By the living-pterosaur expert and cryptozoology author Jonathan Whitcomb
Over the past thirteen years, I have received many reports from eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs in the United States, including states of the Midwest, although more commonly they use one of the following words or phrases:
- Prehistoric bird
- Flying dinosaur
- Big bat with a long tail
- Big bird with no feathers
I’m not as interested in what an eyewitness calls the flying creature as I am in how it’s described. Recently I got an email from an eyewitness in Ohio.
Ropen Sighting in Gahanna, Ohio
A man (who has two college degrees in biology) and his son together had a sighting in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. The following is part of the man’s email report to me, with minor spelling and punctuation corrections:
I just want to report a sighting of a pterodactyl-looking animal. My sighting took place last night, 12/19/2016. . . . I would think of myself as someone who knows a little something of the animal kingdom. However, as of last night I realize I don’t know anything. I saw what appeared to be a gray-skinned pterodactyl [clearly] . . . [It] dive bombed my car. My son and I were in the car and we both saw the same thing . . .
It almost hit my front windshield…..so we got an amazing and privileged look at this…whatever it is…we couldn’t have been more that 6 or 7 feet from it. . . . As far as the tail goes, I did not see a tail but my son said he did as the creature whipped it around…he said it had sharp projections on the tip…but it was moving so fast he said he just got a glimpse of it . . .
I will just keep writing as this was just so amazing that I just want to talk and talk about it….at least to someone that might believe us. . . . Just looked up Ropen…yes some of the encounters relate [to] the very triangular nature of the wings [also] we never saw it move the wings at all…just glide…like all of the encounters…I am not going to look anything more up as I don’t want to be biased in any way when we talk.
We were able to talk for some time by phone. I learned that the sighting was at 6:45 p.m., and the car had its headlight high beams on. The man, who is a biologist, noticed that the skin was grayish, with a texture that reminded him, to some extent, of elephant skin: thick and rough. He believes that if the creature had not been flying, the skin could have been seen as wrinkled, although the act of flying may have kept the skin tighter.
Pterosaur Sighting in Context With Others
This encounter with an apparent ropen near Columbus, Ohio, needs to be taken in context of many other reported sightings in the Midwest, as well as those in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.
In addition, we need to consider the possibility that what was seen by this biologist and his teenaged son, late in 2016, may be related to the “Gitmo Pterosaur” of eastern Cuba. Perhaps it is the same species.
Sketch of the two “pterodactyls” seen by Eskin Kuhn at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Last month I got an email from a man who lives in Gahanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. He and his teenaged son were driving near their home at 6:45 p.m. on December 19, 2016, when a large creature flew over their car . . .
Eyewitness accounts of apparent “pterodactyls” in America, including sightings of large ropens . . . Jonathan Whitcomb, before and after writing the first edition of Searching for Ropens, received emails from many witnesses of similar flying creatures in America. Those many eyewitness reports prompted him to write a new nonfiction book: Live Pterosaurs in America.
Hennessy said, “It was black or dark brown. I had never seen anything like it before. . . . I recall seeing this creature with a longish narrow tail . . . the head was disproportionately large compared to the body . . .”
I am one of six Americans who have traveled to Papua New Guinea, since mid-2004, to search for modern pterosaurs, what many Americans call “pterodactyls.”