Recently-Reported Sightings of Living Pterosaurs: USA and Philippines

Cuba ropen - "Please report your sighting"

By the modern-pterosaur investigator Jonathan Whitcomb

Some of the eyewitness reports that I receive come from encounters years earlier, sometimes even decades earlier. Let’s now look at four accounts of sightings that were reported to me within the past few weeks, regardless of when the encounter took place.

Since the word “dinosaur” is mentioned in one of these, let’s be clear about it. In a scientific or technical sense, pterosaurs (aka “pterodactyls” by non-scientists) and not dinosaurs. Many people associate them with dinosaurs because of the popular idea that they lived together many millions of years ago. In reality, pterosaurs and dinosaurs are two distinct types of animals, regardless of when people believe that they lived.


Sighting in California, S.F. Bay area

I got the following in January of 2018, a few days after the sighting:

Fremont, CA – 1/14/2018 – around 10pm PST
I witnessed a pterodactyl from roughly 50-75 feet away. It was gliding steadily, without flapping its wings, seemingly meer [mere] feet above the rooftop of an adjacent building. Wingspan, estimated 12 ft., distinctly visible diamond shape at end of tail. Crown of head tough to make out behind wing at angle of sight.

The eyewitness replied to my questions and indicated the tail was long.


Sighting in Illinois

In 2007 at around 3 pm
Somewhere between Schaumburg and Elgin IL while driving west on I-90 at 55 mph for 4-6 seconds I saw a flying creature that didn’t make any sense. The animal was black but in the bright sunlight I could make out wrinkles or texture on the surface or the wings. I often take a minute to admire the golden eagles that circle the highway. This creature caught my attention because the size and shape of the wings which looked more like bat wings than bird wings. There were no feathers and the creature had a long spiked tail. I couldn’t place what I was looking at. It was no bird I could identify. I watched this creature travel southeast toward Busse woods.


Sighting in Southern California

On January 31 2018 at 6:25 pm I watched a very large creature fly from west to east over Eastern Anaheim California. At first I thought this was an airplane of some sort or another. However shortly after sunset any aircraft would have exterior lights and make an engine noise. This was totally silent and gliding on very mild breeze of maybe 4-5 miles an hour. As I sat on my front porch looking west and talking on the phone, I saw this creature in flight it appeared to be off white or a pale green. From my vantage point I could see that the creature was about 400 to 600 feet above the ground and about 25 to 30 foot wingspan. I even thought it could be a remote control until it flapped its wings and then I was sure I was witnessing something very special indeed.


Sighting in the Philippines

Its already 2018 when I saw this article and im really curious about it when I read that there are sightings in the Philippines (Pagbilao, Quezon). I have a same experience when I was a child (I really dont remember what specific year it is, approximately it is between 1995-1998) and we are having a vacation in my grandfather’s house in San Antonio, Quezon Province, Philippines. I saw a bat-like flying creature in the ceiling of the house in the 2nd floor, no feathers, almost skinny like a bat, not too dark skin color brown as I remember and its beak is so long and have one horn directly opposite to its beak at the back of its head and I really think it is a dinosaur or somehow a surviving remnants of pterodactyl. And maybe I was child back then but I am aware of what is a bat looks like and it is not a bat, also im aware of dinosaurs. My father told me to just ignore it so I really dont know what happened to the creature afterwards because when I look for it, it already flew away. I wont forget about that day because there is an old movie here in the Philippines titled “Anak ng Bulkan” and I believe that it might be true that there are still remnants of the pre-historic creature back then.

Cuba ropen - "Please report your sighting"

If you have seen anything that might have been a living pterosaur, please report it to me.




Un pterosaurio en Cuba

Dos estadounidenses han visto un pterosaurio vivo en Cuba: Patty Carson y Eskin Kuhn.


Living pterosaurs in California

A “pterodactyl” or pterosaur has also been reported from other parts of Los Angeles County: San Fernando Valley, Altadena, and twice in the Santa Fe Springs area.


Another Living Pterosaur in North Carolina

. . . two of my friends saw one at different times in NC, Durham. I was alone driving my car, and looked out my sunroof to see what I think was a pterodactyl.


Modern pterosaur in Philippines

At least a few eyewitnesses in the Philippines have reported pterosaur sightings to at least one cryptozoologist; I (Jonathan Whitcomb) have received a few reports myself.


