Flying Creatures Attack Farm Animals

On April 12, 2016, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Winston Churchill said, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” although he may have borrowed the idea from George Santayana (in The Life of Reason, 1905): “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The concept is not restricted to famous events in history. Farmers often learn from experience, and large flying creatures that are said to have attacked domesticated animals in previous centuries might return to attack farm animals in the present. That deserves attention.

From the book Dark Highway

Much of the paranormal book Dark Highway, by Dan Kenyon, seems to be about UFOs and ghosts, although lake monsters and Bigfoot have been thrown in. The subtitle is “Utah’s Strange Tales,” and some of the stories are indeed strange.

Here is the contents page:

Contents of "Dark Highway" by Dan Kenyon

Table of Contents in the paranormal book Dark Highway


The chapter on dragons appears, at first glance, to be more about monsters that swim than monsters that fly. Chapter five, however, is about cryptids, and here is where a dragon flies into view.

On page 48, it tells of a large black figure sitting on a rock, witnessed by a father and son who had been watching for deer. (The sighting was reportedly in the “Mahogany area” of Utah, wherever that may be.) But what was supposed to have been a black bear suddenly stretched out a pair of wings and flew up into the air. The man estimated the wingspan: around fourteen feet. When the creature was on the ground, it appeared to have been four to five feet tall. Nothing was mentioned about any tail, but the dark color and big wingspan bring to mind the ropen.

Yet a full reading of the fourth chapter of the book reveals a sighting that is far more astonishing, so shocking that many readers may dismiss the report as a complete fabrication. I believe the author got the story from an old newspaper article, so let’s look at a small part of that:

Prehistoric Monster

Half Bird and Half Reptile Carries Away Live Horses

A terrible, nameless, unclassified creature of the animal world is exciting the curiosity, wonder, and fear of occasional visitors to Stansbury Island, in the southern portion of Great Salt Lake.

This monster, for it can be called nothing else, has lately, is it said, been seen by several persons, but the best account [of] its characteristics and movements is given by Martin Gilbert and John Barry, two hunters who this week returned from an expedition over the island, in the course of which they studied the habits of this hitherto unheard-of-creature for three days.

. . . In size it is simply tremendous . . .

Its wings were bat-like . . .

. . . we saw that it carried in its great jaws a large horse . . . badly crushed and mangled. . . .

"Prehistoric Monster" newspaper article of 1903: the Pittsburgh Press

From a newspaper article in the Pittsburgh Press, September 3, 1903


I’m not suggesting that this old newspaper story is an accurate account, but in light of a more recent sighting of a flying creature, a few miles south of this island, perhaps the old story did not come entirely from an imaginative invention in the mind of a bored newspaper professional. It now seems that the old tale may have originated from a real encounter with a flying creature in this area of Utah. Whether or not it is the same species as the animal seen in the “Mahogany area” of Utah is a matter of speculation, but something strange has been flying over this area south of the Great Salt Lake.


Photo by Andrey Zharkikh

A large hill on Stansbury Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah (Flickr photo courtesy of Andrey Zharkikh)


Sighting Eight Miles South of Stansbury Island, Utah

Almost a century after the above extraordinary report, three boys were playing in a yard one night, in the farming community of Grantsville, Utah, about eight miles from the southern end of Stansbury Island. At around 10:30-11:30 p.m., the nearby farm animals became greatly disturbed, making alarming sounds, as if they were in danger.

That was about the time that 12-year-old Dallin Roberts saw something very strange in the sky. At first, he could not understand what he was observing. He soon realized that it was a flying creature. Two things struck him as very odd, however: the enormous size and the glowing body of the flying animal.

The other two boys soon got a look at the flying creature, and all three of the boys were astonished. The light coming from the flying creature did not always remain on. I turned off for a short while, but it soon turned on again, revealing that the creature had flown up much higher into the night sky, while the light had been off. It was a dark night, so the boys could not see the strange creature except when it was glowing.


Potential Attacks on Domesticated Animals, by Ropens

I recently got a question from a member of a Facebook group: “Living Pterosaurs of the World.” It was in response to a Youtube video of two interviews I had with eyewitnesses last year. These two young men testified that the local farm animals went “crazy” with fright, making a lot of noise, when a very large glowing flying creature flew overhead one night.

