November 12, 2012

Manta Ray Misidentification?

A skeptic recently suggested sightings of pterosaurs come from startling or even shocking encounters people have with Manta rays that jump out of the sea. He implies those persons would report that they had encountered pterosaurs. But many problems jump out at the conscientious objective investigator, the person who examines the cryptozoological evidence carefully.

Some ray fish do jump out of the water. A Manta ray fish, of an ocean or sea, may jump as high as ten feet above the surface, perhaps. But all those jumping fish fall back into the sea, demonstrating that they are not strange featherless flying creatures.

A major problem with a jumping-fish explanation for modern pterosaurs is this: Most sightings are not over any large body of water, especially not over a sea or ocean where the Manta rays live. The great majority of sightings are over land. In fact, not all sighting are only of flying: Some involve a featherless flying creature perched in a tree or something else.

And many modern pterosaur sightings involve a flying creature that is flying far higher than ten feet and far longer three seconds. The Manta ray fish cannot hold itself up in the air for more much more than three or four seconds or so, before it falls back into the water.

Jumping Manta rays may surprise a few persons, on occasion, but such encounters cannot even come close to explaining the many worldwide sightings of modern pterosaurs.

Perhaps not even one sighting can be explained as a misidentified jumping fish, regarding the many sightings that have been reported to cryptozoologists who specialize in modern pterosaurs. (Those specialists include Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel.)

Manta Ray Problems
But for years my writings have made it clear that the great majority of sightings of apparent pterosaurs suggest the Rhamphorhynchoid type, NOT the Pterodactyloid type.
Pterosaurs are not Manta rays
Jacob Kepas, and a local guide hiked up a mountain and got a distant view, in daylight, of an indava that was apparently sleeping on a cliff. It was similar in size to a small airplane. It was obviously no oceanic fish up there on that mountain. 

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