Is “Modern Pterosaurs” a Creationist Book?

On March 23, 2017, in Old Testament, by Jonathan Whitcomb

The nonfiction cryptozoology book Modern Pterosaurs should be published well before the end of April, 2017. The front cover gives no hint that it supports a Biblical Old Testament point of view, but the back cover clearly does:

A scientific discovery in harmony with the Flood of Noah in the book of Genesis, in support of the Bible

In addition, the copyright page says, “A scientific discovery in harmony with the Bible.” And one paragraph in the introduction of the book makes it clear:

Many of those who’ve searched for extant pterosaurs, and interviewed eyewitnesses, believe in the Bible, and that includes belief in the literal Flood as recorded in Genesis. We see modern species of pterosaurs as being in perfect harmony with the Flood of Noah. Until the announcement on January 14, 2017, our evidences for non-extinct pterosaurs was mostly in testimonies of eyewitnesses. Now we have a photograph to back up sighting reports and support belief in the Flood.

After that, however, only three other pages in the book mention either the Bible or the Flood of Noah. So if you’re looking for a new book about Biblical Creation in general, this might not satisfy you. What about the greatest scientific discovery of recent decades, one that supports the literal Flood of Genesis? That’s another story, and it’s in this nonfiction book.


Nonfiction book in harmony with the Biblical Flood of Noah

Modern Pterosaurs, Human encounters with living “pterodactyls”


Evolution and Religion

A big problem with many statements about evolution is that the word is used as if it were precise when, in reality, it has more than one meaning, regarding biology, and many of those who use the word are unaware of the distinctions.

Compare it to the following statement:

Taking a bath can be safer than a shower when a thunderstorm is approaching. Why? During the storm, a bath inside your home gives you more privacy than taking advantage of that shower.

Can a discussion about evolution really be that ludicrous? Precisely. Take three major ideas about biological evolution:

  1. Inherent genetic diversity
  2. Mutational changes in bacteria
  3. Common ancestry (Darwin)

How can evidence for one of those three support belief in another one? Those three concepts are separate, with the first two giving no real credibility to the third.

Several paragraphs in the book explain the “Evolutionary Boundary” experiment that proves that Darwin’s natural selection actually prevents any of the changes he imagined. In other words, real natural selection makes universal common ancestry impossible. Explaining that in detail, however, would take a book in itself.


The nonfiction Modern Pterosaurs is in complete harmony with the concept that the Flood of Genesis was a literal worldwide flood, although detailed explanations of exactly how extant pterosaurs are related to it are lacking. Let’s consider that here:

Pterosaurs survived the Flood because they were sheltered on the Ark. Whether many pterosaurs became extinct before the Flood or after it, some of them are still living.




New Cryptozoology Book Modern Pterosaurs

The new book has a photograph of an extant pterosaur, verified by me and by the physicist Clifford Paiva. Like my previous books, however, it does contain eyewitness accounts of these amazing flying creatures.


Religious Bias and the Ropen

I was asked about the possibility of religious bias in the thinking of those who believe the eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs. I replied that bias is not restricted to those who are religious. Why should Christians be singled out for potential bias? Any person of any philosophy may well be biased about particular ideas.


Civil War Pteranodon Photograph

On January 14, 2017, the physicist Clifford Paiva, of California, and I (Jonathan Whitcomb) jointly agreed that the image of an apparent pterosaur in this photograph is in fact a valid recording of a modern pterosaur.


The Flood of Genesis, dinosaurs, and pterosaurs

The combination of a head crest and a Rhamphorhynchoid tail is uncommon in pterosaur fossils (but not totally absent from all types); yet that combination is common in eyewitness reports in the past 100 years. For some reason, long-tailed ropens (like Rhamphorhynchoids but sometimes much larger than fossils) may account for more than 60% of all modern pterosaurs, perhaps much more.


Old Civil War Pteranodon Photograph

If you had asked me about this old photograph, of an apparent pterosaur, 25 years ago, I would have said that it’s probably a hoax. How much I have learned in recent years!


