With a title suggesting fiction, this book flies against the wind of popular scientific assumptions about pterosaur extinction. Live Pterosaurs in America is nonfiction. The second edition, published in November of 2010, includes a chapter about the Marfa Lights of Texas, offering a revolutionary conjecture: They are from the flights of bioluminescent predators, perhaps related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, perhaps even living pterosaurs. Let’s take a peek at this book’s introduction, at least the first page of it.
This book might make a few Americans uneasy to walk alone at night; my intention, however, is not to frighten but to enlighten as many readers as possible to know about live-pterosaur investigations. Those who’ve been shocked at the sight of a flying creature that “should” be extinct—those eyewitnesses, more numerous than most Americans would guess, need no longer be afraid that everyone will think them crazy, and no longer need they feel alone. Those of us who’ve listened to the American eyewitnesses, we who have interviewed them, we now believe. So, if you will, consider the experiences of these ordinary persons (I’ve interviewed most of them myself) and accept whatever enlightenment you may.
This book might discomfort, even offend, a few readers; please consider the feelings of those who have revealed to us their encounters with what seem to be live pterosaurs, for some of them have suffered more than discomfort. I intend to comfort those innocent victims who have been ridiculed or ostracized because of a cultural weakness, for each has seen something unaccepted by their society. Each eyewitness deserves listeners who will open their minds, really listen. Consider their experiences.
If this book does nothing more than comfort the eyewitnesses of strange creatures, I would be grateful; but there’s much more. We need to understand why we believe what we believe. When I first began researching these eyewitness sightings, years ago, I mentioned a word to a kindergartner: “pterosaurs;” he said, “A comet.” Years later, while writing this book, I mentioned my work to a second-grader; she said, “Who will buy your book? Crazy people?” I think better of you. And I think, because of what she and many others have told me, that we must understand indoctrination, for it influences our beliefs; the extent of that influence discomforts me.
My American associates and I who have explored in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs, intend no deceit; we intend only enlightenment. Ten expeditions, within sixteen years, have rewarded us with many eyewitness accounts and video evidence for what we believe is the bioluminescence of a flying creature; but we still lack a clear photo of a pterosaur. We have been labeled foolish, biased, and crazy; but the few who say “lies” reveal their own foolishness: Why would we work so hard, for so long, with so many opportunities to fabricate pterosaur sightings in so many remote jungles, and then admit that we never saw any clear form of a pterosaur? It is because we intend not to deceive but to enlighten.
The third edition has recently been published:
So what is a “teradactyl expert?” This also comes in two flavors: paleontologists (who study fossils) and cryptozoologists (who study eyewitness reports of apparent living pterosaurs). This might lead to controversy, when people use the same word (“pterosaur” if they are particular about the correct spelling) for two different meanings.