list one or more alternate explanations or they just throw popular assumptions at any report of anything like a live pterosaur. Critics just hope people will just reject the possibility of some new discovery that flies against their beliefs.

A systematic approach would be more reasonable. Why not take one sighting at a time and look at ways that the report may have come from something other than the obvious: a non-extinct “pterodactyl?”

With Duane Hodgkinson’s 1944 sighting, a hoax appears unlikely, seeing that he is a flight instructor, needing people to respect his judgement. Playing a hoax for more than six decades would be a poor way to get respect from potential clients. Who would trust him?

Could Hodgkinson have seen something else? But what? He was a farm boy before joining the army and getting sent to New Guinea. That means he probably had some sense of the size of a field, especially a small field. He reported that the jungle clearing was about 100 feet in diameter. That leaves too little room for exaggerating the size of the flying creature, for both the “pterodactyl” and the two soldiers were in the same clearing, although on opposite sides. What’s the point? Hodgkinson said that the creature had a wingspread about the same as a Piper Tri-Pacer, which means maybe a little less than thirty feet. With some kind of exaggeration, the actual wingspread might have been as little as twenty feet, perhaps, but there is no bird or bat known to science to be that big, at least living ones.

Some skeptics just throw out the suggestion that the reports are from the fruit bat called “flying fox.” But how long is the tail of that big bat? Maybe one or two inches at the longest? Hodgkinson estimated the length of the tail of the creature he saw at close range: “at least” ten or fifteen FEET.

That brings up another point. Why would he play a hoax, even for a few months, with a story about a tail more than ten feet long? It is too extreme to be a hoax that lasts for over half a century. Much too extreme.

So Hodgkinson’s sighting was neither a hoax nor a misidentification. So what was it? For those unfamiliar with the whole story, he was not alone. His army buddy was with him. He is also not a drinker and he never has been a drinker. Two men did not hallucinate the same giant flying creature, even if one of them had been drinking.

Maybe the biggest thing on Hodgkinson’s side is the research that has been done over the past eighteen years or so. Other eyewitnesses have seen giant flying creatures in this part of the world: the Perth couple, Gideon Koro, Brian Hennessy, and others. Desciptions of long tails are common, tails so long that misidentifications are unlikely.

So the best explanation is the most obvious: Giant long-tailed pterosaurs are alive.

Living Pterosaurs? Not According to Glen Kuban

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.

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Modern Teradactyl in Texas

I bend to popular practice. Enough Americans use the spelling “teradactyl” that it needs to be used to get decent results regarding online searches by those careless with spelling. I don’t mean to pick on the citizens of Texas regarding bad spelling, but I have noticed that many sightings have been reported in that state.

Marfa Lights Intelligence (in Texas)

Intelligent ghost lights, even when we use “ghost lights” loosely, can put us out on a limb. Almost nobody wants to jump onto that bandwagon or jump onto the back of a giant pterodactyl that might bite off ones head. College professors, in particular, feel vulnerable should they suggest intelligent modern pterosaurs are glowing at night in southwest Texas. Those professors could not easily take an accusation that they had taken something that makes them feel that they themselves are glowing, as well as imagining glowing pterosaurs.

From the book Live Pterosaurs in America:

At about the same time as the Texarkana sighting, between Houston and Pasadena, Texas, two men saw a pterosaur-like creature, but it was smaller and with a tail. . . .

RG and his friend, in the late afternoon of a clear day, were startled by a flying creature less than 150 feet away. For about fifteen seconds, they watched it fly, about fifty feet high, before it disappeared into some trees. The general appearance was “leathery” and it had a pointed beak and head appendage. The total length, about five feet, included about two feet of tail, the end of which had a “flange or sail.”

Teradactyl Sightings (in Georgia)

When that edition of the book was published, however, the eyewitness was anonymous, and I had no knowledge of her subsequent sightings in that area. In addition, she had not yet given me permission to publish any of her sketches. Those things have changed.

Whether you spell it “teradactyl” or “pterodactyl” or “pterosaur,” this flying creature shocks Texans who see them.

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Georgia Sightings by Sandra Paradise

Sandra Paradise has released her name and is no longer anonymous. She was previously known simply as the lady who had seen two long-tailed pterosaurs in daylight east of Winder, Georgia, as she was driving to work on highway 82, east of the Barrow County Airport.

She has now revealed two more sightings, in addition to the first two. The third one was when she had a camera in her car but she could not stop in time to photograph it before it flew away. The fourth sighting she was not sure of except that it was probably of the same kind of creature.

Her sketches are copyrighted and she has requested her name be listed as both copyright owner and as the artist. They bear some relationship to the sketch by the witness Susan Wooten, of South Carolina, except that Wooten is not a professional artist. Paradise is.

Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur living in Georgia, United States of America

Copyright 2008 Sandra Paradise


Pterosaurs in Georgia

The lady . . . had been trying to find someone who might help her verify . . . the strange animals that she had seen twice in the past few weeks [in 2008]. . . . Her first sighting was at 7 a.m., the second, 9 a.m., with both mornings overcast . . . Both times she phoned a friend to tell him of her extraordinary experience.

More on Two Pterosaurs in Georgia

To review what these sightings entailed, the lady saw two different flying creatures, two weeks apart, late in the summer of 2008. They were obviously of the same species but different sizes. The tail was long, with a “heart” shape at tail-end.

