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Archives: Newsletter 014
April 10, 2009

To living-pterosaur investigators and to those interested



New Book To Be Published Soon
Elimination of Hoax-Explanation (U.S. sightings)
New Web Sites (including non-English pages)


New Book To Be Published Soon
"Live Pterosaurs in America" (LPA) should be
published around early June, 2009. It will
be shorter than "Searching for Ropens" (SFR).
Eyewitness sightings in many of the 48 states
are examined and compared. Almost none of
these are in Gerhard's book "Big Bird." Most
of these reports (in LPA) are from the eye-
witnesses who came to me with their stories.
Unlike SFR, it will not emphasize Biblical
interpretations, except in the appendix,
where the purposes of Creationist explorers
will be given a fair hearing. The readers may
draw their own conclusions, regarding
religion and philosophy, with less-direct
help from me.
Future editions of SFR, however, will be
unchanged in supporting literal Biblical
interpretations of the Divine origin of life
and the Flood of Noah.  That book will
always be spiritual-religious-inspirational,
while the new book will promote the concept
of living pterosaurs, with only limited
references to the spiritual purposes of the
majority of living-pterosaur investigators.


Elimination of a Hoax-Explanation for Reports
of Apparent Living Pterosaurs in the United States

While writing my new book (scheduled for publication
around early June, 2009), I analyzed data collected
from the many interviews of U.S. eyewitnesses. Each
of the reports of apparent living pterosaurs (for sightings
in the United States) is individually unlikely to be a hoax.
But my personal opinions on the credibility of eyewit-
nesses may be questioned by those who doubt my
objectivity. Nevertheless, we now have the combined
data from many reports, and collective data can be
analyzed objectively.
And I did find collective evidence against a hoax-
explanation; in fact, the idea that hoaxes (either
complex-conspiracy or random-individual) played any
significant part in the eyewitness reports--that has
now been disproven by this data.
Of the 27 reports, 12 had no estimate for wingspan;
this is consistent with genuine sightings, but not for
hoaxes. But more significant were the 15 estimates
(from 4-27 feet): The preponderance of these wingspan-
estimates vastly differed from what would come from
hoaxes. But it's consistent with the hypothesis that
a number of species of pterosaurs, rare and generally
nocturnal, live, at least for part of the year, in the
United States.
Since this data (15 estimates) cannot easily be used
by a hoaxer to discredit these investigations, I am
releasing details now. More information will be in the
new book.
If hoaxes played an important part in gathering data from
eyewitnesses (or supposed eyewitnesses), two areas
would be predicted to dominate the wingspan estimates:
less than six feet (in keeping with the Rhamphorhynchoid
fossils) or greater than fifteen feet (in keeping with the
reports of giant ropens). But eyewitness estimates show
a clear dominance in the range of 8-13 feet (40% of the
estimates), concentrating at 9 feet.
No combination of hoaxes can reasonably be imagined
that would cause a preponderance of wingspan estimates
at 8-13 feet. Since the great majority of reports were of
long-tailed pterosaur-like creatures (82% of those who
noticed the presence of absence of a tail reported a long
tail), it obviously suggests Rhamphorhynchoids. But
during the past few years when I've been interviewing
American eyewitnesses, there have been only two commonly-
held ideas about Rhamphorhynchoids: standard-model ideas
from fossils records (wingspans mostly less than 7 ft.)
and web pages about giant ropens in Papua New Guinea
(wingspans usually reported to be over 20 ft.).
This means that no hoaxes had any significant bearing on
the overall results of the data. Where does this lead?
Since many of the reports involve large featherless flying
creatures, the obvious conclusion is that many eyewitnesses
firmly believe that they have seen such creatures. What
is left for investigators to conclude? If insanity and
misidentification can be eliminated as likely explanations,
then what else could they have seen but living pterosaurs?
This does not prove that none of the reports is a hoax;
it proves that the overall data (many reports) were not
significantly influenced by any hoax or number of hoaxes.
My own examinations of each report, individually, verifies
the credibility of the eyewitnesses, to varying degrees. I
do not often divulge details about how I judge individual
credibility, however, for a future hoaxer might someday
obtain that knowledge and use it to create a hoax.
But I will reveal one thing about individual credibility.
When I make a long-distance phone call to another state,
it verifies the person is in that state. I can then make a
superficial judgment on the person's voice, the manner
of speaking. And by answering questions over the phone,
a hoaxer would be confronted by questions without having
time to prepare a believable lie. Answering questions on
the phone is no problem for an honest eyewitness; but for
a hoaxer it would be an uncomfortable encounter.
In addition, my own experience, over several years, leads
me to believe that a person who would contrive any story
(about a live pterosaur) would try the hoax on the general
public rather than on cryptozoologists who specialize in
reports of living pterosaurs. Bigfoot hoaxers may have been
common at various times, but pterosaur hoaxers (other
than those putting up unbelievable 3-D animation videos on
Youtube) are uncommon, at least through the end of 2008.

New Web Sites (including non-English pages)
German language:
Der Ropen von Papua-Neuguinea
Amerikaner Beobachtete Ropen-Licht 2006
Die kritik der Idee, dass pterosaurs lebendig sind - Antworten
Augenzeuge Gideon Koro
"Das buch 'Searching for Ropens' erzählt über einen Mann,
Gideon Koro, der einen ropen sah."
Augenzeuge Duane Hodgkinson

Hungarian language:
A 'ropen' a Pápua Új-Guinea
A kritika az ötlet, hogy pterosaurs él - Válaszok
See the archive of a previous newsletter (012)
(about "Lines of Influence," Near-collision over
Indonesia, and Georgia sightings)

Archives Contents of the first eight issues of this newsletter


Thank you for your interest in living pterosaurs.
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Jonathan Whitcomb
Still Living