Final Color Sketch of Gitmo Pterosaur

Patty Carson’s final sketch of the ropen of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, shows interesting details, as well as a serious facial expression; from my interviews with this eyewitness, I do not think she was intending to create an angry glare for the creature, but only an indication of an eye more like a bird’s eye than a fish eye. This sketch, according to Carson, is quite similar to what she remembers of her encounter in 1965:

Gitmo Pterosaur of Guantanamo Bay Cuba, sighting in 1965

Compare this sketch by Carson, based on her memory of a flying creature that was only about thirty feet away from her, with the 1971 sketch by U. S. Marine Eskin C. Kuhn:

Perosaur Sketch by Eskin Kuhn
Kuhn saw two pterosaurs in Cuba, in 1971

First consider the differences. Carson’s sketch she drew over forty years after her sighting; Kuhn’s, just minutes after his sighting. Carson saw one creature that was only about thirty feet away; Kuhn saw two creatures at “close range,” but probably much further away than Carson’s encounter. Carson may have startled a creature on the ground; Kuhn was probably not noticed by the two creatures he saw. Carson saw teeth in a partially-opened mouth; Kuhn saw no teeth, possibly because the mouths were closed in flight. Carson was a young child; Kuhn was a young adult. Carson was with a brother; Kuhn was alone.

Now consider the similarities. Carson’s 1965 sighting and Kuhn’s 1971 sighting were at the U. S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Both sightings were in daylight. The head crest is very similar in the two sketches.  Carson saw that the flying creature had a long tail with a diamond-shaped structure at the tail-end; Kuhn drew a structure at the end of both tails. Neither eyewitness saw anything like any feather. Both of them were disbelieved by others, but Carson and Kuhn continued to believe in what they had seen. I found both of them highly credible, over the course of a number of phone interviews.

Carson’s sighting deserves a brief review:

1965 Sighting by Patty Carson

“ . . . Suddenly it sat up, as if it had been eating something or resting. The head and upper part of its body, about a third of the wings at the joint (tips still held down) showed. . . . All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound, in a big hurry, more of a scramble, and flew to its left and disappeared behind trees and terrain.”

Modern Pterosaur Verified in Cuba

Patty did tell me, in a phone conversation, that the creature looked at them with apparent intelligence, as if trying to decide whether or not to attack them. The teeth were small but clearly visible, as the creature’s mouth was not quite closed. About those teeth, Patty said that there were “a LOT of them.” . . .

She told me that the wings were like bat wings, in a way, but not at all transparent. She is sure of the structure at the end of the tail (what I call a “vane” or “flange”) and estimates the “diamond” was about five inches long and about three inches wide.

Third edition of "Live Pterosaurs in America"

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 comments on “Final Color Sketch of Gitmo Pterosaur

  1. Patty Carson mentioned to me that the “claw” on the wing clearly moved before the creature flew away. She observed that the ropen seemed to consciously move that claw.

  2. This “final” version of Patty Carson’s sketch may soon be replaced by a new version that she has agreed to draw: a sketch that makes the mouth more like what she had observed.

  3. Pingback: Live Pterosaur» Blog Archive » Pterosaur Wingspan, Recent Statistics, Absence of Hoaxes

  4. Pingback: Live Pterosaur» Blog Archive » Whitcomb Opposes Shooting Pterosaurs