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Two Ropen Cryptozoologists Interviewed for Television

cryptozoology subject on television interview

Two American cryptozoologists, the living-pterosaur experts Garth Guessman and Jonathan Whitcomb, were interviewed earlier this month, for a Canadian television show called “The Conspiracy Show.” The host, Richard Syrett, interviewed them separately.


Most people have been taken aback by the theory that there are living dinosaurs . . . What would you say to those skeptics . . .


Richard, some of those skeptics who were really shocked were actually witnesses themselves. . . . Some of those witnesses . . . they are shocked at what they have seen and . . . relieved to know that there are actually others who’ve seen something similar.

Too bad that the television talk show, about living pterosaurs and living dinosaurs, will probably not be on the air in the United States, only in Canada and maybe in one or two other countries.

Whitcomb Opposes Shooting Pterosaurs

Richard Syrett, host of “The Conspiracy Show” in Canada, asked me, Jonathan Whitcomb, about my opinion on proving the existence of living pterosaurs by shooting one of them. I made it clear that I oppose killing a modern pterosaur for that purpose.

Smithsonian Bias Against Modern Pterosaurs

I also rejoice at the arrival of the Discovery shuttle in Washington, where it will be housed at the Smithsonian, another feather in their cap. But I am sorry that the Smithsonian has not budged from its dogmatic article that was written by the science reporter Brian Switek.

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“Modern Pterosaur” Magazine Parody

humorous "Modern Pterosaur" magazine

I was pleasantly surprised with the email that I recently received from Nick Smerker, for he linked to the superb image above. It’s a jolly parody of a modern ladys’ magazine cover, with funny things like the following:

For the empowered she-pterosaur, since the late triassic

Bioluminescent Patterns — Dazzle your prey with these sassy new styles

FLAPLING FUN! — What to do with your young this summer

STUCK ON LAND?  The hottest shoes for two—or four—feet

Don’t call me a flying dinosaur! — Redefining our species for yet another generation of mammals

I really enjoyed receiving my own copy of Modern Pterosaur magazine, even though it was only the front cover. Thank you to Nick Smerker and to his wife. What wonderful humor!

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Probability of a Modern Pterosaur

Statistical analysis has shown that the more credible reports of modern pterosaurs, as a whole, have not been tainted by hoaxes. But probability, in a simple form, can be used to evaluate the likelihood that at least one species of modern pterosaur lives, at least somewhere on this planet.

Ninety-eight sighting reports were analyzed by Jonathan Whitcomb, in 2011, with a limited number of results. The main weakness in this project was in the descriptions, for at least some of the interviews did not have precisely similar questions. For example, the degree of certainty in the absence of feathers did not come from the same question in each interview. Those reports that had sufficient information on feather-lack were grouped in absolutely-no-feathers and probably-no-feathers. This means that only a portion of those 98 reports could be used on that particular point. But Whitcomb still had 36 reports that were adequate for feathers-lack, and the result was a sound slap in the face to those who have believed that hoaxes were the cause of sighting reports.

But those 98 reports in themselves make an impression. Whitcomb chose them because they were unlikely to have come from hoaxes and misidentifications. If each of those 98 has only one chance in a hundred to have come from observing a modern pterosaur, then it is much more likely that at least one of them was just that: a modern pterosaur. Figure it for yourself if you like, but a 99% chance of a mistake in each of those 98 reports means that at least one of them was probably a modern pterosaur. But those of us who have examined those reports believe the probability of error is far less than 99%, even less than 50%. That means that it is practically certain that at least one of them was a genuine sighting of a modern extant pterosaur.

Smithsonian Incapable of Calculating a Probability

Take the four critical sightings in the southwest Pacific: Finschhafen-1944, Bougainville-1971, Pung-1994, Perth-1997. In context with the history of the pterosaur-extinction axiom (the weakness in the pre-Darwin assumption of universal pterosaur extinction), each of the above four encounters independently appear to have been unlikely to have been from any non-pterosaur. I judge each one at less than 10% of being from any non-pterosaur. In 0ther words, there is less than one chance in 10,000 that no living pterosaur was involved in any of those four sighting reports.

Teradactyl or Pterodactyl?

On the Papua New Guinea mainland, in 2006, Paul Nation and his associate, native minister Jacob Kepas, explored deep in the highland interior. One night, Paul video- taped two glowing objects near the top of a ridge. The natives attribute this kind of light to large flying creatures that used to carry away pigs and children from their village.

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Smithsonian Success and Failure

With many other people, I applaud the accomplishments of those who made the Space Shuttle missions successful. I also rejoice at the arrival of the Discovery shuttle in Washington, where it will be housed at the Smithsonian, another feather in their cap. But I am sorry that the Smithsonian has not budged from its dogmatic article that was written by the science reporter Brian Switek.

Smithsonian Proclaims “Ropen Myth”

Switek wrote, “Sadly, some people still get duped by the fantastic claims espoused by ‘professional monster hunters’.” I don’t know why he put that phrase into quote marks, for when did any cryptozoologists use that phrase when referring to their expeditions or to their research? That is a small affair, but I see more serious problems with Switek’s writing.

Smithsonian Slams the Door

Perhaps it is the fear of appearing foolish that keeps the Smithsonian doors closed to any pterosaurs except those having only bones. Perhaps the official policy remains “the ropen is a myth.” But where is any real evidence for universal extinction of general types?

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