Pterodactyls of the Four Corners

Although this begins with an apparent Chupacabra report,what comes out of it is an expose on multiple reports that plausibly stem from possiblepterodactyl sightings.

I knew about such sightings in New Guinea and having suchsightings appear in the four corners region is a surprise.

What is shaping up is the following:

1                   The creature’s wing span reaches an apparent twentyfeet which is easily twice that of the condor.
2                   We know that a pterodactyl had a membrane wingsystem.  What was not known was that itwas feathered and possibly extended in area by these feathers.
3                   Thus the pterodactyl does look like a cartoon versionof a giant Roc up to and including the bald head.   The eyewitness report picks up a whip liketail that is proof of been not quite a bird.
4                   There is obviously few of them but surely can rangeglobally as indicated.
5                   They live in mountain country and possibly were it ismostly arid.
6                   They must be nocturnal or we would have amplesightings.
7                   The bald head makes them natural scavengers.
8                   I do not see them as blood suckers and we can leavethat to the giant vampire bats who share similar niches.
9                   They are superb gliders who naturally frequent mountaintops to catch updrafts.

We have a number of convincing reports and no hard data asyet.  The natural human assumption hasbeen that flying animals need daylight and that turns out to be a stupidassumption.  Large eyes are sufficient toprovide useful vision and keep the creature away from the broiling heat of theday.

The game is also about during those hours.

Posted: 05 Mar 2011 03:39 PM PST

According to my friend J.C. Johnson of CryptoFour Corners, in March 2010, 24 sheep were mutilated at a farm nearHogback, New Mexico, on the Dine' Navajo Reservation. The livestock ownerexplains that there were large talon marks but very little blood and noevisceration. Was this an attack by a large flying predator? Why were thecarcasses left intact? Could this have been a Chupacabras? Was this anotherexample of animal mutilation and experimentation by non-terrestrials, aliens orgovernment entities?

J.C. mentioned that a large cryptid bird or pterosaur may have beenresponsible for this act. That theory is not as far-fetched as it may initiallysound.

For many generations, people in New Mexico andparts of Texassay they've seen birds so big they seem prehistoric.

One man claims the rugged landscape near Las Cruces hides a mystery that's haunted him for severalyears.

Dave Zander has lived near the Doña Ana Mountains for more than 30 yearsspending almost all his spare time hiking, exploring and fossil hunting in therange between the Robledo and Organ mountains.

He saw something that he's unable to explain and many people find hard tobelieve.

He recalls the day eleven years ago when he spotted something extraordinary: twocreatures perched on a mountain less than a mile away.

"These creatures were so huge they looked like the size of smallplanes," Dave Zander said. "All of the sudden one of them jumped offdropped off the top of the mountain, came down the front of the mountain andall the sudden these huge wings just spread out.

"I would say the wings were at least a 20-foot wingspan."

Definitely something out of the ordinary.

"Not a normal bird, definitely of a giant variety," Zander continued."It makes you feel like it could come over and carry you off if it wantedto."

Zander witness a real-life scene out of the movie Jurassic Park?

One ancient bird in the vicinity is an Andean condor living at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque.But it's wingspan of 12 feet pales to what Zander described: birds with anunprecedented twenty-foot wingspan, with pink bald heads and all-black bodies,and feathers on their enormous wings.

There is nothing on modern record like it.

"In comparison a 20 foot wingspan would truly be a monster and somethingundocumented by science," cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard said. "Ibelieve what Dave Zander may have seen are surviving teratorns."

Gerhard has made a career studying prehistoric birds.

"What's interesting the reports of these giant raptor-like birds tocontinue into modern times," he said. "We seem to have a largeconcentration of them here in the Southwest particularly in the Rio Grande Valleyof Texas as well as New Mexico and parts of Arizona."

Gerhard documented many of these strange reports from all over the globe in thebook "Big birds! Modern sightings of flying monsters." 

