In a Nutshell

American Eyewitnesses of Living Pterosaurs

by on Apr.27, 2010, under Strange

Reports of living pterosaurs in the United States of America are no longer confined to reports from cowboys in ninteenth-century Arizona or a police officer in twentieth-century San Bernito, Texas. According to one cryptozoologist, Jonathan Whitcomb, there may be 1400 eyewitnesses of living pterosaurs seen in the United States, during the past three decades. The problem is this: He does not actually have 1400 reports, but only a tiny fraction of that. He estimates “1400” from the statistics that show that the great majority of eyewitnesses never tell any cryptozoologist about what they have seen.

Where Whitcomb got into trouble was in the possibility of circular reasoning, for other cryptozoologists seem to have taken him into account for his “1400” eyewitnesses. On the other hand, what if he exaggerated, getting ten times too many? Then we would have 140 eyewitnesses of living pterosaurs in the United States. If Whitcomb is correct in his belief that these are nocturnal creatures, then 140 sightings would mean that many pterosaurs could be flying through our skies at night, every night. They would just not be seen every night, at least according to the thinking of that one cryptozoologist.

But regardless of whether there are 140 or 1400 American eyewitnesses of living pterosaurs, why are there so few Americans (or anyone else in the world) who are looking into this?

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Jonathan Whitcomb

    The “1400” is a crude estimate I made with the evidence I had on hand. If I had used that number as if evidence of living pterosaurs in the United States, that might be construed as circular reasoning; but that was not my intent. I needed some way to catch attention in the news release. The details in the eyewitness reports, those details, are what give credibility to the overall concept of modern living pterosaurs in North America.

    Some cryptozoologists (not all) criticized my use of the specific “1400” when the estimate was crude; but none of those critics seems to have lifted a finger to offer any other suggestion about making any estimate. No critic else seemed interested enough to do any research or investigation, therefore the shallow-criticisms are not really scientific criticisms: just light-minded fault finding, in my opinion.

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