Ropen Eyewitnesses

Do pterosaurs still live? In the 21st Century? Don’t rush to any conclusion; get the facts, then judge credibility. . . . Soon after interviewing Gideon [a native eyewitness on Umboi Island in Papua New Guinea], I learned that two of the other witnesses were present with us. Wesley is a brother to Gideon and answered my questions without hesitating. . . . We also need to realize that the islander-eyewitnesses who answered our questions, did not repeat the legends of the ropen. They simply answer our questions as to what they saw.

Ropen Attack in the Dead of Winter

What could be worse than any nightmare? In the dead of night, you are awakened by what you fear most, glaring down at you. . . . Race out of your bedroom; it’s after you. Race out the front door; it follows. Search for a place to hide; it’s too late. You are exposed, surrounded by many monsters ready to feast. You have fallen into their trap. Your family is scattered, chased across the freezing countryside. You are alone. You are Eptesicus fuscus, a Big Brown Bat.

The Giant Ropen

From the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (Acknowledgements section) Whitcomb says: “To the eyewitnesses who’ve bravely come forward, telling us of apparent living pterosaurs, I dedicate this book. They deserve to be heard.”

Pterosaur Flying Creatures

So who do you call? I hope you’ll contact me, Jonathan Whitcomb. As far as I know, I am the only person on earth who has devoted anything like a full-time effort, over years, to interview eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs or ropens, promoting the idea that these flying creatures are not extinct but very much alive.


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1891 California Newspaper: Pterodactyls

On May 15, 2014, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

The Morning Call of San Francisco published “Pterodactyls and others” on Wednesday, August 5, 1891, a brief report of two “pterodactyls” flying near Fresno. Most of the article, however, was about why the writer thought it was almost impossible for anybody to have seen what was reported. The following is but a small part of the newspaper article:

There is no limit to the products of Fresno County. It can grow finer raisin grapes than any other spot in the world . . . figs, bigger walnuts, sweeter peaches . . . but it has lately gone into the business of raising wild animals, and in this, as in everything else, it bids fair to defy competition. Its latest achievement, according to the report of reliable citizens, is the production of a pair of pterodactyls, which are flying round with the desolate freedom of the wild bird, ravaging henroosts . . .

. . . There never was a fossil of that order found in the eocene, or the pliocene, or the miocene, or the pleistocene. The curious creature, half bird half reptile, which was generally about the size of a small bat, but which occasionally grew to such dimensions that the tips of its wings were twenty feet apart, perished in the convulsions which preceded the tertiary deposits. It had ceased to catch small fish in salt marshes long before Fresno rose up out of the bowels of the sea.

. . . There is no more chance of finding at the present day a living member of the vast reptile family which flourished in the cretaceous age than there is of Noah’s Ark coming into port and anchoring off Meiggs Wharf. . . .

Read more from old newspaper articles in the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God. For the moment, consider the extreme position taken by the writer of this 1891 newspaper article. How dogmatic! How much better to admit that we don’t know everything that happened during the past few millions of years or so!

The following is a brief excerpt from the book:

“I was about 14 years old, 1973, walking in the woods in Placerville, CA., it was then I too saw a ‘pterodactyl.’ The bird landed high in a tree but there was no mistake in what it was. Because of my age nobody believed me. It must have been a young ‘pterodactyl’ for it was only about four feet tall. I wish it had been one of those giant eight footers or bigger like others are seeing. . . .”



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I’ve received many emails, over the past nine years, regarding apparent pterosaurs in Southern California. This deserves a brief overview, before we consider those sightings that surround that huge city park: Griffith Park in Los Angeles. But let’s confine ourselves to just a few sightings in Southern California.

High school soccer field in Southern California, 2004

I did not interview the eyewitness, so this is of limited value. It’s from an old book-of-thoth page, in  the cryptozoology section (and the original page lacked the name of the eyewitness):

. . . a large bird-like creature, silhouetted against the sky, was sighted flying over suburban residences. . . . the flying creature reported had a wingspan of around twenty-five feet.

Desert in Anza Borrego state park, about 1987

I’ll let the pterosaur eyewitness tell this in her own words but I’ll summarize:

We did four-wheel-drive everywhere we went in the three days we were out there. We would pack our provisions and head out at dawn and would not return to base until close to sundown. . . .

