A British blogger, Chris Jensen Romer, after reading Whitcomb’s nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America, wrote:
And ultimately, I am afraid I still doubt it is true. However, I am more open to Pterosaurs in other parts of the world than I was before, and I am much more open to the possibility of live Pterosaurs. I actually find it hard to type those those three words together “possibility” + “live” + “pterosaurs”, so strong is my ingrained prejudice against the case. After all, during my dinosaur phase (aged 5-10 roughly) the one thing I knew absolutely was that they were all extinct.
This is the “normal” perspective in developed countries like the USA, where dinosaur extinction and pterosaur extinction is taught as if scientific fact. But as readers, and in this case a blog writer, become exposed to the idea of non-extinction of pterosaurs, some of them start to consider that possibility, even though it runs counter to their cultural beliefs.
But when we look at some of the eyewitness reports from the United States, we sometimes read that the eyewitnesses themselves have great difficulty believing that they saw what they saw. Some people even come to doubt their sanity, and not for any reason except that they saw something that they had been taught is impossible to see.
Whitcomb’s eyewitnesses don’t really convince me greatly, though they are at the heart of his case.
Actually, the book in question was not written mainly to convince skeptics that pterosaurs are still alive. It was written for the eyewitnesses themselves, so that they would know the big picture and not doubt their own sanity, although there were doubtless other purposes in its writing and publication.
Would you like to read a non-fiction cryptozoology book about modern “pterodactyls” in North America? You now have three choices, at least, and they are not at all similar in style or sighting locations or anything else, except in emphasizing the possibility of modern pterosaurs living in North America.
Nonfiction book on modern living pterodactyls: “Live Pterosaurs in America,” third edition
What’s wrong with the existence of a live pterodactyl? Some skeptics avoid attacking that idea directly but instead sneak around for an attack against those who most loudly proclaim that those flying creatures are still alive. Many of those cryptozoologists are young earth creationists or are at least portrayed as such by skeptics. Of course the danger in reasoning—no danger from pterodactyls—is in bulverism, the faulty logical-sounding but improper avoidance of the issue.
One statement keeps coming up, something like this: “If pterosaurs were found to be still alive, it would not disprove evolution.” That statement, however, is overly simplistic. Galileo did not prove the earth moved around the sun by demonstrating the movement of four possible moons orbiting Jupiter, yet that discovery paved the way for the overthrow of the old Greek idea about earth-centeredness. It opened the door.
Young earth creationists may be wrong about a six thousand year old universe, but some of them are correct about live pterodactyls. When those flying creatures are discovered to be still living, it will open the door to more open-minded consideration of ideas opposed to those taken for granted about evolution, ideas promoted by creationists about how life originated on this earth.
Did Galileo’s discovery prove that the earth revolves around the sun? Did it disprove the old earth-centered philosophy? No, on both points.
He was accused of “leading a charge against evolution on the back of a flying reptile.” But the original accusations were an attack on Whitcomb’s qualifications as an expert, not on the eyewitnesses who report to him and to other cryptozoologists their sightings of live pterodactyls.
Here’s a new cryptozoology blog in French (modern pterosaurs):
The victim was Jonathan Whitcomb, the alleged “pterodactyl expert.” He was accused of “leading a charge against evolution on the back of a flying reptile.” But the original accusations were an attack on Whitcomb’s qualifications as an expert, not on the eyewitnesses who report to him and to other cryptozoologists their sightings of live pterodactyls. Since this blog is for digging into the truth about modern pterodactyls, not digging into cryptozoologists, we will proceed.
From Whitcomb’s book Live Pterosaurs in America:
What has a beak and a long tail, and flies with no feathers? . . . Some would reply, “Living or extinct?” But why not just answer that question? Of course it is a Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaur, called by many non-scientists “pterodactyl,” a layman’s term for any reptilian-like “prehistoric” featherless flying creature. The point? What’s wrong with simply accepting an eyewitness report of a long-tailed featherless flying creature? Why believe that all pterosaur species must be extinct? Without the idea of universal Rhamphorhynchoid extinction, we conclude that the eyewitness saw a pterosaur. Non-extinction, as an alternative, now appears.
Page 123-124 — Eskin Kuhn’s Pterodactyl sighting in Cuba
How fortunate that Eskin Kuhn was the marine who stood outside the new barracks on a particular sunny day around mid-July, 1971! While the other marines were hanging out inside, this talented artist was enjoying the lovely weather and looking out toward the ocean. He would soon be dashing inside to grab a sergeant to be a second witness (too late), and would soon thereafter sketch, by memory, what he had seen with his own eyes. . . .
Consider the experience of Eskin C. Kuhn through his own words.
. . . I saw two pterosaurs . . . flying together at low altitude, perhaps 100 feet, very close in range from where I was standing, so that I had a perfectly clear view of them.