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Pterosaur Sightings and Religion

On February 1, 2013, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

On occasion I receive a dismissive remark from a skeptic of our research of pterosaur sightings, something like, “How can a living pterosaur prove that the earth is 6,000 years old?” I do not speak for my associates but for my own position regarding the relationship between modern pterosaurs and the Bible, and my position strongly supports a few points of Young Earth Creation but not all points. I suggest looking a little deeper, especially deeper than dismissive critics have done.

Evolutionary Boundary

At the turn of this century, I spent about half a year testing Darwin’s General Theory of Evolution through mathematical simulations. My intention was not to manufacture a direct refutation of the “molecules-to-man” kind of evolution but to force one small step of such an evolutionary process, so that it might be shown the plausibility of many steps (a microbe evolving into a human would indeed require many steps). I was surprised at the result: Even in the ideal mathematical environment, with an initial population of ten to the twenty-nine power, Darwin’s Common Ancestry idea is impossible: Natural Selection itself prevents that kind of evolution from even beginning to get a foothold.

Pterosaur Sighting Investigation Begins

About three years after beginning my mathematical experiment, I started to investigate reports of dinosaur and pterosaur sightings. Paul Nation (of Granbury, Texas) got me focused, in 2003, on eyewitness reports of possible pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea, and I have passionately pursued reports of those featherless flying creatures until the present.

Evolution and Pterosaurs

During the past eight years, I have written three nonfiction books about sightings of modern pterosaurs, with generally only limited references to the General Theory of Evolution (GTE). In particular, Live Pterosaurs in America (in three editions) and Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea make almost no mention of evolution or religion, pterosaur sightings themselves taking up much of the content. So how does GTE relate to the concept of extant pterosaurs? It’s a bit complicated, but we can look into one aspect, to some extent.

Without evidence for ancient life forms different from present life forms, what do we have? Without fossils of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, Darwin probably would never have thought about the possibility of universal common ancestry. Without any evidence for old-life different from present-day life, how easy it would be to connect Darwin’s ideas with fairy tales! In other words, if each basic type of organism is descended only from basically similar ancestors, Darwin’s concept of common ancestry is an obvious fiction, hardly different from any other fairy tale.

Living Fossils

I know that critics sometimes bring up the Coelacanth, a “living fossil,” as one of the exceptions. They assume that the modern existence of that “ancient” fish offered no evidence at all against the General Theory of Evolution and that the discovery of a living pterosaur would also have no influence against it. But how many exceptions can we discover before the truth becomes obvious? After the discovery of many extant dinosaur and pterosaur species (or discoveries that they have lived within the past few thousand years), it would be obvious that they are not exceptions: Organisms living within the past few thousands years are basically in the same forms as those we know from fossils. In other words, there would be no need to imagine small simple organisms evolving into large complex ones.

I don’t refer to the purpose of those atheists who feel a need for an origin-explanation devoid of God; I refer to objective scientific investigation. But in the real world of human thought, most adults are attracted to some kind of origin philosophy, regardless of whether that frame of mind links to labels like “science” or “religion,” “evolution” or “God.”

To be truly objective regarding a discovery of an animal previously thought extinct for millions of years—that means admitting there is one less animal that existed only in the distant past. The Coelacanth alone is one living evidence against the General Theory or Evolution, regardless of how many scientists have ignored that fact and have clung to Darwin’s origin philosophy.

So is the Universe 6,000 Years old?

I believe in miracles recorded in the Bible. I know that God can do things that are beyond our present comprehension. But why believe that the creation mentioned early in the book of Genesis refers to the creation of galaxies that were beyond the vision and comprehension of those who have, for many centuries, read those verses of scripture (before telescopes)? How much more reasonable for God to inspire Moses to write a brief summary of those creative events related to this earth! And why would God create the universe in six 24-hour periods of time, when his work with human societies has taken, sometimes, centuries?

