With apologies to Shakespeare:
To be extinct, or not to be extinct, that is the question:
Whether it’s no bull or in the mind, pterosaur eyewitnesses suffer
The slings and arrows from outraged paleontologists
From a recent press release:
How rarely do we read anything about dinosaurs or pterosaurs without reference to extinction millions of years ago! But a controversial idea promoted by the American cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb has caught the attention of the Houston Chronicle, a Smithsonian magazine blog, and a well-known paleontologist in England. Not everybody embraces living pterosaurs.
Indeed, from my eight years of investigating reports of living pterosaurs, I know that not everybody embraces living pterosuars.
Looking straight at their reasoning reveals the problem: “People who say they saw X could not have really seen X because if X existed then somebody would have seen X.”
Perhaps what some skeptics mean is more like this: “If X existed, newspapers would have it in their headlines before now” (with “X” representing any cryptid, including a living pterosaur). Well, this may be news to some skeptics, but if I recall correctly, as I was taking a plane from Papua New Guinea to Australia, after finishing my expedition in 2004, I was reading a newspaper that had a front page headline directing readers to an article about my findings and experiences (and my interpreter’s) from interviewing eyewitnesses of the ropen of Umboi Island. That newspaper was (and probably still is) one of the two largest in Papua New Guinea.
If critics are only interested in American newspapers that have headline stories that are favorable to the possibility of a living pterosaur, then read on:
The Antwerp Bee-Argus newspaper (Aug 5, 2009 issue) gave an account of two sightings over the Maumee River, Ohio: 2002 and 2003, both in the daylight heat of summer. (More detailed information is in my book Live Pterosaurs in America . . .
That newspaper article, I remember clearly, had a front-page headline about a modern-pterosaur sighting (with the article starting on the front page, as well). In addition, it was positive, not negative, about the possibility of a living pterosaur in Ohio.