Before getting into the new book, Modern Pterosaurs, about the Ptp photograph, let’s consider the hoax image that has caused confusion: The Freakylinks photo.
Glen Kuban, a critic of living-pterosaur investigators for years, made a mistake regarding Ptp in his long online publication “Living Pterodactyls.” (He also made many other errors in that page, so it will not here be linked to.) As recently as March 26, 2017, one paragraph includes, “Alas, the photo has since been exposed as a hoax—a promotional stunt for a Fox television series.” Alas, that paragraph is next to a small image of Ptp, the photograph that is NOT associated with that television series (Freakylinks).
Compare the two photos side-by-side:
Figure-1: Ptp is on the left; the television-show hoax is on the right
If Kuban had included the correct image (Haxan Films photo for Freakylinks), he would have been correct when he said, “exposed as a hoax.” Unfortunately, he put the following text under the Ptp photo: “widely acknowledged as a hoax.” How many persons could have been misled by that statement in the web page “Living Pterodactyls!” Of course, it would have been better if Kuban had researched those two images before displaying Ptp with a caption that included “hoax.”
Apparently the Haxan Films photo was a Civil War reenactment kind of staging, in imitation of the older Ptp photo. Look at the way the soldier in front, in both photos, places his left foot. Also notice that the other “soldiers,” in the hoax photo, stand right behind the “animal,” similar to the Ptp photo. That is highly unlikely to be a coincidence, extremely likely to be this: In around the year 2000, persons associated with Haxan Films created their hoax photo in imitation of the older one. Notice also how vague the animal looks in the hoax photo on the right.
In addition to direct evidences of authenticity, in the Ptp photograph, we also have indirect evidences. Consider the following, taken from page 100 in the book Modern Pterosaurs:
One day, early in 2017, I realized it would be unlikely for a large animal to die in a perfect place for it to be photographed. How much more likely for the animal to have died in the underbrush or in the woods than in a small clearing, an ideal place for photography!
I looked for a drag mark and there it was, running from around the lower right of the photo to near the end of that beak. That drag mark is exactly what we should find in a photo of a large animal that was dragged out from underbrush to a clearing where the whole thing could be photographed well.
Figure-2: Mark on the ground: apparently where the animal had been dragged
Notice the drag mark on the ground in Figure-2. Apparently the creature had fallen somewhere else, quite possibly among bushes or trees, and needed to be moved into a better place for photography.
Also notice the small tree that was broken down. This is most likely from one of the men stepping on it, breaking it down to the ground so that they could drag the “monster” onto the spot where we now see it.
Of course those two evidences do not, in themselves, prove that Pteranodons lived in the 19th century, yet they do support the other evidences uncovered by the scientist Clifford Paiva: evidences that a real animal was photographed alongside real men, and that this was before about the year 1870.
The dead flying creature seen in the “Pteranodon photograph,” (Ptp) although it may be called a “pterodactyl” by some Americans and a “ropen” by others, could be a pterodactyloid pterosaur, possibly without the long tail that ropens are seen to have.
La photographie plus ancienne est appelée “Ptp”. Celui de droite a été réalisé pour une émission de télévision. La similitude a causé de la confusion. Certaines personnes ont pensé que Ptp est un canular.
Answering skeptical comments and criticisms of a direct interpretation of a photograph that some persons report remembering from the middle of the 20th century, long before Photoshop digital imaging processing was generally available.
The pterosaur-image in the Ptp photo has enough evidence of authenticity to justify closer examinations. But critics appear to be so biased in favor of universal extinctions of all species of pterosaurs that they will not look where they should: at the image of the apparent pterosaur itself.
. . . a scientist (Clifford Paiva, a physicist) has found a number of evidences for the authenticity of the image of the apparent Pteranodon in the older Ptp photo.