The following nonfiction cryptozoology books were found, on Amazon, to each have at least one chapter on large flying creatures that have appeared to eyewitnesses in modern times. These paperbacks are ranked according to Amazon popularity, with smaller numbers indicating more sales recently. (As in golf, authors want the lowest number-rankings possible on Amazon.)

Rankings and price offers were noted on April 15, 2015, between 7:20 a.m. and 7:38 a.m., U.S. Mountain time. Keep in mind that many millions of books are sold on Amazon, so a ranking of a million means that a book is selling better than most books.


front cover of the fourth edition of this nonfiction book


On tax day, this is the best-selling Amazon nonfiction on modern pterosaurs: Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition, by Jonathan David Whitcomb. It has been called “the Bible of modern pterosaurs.”

  • Amazon rank: #102,171
  • Published in 2014
  • 360 pages
  • $16.19



Thunderbirds - America's Living Legends of Giant Birds


The second best-ranked book is Thunderbirds – America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds, by Mark A. Hall. One thing sets this one apart from the others: the apparent general perspective that large flying creatures are giant birds. In fact, from what little I have read (using the Amazon “Look Inside” feature), the author appears to be hiding the identity of one flying creature, at least inadvertently. It was the one reported by Allison Jornlin about a man who witnessed something huge flying outside a window of the Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield, Wisconsin. In that sighting, the witness could not make out any feathers and reported that it looked bat-like. Mr. Hall says nothing about that detail, at least in that part of his book about “giant birds.”

  • Amazon rank: #112,461
  • Published in 2004
  • 208 pages
  • $16.99



"Missionaries and Monsters" by William Gibbons


The Amazon page for Missionaries and Monsters (nonfiction by William J. Gibbons) says, “Clues to undiscovered species have been left by missionaries and pastors throughout the world, and explorer Bill Gibbons is hot on their trail.”

  • Amazon rank: #179,127
  • Published in 2006
  • 104 pages
  • $9.95



cover of nonfiction cryptozoology book "Live Pterosaurs in America"


The cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition, by Whitcomb, sometimes is the Amazon best-selling nonfiction in this narrow genre, but not on this particular day. It is not written primarily to convince readers that pterosaurs fly over the USA, but mostly documents eyewitness accounts. Unlike Searching for Ropens and Finding God, this is in pure cryptozoology genre.

  • Amazon rank: #407,839
  • Published in 2011
  • 154 pages
  • $10.92



Ken Gerhard's nonfiction "Big Bird"


Big Bird, by Ken Gerhard, is subtitled “Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters.” This is mostly about the author’s personal experiences in tracking down eyewitnesses in Texas and what those witnesses told him about their encounters.

  • Amazon Rank: #965,331
  • Published in 2007
  • 108 pages
  • $11.51



"Bird From Hell" by Gerald McIsaac


This is the third edition of Bird From Hell, by Gerald McIssac, of Canada. Not all of the book is about this particular cryptid that terrorizes local people in northern British Columbia. It also covers the hairy elephant, rubber-faced bear, dire wolf, and a lake monster.

  • Amazon Rank: #2,792,324
  • Published in 2012
  • 184 pages
  • $13.64



Fiery Flying Serpent

Searching for  Ropens and Finding God is a nonfiction about pterosaurs  with long tails, apparently real animals that live in our modern  world.

Nonfiction Books That Mention Non-Extinct Pterosaurs

Not all books that include a sighting of an apparent living pterosaur are in the cryptozoology genre. Let’s begin with a translation of an ancient writing by the Jewish historian Josephus . . .

Sense of Truth

This nonfiction paperback should be published before the beginning of summer, 2015, and one chapter is devoted to the concept of modern living pterosaurs.

Religion and Science in the New Ropen Book

How much religion and science are found in the nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God? It depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s quantities of Biblical quotes or complex scientific concepts that prove the Bible is true, this nonfiction would compete poorly with at least two books available on Amazon. But for true-life adventures of Christian explorers who live their faith by getting actively involved, Searching for Ropens and Finding God may be a step above any other book in the religion/science-and-religion genre.


nonfiction spiritual/cryptozoology paperback by Whitcomb

Cryptozoology/true-life adventure/spiritual quest – Searching for Ropens and Finding God – fourth edition, by Jonathan David Whitcomb, with 360 pages, handles a number of issues regarding worldwide sightings, including questions about misidentification potential. Indeed this nonfiction paperback deserves being called “the Bible of Modern Pterosaurs.”

Subtitled “The quest for discovering modern pterosaurs (‘flying dinosaurs’)”

From the Acknowledgements near the beginning of the book:

What more could we ask of the U.S. Marine Eskin Kuhn and the little girl Patty Carson, two eyewitnesses of “pterodactyls” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the middle of the twentieth century? They carefully observed those flying creatures and later drew detailed sketches that defy any misidentification conjecture that any skeptic might throw at them.

