One critic of living-pterosaur investigations, Sherry Konkus, has created, for a web site, a URL that includes “stupid” and “lies.” On the page that caught my attention (a first-page result from a Google search on “pterosaurs age earth creationist”), the writer blasts the ideas of a creationist I had never heard of, Bill Johnson. Nowhere on Konkus’s page did I see the names of the most-active investigators (of eyewitness reports of living pterosaurs: Garth Guessman, Paul Nation, David Woetzel, and me). The creationist page that is criticized describes native American (including Mexican) legends about the Thunderbird, bringing up the possibility that some legends may be based upon sightings of pterosaurs that lived in human times: a perfectly valid creationist perspective, although contrary to standard models commonly promoted in Western society. 

The main article in question, by Konkus, is titled “Thunderbirds A Creationist Fairy Tale.” The secondary article, “Thunderbirds – Did the American Indians see ‘winged dinosaurs‘?,” by Johnson, gives ten references and notes at the bottom; Konkus’s criticism gives no references at the bottom, but refers to something written by Glen Kuban, another critic of living-pterosaur investigations. That alone does not prove Johnson’s ideas correct and Konkus’s incorrect, but the latter seems, more than once, to accuse the former of dishonesty, restating standard models as if facts, and that alone flashes a warning sign that Konkus is not thinking clearly: Citing sources that are interpreted to contradict standard models does not prove one a liar, but Konkus seems to portray that it does.

Other warning signs are easier to spot. Referring to creationists, in the first sentence Konkus uses the word “idiocy,” and in the second sentence, “idiot.” Starting off like that brings up the concept of bulverism. Also in the second sentence, Konkus gives a straw man argument, rather than quoting any creationist. The third sentence includes, “Creationists heavily rely only on science fiction and its influence in pop culture for knowledge on dinosaurs and pterosaurs.” That deserves attention here, for the author of that statement appears ignorant of the true nature of twenty-first century investigations of recent eyewitness sightings of apparent pterosaurs.

Konkus mentions nothing about the eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson. This American World War II veteran had suffered, not injuries from combat: disbelief from those who were casual about his account of his 1944 sighting on the mainland of New Guinea. Until Hodgkinson was interviewed by me and by my associate, Garth Guessman, he was usually hesitant to talk about his experience, for people would dismiss it as impossible. But in the last few years, many thousands of Youtube viewers have been impressed by the honest statements given by this veteran who witnessed a “pterodactyl” that had a tail “at least” ten or fifteen feet long. Critics, including Konkus, usually avoid the name of “Duane Hodgkinson.”

Konkus mentions nothing about the eyewitness Brian Hennessy. This active Australian professional psychologist has been a consultant for years. He does not portray eyewitnesses of large “prehistoric” flying creatures (with long tails but no sign of feathers) as crazy. He himself is an eyewitness (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea). Critics, including Konkus, usually avoid the name of “Brian Hennessy.”

Konkus mentions nothing about the eyewitness Eskin Kuhn. I interviewed him by phone early in 2010, and found no indication of any hoax. This United States Marine, a talented artist, sketched the two flying creatures soon after he had observed them at the Guantanamo Bay military installation in Cuba. The sketch shows nothing like any bird or bat; it shows two obvious pterosaur-like creatures. Critics, including Konkus, usually avoid the name of “Eskin Kuhn.”

Contrary to the declarations of Konkus, I have found no stupidity in the ideas given by Johnson and no reasonable evidence for any lies from creationists who promote the possibility of modern living pterosaurs. I could quote many testimonies of eyewitnesses of these flying creatures in Papua New Guinea, North America, and elsewhere, but this, for now, should suffice. I was about to contact Konkus by email, but found that this critic (who seems so free to use words like “stupid” and “lies”) has specified no “Creationist slander” allowed; I interpret that as a warning sign that anything I would say in defense of any “creationist” might cause offense, so I will leave that critic alone.

I suggest we avoid bulverism and keep to the significant evidence itself: credible eyewitnesses of living pterosaurs.