The day we saw the animal I believe we were somewhere between Old Kane Springs and the Badlands. . . . it was soaring along the side of a plateau not far from us. We [knew] what it looked like. In fact I remember saying, “. . . That looks just like a Taradactyl.” My friend looked in the binoculars and said it looked like one but it had to be a kite or something because they were extinct.

What I saw was large and very much alive. . . . It’s skin, I say skin because there were no feathers. The skin looked like dull leather sort of dusty looking. It seemed to soar like a large raptor. The back of the head was pointed.

Altadena, California, around 1968

This pterosaur sighting is unique to me, for my sister and I knew the person involved, at the time of the sighting, when we were all teenagers. I was unprepared to objectively consider the girl’s experience at that time, but I am older and wiser now.

The wingspan was the length of a bus. The dark-colored creature flew “straight up” and over a mountain ridge north of Pasadena, near the corner of Altadena Drive and Allen Avenue.

Pterosaur Sighting in Modesto

In the words of the eyewitness (spelling corrections):

The one I saw was the size of a Doberman, but with large wings and dull black, no feathers or fur. Its tail was almost as long as its body . . . It turned and looked right at me, while in mid-flight, not more than . . . about 100 – 150 ft away from me. . . . it flew from a forested area (dry creek) which is nestled right in the middle of Modesto . . . over to a cemetery.

Orange County, California, 1989

Good afternoon,

I came across numerous websites with your name on them today while looking up pictures of pterosaurs.  Two of my co-workers were having a conversation yesterday about the earth not being billions of years old as many atheists and science-types believe.  This prompted my search for pictures this afternoon, which then prompted me to write you an e-mail regarding a pterosaur sighting I had in 1989. . . .

. . . Coming from Santa Ana, we [boy of about seven years old and his father] took the 55 South to the 405 North to the Bristol exit. . . . I looked up to see what the hold-up was. Bristol St. was congested, which meant that the 405 North was congested. After another moment that felt like minutes (could have easily been about 15 seconds), I looked up again at traffic and there was no change.  Some movement further up in the air caught my attention.  My jaw dropped.

Soaring in the sky without flapping its wings was a flying creature.  It may have been about 500 feet from our car . . . Its wingspan seemed to be about 8-12 feet.  Its color was a dark brown . . . The legs did not seem very long and it had a tail
about the length of its body from the torso to the top of its head. . . . There were no feathers or plumage, but its skin was not smooth – it looked like rough leather. . . . At the end of its tail was triangular, almost like a cartoonish devil’s tail.


Pterosaur Sightings Near Griffith Park

The Interstate-5 freeway, and two other freeways, on the east side of Griffith Park in Los Angeles - also the L.A. River

“Three Dragons” over I-5 Freeway (March 3, 2013)

This morning at about 6am I saw three “dragons” flying over the 5-North freeway between Griffith Park and Glendale. They appeared to be several feet long, with a head:body:tail ratio that was certainly not that of a bird. Their wings were long, angular and pointed and their tails had triangular points.

“Pterosaur” over I-5 Freeway (May 13, 2013)

I’m almost positive what I saw fly over the freeway in Los Angeles WAS NOT a bird of any kind. and matches the exact descriptions of a pterosaur except for the tail. I didn’t actually look for a tail. I was too in shock by the head crest and the wings.

Comparing the two Sightings Near Griffith Park

Both observations involved a lady alone in a vehicle in a northbound lane of the Interstate-5 Freeway between Griffith Park and Glendale. Both eyewitnesses sent me an email soon after a sighting. Both believed no bird misidentification was involved.

The first sighting was of three flying creatures soaring or gliding at 6:10 a.m.; the second, one flying creature soaring or gliding at 4:00 p.m. The first involved a flight direction of south; the second, northeast.

The first eyewitness saw long thin tails with structure at tail ends of the three creatures; the second took no notice of that, for she was concentrating on the head.

The first sighting involved a viewing angle that prevented noticing the presence or absence of a head crest; the second sighting involved an observation of a head crest.



Dragons Flying over Los Angeles?

Twice in the first five months of 2013 has an eyewitness reported something like a pterosaur or dragon flying over Los Angeles, both times over the I-5 between Griffith Park and Glendale. Those two sightings were less than two miles apart, near the Los Angeles River . . .