Regardless of the age of the earth as a globe of matter, life on this planet, especially those more intelligent forms like humans, need not have ancestors that lived millions of years ago on this earth. Adam and Eve were actual persons who lived thousands of years ago, regardless of the assumptions of those who assume that the account in Genesis could not have happened. But that’s a deep subject, far beyond the significance of sightings of living pterosaurs.

Bible, opened to page with picture


Pterosaur Sightings in the United States

With clear sky and a still-full moon, the landscape was brightly lit [sighting in Ohio]. A creature swooped down—an obvious “pterodactyl”—gliding gracefully over the hood of her car. She watched it fly into some dense underbrush of trees.

Scientific Evidence for Living Pterosaurs

. . . no hoaxes played any significant role in the sighting reports. Any major hoax involvement would have caused at least one obvious peak in wingspan estimates.

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Do Humans Have Ancient Instinctive Fear of Pterosaurs?

On October 24, 2012, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

On occasion I encounter the idea that people see apparent pterosaurs because of some residual instinct that we have inherited from our distant ancestors who lived at the time of pterosaurs (many “millions” of years ago), an instinct that helped them survive by avoiding being caught by pterosaurs.

How feeble is this evolutionary reasoning! How easily debunked is this explanation for sightings of apparent living pterosaurs! Do we, as humans, have an ancient ingrained fear of ancient pterosaurs? Think of how that could have come about. Notice the flaws in reasoning. Any one of the following at least counts against that speculation, taking the assumption that all pterosaurs have been extinct for many millions of years. Most of the following points destroy that speculation.

Before proceeding, we need to consider what is entailed by this speculation: Ancient “ancestors” of humans were threatened by large pterosaurs, so those “pre-humans” developed, through “selective evolution” a fear of the form or shape of a pterosaur. A critical point in this speculation is that a fear-response was supposed to have given some of the “pre-humans” an advantage in survival.

  1. If our ancestors developed an evolved fear of seeing the form of a pterosaur, why would that fear remain in our brains for millions of years when pterosaurs were extinct?
  2. Why do some eyewitnesses of modern pterosaurs experience no fear during their sightings?
  3. Why do some sightings involve multiple eyewitnesses who describe the same form and features of what they saw?
  4. Where are the scientific tests that show that humans in general have a fear of the form of a pterosaur?

Evolution Speculation and Extinction of Pterosaurs

The first point alone destroys the speculation: that humans occasionally see something that they think is a pterosaur but isn’t really a pterosaur because those persons have an ancient fear-trigger that came from human ancestors who were sometimes preyed upon by pterosaurs. Even if our ancestors covered this planet anciently with billions of their kind, for millions of years, and developed (through evolution) a fear of anything that looked like a pterosaur, why would our ancestors have retained that fear for millions of years of evolution when all pterosaurs were extinct? It’s too ridiculous to consider.

Some Eyewitnesses Experience no Fear

I often receive an email from an eyewitness who had no fear when observing an apparent pterosaur. Descriptions of the flying creature are quite similar to descriptions from eyewitnesses who were afraid of the flying creature observed. This alone destroys the conjecture about ancient human instinct-response to an image of a pterosaur.

Multiple Eyewitnesses to a Pterosaur

Some deeply hidden institive fear of a form of a pterosaur, assuming that were possible, would not be nearly enough to cause two or more humans to simultaneously hallucinate (or misidentify a non-pterosaur bird or bat), thinking that they had observed the form of a pterosaur.

Scientific Test

When has any scientific test been done to show that humans have an instinctive fear of the form of a pterosaur? It would have to be done on persons who had NOT been raised in traditions in which dragons were supposed to be fearsome—that eliminates many persons in many cultures. I doubt such a test has ever been done.

Evolutionary Boundary

A mathematical simulation of population growths, showing the fallacy of the origin philosophy of Charles Darwin: Small simple organisms cannot evolve into complex organisms BECAUSE natural selection PREVENTS those potential changes from actually taking place.

