It was a nice day with only a few clouds, when eight-year-old Aaron Tullock and his mother arrived at his grandparents’ house in northeast Texas, an hour before sundown; the boy stayed outside to look around.
After half a minute, the creature came. In Aaron’s own words, “This thing flew over my head, about eight feet off the ground, and stopped and hovered in mid air. I was facing west, so the creature flew from east going west which means it came from our land across the road, which is a nice mix of oak and pine forest and thick swamp. . . . It stopped in mid air and hovered there by flapping its featherless, bat-like wings, which were about four feet in span, maybe five. It had a tail about three feet long, with the . . . flange on the end . . . no head crest and no feathers at all, although there was kind of a longish bump on the back of the head. . . .”
Aaron is familiar with the birds and bats of the area; the apparent pterosaur was nothing like any of them. Since he was not believed, he put the encounter out of his mind for years. But he has now allowed his name to be used as he reveals his experience.
Early in 2010, through emails, Jonathan Whitcomb, author of the nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America, interviewed Aaron. The young man sent the cryptozoologist color sketches, showing the orange and black markings of the creature. He said, “Although the animal was brightly colored, the underside was not brightly colored, it was more of a cream color, like dirty clouds.”
Aaron also said, “I remember its feet were little and its legs were probably less than a foot long each, about seven inches. it had four claws on each foot, black in color like monitor lizard claws if a monitor lizard swiped up fish or something from water, a little disproportionately long to its toes. The flange on its tail had a small diamond shape in the center with veins going out from it. After about two or three minutes of it hovering in place, it made a strange noise I dont know how to descibe . . .”
Although the coloring differed greatly from most reports from eyewitnesses, the long tail with a “diamond” is a common description, present in reports from various parts of the world, according to Whitcomb.
Read Marfa Lights of Texas (living pterosaurs that are bioluminescent)
When Gideon Koro and his boyhood friends hiked up to the crater lake Pung, on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, around 1994, he knew nothing about the 1971 sighting by the Australian Brian Hennessy, hundreds of miles to the east. He had heard the traditions of the ropen but he and his friends were unprepared for the shock of seeing one in daylight. They were sorely shocked at the giant long-tailed creature that flew over the lake that day; all the boys ran home. Ten years later (2004), he told about his encounter to an American cryptozoologist.
When Hennessy was driving on a ridge on Bougainville Island, he knew nothing about the 1944 sighting by the American Duane Hodgkinson, hundreds of miles to the west. He knew Western traditions about pterosaur extinction and was shocked at the large, apparently featherless pre-historic-looking long-tailed creature that flew over the ridge that day. Thirty-five years later (2006), he told about his encounter to an American cryptozoologist.
When Duane Hodgkinson and his army buddy were staring at large tropical ants at the edge of a clearing just west of Finschhafen, New Guinea, during World War II, he knew Western traditions about pterosaur extinction. He was shocked at the large, apparently featherless pre-historic-looking long-tailed creature that took off from the far side of the clearing and flew up into the air. Sixty years later (2004), he told about his encounter to an American cryptozoologist.
Hodgkinson deserves credit for telling the right American investigators about his encounter, for books have now been published on living pterosaurs. Other eyewitnesses have been found and interviewed because he was willing to lead the way, openly telling us about his experience. His courage is displayed not so much in standing his ground one hundred feet from a giant living fossil but in standing his ground facing potential ridicule from the American public. Thank you, Duane.