Modern Pterosaur in California

A lady in her backyard in Lakewood, California, had no desire to see a “dragon pterodactyl” when she walked out from under her gazebo, at 11:45 a.m., on June 19, 2012, but that’s what she saw. Yell at your dog for barking too much, but beware of the ropen that may be perched on the telephone cable, eighteen feet from your forehead. Sometimes dogs bark for a reason.


“Dragon-Pterodactyl” Living in California

A 38-year-old woman in a residential neighborhood of Lakewood, California, just northeast of Long Beach, reported a “dragon-pterodactyl” that had no feathers but a long tail with a “dragon” “triangle” at the of that tail.


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A 38-year-old woman in a residential neighborhood of Lakewood, California, just northeast of Long Beach, reported a “dragon-pterodactyl” that had no feathers but a long tail with a “dragon” “triangle” at the of that tail. She sent me an email, within hours of her sighting on June 19, 2012, and described her encounter:

“[At 11:45 a.m., I was] sitting under my gazebo playing on my computer in Lakewood, CA. My dog started going crazy barking and whining . . . I got up after 30 seconds or so . . . I walked out from under the awning and lost my breath when I saw this huge dragon pteradactal looking thing. I scared it because when he saw me he jumped off the telephone wires and when he opened his huge wings . . . I watched him fly across to a large tree and go inside [the canopy of that tree].”

Except for its size, this flying creature resembles the ropen seen flying into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County, California, in 2007. That flying creature flew only a little above the road on the west side of that nature center and the creature was the same length, nose-to-tail-end, as that road: thirty feet.


storm channel in Lakewood, California, near where a ropen perched in 2012

The storm channel near where the ropen was perched on June 19, 2012

Baby Pterodactyl in Lakewood, California?

For Lakewood residents, don’t leave your Chihuahua overnight in the backyard, at least not if your backyard is bordered by a storm channel. . . . When she was gazing at the creature, she felt like running into the house from fear, but her curiosity kept her rooted to where she was standing . . .

Nocturnal Ropen Appears in Daylight in Southern California

. . . 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.”

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Ropens Over San Diego

On January 23, 2012, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Flyover in Southern California was no Joke

An eyewitness in San Diego, California, reported to me a sighting of two large flying creatures, apparent ropens, that he and his friend saw flying overhead on November 4, 2011. I believe that this is no joke, that they were pterosaurs. I quote some of what he wrote to me (with spelling and other corrections):

It was about 8 pm. I was at my friend’s house. The sky was super clear. We were standing on the street. I was watching the stars when from the west came this large dark object overhead. As it got closer, we noticed its huge wingspan; each wing was about 10 to 15 ft. It was gliding right above us . . . about 40 yards above us [but he said, “thirty yards” later, in a phone interview]. I began yelling at it to get its attention. We actually were excited; we had never seen anything like it. Then it suddenly stopped and turned around. . . . Then . . . we saw another one above us. It was like it was waiting for the other one to catch up, then they both left east.

He sent me more information by email, and I phoned him two days ago, asking questions and assessing his credibility. His phone demeanor and answers led me to believe that he was telling the truth, with no sign of any hoax. What he said and did not say were highly in his favor, and I have enough experience (over the past eight years of interviews) to make a judgement. I hope to soon talk by phone with the other eyewitness.

The man did not say explicitly that there were no feathers on the flying creatures, but some of his other descriptions suggest that they were featherless. There was enough moonlight and they were close enough: The eyewitnesses had a good view, considering it was at night.

Pterodactyl Joke North of San Diego

Here is the big problem. In August, three months before the sighting in San Diego, somebody in northern San Diego County played a dramatic joke with a statue. Tourists and others found a giant model “pterodactyl” grabbing the body of a surfer (the statue). Now I find it can be practically impossible to get any newspaper reporter in San Diego County to take me seriously. Who would now believe that two giant pterodactyls had flown over San Diego?

Prehistoric flying creature lands on Cardiff surfer statue

. . . on Saturday, early-morning joggers, surfers and power walkers spotted the most elaborate redesign yet: a huge prehistoric flying creature, a pterosaur maybe, swooping down over the surfer, with a painted backdrop of a volcanic eruption for context. Also, small palm trees and two velociraptors.

Hoax Potential – Pterosaur Wingspan

No hoax or combination of hoaxes played any significant part in ninety-eight eyewitness accounts of apparent pterosaurs. Those reports came from decades of records, taken mostly from my own interviews and accounts given to me directly from eyewitnesses.

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