Fiery Flying Serpent of the Bible

Consider some problems with the “snake” interpretation. In our modern technical world, we are struck by an ancient Hebrew phrase. “Fiery flying serpent,” . . .

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Old Space Shuttles and Modern Pterosaurs

On July 11, 2011, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

I admit, it is a stretch to connect the Space Shuttle program with intestigations of reports of modern living pterosaurs. I also admit that I wrote another post, a few months ago, on my investigation “An Evolutionary Boundary.” But there are connections, and this deserves more attention.

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up and was destroyed as it reentered the atmosphere, killing all astronauts aboard. The tragedy of those losses and the setback for that space program are not the subject here; it is about the survivors aboard the Columbia after it was destroyed. Yes “survivors,” for a scientific experiment involved a container of tiny worms, and those passengers did survive the crash.

It matters not that surviving worms failed to live long enough to encounter the humans who eventually recovered the worm container; the descendants of those worms did survive: Living worms were found therein. The point? Some worms survived the crash and were able to reproduce; and more to the point, small simple organisms survive better than large complex ones.

Before that Columbia tragedy, I had already given up on my original mathematical simulations involving populations of hypothetical organisms, not that there was any problem with it: I found a simpler method. But that earlier work was based on the observation that small-and-simple out-competes big-and-complex; that concept was obvious long before the Columbia crash (that tragedy dramatically proved the point, however).

I know that those things still do not tie space shuttles to modern pterosaurs, but there’s more.

My second project with mathematical simulations, the “Evolutionary Boundary,” lasted less than one year, but the results have influenced me to this day. They bolstered my confidence in the idea that Darwin’s common ancestry ideas (with the attendant assumptions about “ancient” extinct organisms) was incorrect, in fact ludicrously wrong; that helped give me the freedom to think in ways that made it possible for me to explore a remote tropical island in 2004, searching for living pterosaurs. And that played a role in the overall investigations that have bolstered the concept of modern pterosaurs, an idea that was more in the background of Western thought until the twenty-first century. We have now had two television programs (Destination Truth and Monsterquest) with episodes about the possibility of living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea.

I admit that many Americans still keep the concept of modern pterosaurs only at the back of their minds, if they do even that. But the idea need not be referenced to a late-nineteenth-century newspaper story about cowboys in Arizona or a newspaper story about a pterodactyl in a tunneleven earlier, in France. Recent sightings, from around the world, prove the point: Those flying creatures are not extinct but very much alive.

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The third edition of my cryptozoology book Searching for Ropens (which will be retitled “Searching for Dragons”) should be published by around November of this year [postponed because of the publication of the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America]. Like earlier editions, many eyewitness sightings of pterosaurs or the ropen of Papua New Guinea are included. But this new edition will be more in the cryptozoology genre rather than religious-cryptozoological. Nevertheless, it will be clear about the religious beliefs of the cryptozoologists who explored remote tropical rain forests in Papua New Guinea, searching for the elusive nocturnal flying creatures that we feel sure are modern pterosaurs.

Although the upcoming third edition will have many additions and improvements, it seems appropriate to quote a bit from the second edition.

Searching for Ropens

The investigators interviewed Dickson Nolo, a man from Mararamu Village. He saw a ropen a few days earlier, on October 22, at 10 p.m., as it flew over a beach (something like “Makopit” Beach) from the direction of Mount Tolo. Glowing brightly, the skinny creature was between two and three meters long, from nose to tail.

Before leaving this part of the island, the men found Jonah Jim, the same young man I had met south of Lake Pung a few weeks earlier. Guessman’s interview was more thorough. Jonah’s sighting, in July of 2001, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., revealed that the creature was flying between 500 and 550 feet high, coming from the sea and heading for Tanglup or Tolo. All six members of his family were together when the ropen, without wing flapping, flew “directly overhead.” . . . The “wingspan” was six to seven meters; tail length, two-and-a-half to three meters . . .


