On occasion, an eyewitness will use the following to report or to use a search engine: “I saw a giant bat.” Susan Wooten, years ago, mentioned a huge bat-like flying creature, when she first reported to me her sighting. In fact, she said, “It looked as big as any car . . . NO feathers, not like a huge crane or egret, but like a humongous bat.” But her sketch of the creature shows us something more like a long-tailed pterosaur:
When Wooten first reported to me her sighting in South Carolina, I took note that she included, “NO feathers.”
In San Antonio, Texas, around 1986, two eyewitnesses were shocked at the flying creature they encountered one night. “We noticed something flying around across the road . . . flying just above the phone lines. It would go one direction, turn, and swoop back. The shape was wrong for any large bird of the area, and the size was much too large to be any bat I have ever seen . . .
Dracula-Like Flying Creature
In Brownsville, Texas, around 1996, another eyewitness, a twelve-year-old girl, encountered something terrifying one morning, in back of her house (from the third edition of the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America):
Next door, in the neighbor’s backyard, was what she first thought was a tall man; but he was about as tall as the house, too tall. He was “draped in a long black coat or cape,” facing away from her. “Dracula” came to mind as [the girl] tried to understand what she was looking at. The “man” turned, and revealed a face that terrified the child: It was non-human.
Slowing the creature . . . unwrapped its bat-like wings, dark leathery wings. The girl had never seen anything remotely like them. Her mind still raced for an explanation, something that would make sense of what see was watching. A large bird, maybe? No, it was nothing like that: too big, and without feathers. The girl was frozen in fear . . . With big black eyes, it stared at her, and began to walk towards her. . . . “Pterodactyl” came into her mind, although it seemed a crazy idea. . . .
Also reported in that book, Peter Beach, a biology professor, encountered glowing flying creatures at a river in the northwestern United States:
I think the Rhamphorhynchoids, if that is what they were, were feeding on the nighthawks [nocturnal birds] as the nighthawks were feeding on the flying insects. Bats were also common, but they were fast, made sharp turns, and were relatively small.”
The Hodgkinson sighting alone, perhaps the most important pterosaur sighting in history, repudiates the “giant bat” misidentification explanation. Note the following points, taken from my scientific paper “Reports of Living Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific,” . . .
Almost all of the researchers who have studied these accounts for years believe that these creatures are live pterosaurs. Most of the eyewitness accounts include a description of a long tail; some include a structure they have seen at the end of the tail: like a Rhamphorhynchoid tail flange.
Spaulding Family Heritage (genealogy booklet)
Edward took his family from “James Citie,” probably because of the hostility of the Indians. They came to Massachusetts . . .
Visitors who stop at the viewing platform, in this remote higher-elevation semi-desert area of southwest Texas, are unlikely to view any truly mysterious light on the particular night they happen to be driving through Marfa. The real Marfa Lights appear on just a few nights a year, although a nearby highway causes car headlights to appear mysterious to some viewers.
How do Marfa Lights relate to the Bible and to modern living pterosaurs? They only relate if those mysterious lights are related to the ropen lights of Papua New Guinea, for there the flying lights are the bioluminescence of large flying creatures described like nothing other than modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs.
But must those apparent pterosaurs (in Papua New Guinea, Texas, or elsewhere) be closely related to the fiery flying serpents of the Old Testament? Of course the ropen may differ greatly from the creatures that terrorized the Israelites who were led through the wilderness by Moses. Nevertheless, the potential similarities are striking.
The flying (and sometimes dancing) lights of Marfa, Texas, only show themselves a few times a year, in contrast to the counterfeit “strange” lights caused by headlights of cars on a nearby highway. But if those lights are caused by the same general kind of creature as the ropen of Papua New Guinea (large or giant featherless flying creature with a long tail), how would ancient people describe it? A featherless long-tailed creature that curled up its wings while in repose would surely bring to mind a snake. And the “fiery” part of “fiery flying serpents” could come from the glow, what we now call bioluminescence.
Let’s consider some recent blogs and other web pages relevant to living pterosaurs research and investigations.
Life, Not Extinction, Is What Fossils Mostly Reveal
The paleontologist Darren Naish commented on the blog posting “Fossils are evidence of life, not extinction.” He supports the standard models that include universal extinctions of general types of organisms, namely pterosaurs. His lengthy web page “Pterosaurs alive in, like, the modern day!” bebunks many questionable older reports, and I believe some of his opinions have merit . . . But critical eyewitness sightings are absent from his blog post, and to those who have closely followed living-pterosaur investigations this neglect is obvious.
Called by some Americans “flying dinosaurs,” pterosaurs, in modern times, appear to be at least somewhat rare, for they are rarely reported by eyewitnesses. . . . the rarity of reports of eyewitnesses is from the ridicule that many of them face after telling people what they saw; it is not generally from insanity or dishonesty. . . . The “flying dinosaur” of Papua New Guinea is often called “ropen.” It seems to be a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur of immense size, far larger than any of the fossils of Rhamphorhynchoids . . .
. . . nobody forces any adult to disbelieve any story of a child. Several things have led me to believe that Aaron Tullock, as a child, saw a living pterosaur, regardless of American indoctrinations into universal extinctions, and I submit this account as credible. . . . “This thing flew over my head, about eight feet off the ground, and stopped and hovered in mid air. . . . flapping its featherless, bat-like wings, which were about four feet in span, maybe five. It had a tail about three feet long, with the . . . flange on the end . . . no head crest and no feathers at all . . .”
. . . a sailor on the U.S.S. Jouett (guided missle cruiser), CG-29. He told us about the night when he was surprised by an excited shipmate who summoned him out of his bunk. Many sailors had just witnessed a giant “pterodactyl” that had flown directly over the ship . . . If anyone has information on this, please send me an email . . .
Regarding the sighting reported by Eskin Kuhn (two pterosaurs flying in Cuba in 1971), according to one blog writer, “The claim is a hoax. I no longer have the patience for dealing with creationist-related debunkings and I have no intention of actually writing up one for this topic.” But read the whole blog entry (it’s short) and you’ll find not a milligram of evidence for any hoax. It seems to be just another case of a critic ridiculing a concept because it is supported by persons who have the label “creationist.”
I have interviewed Eskin Kuhn (early 2010) by surprising him with a phone call; he had no time to prepare how to respond. The first thing he said to me was something like, “It was a long time ago.” He confirmed that the desciption he gave of the two apparent pterosaurs was an honest report of what he had seen; in early 2010 he had nothing to add, subtract, or change. I was moved by the high credibility of this man who has, since his 1971 sighting, been doubted by some critics. But I found strong indications that there was no hoax.
Let us recognize that much ridicule against living-pterosaur investigations has, at its root, a controversay regarding origin philosophies. Those who ridicule the researchers and interviewers often do so because they have adopted a different life-origin paradigm, very unlike that of creationists.
More about the pterosaur sighting by Eskin Kuhn
Compare the pterosaur sketches by Kuhn and Tullock
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.