February 25, 2012

Pterosaurs in North America

Fossils of paleontology are not the subject here, but reports of sightings of apparent living pterosaurs in North America. Where? In many areas of the Western Hemisphere, including British Columbia, Canada, many of the 48 contiguous states of the USA, Cuba, and Mexico.

Modern Pterosaurs in Cuba

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.

Around the end of 2010, I received an email from an eyewitness:

I was sixteen so that puts the year...1991. . . .Early summer is my best guess, maybe May or June.  I was with a friend the same age and my parents. We were traveling in central Idaho and spent the night on the Snake River just outside Lewiston. My friend and I were sleeping outside and my parents in the back of the pickup with a camper shell. The moon was full or near full as I remember. I recall waking up during the night and seeing two large creatures flying in a circle above us. They were fairly high up, I would say at least 2-300 feet. The distance and wingspan are the two things hard to be certain of, as they could be higher and therefore larger or closer to the ground and smaller. Going with my estimate of about 200 feet, the wingspan was about 6 feet. . . . The thing to note is that I could hear their wings moving, creaking like a squeaky hinge. The wings moved very slowly, maybe ten seconds for a beat. The animals were also making a clicking sound, continuous and fairly rapidly, I would say 130-140 beats per minute. I suspect this was echolocation such as bats or dolphins use. As they circled, they crossed over the moon multiple times, and I was struck by the outline of the wings which seemed very bat-like to me. Certainly did not give the appearance of a feathered wing.  I don't recall seeing much of a tail at all. The best part was this: as they circled, creaking and clicking, they would periodically stop clicking and let out a shriek. Not high-pitched or extremely shrill, just a multi-tonal screech.

South Carolina Pterosaur

It was huge, as big as a plane, and looked very similar to the sketch created by Susan Wooten . . . I saw a huge pterodactyl looking creature, flying very high in the sky. The strangest thing about the sighting was how slow the wings were flapping and how high it was flying. . . . I remember shouting “that was a pterodactyl!”, but everyone else [around me] that saw it, seemed to shrug it off in disbelief.

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