Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ghost Lights

What causes ghost lights? With no clear definition, any strange light seen at night could be labeled "ghost light." We need to examine specific sightings and do so with open minds.

This post is not about ghosts or beliefs in spirits that may haunt various location in this world; the subject is still "live pterosaurs." I don't suggest most reports of spook lights are sightings of featherless flying creatures that are not bats; I suggest some of them, perhaps a small percentage, are probably precisely that. We need to examine each sighting of a "ghost light" and each sighting of an apparent live pterosaur, for truth resides in the individual encounters experienced by individual humans.

A recent sighting involved two women who, on one night, saw two pterosaurs in the Caribbean, during their ocean cruise (no drinking was involved). The two creatures were flying together, and both were glowing. Is such a thing possible in the Caribbean, in modern times? Well, Eskin Kuhn saw two pterosaurs flying together at the Guantanamo Bay military station in 1971, and that U.S. Marine has maintained, for decades, the truthfulness of his report. That earlier sighting was in clear daylight, with no glowing, but it does support the idea that two "pterodactyls" can fly together in the Caribbean.

A recent sightings involved an apparent Pteranodon. The late Scott Norman (a cryptozoologist who recently passed away from naturnal causes) testified that he had seen the large flying creature late at night as it flew nearby. The head of the creature was at least five feet long, and he compared it with that of a Pteranodon. How does that relate to ghost lights? He was searching the sky where many reports indicate glowing flying creatures often fly, apparently catching the bats that are much more common in this secret location in the United States.

I have written a book (Searching for Ropens) about the glowing ropen of Papua New Guinea, a flying creature I believe to be a giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. Some natives, in some of the cultures in this southwest Pacific area, associate this large flying creature with the idea that it is both physical and a spirit. Even in this remote part of the world, some people associate the bioluminescent glow of a live pterosaur with a story of a ghost or spirit.

In southwest Texas, the Marfa Lights are sometimes called "dancing devils," for they sometimes appear to dance, with indications that some kind of intelligence is involved. Sightings of live pterosaurs are relatively common in Texas. An example is in order.

Pterosaur in Texas
“I was outside my apartment building . . . talking to my brother. . . . on several occasions, noticed bats flying right near our heads . . . Neither my brother or I was prone to being scared by anything outside at night. This night was different. . . . We noticed something flying around across the road .  . . the creature was 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 . . . The wingspan was huge, anywhere from 6-10 feet across."
That sighting of an apparent live pterosaur in Texas did not involve any glowing, but it illustrates the point: It is one of many sighting reports supporting the hypothesis that nocturnal pterosaurs live in Texas.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Marfa Lights and Temperature

The CE-III Marfa Lights, according to years of research and observations by James Bunnell, are more likely to be seen on nights that are not cold, especially when the temperature is above fifty degrees Fahrenheit, not that they always avoid the cold, for on winter nights they occasionally come out when it's below freezing.

How does a preference for non-cold weather relate to flying predators in Texas? In this high desert area of southwest Texas, it's probably easier for the predators to catch food when it's not very cold, for small animals are more likely to be underground when the temperature drops below freezing at night.

Marfa Lights Like Warmer Nights
That coorelates well with nocturnal hunting by predators that prefer reasonable temperatures, obviously. Could this be related to ground temperature in a way supporting some kind of energy from the earth? Bunnell’s data does not smile on that conjecture, for when the total sightings are subtotaled by season of the year it shows 43% in the Spring, hardly a season to be noted for high ground temperature. By comparison, only 19% of the sightings were in the summer.
The truly mysterious mystery lights of Marfa, labeled "ML" by Bunnell, show themselves only a few times a year; they have been photographed by his automatic cameras only 52 times in eight years, and some of those sightings involved more than one per night. Therefore, we are not likely to be able to learn much from breaking down data annually, comparing one year with another. Nevertheless, the overall data fits perfectly well with the hypothesis that the CE Marfa Lights are caused by bioluminescent flying predators that intelligently hunt as a group and usually visit different areas of southwest Texas on different nights: We would expect intelligent predators to move around from night to night, for their prey (be it bats, snakes, rabbits, mice, or all of the above) may be scattered across a large area of high desert.

How much we owe to James Bunnell for accumulating so much data over so many years!