Pterodactyl in California

This report of an encounter in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is found in the second chapter of the book [Live Pterosaurs in America]


Living pterosaurs and frigatebird misidentification

The great majority of those reports were of flying creatures that could not reasonably be attributed to misidentified frigatebirds, for a number of reasons.


Scott Norman and the “Pterodactyl” Photograph

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.


Potential Attacks on Domesticated Animals, by Ropens

Newspaper sketch of a giant dragon

I recently got a question from a member of a Facebook group: “Living Pterosaurs of the World.” It was in response to a Youtube video of two interviews I had with eyewitnesses last year. These two young men testified that the local farm animals went “crazy” with fright, making a lot of noise, when a very large glowing flying creature flew overhead one night.

Rather than dive into details about this particular sighting (which was in Grantsville, Utah, around the fall of 2001), let’s consider the question on the Facebook group discussion:

Jonathan, have you noted these animal reactions in these type of sightings before?

Let’s begin with dogs. Man’s best friend seems to consider large ropens or pterodactyls to be very dangerous.

Behavior of Dogs

From page 200 of the fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God:

. . . it scared the hell out of me, also scared my dog so bad that she had her tail between her legs and ran into her dog-house and would not come out for over an hour. The feeling I got was that whatever it was it was really big . . .

From page 242 of that cryptozoology book:

At 11:45 [a.m.] [I was] sitting under my gazebo playing on my computer in Lakewood, CA. My dog started going crazy barking and whining. I started hearing what sounded like him having really deep burps and I got up after 30 seconds or so because I knew the sounds were not coming from my dog . . .

From page 249 of Searching for Ropens and Finding God:

Early on the night of August 3, 2012, according to John, Rex ran out to the back, near the camera, barking wildly. He then made a sound that he rarely makes: a sort of whimper. The dog then ran into the house and did not respond when John called him; that non-response to John’s call is very strange.

From page 35 of the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America:

She was twelve years old, at most (around 1995), when she walked out into her backyard one morning to check on the dog, for the dog food was untouched. GR found the poor animal cowering around the side of the house, apparently trying to hide behind a banana tree. The girl had no idea what was wrong, at that time, and called the dog, but it would not move. . . .

She turned her head and saw what it was that had terrified the dog. Next door, in the neighbor’s backyard, was what she first thought was a tall man; but he was about as tall as the house, too tall. He was “draped in a long black coat or cape,” facing away from her. “Dracula” came to mind as GR tried to understand what she was looking at. The “man” turned, and revealed a face that terrified the child: It was non-human.

Slowing the creature (revealing itself to be neither human nor bird) unwrapped its bat-like wings, dark leathery wings. The girl had never seen anything remotely like them. . . .

Farm animals and strange flying creatures

From page 88 of Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd edition):

He [David Woetzel] quoted a passage from a book by Marie Trevelyan (1909), who interviewed an old man who remembered “winged serpents” that lived in the mid-1800’s around Penllyne Castle, Glamorgan, Wales. I quote part of Woetzel’s quotation of the book: “The woods around Penllyne Castle, Glamorgan, had . . . . winged serpents . . . An aged inhabitant of Penllyne, who died a few years ago . . . said it was ‘no old story,’ invented to ‘frighten children,’ but a real fact. His father and uncles had killed some of them, for they were ‘as bad as foxes for poultry.’ This old man attributed the extinction of winged serpents to the fact that they were ‘terrors in the farmyards and coverts.’”


The farm animals in Grantsville, Utah, went “crazy” with fright one dark night around the fall of 2001, making lots of noise in their fear. I believe that those farm animals were in real danger from that flying creature, and I believe that the source of that terror was a very large bioluminescent ropen.

Reptile monster flies away with a horse

Old newspaper account of a giant flying creature over Stansbury Island, Utah

Although the newspaper account of a giant flying reptile carrying off a full-grown horse is very likely exaggerated, it seems to relate to the sighting by three boys in Grantsville, Utah, in 2001. Please note that Grantsville is only about eight miles south of Stansbury Island.


Cryptozoology book about pterodactyls

“Neither my brother or I was prone to being scared . . .  This night was different. . . . the creature was flying just  above the phone lines. It would go one direction, turn, and  swoop back. . . . The wingspan was huge, anywhere from  6-10 feet across.” (Texas)

Ropen pterosaur

American eyewitness of a living pterodactyl

Book on the ropen

It [the nonfiction cryptozoology book Searching for Ropens and Finding God] soars above disputes about religion, revealing why an official discovery of an extraordinary animal has been delayed for so long. Above all, this explores human experience: eyewitnesses and those who interviewed them.

