Translators of the King James Version of the Bible, centuries ago, lived before the English language had the words “dinosaur” and “pterosaur,” so don’t expect to find either word in an old Bible. The translators did their best in translating an interesting Old Testament phrase into English: “fiery flying serpent.” Some Bible commentators have suggested that the animals that were called by that title were actually venomous snakes whose bite caused a burning sensation in the wound of the victim and whose strike was so fast that it was called “flying.” There are serious problems, however, with that interpretation. It assumes that two of the three words were ill-chosen. But what if “serpent” was the inaccurate word? What if a venomous bioluminescent flying creature was called by the ancient Israelites “serpents” (snakes) because their long featherless tails made them somewhat snake-like when their wings were curled up during non-flight, when they were at rest? It is a simpler interpretation to assume only one of three words is very imprecise, rather than two.
What about the Fiery Flying Serpent? For Moses, when the Israelites needed to be healed from venom, what would have been the worst possible choice of an animal image to use as a symbol, to strengthen the faith of the people of God? How obvious! Use anything except the image of a snake, for that animal relates to Satan in the Garden of Eden.
I’ve written much about my investigations over the past eight years, much of it concerning the testimonies of eyewitnesses whom I have interviewed (more recently concerning conjectures about Marfa Lights). From various countries, various languages, various cultures, and various religions, these common persons simply tell me about their encounters with flying creatures that have various names. Most of the flying creatures are described with long tails, and most eyewitnesses have various degrees of certainty about the absence of feathers. Those two factors alone suggest living pterosaurs.
In our modern technical world, we are struck by an ancient Hebrew phrase. “Fiery flying serpent,” directly interpreted, appears unconnected with any living thing, or at least unclassified by modern standard biology as living at the time of Moses. Some Bible scholars have assumed that a story of anything like a flying fire-breathing dragon could not have come from any real animal. Thus, to avoid a strange direct interpretation, we’ve been fed indirect meanings for “fiery” and “flying.”
I sometimes come across the word “dragon” in a communication with an eyewitness of what I suspect or believe was a live pterosaur, for example, the glowing dragon observed in England in 1987 or 1988 (I received an email from the eyewitness). In 2004, during my expedition trip to Papua New Guinea, I heard about the dragon called “Wawanar” by an old sailor. But most eyewitness use another word, like “dinosaur bird.” Of course, eyewitnesses usually mean neither a dinosaur nor a bird, but that’s a phrase that may come to mind.