By the author of four nonfiction books on living pterosaurs: Jonathan D. Whitcomb
Fireworks to be Avoided
Last month I spent half an hour with two friends, Juan and Manuel, as we stood in a vacant lot in Draper, Utah, at night, staring at the sky. The man living in the house near where I had parked my car came out to ask us, in a friendly tone, if we were watching the fireworks. (In the Salt Lake Valley, we have fireworks twice in July: Independence Day and Pioneer Day.)
I answered with a friendly tone, telling him that we had permission, from the property owner, to be there. I came to the point but slowly. Most parents feel uncomfortable when their children report three men standing outside the bedroom window at night and those men then explain that they’re only watching the sky to see if a large pterodactyl flies overhead. I felt it best to begin by telling him that a nocturnal predator had been reported in the area. He had no reason to doubt that, as I carried a camera and was standing not far from his kids’ bedroom window.
Twelve hours earlier, my wife and I had introduced Juan and Manuel to the property owner, the grandmother who lives next door to the vacant lot (and next door to the small house with children). Her daughter and grandson had seen the flying creature earlier in 2017, and her son had seen it a few weeks earlier than that. In fact, that brother and uncle to the other two eyewitnesses had seen the glowing “pterodactyl” three times in one night, and he reported to me and my wife that he knew of a friend of the family who had apparently seen the same flying creature, at about the same time he had, but near the mountains, around southeastern Sandy, Utah. That makes four eyewitnesses in that area of the Salt Lake Valley, with five sightings.
Nevertheless, I needed to approach the subject carefully, as I explained to the father why my two friends and I were standing in that vacant lot that night. I could not tell him that he might be the only person in his neighborhood who had not seen a giant pterodactyl flying overhead.
Creek: Draper, Utah, near where three persons saw a pterosaur in 2017
Standing with a camera, near the bedroom window of the man’s children, however, I needed to give more details about the apparent nocturnal predator. Within a few minutes, I would learn that the man had reason to believe me: Earlier that year, something had broken into his chicken cage and killed two of the birds, not far from where we stood.
Yet I still needed to approach cautiously the point of what kind of creature it might be. I mentioned the name of the eyewitness who was the son of the property owner, pointing in the direction of where that man lives, and the father recognized the name. I would soon learn that the man I was talking with, outside that bedroom window that night, was a biologist: He would recognize the word pterosaur.
I generally don’t expect anyone to promptly adopt my belief in modern pterosaurs, unless I’m interviewing an eyewitness of an apparent living pterosaur; I do expect people to come to know that I believe in those flying creatures. The father I spoke with on that night, outside that bedroom window, however, raised no objection to my being there. He told me he was a biologist, and I handed him a complementary copy of my book Searching for Ropens and Finding God. It all ended well, except that I failed to see the flying creature that night. Yet, like in all the other searches I had conducted over the past fourteen years, I was able to encounter the most fascinating kind of life on the planet: a human.
Brother Whitcomb is perhaps the only LDS cryptozoologist to search for living pterosaurs and interview eyewitnesses of these amazing flying creatures . . .
Greg McKeown has spoken to some of the most successful companies in the world, including Apple, Google and Facebook. He is the author of a New York Times Best-Seller. He recently appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” He’s also a Mormon bishop.
- “Big Bird” in Draper, Utah
- Living Pterosaurs and Skepticism
- A Reply to an Attack Against the Pterosaur Photograph
- Scott Norman and the “Pterodactyl” Photograph
- Book About the Pteranodon Photograph
- More Evidence for the “Civil War Pterodactyl Photo”
- . . .
You have seen a flying creature unlike any bird or bat. It’s more like a pterosaur but alive, a “flying dinosaur.” What do you do?