The Dangerous Kongamato

The book In Witchbound Africa (by Frank Melland) “describes it as living along certain rivers, and very dangerous, often attacking small boats, and anybody who disturbed the creature. They are typically described as either red or black in color, with a wingspan of four to seven feet.

Giant Pterosaur in New Mexico

“It had a 20-30 foot wingspan and was about the same length long. It had a long tail with [a] seeming spike at the end. Its head was very pterodactyl shape with a fluted back pointy head. It glided at about 700 feet in a westward direction . . . We watched it glide . . . and land somewhere on the southern expanse of Magdalena Mountains.”

One man, Leroy Jones, used to talk about area ranchers in the late-1800s who swore they had seen pterosaurs — reptilian and enormous and startlingly alive — swooping over the desert hills and scrub brush of New Mexico’s southwestern Boot Heel.

What is a Ropen?

The following compilations of eyewitness testimonies [about ropens] and second-hand accounts, are supplemented by the conclusions of Jonathan Whitcomb. It seems that at least two types of long-tailed modern pterosaurs live in the Southwest Pacific, although there may be sub-species variations. Reports of smaller creatures (under three meters wingspan) in the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea might be juveniles of the same species as the larger creatures to the south.

An Evolutionary Boundary

This simulation is with a hypothetical planet with at least the water content of the earth. Beginning with simple one-celled organisms (relying on sunlight for energy) as the only life forms, simulations are made on the growths of sub-populations. These groups are characterized by several general types of non-harmful mutations. They are categorized by the general effects of those mutations. . . .

Evolutionary Boundary Conclusions:

These simulations have been done using the assumption that increases in the useful-information content of DNA might result in evolutionary creation of a multi-cellular structure absent in the ancestors. I know of no evidence for any such case in the real world. The simulations show that should such increases occur in nature, within a very large sample of competing organisms natural selection would eliminate those organisms that might show potential for major evolutionary change. Should any such potential changes occur in a smaller environment, the plausibility is even weaker.

Post on the Evolutionary Boundary

“An Evolutionary Boundary” involves simple math, for a biologically saturated environment is the normal condition to be expected, and the population calculations are simple. I’ll get to the point. After about six months of calculations, using computer programs I wrote myself, the original population of organisms of 10e29 (the number having “1″ followed by twenty-nine zeros), after only a few generations, had only a minute fraction of viable candidates for macro-evolutionary change. But the critical point is this: Those competitive populations that did not have any macro-evolutionary potential vastly outnumbered those that did, and their competitiveness was at least equal to the “Darwinian” candidates.

My investigations of reports of living pterosaurs (including the ropen of Papua New Guinea) came after I had completed my Evolutionary Boundary study, for I then had scientific evidence, clear mathematical evidence, against Darwin’s General Theory of Evolution.


cover of nonfiction cryptozoology book "Live Pterosaurs in America"Third edition of the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America

From an Amazon review of the second edition (“stevie”): “. . . this author has really done a lot of work researching this issue. . . . the author tried hard to deliver these stories and was very good at it. This is well written and very hard to put down.”

From another Amazon review of the second edition: “I couldn’t put this book down. It is absolutely fascinating to read about eyewitness accounts of the people who have seen these creatures. To learn about these testimonies from such an open minded perspective is refreshing in the extreme! . . . I highly recommend this book to anyone! People should know the truth about what is going on. No one ever
hears anything about this unless they conduct extremely specific internet searches, even then, information is minimal. Jonathan Whitcomb needs to write more books!” (“StrangeDream” awarded five stars out of five on

From a reader of a preliminary version of the third edition: “. . . there is something here for everyone, whether you are a child or adult . . . once you start reading it you won’t want to put it down . . . based on years of research it is that much more amazing and awe inspiring. Out of five stars I’ll give it all five” (Isaac Elekom, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

