Pterosaur in Hawaii

Posted on Posted in U.S.A. Sightings

Northeast of Honolulu, in the Maunawili Valley, around 1970, a twelve-year-old boy stepped out into his front yard and saw, about 100 feet high, a gliding “pterodactyl.” I have looked for a possible hoax or misidentification explanation, but the email he sent me is much more consistent with a real sighting of a real pterosaur. I believe that a living pterosaur was truly what he had observed.

At first I thought it was something manmade because I thought it might be some type of a remote controlled Pterodactyl glider.  The wing span (again an estimate) seemed to be about 30 (if not more) feet across.  It was light brown in color with canvas like skin and absolutely no feathers. . . . When it passed across to the right of me I then realized it was a living creature because it began to flap its wings and continued to flap its wings several times at about a two second interval between flaps.

One factor that distracts from a model-glider interpretation is the estimated wingspan: “about 30 (if not more) feet across.” In addition, he said, “I continued to watch it fly towards Olomana mountain until it disappeared from sight.  Total time of my sighting was between 20 and 30 seconds.” I doubt if there was any model-pterosaur that could appear like that or fly like that in 1970.

Pterosaur on the Big Island of Hawaii

The same eyewitness knows somebody who knows somebody (yes, very indirect) who reported a “pterodactyl” on the Big Island. I have no idea about that, but I hope to get something more direct on that reported sighting. Something else has come up, however, which needs attention.

I have communicated with a person who has reported numerous sightings on the Big Island of Hawaii. I hope this is not the person mentioned above (“somebody who know somebody”), and I hope my meaning is not badly misunderstood, but there is a serious problem. I relate the following points only in regard to the detailed proclamations that I have received from a person who will here remain unnamed:

  1. There may have been one or more sightings of a genuine pterosaur on the Big Island. I don’t yet know anything for sure about this possibility.
  2. The person I have communicated with on more than one occasion over the past few years does not show any obvious sign of playing any hoax. The person seems to be sincere in wanting to help with the cryptozoological investigations.
  3. This person may be able to assist us in cryptozoological research, at some time in the future, and I hope this will be the case. But for the present, there are serious problems with at least some of the proclamations made by this person.
  4. Over the past eight years, I have been ridiculed for my part in the cryptozoological investigations into reports of living pterosaurs. One of the words used by a few critics is “crazy.” I plead with all who make any comment on this subject: Avoid bulverism. Stick with reasoning on the possibility (or impossibility) of modern living pterosaurs and avoid attacking or ridiculing any person with any word at all like “crazy.”
  5. If or when any person enounters any report of a possible living pterosaur on the Big Island of Hawaii, please get in touch with me before publicizing anything about it. I may then report details that would be inappropriate here.


PEGS – Pterosaur Eyewitness Group Support

I have started organizing the Pterosaur Eyewitness Group Support (PEGS) to encourage open communication between those who have observed apparent “pterodactyls” and those who have only read about or heard about the encounters.



Update from Jonathan Whitcomb:

The eyewitness who was a 12-year-old boy around 1970—he has agreed to have his name be used in publications on his sighting of the “Pterodactyl flying (gliding) from the direction of the Koolaus towards Olomana.” His name is Les Kouke.

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6 comments on “Pterosaur in Hawaii

  1. Pingback: Hawaii Pterodactyl « In a Nutshell

  2. Charisse Duchardt on said:

    Aloha, I am writing you because I have also seen a Pterydactyl like creature on the Big Island. Twice actually in the last 2 months. My husband and son also saw one about two weeks ago. I have been doing all kinds of research to see who else has seen this because it seems quite crazy, but I am abosolutely positive in what I saw. However, the bird that I saw was not with a 30 ft wing span. The first time: (about two months ago) What I saw, was maybe 100 ft up? But at that height I would estimate the wingspan to approximately 6 feet and it was very dark in color. I saw it in Kona and was completely astonished when looking at it because it was completely unlike anything else I have ever seen and it looked like nothing else I can explain other than a pterydactyl. I told my husband about it and talked about it quite a bit, because I was so fascinated by it. I saw it again or perhaps a different one about a week or so later downtown Kona on my way to work. The second one seemed a bit smaller maybe 5 ft wingspan. Well two weeks ago we moved into a new home in Kona about 2 miles South from our other home and my husband and son saw the Pterydactyl fly over our house and circle around. I was very excited to have someone else see it because it just sounds SO crazy to most people. I would like to talk more with anyone that might have more info.

  3. Jon Wilson on said:

    I live in Coastview subdivision north of Kona, above the airport at above 750 foot level (half way up to Palani) . My wife and my nephew both saw one about 4 years ago. My wife never lies, and I talked to them separately. Both described it exactly the same ! Between 3-4 foot wing span, sharp, long beak, featherless wings more like a bat than a bird, almost transparent, a fleshy, brownish pinkish grey color, and legs that laid straight back and fairly long, and (I knew what it was because of this!) a long featherless tail with what them described as Diamond on it’s tip !!! They saw it fly directly over them at between 60-100 feet and said it more glided than flied even though it did flap it’s wings a few times !! Does this sound like what Charisse and family saw ? My wife used it lived with a pig hunting jungle living in Volcano, and said the old ladies of the family called them “wak wak” Prounced like “walk walk” ! I am retired and I have some nice camera equpment that I would love to spend whatevers time to get a photos and video !

  4. Pingback: “Pterodactyl” in Hawaii | Flying Creature

  5. Pingback: Modern Pterosaur in Hawaii | Modern Pterosaur

  6. Pingback: Live Pterosaur» Blog Archive » Pterosaurs Across the Pacific