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.”
Late in 2006, deep in the mainland interior of Papua New Guinea, Paul Nation (of Texas) and Jacob Kepas (of PNG) observed the indavas repeatedly. The nocturnal flying creatures appeared to be like the ropen of Umboi Island, glowing at night with apparent intrinsic bioluminescence. Paul recorded two of the lights with his video camcorder and the footage was later analyzed by a physicist, confirming that the lights were not from any car headlights, flashlights, meteors, airplanes, camp fires, or paste-on hoax. It was the first physical evidence (for modern living pterosaurs) brought back to the United States from Papua New Guinea.
But this remote mountainous area around Tawa village is inaccessible by road. How did the two cryptozoologists get there? They were flown there by the Baptist missionary James Blume. It was not the first time, however, that Blume had assisted Christian cryptozoologists.
Two years earlier, as Americans David Woetzel and Garth Guessman were in Lae (Papua New Guinea) preparing to explore Umboi Island, Jim and Mary Blume (along with Pastor Jacob Kepas) met with them. Mary and Garth interviewed Kepas, who had witnessed, as a child, a glowing seklo-bali that had flown over his village. Jim arranged for the flight that Woetzel, Guessman and Kepas later took to Umboi.
Jim Blume had previously helped Carl Baugh and Paul Nation, with expeditions on Umboi Island. This missionary and plane pilot has made major contributions, from 1994 (or earlier) to at least 2007, to the investigations of living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea. Thank you, Jim, for your wonderful help.
Strange Flying Creatures and Bulverism (a reply to the critic Glen Kuban)
Did you know that living pterosaurs have been reported in North America, even in the United States? Read the many eyewitness sighting reports by purchasing a nonfiction book on Amazon or from the publisher—Live Pterosaurs in America.