The book includes sightings in different clusters over the past 30 years.

In 1972 in Maxwell in northeastern New Mexico,Ronald Monteleone of Trinidad, Colo., reported what he thoughtwas a pterodactyl flying out of an arroyo.

In Lordsburg in the 1800s locals talked constantly about the sightings ofpterosaurs.

And a picture circulated the country in 1890 out of Tombstone, Ariz.,but it's never been considered totally legitimate.

"Other eyewitnesses are describing specifically giant feathered dark birdswith an enormous wing span," Gerhard said.

Gerhard said his research falls into two different descriptions fromwitnesses. Some said the birds look like the prehistoric pterodactyl whileothers, like the creatures described by Zander, resemble the ancientthunderbird from Native American mythology.

You can find thunderbird images atop many totem poles and also carved into thelava rocks of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque. Similar images are found inpetroglyphs all over North America.

According to legend, the thunderbird is said to have a wingspan the length oftwo canoes with the ability to deafen people with the sound of its flappingwings.

"It is definitely a real animal, according to the native peoples thatlived here," Gerhard said. "It's not necessarily a legendaryanimal."

(Andean Condor)

However a word of caution comes from folks like Ben Radford, managing editor ofthe Skeptical Inquirer magazine, which applies scientific reason and evidenceto extraordinary claims.

"There is a desire to link modern sightings with these Native Americanstories but the problem is they're not necessarily the same thing,"Radford said.

Radford said believes the eyewitnesses saw something:

"Ultimately a lot of these sightings, whether it's these monsters, thesecreatures, Chupacabras, what have you, these come down to eyewitnesstestimony," Radford said. "They're stories, there's nothing wrongwith stories, but they're just not good evidence."

Radford has debunked numerous stories about the Loch Ness monster, crop circlesand Bigfoot.

He said he relies on evidence.

"You don't have bones, teeth," he continued. "You don't have anyhard evidence, so you look to these stories, you look to these myths.

"We know from many scientific experiments people are notoriouslyunreliable about estimating things."

And in this case, Radford said he thinks Zander and the other witnesses in Texas overestimated thebirds' size.

What makes the reports intriguing is that most experts agree scientists haveyet to discover every species on the planet and really have no idea what is outthere:

"I believe there's a good chance that a number of large prehistoricanimals remain undiscovered by modern science." Gerhard said.

Radford readily concedes there are species yet to be discovered, but...

"Do I think there are giant animals and birds and creatures outthere?" he said. "No."

For his part, Zander continues to keep his eyes on the skies but hasn't had arepeat visit from the creatures. The one experience has stayed with him.

"I feel honored to have seen the one sighting," he said. "I hadif they're still up there still living up there and thriving, I say awesome,more power to them."

I received the following email from a man who lives west of San Antonio, Texas near Medina Lake.He states he witnessed a large flying creature on August 11, 2009:

Dear Sir. I witnessed a large flying creature this evening that I cannotidentify. I found your site during a search. I'm apprehensive of mentioning itto any friends or family until I can get a grip on what this was.

I live west of San Antonio, TXnear Medina Lake. Today, I was on a random outing tothe area near the Diversion Lake dam. At about 7:30 pm,I was on my way back up the trail when I suddenly heard a loud awful screamcoming from below the dam downstream. It sounded like an owl but lasted longerand was much louder. I stopped walking and watched downstream to see if I couldcatch a look at what caused the sound.

I then noticed a large flock of birds flush out of the trees near theriverbank. Then suddenly this giant flying creature swooped down into the rivervalley and just as quickly flew back up into the rocks. I continued to watchbut did not hear or see it again. I call it a creature because it lookednothing like a bird. I was about 50 yards from it and would say conservativelythat it's wing span was 15 ft. or so! It was dark colored and had a very longbeak and a strange long thin tail. This sounds crazy, but it actually resembledone of those flying dinosaurs though the head was not as large and it lookedlike it had feathers.

