One commenter on a recent blog post responded briefly to my two long comments with, "Dude, you are a certified whack job. Pterodactyls? Fie and pshaw!" He then sarcastically referred to "glow-goblins" as the cause of Marfa Lights. (Houston Press blog post by Richard Connelly, Dec 7, 2010; comment by "Doc")
A timely note before proceeding: Sarcasm is not satire.
Leaning heavily on sarcasm does more than guarantee a writer's work will be forgotten. It puts the writer's opinion in doubt, for reasoning should come first. The person who wrote the above critism may have had something worthwhile in mind, before writing; but the comment itself throws the possibility of deep thinking into doubt.
One definition of "whack job" is this: "an extremely erratic or irrational person." In my two lengthy comments (over fifty lines of comment, much longer than the blog post by Richard Connelly) I said much about Marfa Lights and the work of the scientist James Bunnell. I said little about pterosaurs. But for those who have read much of my writings, it is obvious that I rely on eyewitnesses, for I have never seen anything like a living pterosaur (although I hope and pray to see one before leaving this world). If the writer of sarcasm really believes me to be insane because I believe in the words of persons who declare that they have seen living pterosaurs, what about Brian Hennessy?
Several years ago, this Australian reported to me his 1971 sighting of a "prehistoric" looking flying creature. It had no sign of feathers but a long tail. The long beak and long tail made it very unlike any bat; the lack of feathers made it very unlike any bird. If I am insane for believing him, what about Hennessy? Why believe he is mentally healthy? The problem with labeling this Australian with "whack job" is that Brian Hennessy is a professional psychologist.
See also "Those Mysterious Marfa Lights."