Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pterosaur in Australia

In the summer of 2010, I received an email from a lady in Australia. After doing some online research, Kathy was surprised at how many eyewitnesses had seen what she had seen: a giant pterosaur.

Mount Coolum National Park is north of Brisbane, Queensland (east coast of Australia).
We saw it at Mt Coolum Sunshine Coast . . . I was [driving] towards the ocean . . . . We heard . . . the swoosh noise. (It is a modern car; the windows were up, so that is a loud sound) . . . [we saw] a black shape coming from the trees; the next thing we saw was one wing over the windscreen. It crossed our path . . . I couldn't see the road for a moment, just wing covering the entire windscreen. The body was over the car and it's other wing, over the back . . . we could not see the body . . . [only] the wing: bat like leather, veins and leather stretched over a bone structure. That was dinosaur era.
This thing was bigger than us in every way. I was happy to have my 13 year old daughter home safely, I can tell you.!!! When we told my brother the story, we both moved our arms the same. We saw it flap it's wing once: swoosh . . . I have looked around Mt Coolum for it's home. I believe that is where its home is . . . It was heading from Coolum to the Mountain, like bats do at night. It was around 8.30 at night when we saw it.
This encounter may have been with a flying creature similar to the one seen in Perth, Australia, in 1997, even though the sightings were on opposite sides of the continent. Both apparent pterosaurs were huge, large enough to be considered potentially dangerous to humans. Neither the Perth flying creature nor the Queensland flying creature could reasonably be construed to have been any bird or bat classified by modern Western science.

Giant Pterosaurs in Australia (East Coast: Queensland)
During his farm chores, between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., he [a boy of about twelve years old] forgot something and had to backtrack. . . . he saw a large creature with wings . . . on the roof of the shed, just above the door where he had recently been standing.
. . . the boy had a brief view of the body and wings of the creature. It was larger than an average man six feet tall, with wings that folded to the side and back, reminiscent of bat wings.
Dragons or Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaurs
Many citizens in developed nations of Europe and North America would assume that traditional beliefs in universal extinction are valid for all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs; but the eyewitnesses know better.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Response to Dale Drinnon

In a post by Dale Drinnon, I was glad to see specific details in critical reports of apparent pterosaurs (Frontiers of Zoology, March 3, 2011, post), but I was a little surprised at how he emphasized an idea about how a modern pterosaur should not appear. In "Ropens, Pterosaurian Sightings And Manta Rays," Drinnon said, "There is a problem in all of these sightings . . . in that the body conformation is NOT what you would expect of a giant Pterosaur." I suggest that insistence on strict conformity with his precise expections are unreasonable. (See the Ropens site on a giant pterosaur.)

Don't confuse two sources of knowledge. The limited knowledge we have of pterosaurs from fossils is not at all the same knowledge that we have from eyewitness reports of modern pterosaurs. If he were more precise, he might say something like this: "Fossils of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs are small, in general, compared with fossils of Pterodactyloid pterosaurs." Of course. Who would disagree with that? But Drinnon has come up with an idea that if pterosaurs were still living, we would expect them to be either non-giants or non-Rhamphorhynchoids, not giant Rhamphoryhynchoids, and that sightings must conform to our expectations. He does not tell us how he arrived at that conclusion, only that "you would not expect" eyewitness reports to be as they are. (See a site about "extinction" and pterosaur fossils)

A serious problem becomes obvious when we consider what he has done with that idea. He uses it to cast doubt on all eyewitness reports that involve a large or giant long-tailed pterosaur or apparent pterosaur. But what would happen to science if all observations were judged by what we had previously expected, and all data involving the unexpected were immediately dismissed? That might appear to be potentially good news for college students at the poverty level, for science textbooks would never again need to be revised, for all scientific knowledge would be declared completed, with no new discoveries allowed.

Modern pterosaurs need not be precisely like what we have so far discovered in fossils. Many species may have lived without leaving any fossils. Many more may have left fossils that we have not yet discovered. Why should those species be exactly like those that have left fossils that we have already discovered? I see no reason for Dale Drinnon to be so dogmatic about what a modern pterosaur might be like.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Pterosaur in Cuba

Until this year, Eskin Kuhn's sighting of two long-tailed pterosaurs in Cuba appeared to be a one-eyewitness encounter; perhaps those giant Rhamphorhynchoids were lost, flying over the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base by accident, being native to Central America, not Cuba. But two days ago I spoke by phone to Patty Carson: Eskin Kuhn is no longer alone in witnessing a long-tailed pterosaur at Guantanamo Bay.

Modern Pterosaur in Cuba
We were walking down near the boat yards, headed home. . . . We were walking from the boat yards toward home, but still closer to the boat yards, to where it was sandy underfoot, sparse scrub vegetation around four feet tall . . . We were walking through that scrub area, and suddenly it sat up, as if it had been eating something or resting. The head and upper part of its body, about a third of the wings at the joint (tips still held down) showed. . . . right in front of us about thirty feet away. All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound . . . and flew to its left and disappeared behind trees and terrain.
Two Pterosaur Sightings in Cuba
Very recently another eyewitness, a lady living in California, has come forward, supporting the U.S. Marine’s testimony with her own sighting report. Patty Carson observed a single pterosaur, about six years before the sighting by Kuhn, but was disbelieved for decades and unaware that anyone else, other than the ones with her at the Guantanamo Bay installation in around 1965, had seen anything similar.
Pterosaurs at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
In our phone conversation, Patty explained to me that . . . the wings were like bat wings, in a way, but not at all transparent. She is sure of the structure at the end of the tail (what I call a “vein” or “flange”) and estimates the “diamond” was about five inches long and about three inches wide.
There appears to me to be no coincidence that both Patty Carson and Eskin Kuhn saw a long-tailed pterosaur at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the middle of the twentieth century. Patty told me that the sketch drawn by Kuhn was very similar to what she had seen, especially the head and body. She did feel that the tail might have been drawn shorter and the wings larger, however.