Monday, April 19, 2010

Objectiveness in Cheesman Sightings

(This use of "objectiveness" in the title is unrelated to the site "objectiveministries," which seems to be an elaborate farce, probably meant to ridicule creationist living-pterosaur investigations. This cryptozoology site has no relationship with "objectiveministries.")

Evelyn Cheesman, a British entomologist (1881-1969) known for her many years of collecting-expeditions in the South Pacific, was the first woman to be hired as a curator at Regent's Park Zoo, in London. She is less well-known as an observer of strange lights on the mainland of New Guinea. Those lights, in recent years, have been ascribed to the bioluminescent glow of an animal known as "ropen."

Cheesman became puzzled, in the early 1930's, by lights on a ridge near Mondo, New Guinea (the area is now part of what is called the "mainland" of Papua New Guinea). In her book, The Two Roads of Papua, she said that the flash lasted "about four or five seconds, but that flash had been a little distance away from the first. Flashes continued at intervals. . . . a most intriguing mystery; because by no possibility could there be human beings out there using flash-lamps at intervals . . ."

Several explorers, in more recent years, (I am neither the first nor the last of them) have searched for the creatures that we believe create these strange lights. Explorers have included Paul Nation, Garth Guessman, David Woetzel. In addition, James Blume (a missionary for decades in Papua New Guinea) has interviewed many native eyewitnesses over many years. We believe the creatures are bioluminescent pterosaurs.

Where does "objectiveness" come in? Up until a few years ago, two criticisms related to living-pterosaur accounts: the possibility of native superstitions, and bias of religious explorers or cryptozoologists--both were suggested as improperly influencing the reports related to living pterosaurs. Evelyn Cheesman was a scientist, apparently not affiliated with any relevant religious cause, and she was English. Although she may have never learned about the "pterosaur interpretation" possibility of the lights that she observed, she was convinced that they were not created by any human agency. The detailed report of her observations indirectly give credence to the hypothesis that these lights are caused by nocturnal bioluminescent creatures.

See also Pterosaur Interpretation of Cheesman Sightings

See also Searching For Live Pterosaurs (expedition by Jonathan Whitcomb)

See also Objective Ministries NOT (a page of

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Living Pterosaurs in the United States?

In recent years, two reality television series (rather paranormal: Destination Truth and Monsterquest) have included living-pterosaur investigation in Papua New Guinea. But flying creatures described like the long-tailed ropen---they are hardly restricted to remote tropical wildernesses. Many Americans have reported apparent pterosaurs in many states: California, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Washington State, and other states. Since the two ropen expeditions of 2004, in Papua New Guinea, many reports have drawn our attention to our own country.

How easy for us who live in cities to forget: Most of the United States is uninhabited or sparsely inhabited by people. Rare nocturnal flying creatures that live in caves and hunt bats---they can often avoid human detection. And when somebody, in the United States, sees something like a bat, but that something is bigger than a bat, what can be done? Report a pterodactyl to the police? Report a pterodactyl to the newspaper? Report a pterodactyl to a university biology professor? An eyewitnesses can wait for the story to break, searching the newspaper for something about the creature; but there is no newspaper story. Why? The answer becomes obvious when the eyewitness considers why she herself did not report anything to that newspaper. Who wants to be labeled "crazy?"

Have you ever read a critic's ridicule of the living-pterosaur investigations? It may be something like, "If pterosaurs were still living, they would be obvious; why do we not see them?" A critic may say, "Where are the newspaper headlines?" Sometimes a critic might mention the word "crazy" in regard to those who believe in the eyewitnesses, the cryptozoologists. Regarding the eyewitnesses, when "foolishness" or "insanity" is unmentioned, it is often implied. How destructive is that approach to objective reasoning! It resembles dirty politics more than scientific discussion.

I suggest that we examine the eyewitness accounts of apparent pterosaurs in the United States and compare them with other accounts from around the world. This extraordinary phenomenon deserves an objective examination.

See also Live Pterosaurs in America, the cryptozoology book

See also a book review and comments on Hunting Marfa Lights

See also 1400 American Eyewitnesses of Pterosaurs

See also the unusual "Radar Criticism" of Live Pterosaurs

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tunnel Pterodactyl of 1856

Apparently, the Illustrated London News carried an article about a "pterodactyl" that workmen discovered while laboring in a tunnel for a railway line, between Saint-Dizier and Nancy, France. The large creature (some readers assumed a pterosaur) was said to have stumbled out from the limestone, fluttered its wings, made a croaking noise, and dropped dead. I have not myself seen this article, but if my information is correct the story is in the February 9, 1856 issue, page 166.

Much has been made of the obvious signs that this was only a hoax; I agree, it looks like a hoax. But some critics of living-pterosaur investigations have tried to use that to dispute eyewitness sightings in the 20th and 21st Centuries. How shabby that reasoning! Would they propose abolishing all modern governments in the Western Hemisphere because of the 19th Century behavior of Napoleon Bonaparte?

I've seen no name for either an interviewer or eyewitness in the Illustrated London News report. But I have myself interviewed many eyewitnesses of creatures described like living pterosaurs, eyewitnesses from around the world, and I have found much evidence against any hoax-explanation for those accounts as a whole.

Let us give up any idea of a post mortem examination of the "tunnel pterodactyl." Instead, examine the reports that continue to come in, recent reports of living creatures. Let us also set aside the mocking croaks of critics who would bury any eyewitness evidence that might contradict standard dogma about universal pterosaur-extinction. Let recently-opened cases remain open until we have examined them, for only then can we be sure, one way or the other.

British biologist observed strange flying glowing objects (ropen lights)

Nineteenth Century Hoax (Pterosaur)
I don’t say that everything that Kuban says about reports of modern pterosaurs is wrong, but that he may do more harm than good by trying to convince people that pterosaurs all became extinct long ago. And one thing he probably does not understand, and this relates to that old London newspaper story, is that nineteenth century newspapers, when they carried joke-articles, may have been influenced by true stories that were not mentioned in the hoax-story articles.