Special thanks to Paul Nation, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel for research, advice, and the use of photographs and other images. Clifford A. Paiva, of BSM Associates, California City, CA, assisted by Harold S. Slusher, University of Texas at El Paso, Physics Department, wrote “Results of Investigations Concerning Pterosaur Sightings in Papua New Guinea.” We also acknowledge a report by the late Scott Norman, who encounter with an apparent pterosaur encouraged us to continue searching for large bioluminescent flying creatures in North America.


Tagged with:

Live Pterosaurs, Cryptozoology, and the Bible

On December 14, 2010, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Reasoning is essential in science and in cryptozoology. But how do live pterosaurs relate to the Bible or to reasonable application of Biblical scriptures? Each individual has special spiritual needs, notwithstanding the critical similarities in need that each of us possesses. Some individuals spiritually need what reports of live pterosaurs provide.

The Old Testament mentions several strange animals, creatures not easily reconciled with modern knowledge of standard classified organisms of zoology. Two of those are named “fiery flying serpent” and “dragon.” Could some of those references relate to the same animal, namely Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs? I believe so. But much about this has been covered elsewhere; I will not be redundant here.

Modern living pterosaurs give credence to Biblical scriptures referring to the fiery flying serpent, and possibly to some references to dragons. They make sense of those Bible scriptures, making it more-easily understandable to hold onto those ancient principles that actually do apply to our modern lives.

Tagged with:

Live Pterosaurs: We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore?

On October 25, 2010, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Two sightings of apparent living pterosaurs we now consider, both in Kansas, the first recorded in more detail in my book Live Pterosaurs in America (The third edition of this non-fiction cryptozoology book is now available on Amazon).

Pterosaur Seen Northwest of Wichita, Kansas

(In the nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America, this lady is known as “BEW,” for she is anonymous.)

I had seen an extremely large bird that resembled a pterodactyl some years ago when [I was] driving to town from the family farm between Rush Center and Larned, Kansas. I could not believe my eyes as I immediately thought of a prehistoric bird when I saw it. It must have had a wing-span of 16-20 feet.

I never said too much to anyone about it because, of course, such a claim raises eyebrows. [This is a common concern for eyewitnesses.]

[Two of the questions asked of BEW]

Q: Could you tell if it had feathers?
A: It did not appear to have feathers.

Q: How was this thing different from larger birds you know of?
A: I’ve never seen any bird in Kansas a fraction of that size or with the appearance of this bird. [The wingspan seemed to have been over 15 feet.]

Garden City, Kansas, Pterosaur

An eight-year-old girl was playing outside, in Garden City, Kansas. She looked up and gazed at the flying creature; the size reminded her of a small plane. She had been taught about dinosaurs and recognized it: a “pterodactyl.”

Why Modern Pterosaurs in Kansas?

Why not Kansas? These large or giant flying creatures, with apparent absence of any feathers, are seen across the United States: from California to Florida to New England to Washington state, and many states in between. Kansas has nothing to prevent any flying creatures from flying overhead, even live pterosaurs.


cover of nonfiction cryptozoology book "Live Pterosaurs in America"

Tagged with:

Lack of Pterosaur Evidence?

On September 8, 2010, in Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

The living-pterosaur critic Paul Pursglove has said that ” . . . there are some reports that cannot be resolved due to lack of evidence.” He avoids details, preferring brief phrases that seem to destroy confidence in the possibility of extant modern pterosaurs, so we are left to guess which reports he may have considered and what level of evidence he might consider would be adequate.

How rarely critics mention the names “Duane Hodgkinson” and “Brian Hennessy!” Those are two of the most credible eyewitnesses, so why do critics concentrate on hypothetical eyewitnesses or on questionable accounts? Two possibilities pop up: Critics are ignorant of those important eyewitness testimonies or critics want to avoid an objective evaluation. Rather than repeat details about those two reports (many web pages cover that), let’s consider the nature of evidence itself and how it relates to cryptozoology.

Since critics seem to object to eyewitness evidence of living pterosaurs (humans are imperfect), what would be adequate evidence? What evidence would be perfect? If every zoo in the world had living pterosaurs, if every museum in the world had recently-preserved specimens (instead of just fossils), if every biology textbook had many references to modern pterosaurs, would that in itself be perfect evidence for living pterosaurs? No. It would all be worthless without the eyewitness testimonies of imperfect humans. People must watch animals or examine preserved specimens or read textbooks; reporting what we have experienced is important, too, but direct human experience is critical.

