Yesterday I spoke by phone to a man who seemed quite credible to me. In fact we had two phone conversations, and I found nothing in the manner of his speech, or in what he said, that gave any hint of any hoax: I believe him.
But the long hand-written letter I had just received from him—that’s the best evidence for his honesty. Let’s consider parts of it. (I did a little editing to correct English errors.)
Encounter With a Winged Creature in Ashland
My name is James M. Boice/Jim. I was looking [probably online searching] for a flying creature that is nocturnal, hoping maybe someone reported it. . . . I saw your article on pterodactyl.
I’ll tell you ahead of time: I didn’t see it. But you should hear me out anyway.
I got out of the U.S.M.C. in 1977 . . . lived several places in Ashland, Ohio, and I’d say around the early 80′s I was living on Ohio Street in Ashland. . . . I lived [in] the second house on the left on Ohio St., by the railroad tracks off Cottage Street.
It was at night. My wife was on the couch in the living room. I was sitting in the dining room reading . . . she had fallen asleep. . . . I heard a sound outside, like screaming. I heard . . . as if a cord cutting through the air, also the sound of a dog fighting with a cat, all these sounds at once.
I stood up and tried to look out the window but it was dark out and I couldn’t see . . . the sound stopped and I didn’t have lights out back. So then I sat back down but not for long . . . it started again. This time it made click clock sounds and loud banging, as it seemed to climb up the side of my house.
I stood up while hearing this again and listened. It went up two stories then up on the tin roof, which was approximately a 45 degree angle. Pounded very loud in fact. . . .
It then started down the way it had come up. When it got to the ground, it was right [off] the window in front of me and started to go left slowly and occasionally [would] bump the side of the house hard.
As it reached the tree out back, it started to make flapping sounds, as if flying very slowly, and you could hear the sounds of its wings, shh, shh, around one flap every three seconds. . . . I shut the door so it wouldn’t get in.
It flew towards the front of the house, then to the left, then to the right, then across the tracks. Then I opened the door and listened. I thought, at the time, it had a bat-like sound.
. . . I think it was trying to carry my dog away. It was a medium-sized dog . . . the next day, . . . [the dog] didn’t appear to be harmed.
[Getting back to the sounds of that night] While I was out in the backyard, I looked at the back of the house where I believe it was, and there were no scratches on the house but there was one [on] the [two] antennas. I think it went up that.
It [the antenna] had zig zag metal pieces in it. . . . [the creature] probably had claws on its front wings, as without them it would have to fly while climbing. . . .
I checked all kinds of birds, owls, etc, and they don’t fit . . . [they don't have claws on their wings]. . . .
[Much more was written in the letter by Mr. Boice.]
It’s hard to imagine any person trying to make a convincing hoax by sending me many pages of hand-written descriptions like the above account. It’s easier to believe that he heard the sounds that he said that he heard—much easier. That’s what I call ” high honesty credibility.”
As is often the case, however, high honesty credibility may coincide with a higher potential for misidentification. Although it seems unlikely that any classified bird was involved in this encounter in Ashland, Ohio, we have no sighting or clear evidence that the creature involved was a species of pterosaur. It may have been some other kind of winged cryptid. . . . still . . .
Near Ashland, Ohio
Eyewitnesses of crimes can misidentify suspects. This is not at all to say that all eyewitnesses are always unreliable. Human memory in general is often flawed; the main weakness in reliability, however, is in details in which the person was not focused and was not emotionally attached at the time.
Him and a bunch of guys about 17 years old were looking around an old barn one night and they saw a large, featherless bird. He said it was standing like a bird would but was about 6 feet four inches tall. Its skin appeared like leather.
Reports of living pterosaurs – sightings in South Carolina and sightings of the bioluminescent ropen in Papua New Guinea
Third edition of the non-fiction book Live Pterosaurs in America
From a reader of this cryptozoology book:
I may be a sceptic at heart, but I have no simple answers to what people are experiencing. The thirty-five cases Whitcomb gives may be the tip of the iceberg . . . I just hope they are real.
From another reader:
Mr. Whitcomb does a thorough job questioning indoctrination and the close-mindedness of the Western world. Reading so many eye-witness reports of people who have seen living pterosaurs in America was mind-opening, to say the least.