I got back home and looked on the internet for examples of bird species butfound nothing close. I'm not originally from this area and have never heard ofanything like this. That is why I'm contacting you. Do you have an idea what itwas? I see you have a website, maybe someone who reads your site could helpidentify it.

On December 6, 2010, researcher Jonathan David Whitcomb issued the followingpress release:

For generations, the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, have entertained residentswith their strange dancing. On some warmer nights, a ball of light seems tosplit into two, which will separate and fly away from each other before turningaround and flying back together. They have recently been linked to flyinglights in the southwest Pacific, lights that natives of Papua New Guinea testify are fromlarge flying creatures.

In southwest Texas,local residents have speculated about dancing devils or ghosts. Scientists havepreferred something along the lines of ball lightning or earthlights, but alltheir scientific explanations have tripped over the resemblances to linedancing. If atmospheric energies or tectonic stresses cause the displays, whydo two lights horizontally separate for a long distance before coming backtogether?

Now a cryptozoologist from Californiahas explained the dancing lights of Marfa. Tales of spooks may hold a spark oftruth, for recent research implies intelligence directs the lights:Bioluminescent flying predators may be hunting at night and catching a fewunlucky Big Brown Bats: Eptesicus fuscus.

According to Jonathan Whitcomb, a cryptozoology author in Long Beach,California, when one of the bioluminescent predators has been glowing forawhile, not far above the ground, it will be joined by another of its kind,which will then turn on its own glow. After insects have been attracted to thatarea, the two creatures will separate, which appears to distant human observersto be one light splitting into two. The predators will fly away from each otherfor some distance, then turn back and fly together. During the separation, batsmay begin feeding on the concentration of insects before being caught from twosides by the larger predators.

Whitcomb was a forensic videographer, in 2004, when he traveled to Papua NewGuinea, hoping to videotape the glowing nocturnal "ropen," said to bea large flying predator and scavenger. Although he did not see the creature, heinterviewed many natives, who impressed him with their credibility and amazedhim with what they had seen. Whitcomb became convinced that the ropen is apterosaur, commonly called by Americans "pterodactyl" or "flyingdinosaur."

After returning to the United States, he wrote many web pages about theconcept of modern living pterosaurs in the southwest Pacific. He was surprisedat the response: emails and phone calls from eyewitnesses of apparentpterosaurs in the United States.

He analyzed the eyewitness accounts of those flying creatures and wrote anonfiction book: "Live Pterosaurs in America." The second editionof that cryptozoology book has just been published (ISBN-13: 9781456341350).

Although Whitcomb admits that Marfa Lights may come from an unknownbioluminescent bird or bat, he says, "It is more likely than not from acreature similar to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, and my associates and I aresure about the ropen: It is a pterosaur." - Jonathan David Whitcomb

NOTE: I have been reporting on Whitcomb's research and expeditions since Istarted 'Phantoms and Monsters' fact, he has forwarded several reportsdirectly. This theory involving the Marfa Lights is interesting since much ofthe phenomena associated with the ropen of New Guinea is similar...Lon

A quick history of the Marfa Lights: The Marfa Lights inWestern Texas, nine miles east of Marfa, are arguably the most well-knownspooklights in the US.Within driving distance of the McDonald Observatory, the Marfa lights have beenviewed for over a century. According to a State of Texas brochure, the first recorded sightingwas made by a rancher named Robert Ellison in 1883. Apache Indians thought themto be stars that had dropped down to earth. Today they can been seen at nightby passersby who park in a pullover spot on Hwy. 90. They are described aschanging in color and intensity, and usually move about. Most skeptics believethe Marfa Lights are nothing more than distant auto headlights on another highway,but that doesn't explain the pre-automobile sightings. The town of Marfa even hosts anannual Marfa Lights Festival every September. To read more, go to - Marfa'sLegendary Lights

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