Cryptozoology and scientific examinations both involve human observation, so what is the difference? It is in the degrees of repeatability and quality in the observations. I have interviewed a number of eyewitnesses whose testimonies include details that make “pterosaur” obvious; but those high-quality observations have appeared difficult to repeat (in those precise locations), to say the least. I have written about the repeated observations of mysterious flying lights in Papua New Guinea, and there is little difficulty with repeatability; but those numerous observations have mostly been vague forms, rarely revealing themselves as glowing flying creatures. What does all that mean? Living-pterosaur investigations are still within the realm of cryptozoology, not biology; nevertheless, the overall evidence of extant pterosaurs is quite adequate, and it cries out for investigations by professors of science, by universities, by government-funded organizations: Examine the eyewitness testimonies, for no non-pterosaur explanation (for these strange flying creatures) comes close to the reasonableness of the interpretation of “pterosaur.”

Tagged with:

Pterosaurs in Ohio

On August 27, 2010, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Sightings of pterosuars in Ohio include the Antwerp case that was covered in a newspaper story a few months ago:

“He described it like a pterosaur, according to a recently-published book, ‘Live Pterosaurs in America.'” The creature was reported “chasing sparrows as it flew over the Route 49 bridge near Antwerp, Ohio.” The author found credibility in the testimony. . . . Few major newspapers have published eyewitnesses accounts of apparent living-pterosaurs, at least in recent years. As reported in the Antwerp Bee-Argus, they “have been thought by many scientists to have gone extinct many millions of years ago,” that is, the pterosaurs, not yet major newspapers. [quotations from the Ohio newspaper article about the sightings of a living pterosaur]

Of course, this seems to have little relationship to the title of this blog: The Bible and Living Pterosaurs. One eyewitness in Ohio, however, was a minister; the sighting was in 2005:

[in Mount Vernon, Ohio] “I was coming to preach at a church out in the country. . . . I [noticed] a creature in the sky. . . . It appeared to have no feathers . . . [the tail was] longer than most bird tails . . . with a diamond-shaped point at the end.” [from Pterosaurs in the Bible]

The Antwerp, Ohio, sightings are covered in detail in the nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America. But sightings of apparent living pterosaurs in the United States are hardly confined to Ohio; other sightings have been reported in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, New York, Maine, Michigan, Kansas, and other states.

Tagged with:

I understand that not all sightings of apparently strange flying creatures must be modern living pterosaurs; I understand how eyewitnesses can misidentify something briefly flying by in the dark; I understand the possibility of fear influencing a person’s interpretation of an experience. But I do not understand how a critic can fail to see the fallacy of avoiding eyewitness-report details: More than once I’ve noticed a critic will invent an eyewitness scenario and appear to assume that the reported sightings of apparent pterosaurs fit into the critic’s fabricated outline. How dogmatic are some advocates of universal extinction of pterosaurs! When several characteristics of a description suggest a living pterosaur more than anything else, why insist that the strange flying creature must have been something non-strange? And why ignore the most credible eyewitnesses who have most clearly seen what was most obviously a modern living pterosaur?

“Bulverism” C. S. Lewis labeled the slick ploy of avoiding reasoning on a subject by pointing out the reason ones opponent is so silly. Do some criticisms of living-pterosaur investigations qualify as bulverism? I believe so. The case I here present may be a mild case of bulverism, but the ramifications, for logical or foolish conclusions, appear significant.

The paleontologist Glen Kuban, on his web site, makes some good points about the weaknesses in the 1856 railway tunnel “pterodactyl” story from Europe (paragraphs six through twelve on his site); I agree that the story appears to be some kind of hoax. But why take seven paragraphs to disprove that 1856 story, then ignore the many credible eyewitness accounts from the past seven decades? He demonstrates a weakness in the judgment of Carl Baugh, one of the early investigators of reports of living pterosaurs and then ignores critical details of investigations by Baugh’s associates who have long ago taken over where Baugh left off, improving the quality of the investigations.

If those seven paragraphs were all that Kuban had written, then bulverism would not apply; he would have made his point about that questionable 1856 story and any mention I would make about his motivations would have made me guilty of bulverism. But he wrote much more, appearantly doing all he could to discredit all living-pterosaur investigations.

I agree with Kuban that the 1856 story should not be used as if evidence for living pterosaurs (indeed that story gives little if any evidence for any strange flying creatures). But that old story should also not be used as if evidence that recent sightings are just as questionable. Using explosives to blast away rock to create a tunnel—that sometimes throws rocks into the air; but that is not evidence that meteors falling from outer space are fictional. It matters not how many tunnels are created by however many explosions, and it matters not how many old stories of living pterosaurs are questionable. Twentieth-century (and recent) sightings, by eyewitnesses like Duane Hodgkinson and Brian Hennessy—those deserve attention, Mr. Kuban.

He acknowledged that I had interviewed local natives of New Guinea. But he emphasized the crudeness of the sketches that one of the eyewitnesses and I had drawn. Why, Mr. Kuban, did you ignore a seven-meter-long tail? What need have we of a professional artist? I am not offended at his point that I am not a realistic artist; I am shocked that he would either carelessly miss critical points or purposefully leave them out of his writings.