Further information on criticism of investigations of living pterosaurs:

Are All Pterosaurs Extinct – A reply to Glen Kuban

Eskin Kuhn Sighting and Creationist “Claims” — There Was No Hoax

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Science and Clear Thinking

On June 15, 2010, in philosophy, Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” I believe Nikola Tesla was thinking clearly when he said that. I also believe that we need clear thinking in the scientists of today, at least as much as in the time of Tesla. It appears to me difficult to define, although its opposite appears easy to expose. Perhaps we should be grateful for extremes that help us to distinguish between foggy and clear thinking. I suggest a couple of examples.

A few years ago, a critic of living-pterosaurs investigations appeared offended that I had, on one of my own web pages, included a link to a creationist site; he demanded that I remove that link, insinuating that I should not be taken seriously because of that link. I now suggest that those who can be offended by such a thing should consider this: Bias is not necessarily confined to those who disagree with you.

I later found a site produced by another critic; he used the words “lies” and “stupid” in his URL, with the content of his site ridiculing me and my associates. Not to repeat much of the content, I simply refer to part of it: He declared that “John Whitcomb” had been sponsored by Carl Baugh and led a group of creationists in an expedition in Africa; I have never gone by the name of “John,” have never been sponsored by Carl Baugh for anything, have never led any group of creationists on any expedition anywhere, and have never set foot in Africa.

Regarding his URL, I have told the truth, not lies; I hope that he was simply ignorant of my intentions. I make no comment about “stupid,” although I sometimes admit that my general intelligence may be inferior to that of some of my readers and my education may seem less impressive than that of some of my critics (not, it seems, this one), but let’s return to “clear thinking,” for that is the subject.

I admit this subject cries for me to dig more deeply and learn more about human thinking, but one thing is obvious: We need to listen to each other, regardless of previous disagreements and regardless of differing labels. Truth can be found in the thoughts of those appearing to be most ignorant and foolish. Even my own most vehement critic did reveal some truth about me: My last name is “Whitcomb” and I am active in promoting the concept of modern living pterosaurs; this critic may have actually helped promote awareness of the case for living pterosaurs.

By the way, I did explore a remote island in Papua New Guinea (north of Australia) in 2004. I traveled to P.N.G. alone and found an interpreter on the mainland, before taking a small ship to Umboi Island. I interviewed many eyewitnesses of the ropen. My associates and I are convinced that this nocturnal flying creature is a modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.

My critic may have confused Papua New Guinea with a small country in Western Africa. He may also have confused me with John C. Whitcomb who wrote The Genesis Flood many years ago. He may also have been confused by my assistance from Paul Nation, who was once a close associate of Carl Baugh. He may also have been confused about the two expeditions of 2004, for the second one was led by two American creationists and they followed my expedition by only a few weeks.

After I had replied to this web site, stating the inaccuracies, changes were made, including the correct spelling of my name: “Jonathan Whitcomb.” The newer page mentions nothing about my being in Africa. I appreciate that correction.

But many other inaccuracies were added, related to sightings and the living-pterosaur investigations. For example, the two indava lights videotaped by Paul Nation in 2006 were compared with high-speed UFO’s (the two lights were actually sitting motionless on the top of a nearby ridge). The critic mentioned those videotaped lights “flying in the sky above the peaks of volcanoes located on Umboi Island created by creationists possessing fake credentials.” (I suspect he was trying too hard to cram too many criticisms into one sentence.) At any rate, the videotaped lights were on the mainland of Papua New Guinea, nowhere near Umboi Island. I’m afraid that the critic has a problem with clear thinking, for he still tends to become confused.

I don’t know why this critic uses the words “lies” and “stupid” for me and my associates; I assume that it is also from some kind of confusion.

More: objective evaluation of eyewitness reports and the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America (published by Createspace; written by Jonathan David Whitcomb) This is a cryptozoology book.

Objective interview methods of Guessman & Woetzel (2nd Umboi Island expedition of 2004)

Objective Ministries” is a parody or hoax. The university is nonexistent. There’s no “objectiveministries.”