From a reader of the first edition: “He has focused on the accounts of witnesses who saw something, and that adds credibility. The writing is easy to read and he adds comments and analysis to make it all more useful. Mostly, the author lets the sightings speak for themselves, which is good. A worthwhile book.” (Red Rabbit, Cleveland, Ohio, awarded the book five stars out of five)

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Evolutionary Boundary

On March 24, 2011, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

With all these posts about Marfa Lights and misidentification possibilities, where is anything Biblical in The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs? I could spend time researching historical documents, searching for relevancies to the Fiery Flying Serpent of the Old Testament, but that is not my specialty: I specialize in modern eyewitness accounts of living pterosaurs and observations of flying lights that may be from their bioluminescence.

But my investigation of reports of modern pterosaurs did not condense in a vacuum, from a drive for an adventure that might be satisfied by exploring a remote tropical island in Papua New Guinea in 2004, and my recent conjecture, that Marfa Lights in a desert in Texas are flying predators, did not materialize in my imagination from a pointless drive to prove the existence of modern pterosaurs.

It began with “Evolutionary Boundary,” a mathematical simulation study that I completed in 2003. I have not yet submitted it for publication in a scientific journal, but those interested in a summary can refer to the second edition of my book Searching for Ropens [the third edition, was originally intended to be retitled “Searching for Dragons,” and intended to be published at the end of 2011, but the third and fourth editions were published in 2014 with the title Searching for Ropens and Finding God). A briefer summary seems appropriate here.

My first attempt using simple calculations to test Darwin’s Common Ancestry began around 2001 or 2002. I realized that the General Theory of Evolution (the kind of evolution involving small simple organisms evolving into large complex ones) appeared to have a major flaw: Small simple life survives better than large complex life, contradicting the popular model promoted by Darwin, at least for organisms now living. And why should all living organisms behave much differently, through countless millions of years in the past, than they do today? This really is a case for “the key to the past is the present.” Unfortunately, it appears that followers of Darwin’s philosophy do not apply that principle when it would destroy their philosophical assumptions.

Getting back to my Evolutionary Boundary research, that first series of mathematical simulations was my attempt to find out if Natural Selection could produce large complex organisms from the evolution of small simple ones. I had just begun when I realized that a simpler model could accomplish the same objective, a series of calculations involving two qualities needed for macro-evolution to occur. I set aside the first experiment (I will probably never take it up again) and started what I later titled “An Evolutionary Boundary.”

Interesting to note, at about this time, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on returning to earth, killing all humans aboard but leaving a container of tiny worms with those small simple organisms still alive after the crash. That concept of survivability I still believe in, without doubt, notwithstanding the possibility that some Darwinist might bring up some obscure exception. One or two exceptions does not make or break a general rule.

“An Evolutionary Boundary” involves simple math, for a biologically saturated environment is the normal condition to be expected, and the population calculations are simple. I’ll get to the point. After about six months of calculations, using computer programs I wrote myself, the original population of organisms of 10e29 (the number having “1” followed by twenty-nine zeros), after only a few generations, had only a minute fraction of viable candidates for macro-evolutionary change. But the critical point is this: Those competitive populations that did not have any macro-evolutionary potential vastly outnumbered those that did, and their competitiveness was at least equal to the “Darwinian” candidates.

It would have been pointless to have tried working on those calculations for another six months, for the “Darwinian” candidates would have dwindled to near zero by around 10-20 generations. Darwin’s philosophy of Common Ancestry may have become popular with some modern humans, but it is the antithesis of what happens with small simple organisms.

How does this relate to the Bible? Without the Creator, even a planet saturated with 10e29 organisms (an astronomical number of microorganisms) cannot produce large complex forms of life, even under ideal conditions, even after billions of years. The first few chapters of Genesis, however simple in outline, explain the origin of human life, and Darwin’s basic conjecture about that origin, from my perspective, is not only unscientific but superstitious. And Darwin’s overall philosophy of universal common ancestry now appears superstitious in the extreme: the epitome of superstition.

See also: Overview of Evolutionary Boundary

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