Kuban wrote about thirty-one paragraphs to disparage the c0ncept of modern living pterosaurs. His web site is copyright-labeled “2004-2007,” so why did he write nothing about the 2006 expedition of Paul Nation? That explorer’s name is never mentioned, even though Paul went on more living-pterosaur expeditions in Papua New Guinea than any other American cryptozoologist. I suspect that Kuban has no desire to acknowledge that the two lights videotaped by Paul were later analyzed by a physicist and found to be anything but ordinary: solid support for the concept of a large unclassified bioluminescent flying creature.

Kuban’s thirty-one paragraphs say nothing about the American World War II veteran Duane Hodgkinson. How many web pages are written about that 1944 sighting! Could it be that this man’s account is too detailed and too credible? Nothing obstructed Hodgkinson’s view and the strange flying creature was only about a hundred feet away with it took off into the air and flew off, then flew back over that jungle clearing in New Guinea; the two soldiers had a second look and Hodgkinson was clear about the long tail: “at least ten or fifteen feet” long.

One of Kuban’s thirty-one paragraphs mentions a possible explanation of sighting reports: “It’s likely that at least some southern hemisphere sightings of “pterosaurs” are explained by fruit bats.” It also says that those bats, when “seen in silhouette (which would be the case at night) can present a pterosaur-like profile, especially to nonscientific observers.” But Hodgkinson’s sighting was in the middle of the day. In addition, how can anyone explain how a bat-tail about an inch long could appear in clear daylight to be “at least ten or fifteen feet” long. It seems that Kuban is far too intent on dismissing the general concept of modern living pterosuars, for he ignores the reports that would make his interpretation appear ludicrous.

Kuban’s thirty-one paragraphs say nothing about the Perth, Australia, sighting of 1997. How deeply has he researched eyewitness reports? The Australian couple have been interviewed and their accounts published online and in a book. Was Kuban aware, when he referred to “nonscientific observers” that the man in Perth, the man who described a flying creature with a wingspan of 30-50 feet, was a scientist?

Kuban’s thirty-one paragraphs say nothing about the Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) sighting of 1971. He wrote nothing about Brian Hennessy, although the Australian’s interview has been published in many web pages and in a book. Would Kuban consider Hennessy to be a “nonscientific observer?” His sighting was analyzed in a scientific paper published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal. Would Kuban consider Hennessy to be crazy for reporting an obvious “prehistoric” flying creature? That would indeed by unwise, for Mr. Hennessy is himself a professional psychologist.

Kuban’s thirty-one paragraphs give no details of what Gideon Koro and his friends saw flying over a lake one day. Kuban does mention my interview with Gideon, he just gives no details about what Gideon saw. Could this neglect relate to how difficult it would be to suggest a commonplace interpretation? Think about this. How could seven native boys (the older ones perhaps in their mid teens) have seen a flying fox fruit bat, flying over a lake, and then run home in terror, because they mistook it for a ropen that had a tail “seven meters” long? Please! How natives love to eat fruit bats! But how those boys would hate to be eaten by a ropen! And think about this: How difficult it is for a knowledgable, intelligent person to imagine seven teenaged boys running away, in terror, from their favorite dinner!

Why do I write about bulverism, when I am criticizing the writings of one who has pointed out apparently-real weaknesses in some reports that support modern living pterosaurs? It may be only a mild case of bulverism, for Kuban says, in paragraph three, that “most advocates of living pterosaurs are strict creationists or cryptozoologists.” He then points out a weakness in one of the writings of one of those creationists, implying that all living-pterosaur investigations are flawed. But why, Mr. Kuban, have you so strongly emphasized the questionable evidences and ignored the many compelling eyewitness testimonies? You may have given your readers the impression that no living-pterosaur investigator should be taken seriously. If that is what you intended, Mr. Kuban, then you have been guilty of bulverism.


Live Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan David Whitcomb, is a nonfiction book in the true genre of cryptozoology. The Christian beliefs of most of the living-pterosaur investigators are not hidden, neither are they trumpeted, but acknowledged in the appendix, let readers believe as they will.

Please support living-pterosaur investigations by purchasing this book about amazing eyewitness accounts of pterosaurs in many parts of the United States over many years. See Live Pterosaurs in America. (third edition — yes, this is NON-fiction)

From the Appendix of the third edition:

What would be the ideal documentary on living pterosaurs? One of two directions: searching for the truth in eyewitness testimonies or searching diligently for the creatures themselves. The “Flying Monsters” episode of MonsterQuest did neither, stumbling by stepping on the edge separating one stair from another.


Flying creatures resembling pterosaurs

Science and Clear Thinking

Tagged with: