A book might be written on this subject of the objectiveness of eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs, but this post will feature a few examples, sufficient for the point. Many excellent examples are probably left out, because so many sighting reports have been published, and a number of them appear have involved objective eyewitnesses.
Evelyn Cheesman was a respected British biologist when she observed, deep in the mainland of New Guinea in the early 1930’s, the strange flying lights which she would later describe in her book The Two Roads of Papua.
The lights could not reasonably be explained away as coming from the locals, for they were glowing in a somewhat horizontal formation, inexplicable as human-caused. But in more recent decades, a number of explorers have searched in Papua New Guinea for flying creatures that are reported to be bioluminescent. The flying creatures have names like “duwas,” “ropen,” “seklo-bali,” and “indava.” They are said, by natives, to glow as they fly at night. This seems to be what Cheesman saw many years ago. She would have been shocked at the suggestion that she had been observing living pterosaurs.
Cheesman was not looking for modern pterosaurs or any other cryptid. She was simply observing the lights and taking note how they appeared and how they behaved. Who would suggest that she was not being objective? (And hoax is inconceivable.)
Silent, with stars for a background, the dark creature flew twenty feet high, over a shed only twenty feet from Scott . . . there was no mistaking it: . . . a head three to four feet long, and a two-foot-long head-crest that reminded him of a Pteranodon. . . . [Wings] more bat-like than bird-like.
The point of Scott Norman’s sighting involves what he was expecting: either a bird, something glowing, or nothing. He was surprised to see a large pterosaur-like flying creaure, and it was NOT glowing. In addition, he pondered what he had seen, trying to be objective rather than overly enthusiastic: waiting before telling anybody. There was no hoax.
Orange County, California, Sighting
On page 17 of the third edition of my cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America, an eyewitness report described the length of the long-tailed flying creature as “30 feet.” That was not a wild guess, for the apparent pterosaur flew low, just above and across a road that was thirty feet wide (I measured that road myself).
In July of 2008, I received a phone call from a man who reported a very large flying creature, seen one year earlier, in Orange County, less than one mile north of the University of California at Irvine. He described the dark gray or black animal as 30 feet long, with 15-16 feet of that being a tail. He saw the creature fly “at low altitude,” in front of his car, over the road (Campus Drive), into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, in daylight.
SNW (anonymous) had no view of any feet and no good view of the head. He noticed that during the creature’s flight the tail was straight, as if it was “stretched out to be measured.” A flange, close to the end of the tail, he described as “triangle-shaped.”
The eyewitness was clear about remaining anonymous, for he was of a profession that demands a reputation for clear-minded thinking. But the nature of that profession, to me, made it clear that he had no desire to see a giant pterosaur or report one that he had not seen. He was simply reporting his experience to me. The report, with no evidence for a hoax, appears to be objective.
I recently came to the conclusion that the Naga Fireballs of the Mekong River (Southeast Asia) are probably the bioluminescent glow of large insects. I briefly researched a few reports of these glowing orbs with hope that they may be related to the kor of Northern Papua New Guinea or the ropen of Umboi Island. It now appears to be no close connection except that there is another not-yet-classified bioluminescent creature . . .
There seems to be no professor named “Richard Paley.” Even “Fellowship University” is nonexistent. Although parts of at least some of the pages refer to real persons and at least one real expedition (by the real person Carl Baugh), “Objective Ministries” is a huge joke, with no actual plans for any expedition.
Notwithstanding the obvious hoax of “Objective Ministies,” legitimate eyewitness reports of living pterosaurs are not disproven by this hoax. One person telling a lie does not make all persons on the face of the earth liars, for seeing things that outwardly seem to relate to a particular hoax. The boy who lies by “crying wolf” does not make, by his lie, all wolves extinct.