Scott Norman and the “Pterodactyl” Photograph

Posted on Posted in Danger to people, U.S.A. Sightings

This coming July will be the ten-year anniversary of Scott Norman’s sighting of an apparent nocturnal Pteranodon in California. Scott passed away, half a year later, from natural causes, yet the large sizes of apparent extant pterosaurs, reported by some eyewitnesses in North America, may be connected to some of the more mysterious missing-persons cases that have never been solved.

The Civil War “Pterodactyl” Photo

I don’t recall talking with Scott about the old photograph, while we sat in my backyard in Long Beach, California, with Garth Guessman in 2005. But he used the word “Pteranodon” in his report of his mid-2007 sighting, and the head of the animal in the Ptp photograph definitely looks like it belongs to a Pteranodon or a similar pterosaur.

Of course many persons who have seen that “pterodactyl” photo will think how dangerous humans can be to wild animals. After all, that dead creature is lying on the ground, surrounded by apparent Civil War soldiers, each of whom is holding a rifle. The apparent pterosaur, however, is so large that it takes little imagination to realize it could be dangerous to people.

Ptp has been called the “Civil War Pterodactyl” photograph


Skeptics and living-pterosaur critics now have a problem. If they say that Scott Norman’s sighting report is invalid because nobody has a photo of a modern Pteranodon, what about Ptp? And if they say that the Civil War photo of an obvious Pteranodon must be fake because people don’t see those animals, what about Scott Norman?

It seems that skeptics have been mostly silent since the mid-January-2017 announcement by the physicist Clifford Paiva and me (Jonathan Whitcomb): the proclamation that this photo has a genuine image of a real animal, apparently a Pteranodon. Dozens of blog posts and web pages have been published since that proclamation. Where is the response?

In fact, a new nonfiction cryptozoology book has been published on this photo: Modern Pterosaurs, which is surely the latest word on the authenticity of Ptp, and definitely the most thorough examination of it. Why not get your own copy of this cryptozoology book?


Copyright 2017 Jonathan Whitcomb (“Scott Norman and the ‘Pterodactyl’ Photograph”)


American Civil War Soldiers and a Monster

What a gruesome head! I don’t recall when I first saw the monster photo, perhaps as long ago as 1968, but that long beak and head appendage made me uneasy.

Pterosaur Sighting by Scott Norman

Let’s consider the sighting by Scott Thomas Norman, as it’s a few days after his birthday (March 15, 1964) and a month after the anniversary of his death (February 29, 2008). His encounter deserves another look, in light of earlier sightings in Papua New Guinea and recent sightings in North America.

Mysterious Missing Persons

This past Monday, April 4, I was interviewed at Bass Lake, south of Yosemite, for a Travel Channel episode of “Mysteries at the National Parks.”

More Evidence for the Civil War Pterodactyl Photograph

Paiva has done a detailed analysis of the image. He found that the shadow under the boot of one soldier (he’s now known as “FS” for front-soldier) is consistent with shadows under and on the animal. Paiva also found details in the head, neck, and shoulder of the animal, details that closely correlate with the anatomy of the Pteranodon. Please be aware that we do not declare that this animal must have been of some species of Pteranodon, but we point out that it appears to be at least similar to that type of pterosaur.

Possible Pteranodon in an old Photograph

On January 14, 2017, Clifford Paiva (a physicist in California) and I spoke by phone and agreed that the following photo has an image of a real animal, with real wings. . . . What we now call “Ptp” has been around for a long time, with some persons reporting that they saw it in a mid-20th-century book, possibly a Ripley’s “Believe it or Not.”

The Pteranodon Photo and Religion

An old photograph has been bouncing around the internet for quite some time, with many persons giving it a careless glance but very few indeed examining it closely and with an open mind. In the first few months of 2017, however, that changed.



Small nonfiction paperback about modern pterosaurs

Modern Pterosaurs – exciting new discovery of an extant pterosaur in the 19th century

From the Introduction in the book:

This book . . . [has] an analysis of an old photograph of a huge flying creature, with reasons for believing the photo is genuine evidence for a modern pterosaur. Yet eyewitness testimonies have been the heart of our investigations, so you need at least the summaries of some of the more important reports of encounters between ordinary persons and the larger apparent pterosaurs.


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