Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who's Who Investigating Living Pterosaurs

I just noticed a comment on Facebook's "Living Pterosaurs."
"Pretty interesting. Why can't we really prove if they are really 'ALIVE.' They can't be so elusive, can they?" (from Bob Bc)
To answer that, we need to delve into specifics. But I feel a need to delve only an inch into answering this question, for we need to understand who has been involved in living-pterosaur investigations and how they have been involved and who else needs to become involved. That will answer what this commenter really needs to know.

How Elusive?

Well, Bob Bc, how elusive is "so elusive?" We now have eyewitnesses from around the world, persons from various languages, various cultures, and various religious beliefs. I now have reports of modern pterosaurs from five continents; in many cases I have personally interviewed eyewitnesses (though often by email rather than the preferred in-person or by-phone). And live pterosaurs have been observed by more eyewitnesses than just those who have come to my attention, no doubt. I would ask, "Why, in Western countries, are eyewitnesses of live pterosaurs so elusive, in that few reports reach the major media?" The answers are obvious, but this is getting too far off the subject.

Who Has Done What?

Who are the active investigators of living pterosaurs? Let's consider the obvious names, and what those men have done so far.

Paul Nation has gone on more living-pterosaur expeditions in Papua New Guinea than anyone else (four times), with the possible exception of about one or two investigators who live in that remote tropical wilderness. His 2006 expedition, deep in the mainland, resulted in video footage of the apparent bioluminescence of two indavas. Nation is an explorer who has actively searched for ropens and indavas.

Garth Guessman has been to Papua New Guinea at least twice, searching for living pterosaurs. He has also conducted important interviews with eyewitnesses, including Jim Blume and Duane Hodgkinson. He has also given lectures for creationist organizations.

David Woetzel accompanied Guessman on the second 2004 expedition on Umboi Island (a few weeks after my expedition there). He has also written a paper for a scientific journal, an article about living pterosaurs in history and in the present. He has accompanied exploreres on an expedition in central Africa, as they searched for the dinosaur Mokele-Mbembe.

Jim Blume, a Baptist missionary and small-plane pilot in Papua New Guinea, has spoken with many natives who know of the large flying creatures that the investigators feel sure are living pterosaurs. He has also assisted the cryptozoologists in expeditions from the 1990's into the early twenty-first century. His help with interpreting between languages, flying explorers to remote areas, and interviewing eyewitnesses has made a wonderful contribution to these investigations.

I, Jonathan Whitcomb, have less direct-experience in Papua New Guinea than some of my associates, with only one expedition, which I led in 2004. My work mostly involves writing about the encounters eyewitnesses have had with living pterosaurs. I have written two nonfiction books (each published in two editions, with more books on the way), one paper in a scientific journal, and hundreds of web pages and blog posts, not to mention comments on others' blogs. On rare occasions I may visit the location of a sighting.

A few investigators remain anonymous, with some of them searching for living pterosaurs in recent years and with exciting success. A few of these cryptozoologists have succeeded in observing the form and wing-shape of what we feel sure are nocturnal living pterosaurs, notwithstanding clear photographs and video footage are more elusive than the flying creatures. Nevertheless, we have now reached the stage in which at least some of those who search for living pterosaurs find and observe them for brief moments, at night. The location or locations are secret; even the names of a country or countries are unreported. But progress continues, and I feel sure the day will come when details can be revealed and proof  of living pterosaurs, provided.

Let each of us do our part

How does this relate to the comment by Bob Bc? To those of us most actively involved, the reality of living pterosaurs has pretty much been proven, for we no longer have any significant doubt. But the less people become involved, the more they can doubt. Get involved.

I don't suggest readers of my books and blog posts rush off to a jungle. But each person needs to put to use the human mind, that gift each individual is given. Trust no dogmatic proclamation of universal extinction without evidence for that extreme idea. Pterosaurs of the past lived in many species, and only one or two species living in the present shoots down the "universal" part of extinction.

So who else should become involved? You, even if it is only in reading more eyewitness reports, and thinking more carefully and with an open mind to more truth, even if it means allowing yourself to become convinced, and admit that conviction, that at least one species of pterosaur is still living.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marfa Lights in Summary

With so many recent posts and pages about the predator-conjecture for Marfa Lights, it's now timely to summarize them.

Satire and Marfa Lights
Prompted by a press release about a new interpretation of the Marfa Lights of Texas, and the publication of a nonfiction cryptozoology book with a chapter devoted to those strange ghost lights, the blogger ridiculed the idea that the source of those lights are bioluminescent flying predators that may even be living pterosaurs. I wrote both the press release and the book it promotes.
Marfa Lights, Pterodactyls, and Other Lights
Evelyn Cheesman, a British biologist who is now known as the first woman to be a curator at the Regent's Park Zoo in London, witnessed strange lights during one of her expeditions in the southwest Pacific. She wrote about them in her 1935 book The Two Roads of Papua. But in her lifetime she never realized the potential significance of those lights to biology. In the early twenty-first century, a few cryptozoologists began suggesting the "Cheesman Lights" were made by flying creatures related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea.
Now the Marfa Lights are being evaluated for their potential as flying predators, and bioluminescent ones at that, similar to the ropen lights. All of them, including the Cheesman Lights, are probably bioluminescent flying predators, and eyewitness sightings in daylight indicate at least some of them are large living pterosaurs, called by some Americans "pterodactyls."
Marfa Lights and Car Headlights
There is adequate studies to make this clear: Night mirages of car headlights can sometimes appear mysterious. But that is not the point. Other lights that occasionally fly around this part of southwest Texas appear quite different; they are not mirages of car headlights.
Dunning, in his post "The Marfa Lights: A Real American Mystery," falters in two ways when he sells car headlights or exchanges them for mysterious Marfa Lights. . . .