Marfa Lights and James Bunnell
Although Mr. Bunnell may not yet have accepted the possibility that CE-III mystery lights near Marfa, Texas, are from bioluminescent flying predators, his enormous contributions, documented in his recent book, have made a wonderful contribution.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Marfa Light News in Texas

New research strengthens the interpretation that the more mysterious lights flying around southwest Texas (and called "Marfa Lights" although other lights have been so called) are made by glowing predators that fly near Marfa. Here are some sources giving details.

Marfa Lights in Texas
The cryptozoological possibility seems weird, but there are similarities with the ropen lights of Papua New Guinea, and there the lights are said to be nocturnal flying creatures described like giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs: long-tailed ropens.
Marfa Ghost Lights, Creatures of Habit
How are nocturnal Marfa Lights (in particular the CE mystery lights described by James Bunnell in his book Hunting Marfa Lights) like creatures of habit? In the limited area where Bunnell’s cameras record them, they usually remain absent for many weeks, sometimes many months, before returning. If one or more of the cameras records them on a Monday, for example, they will not be seen on the following Thursday or Friday or Saturday or Sunday . . . But the exceptions, those nights in which they do not stay away for many days or weeks or months, are astonishing, for sometimes the cameras record them on successive nights, and sometimes at about the same time of night.
Intelligent Marfa Lights
Hiking in this part of Texas, a college professor got lost late one afternoon. Being lightly dressed, he realized the danger of being stranded in the cold high desert at night. Soon after sunset, he saw a light, and assuming it was a ranch light, followed it for awhile, until he found that it had led him back to his truck. Then the light went out.
A Scientific Look at Marfa Lights
To be brief, the group of bioluminescent predators probably had a successful hunt on the night of July 14th, so they left their sleeping quarters (perhaps a cave) at the same time on July 15th, soon after sunset, and flew to the same general area where they had success the previous night. Fortunately Bunnell’s camera recorded the activity on both those nights.
Marfa Lights - Pterosaur Connection
According to Jonathan Whitcomb, a cryptozoology author in Long Beach, California, when one of the bioluminescent predators has been glowing for awhile, not far above the ground, it will be joined by another of its kind, which will then turn on its own glow. After insects have been attracted to that area, the two creatures will separate, which appears to distant human observers to be one light splitting into two.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Occam's Razor Cuts Living Pterosaurs Critics

How does Occam's Razor relate to theory and hypothesis, and how does it relate to living pterosaurs? Norman Huntington (in his post "Occam's Razor and Marfa Lights") explains:
Isaac Newton said that "we are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances." Perhaps a definition more popular to modern scientists would be something like this: “when comparing two competing theories or hypotheses that make the same predictions, the simpler one is given priority.” That does not mean we should automatically flush down the loser. We simply give more time and attention to the winner.
James Bunnell (author of Hunting Marfa Lights) makes it clear that the CE lights are nothing like car headlights, even when the well-publicized night mirage effects are taken into account. In particular, the CE-III lights have sometimes been triangulated and tracked: They travel just above the bushes (I prefer the word "fly") where there is no road or highway, in one instance in a straight line for eleven miles. Car headlights differ so greatly from CE lights that they do not even deserve a place in the competition: They have been eliminated in the preliminary round. (Unfortunately, some blog writers and commenters who enjoy ridicule, like Richard Connelly, are oblivious to this.)

So how does Occam's Razor cut critics of investigations of living pterosaurs? One case involves interpretations of Marfa Lights, in particular the ones that have caught the attention of scientists like James Bunnell and Edson Hendricks, the truly mysterious CE-III flying lights. Huntington's long post on this subject is worth a brief summary here:

Of the four hypotheses offered by Bunnell, the best is number four: Electromagnetic Vortexes. The other hypotheses have too many problems or a problem that is too serious. The problem with the fourth relates to Occam's Razor: It is too complex, requiring two simultaneous things that are both questionable; it's quite possible that neither one exists in a way that would cause those strange lights, yet both must be present. Newton would scoff.

Compare that hypothesis by Bunnell (the best one that he mentioned in his book, and by the way, he admits the speculative nature of it) with my hypothesis of a group of bioluminescent flying predators. It also involves two elements: those flying predators and their prey. But mice, bats, snakes, and other small animals are well known in southwest Texas. There is only one questionable element: nocturnal glowing predators that are unclassified in biology. In that sense, at least, Occam's Razor cuts down the Electromagnetic-Vortexes hypothesis, for both of those parts are questionable.