Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pterosaurs or Ropens in Griffith Park

Two drivers in Los Angeles have reported one or more apparent pterosaurs, both sightings on the eastern side of Griffith Park, south of the zoo. Both eyewitnesses reported their sightings to me by email and I checked out their credibility. To the best of my knowledge, these two ladies have high honesty-credibility; I found nothing in my brief investigation that would suggest otherwise.

The first sighting was of three "dragons" that were gliding south over the I-5 freeway, a little southeast of the Los Angeles Zoo, close to the Colorado Street bridge, at about 6:10 a.m., on March 3, 2013, parallel to the Los Angeles River. (The eyewitness wants to be anonymous in publications, although I know her name.) She saw that the flying creatures had tails with "triangular points" and that they were "long and thin with a bigger point at the tip."

The lady was sure that the creatures were not birds. She could not examine them long enough to be sure that they had no sign or appearance of feathers, however. I sent her a page of silhouettes of birds, bats, and pterosaurs. She chose #13, which is the Sordes Pilosus, a "basal" pterosaur.

Survey form of 35 images of bats, birds, and pterosaurs


Image #13, Sordes Pilosus (a long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid type)

The anonymous eyewitness of the "three dragons" told me, "I would say #13 except their heads were bigger." This is the same image chosen by two eyewitnesses on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, many years ago.

Second Eyewitness Near Griffith Park

Ten weeks after the March 3rd sighting, on May 13th, Devin Rhodriquez was driving in a northbound lane of the same freeway, except about 1.5 miles to the south. She saw a "pterosaur" that had a head crest and an appearance very unlike any bird. As in the earlier sighting, it was gliding over the I-5 Freeway near the eastern side of Griffith Park and near the Los Angeles River. She was so focused on the head that she did not notice the presence or absence of a tail.


Dragons in Los Angeles and Birds in the Imagination
The two sightings near Griffith Park are strange in themselves, for it looks like they are from the same kind of flying creatures, even though descriptions vary. They may also relate to other sightings in Southern California, including the Lakewood sighting of 2012.

Pterosaurs East of Griffith Park
Two pterosaur sightings in Los Angeles, in 2013, have caused a stir, being ten weeks apart and the second one being just a mile and a half south of the first one. Both eyewitnesses are young adult females, and both passed a brief credibility check; misidentifications also appear unlikely.

Griffith Park Pterosaur Sightings
It now seems obvious that these apparent ropens do return to the same places, at least on occasion. The sightings continue to be mostly in daylight, when humans can see much better. I am still convinced that these modern pterosaurs are nocturnal, rarely coming out in daylight. But there are enough of the creatures (and plenty of humans) to make impressive appearances when they make rare flights in daylight.

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