By the Mormon nonfiction author Jonathan Whitcomb
During the past eleven years, I’ve written four nonfiction books, in nine editions, on sightings of apparent pterosaurs and on eyewitness evidences that these “prehistoric” flying creatures are very much non-extinct. I don’t ask you to automatically believe that “pterodactyls” must fly overhead, just because somebody says that somebody else saw one of them. I do expect you to take at least a moment to ponder the possibilities, when I say that more than 10,000 hours of work in this field of cryptozoology, over the past fourteen years, have convinced me that more than seven millions persons worldwide have had some kind of encounter, during their lives, with a modern pterosaur. In other words, I’ve probably spent more time on this kind of research than any other person on earth, and I’m convinced that more than one person in a thousand has encountered a non-extinct pterosaur. Only a small fraction of those humans have recognized the significance of what they encountered (brief encounters with nocturnal flying creatures at night), but that’s another story.
Jonathan and Gladys Whitcomb at home in Murray, Utah
Why do I now offer my four cryptozoology books to LDS readers? None of them were written specifically to Mormon readers of nonfiction. Yet members of our faith should understand some of their contents easier than other Christians should, with at least with a little better understanding. In particular, the nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God (SFRFG) illustrates how we can work successfully with those of other Christian faiths, when we share common values or common beliefs.
Consider the following four nonfiction books about these amazing flying creatures. You might consider giving one of the books as a gift to someone who is not of our faith.
Searching for Ropens and Finding God (fourth edition)
This is the longest one, at 360 pages, and could thus be called the “Bible of modern pterosaurs.” Here are the twenty-four chapter titles for SFRFG:
- Eyewitnesses on Video
- A Sighting in World War II
- Sightings in Australia
- Following Strange Lights
- Early Challenges
- To Papua New Guinea
- To Umboi Island
- To Opai and Gomlongon
- Two Nights on a Hilltop
- Eyewitnesses in Opai
- Village Court
- Terrified Boys
- Getting Home
- Second Expedition of 2004
- Pacific Pterosaurs
- Papua New Guinea Again
- Paul Nation Returns
- Worldwide Pterosaurs
- Pterosaurs in the USA
- Fly by the Light
- What About Extinction?
- New Allies
For an LDS reader who is considering buying one of my books and likes to dive into true-life adventures, I’d recommend this one.
Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition)
After publishing the first edition of Searching for Ropens, in 2005, I got many emails from Americans who had sightings of apparent pterosaurs in the Contiguous states of the USA. I eventually decided to write another book, smaller than SFRFG, about those encounters. Live Pterosaurs in America (LPA) was self-published, in its first edition, on July 25, 2009, and copies of this original paperback edition are for sale on Amazon Storefronts. On September 26, 2017, the asking prices were $199 and about $838 for new copies and the following for used books:
- Used – Good $79.99
- Used – Very Good $198.99
- Used – Like New $290.99
- Used – Acceptable $838.05 [maybe a mistake]
Please be aware that it is unlikely, years after you purchase a new third-edition of LPA, that your copy will be nearly as valuable as a first edition, no matter how many additional versions may be published after 2017. The above asking prices for copies of the original edition simply demonstrate that some book sellers consider LPA-1 to be a valuable collector’s item.
The third edition, published on November 2, 2011, had a regular Amazon price of only $13.65 on September 26, 2017. Buy the more recent expanded, improved edition:
Live Pterosaurs in America – third edition
How would this book interest LDS and non-LDS readers? It has almost nothing about religion except in part of the ninth chapter and in part of the appendix. Live Pterosaurs in America is a pure cryptozoology book, unlike the cross-genre SFRFG. It’s for the reader who just wants to know about sighting reports of these flying creatures in the USA. Yet you need to know something else about this nonfiction:
Of the four books I’ve written about modern pterosaurs (through 2017), Live Pterosaurs in America may be the least likely to convince a skeptic that some of these flying creatures are still living. It’s a straight-forward examination of some of the more-credible eyewitness sightings of apparent pterosaurs in the United States (154 pages). In other words, it’s not an ideal introduction to the general concept of living pterosaurs, for a reader who has had almost no previous exposure to that idea.
If you’ll be giving one of my books to a skeptically-minded reader who wants solid proof of non-extinct pterosaurs, try one of my other books. LPA-3 is better for a nonfiction reader who is an eyewitness himself, or herself, or who knows a friend or family member who has had a sighting of a “pterodactyl,” or who has already read something on the subject of non-extinct pterosaurs.
Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea
This is a better introduction to the concept that not all species of pterosaurs became extinct long ago. Some of the reasoning for that idea is presented uniquely in this book.
Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea (LPAPNG) is now offered as a free online pdf download, not available as a gift book. I suggest it could be more persuasive, to a skeptic, than LPA-3. It specializes in sighting reports from the southwest Pacific. It includes condensed versions of sighting reports found in Searching for Ropens and Finding God, but many new sightings are in LPAPNG, and it has original ways of presenting the eyewitness evidence.
The shortest of my three paperback books on extant pterosaurs, at 116 pages, Modern Pterosaurs differs from the others: The main evidence here is not in eyewitness reports but in an old photograph. Eyewitness accounts are included but only as support material, giving a background introduction to the photo.
Modern Pterosaurs by Jonathan Whitcomb
This photograph, now called “Ptp,” is not presented as evidence beyond any reasonable doubt, for the existence of a living pterosaur in the 19th century, yet the book demonstrates that the preponderance of evidence favors that conclusion.
On June 19, 2012, at about 11:45 a.m., over a storm channel in a residential neighborhood of Lakewood, California, a 38-year-old lady saw a “dragon-pterodactyl,” at least as her first impression. She searched online and found that she was not the only eyewitness of this kind of featherless long-tailed flying creature.
As of late-summer, 2017, the best nonfiction book to answer this question* is the fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God. It’s also the longest of my cryptozoology books: 360 pages. Notwithstanding the title words “finding God,” this is more about true-life adventure than religion.
*How do reports of non-extinct “pterodactyls” relate to LDS beliefs?
Three different genres we find in these three books by LDS writers Orson Scott Card, Glenn Beck, and Jonathan Whitcomb
Live “pterodactyls?” In the United States? Many scientists have long assumed all pterosaurs died millions of years ago. Now take a whirlwind tour of many years of investigations in cryptozoology . . .
In five expeditions, from 1994 through 2004, several Americans have explored *Umboi Island in search of the nocturnal ropen.
“The extinction of some species of pterosaurs, out of so many known from fossils, is hardly disputed. The popular textbook declaration that all species became extinct millions of years ago, universal pterosaur extinction—that concept itself is approaching extinction.” Jonathan Whitcomb
Most of these flying creatures fly at night, although some sightings are in the daylight. Please be aware that a sighting in the day does not mean that what was observed must be a creature normally out in daylight.