“The rhythm of their large wings was very graceful, slow, and yet they were flying and not merely gliding . . . The rate of their [wing flaps] was more like that of crows, perhaps a little slower, but very graceful.
. . . “The head was large in proportion, with a large head crest; the short ‘hind legs’ were attached to the trailing part of the wings; the vertebrae were noticeable; the end of the tail had a ‘tuft of hair.’”
Expert or Not?
Whether or not Jonathan Whitcomb deserves the title of “pterodactyl expert,” the eyewitness reports that he has accumulated over a period of many years deserve to be made known to the general public. The investigations continue, in spite of critics.
Not everything was negative on that cryptozoology forum discussion; most of it, however, was ridicule (or worse) of me, Jonathan Whitcomb, as a person and ridicule of my writings, although I was not quoted. But for now I will concentrate more on the positive.
No doubt one of the best-selling novels from the late twentieth-century to the present, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, has been purchased in the millions of copies worldwide. But Wikipedia had published a serious mistake, prior to January 18, 2012, giving it credit for 65 million copies sold, instead of the 21 million declared on the author’s own site.
How does that relate to the concept of modern living pterodactyls? Wikipedia also has declared that all pterosaurs became extinct by 65 million years ago, a declaration flatly contradicted by countless eyewitnesses worldwide. Let’s set aside the fiction of The Alchemist for a moment and look at another book, a non-fiction cryptozoology book: Live Pterosaurs in America.
From the title page of the third edition of this cryptozoology book:
“Reports of huge flying “pterodactyls” in American skies have floated around the internet for years; but before about 2005, details were scarce. When an eyewitness was named, the interviewer was often anonymous; even when an eyewitness was credible, and the account published in a newspaper, the story was ridiculed, discouraging others who had also seen strange flying creatures. Where could eyewitnesses go? What a predicament for them! Who would believe their reports?
From page 13 of the book:
“The greatest danger facing innovators, rebels, and those who search for living pterosaurs—that’s a newspaper. National newspapers ignored the success of the Wright brothers (their December, 1903, successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina). News reporters and editors, many of them, assumed that the controlled powered-flight of two bicycle mechanics was a lie, that it never happened. Even as late as 1908, many newspaper professionals thought the Wright brothers ‘better liars than flyers.’ . . .
“But flying dragons! In modern California? Without news headlines? It’s easier to believe in flying bicycle mechanics.”
Learn From The Alchemist
(From the Amazon page of the English paperback)
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys . . . across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
As we continue to follow our dream of the scientific discovery of a species of living pterosaur, let us remember the long journey of Santiago in The Alchemist. We need patience, however long the journey.
Would you like to read a non-fiction cryptozoology book about modern “pterodactyls” in North America? You now have three choices, at least, and they are not at all similar in style or sighting locations or anything else, except in emphasizing the possibility of modern pterosaurs living in North America. The following are excerpts from the Amazon “Book Descriptions” for the latest editions of the paperback versions of these three books, in alphabetical order.
Big Bird, by Ken Gerhard
A LEGEND ON LEATHER WINGS! The Indians called it the Thunderbird, a winged monster . . . Today, from all over the dusty U.S. / Mexican border come hair-raising stories of modern day encounters with winged monsters of immense size and terrifying appearance. Further field sightings of similar creatures are recorded from all around the globe. The Kongamato of Africa, the Ropen of New Guinea and many others . . .
Bird From Hell, by Gerald McIsaac
As children, we are captivated by stories of huge, fantastical creatures, such as the wooly mammoth and the pterodactyl. The prevailing wisdom is these species are long extinct, but new evidence uncovered by author Gerald McIsaac casts doubt on these widely held assumptions. McIsaac gathered stories from the elders of the First Nation-those who were formerly referred to as Indians, Native Americans . . .
Live Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan David Whitcomb
Encounter eyewitness accounts of living pterosaurs in the United States. Live “pterodactyls?” In the United States? Many scientists have long assumed all pterosaurs died millions of years ago. Now take a whirlwind tour of many years of investigations in cryptozoology, and prepare for a shock: At least two species of pterosaurs have survived, uncommon, not so much rare as widely, thinly distributed.
Excerpt from the title page of the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd edition):
Reports of huge flying “pterodactyls” in American skies have floated around the internet for years; but before about 2005, details were scarce. When an eyewitness was named, the interviewer was often anonymous; even when an eyewitness was credible, and the account published in a newspaper, the story was ridiculed, discouraging others who had also seen strange flying creatures. Where could eyewitnesses go? What a predicament for them! Who would believe their reports?
. . . How are sightings in the United States related to those in the southwest Pacific? How do some apparent nocturnal pterosaurs pertain to bats, and how are bats irrelevant? How could modern living pterosaurs have escaped scientific notice? These mysteries have slept in the dark, beyond the knowledge of almost all Americans, even beyond our wildest dreams (although the reality of some pterosaurs is a living nightmare to some bats). These mysteries have slept . . . until now.