Pterodactyl Attacks in Yosemite?

These weird disappearances are not confined to Yosemite, nor even to the United States. Several factors do seem to tie together cases that are separated by long distances and sometimes separated by decades. To understand what may be happening in Yosemite National Park, we need to see in a broader sense. Look to Canada and to Mexico.

The nocturnal ropen

Eyewitness testimonies suggest that the ropen is a Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaur. According to the investigators this criteria is based on several consistent patterns such as the featherless appearance, long tail that ends in a flange or diamond shape . . .


Whitcomb Interviewed for the Travel Channel – Mysterious Missing Persons

Bass Lake, California, April 4, 2016

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.” It should be broadcast around January of 2017. Living pterosaurs will have only a minor role in this TV show.

Ben Hansen interviewed near Yosemite

Paranormal investigator Ben Hansen is interviewed at Bass Lake, California

This particular episode covers a number of paranormal interpretations of why so many persons have gone missing from Yosemite National Park. The possibility of attacks from large flying creatures is only one point of view. Ben Hansen, a paranormal expert who was interviewed before I was, suggested other things that may play a part, or be part of the explanation, including something like time transport.

I was delighted to work with Mr. Hansen and hope to be involved in another TV show with him some day. I would also be delighted if I could again work with the director Eric Blouin. Who could ask for a better director?

Large Flying Creatures and Missing Persons

I don’t know how much of what I said in the interview will get through the editing. Perhaps the producer will use only a minute or two of my perspective in this episode, but I’ll try to recall some of what I said and summarize it here.

In reports of missing persons (the strangest cases investigated by David Paulides) I see three signs that  point to a huge flying creature:

  1. The missing person, or the body, is found miles away
  2. One or more pieces of clothing, or one or both shoes, are missing
  3. A found person may be asleep or have mental stupor or appear forgetful

In addition, during my interview by the director Eric Blouin, I mentioned why tracking dogs will sometimes fail to track or will soon stop tracking: When a human victim is carried up into the air by a large flying creature, his or her body is dragged along the ground for only a short time. Where the person leaves the ground—that is where the tracking canines can track no further.

I cannot vouch for my exact words, but during my interview I said something like, “The body of the 12-year-old Kenny Miller was found  1,400 feet higher than where he was last seen, found on one of the highest ridges in this part of the California. Some of the clothing was missing from the body. No mountain lion or bear would drag a person for miles, up to a much higher elevation, then take the jacket and shoes and leave the body on that high ridge. No. It was no bear or mountain lion.”

Large Flying Creatures: Ropen or Thunder Bird?

My interview at Bass Lake ended with my admission that I do not have any certain knowledge of what has been causing these mysterious disappearances in Yosemite National Park. We still have much to learn.

With some of these cases of missing persons, I mention “flying creature.” It’s quite possible that an unknown species of giant bird is responsible for some of these disappearances. Yet a few large ropens may be to blame. Whether bird or pterosaur, something appears to be carrying away some of these persons, and these weird human disappearances are not limited to Yosemite. These kinds of cases are found in other areas of North America and even in other parts of the world.

Whatever is responsible, we puny little humans need to keep our eyes more on the skies.


Bass Lake, south of Yosemite

Unfortunately, many pine trees are killed by pine beetles, like these trees near Bass Lake, California, just south of Yosemite – another kind of killer in the Sierra Nevadas


Pterodactyl Attacks in Yosemite?

These weird disappearances are not confined to Yosemite, nor even to the United States. Several factors do seem to tie together cases that are separated by long distances and sometimes separated by decades. To understand what may be happening in Yosemite National Park, we need to see in a broader sense. Look to Canada and to Mexico.

Missing Persons and the Ropen

If people are in danger in national parks and other wilderness areas of North America, they have the right to be informed about the potential risks and what may be involved.

Jonathan Whitcomb and living pterosaurs

From “fiery flying serpents” of  the Bible ages ago, to strange flying creatures  called “dragons” in England and other European  countries a few centuries ago, to a huge pterosaur  flying across a country highway in South Carolina  in 1989, descriptions of these “flying dinosaurs,”  commonly called “pterodactyls,” make if obvious  that they are non-fictional and non-extinct.

Missing Persons in Alaska – strange cases

This is especially about a giant bird and a missing young woman in Alaska.