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.

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