recently deceased pterosaur ("pterodactyl") in an old photograph

Bible Timetable Verified in Pterosaur Photo

By nonfiction author Jonathan Whitcomb

Clifford Paiva, a scientist living in California, this past January suggested I write a small book about what we have discovered in an old photograph. I just finished writing the nonfiction Modern Pterosaurs, which supports a Biblical timetable regarding the Flood of Noah.

The book answers the following questions:

  1. Why did it take so long for scientists to get a photo of an extant pterosaur?
  2. What supports the idea that some pterosaurs are not extinct?
  3. Why believe in eyewitnesses of these flying creatures?
  4. How many persons, worldwide, have seen living pterosaurs?
  5. Have the American researchers been honest?
  6. What have the two scientists discovered in the Ptp photo?
  7. How does the evidence greatly favor an extant pterosaur in Ptp?
  8. Why do Paiva and Whitcomb believe in modern pterosaurs?
  9. Why are finger-tips missing on the hand of one of the soldiers?
  10. How do we know that Photoshop was not involved in the photo?
  11. What dinosaurs have been Carbon-dated at only tens of thousands of years old?
  12. Is the animal seen in this photo a ropen?
  13. Who has seen a large featherless flying creature in the United States?
  14. Why are skeptics and critics wrong about the Civil War photograph?
  15. How is mathematical probability related to belief in modern pterosaurs?
  16. Why do some persons immediately reject the photo, before looking at it closely?
  17. What other nonfiction books have been written about extant pterosaurs?
  18. What is confirmation bias, and how does it relate to Ptp?
  19. How have hallucinations been eliminated in the great majority of sighting reports?
  20. Who has searched for living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea?
  21. How do the two scientists know the photo is older than about 1870?
  22. Who made a hoax photograph that imitated the older one?

. . .

That is only part of what is covered in this little book of 115 pages: Modern Pterosaurs.

The genre is nonfiction cryptozoology, with only brief comments on the Bible and the Flood of Noah, yet the Biblical perspective is clearly supported. This is about the wonderful discovery made by two Christian scientists: a modern pterosaur in an old Civil War photograph.


recently deceased pterosaur ("pterodactyl") in an old photograph

The American-Civil-War photograph now called “Ptp” is verified authentic by two scientists


Nonfiction cryptozoology book on a photograph of an extant pterosaur

Modern Pterosaurs – nonfiction cryptozoology book




Civil War pterodactyl photo

. . . 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. These include consistent shadows under the boot of the soldier who stands in front of the animal, shadowing consistent with those found on and under the animal.


“Flying Dinosaur” Shot by Civil War Soldiers

. . . we agreed that the image of an apparent Pteranodon, in an old photograph, was a real animal. That photo, now called “Ptp,” is the subject of that nonfiction cryptozoology book.


Biblical Creationist Book

The nonfiction cryptozoology book Modern Pterosaurs . . . supports a Biblical Old Testament point of view . . .


Civil War Pteranodon Photo

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 . . .


sketch by eyewitness Patty Carson

Dangerous Ropen in the USA?

I have several reasons for publishing reports of apparent pterosaurs, three of them listed here:

  1. To inform the public on issues related to evolution concepts
  2. To encourage more pterosaur eyewitnesses to come forward
  3. To help in protecting Americans from a potential danger

We now look at potential danger from ropen attacks in the United States. The following is taken from the fourth edition of the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (SFRFG-4):

Although Marfa Lights in Texas have been occasionally reported to be friendly, a large ropen, in some areas of this planet, would love to take you out, to eat. According to Gerald McIsaac, author of Bird From Hell, people have been attacked in northern British Columbia, sometimes killed, by flying creatures he believes are modern pterosaurs.

“. . . One of the girls in the village was recently attacked by a pterodactyl. She had a campfire burning in her backyard and was attacked in the darkness. The animal made a whistling sound which was so loud her ears were ringing. That explains the origin of the local name Thunder Bird. She called me up, very upset, as people are laughing at her.” [pages 323-324 of SFRFG-4]

That area in British Columbia, Canada, is not too far removed from the northwestern United States, so we should not assume that no attacks will ever occur in the USA.

Missing Persons in the United States – Strange Cases

In the nonfiction book Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada, the author, David Paulides, reports many strange cases of human disappearances. Nothing in the book itself gives any direct evidence for attacks from large flying creatures, but still some of the cases appear to make sense when we apply that possibility.

When a small child goes missing, and he or she is later found (surviving or not), that distance from where the child went missing is greater than when older children or adults go missing. In other words, some of the stranger cases of lost persons are the opposite of what we would expect regarding the distance traveled. Those who would be much more capable of wandering away (lost) to a far distance are actually found to have gone a shorter distance than two-year-olds or other small children. Why are little ones, who can barely walk at all in a wilderness, found further away than those capable of walking much farther? The answer is simple: They did not walk to the found locations but were carried there through the air. Big people cannot be carried away as easily as little people can.

Bigfoot Comes in Second

I know the Bigfoot explanation for abductions by non-humans. But many cases in Mr. Paulides’s book also involve strange locations for shoes and clothing, separated from the person or body that was later found. Being carried away by a large flying creature and falling out of ones shoe or pants or jacket—that makes more sense than Bigfoots that quickly carry people uphill in extremely rugged terrain, dropping off shoes and clothing on the way up a steep mountain. Some Bigfoots may be extremely capable of getting themselves up challenging terrain, but carrying away all sizes of humans up almost inaccessible areas is too much.

A few cases may involve the Bigfoot, among these mysterious disappearances, but a large flying creature makes more sense, in many of the cases, when all things are considered.


sketch by eyewitness Patty Carson

Ropen (long-tailed pterosaur) seen by Patty Carson around 1965 in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay)


Giant Bird Conjecture

Some people speculate that huge birds, unclassified by science, have been responsible for some human abductions, through history. Perhaps that explains some of these missing-persons cases. But a small number of ropens, of a species that does not normally prey on humans, may also be an explanation. Whichever it is, we’d do well to watch for what may fly overhead.



Origin of Reports of Ropen Pterosaurs

Two American soldiers, in New Guinea in 1944, were hiking into the jungle west of Finschhafen, when they were shocked to see a huge creature fly into the air, not more than 100 feet from the soldiers. [a huge “pterodactyl” with a long tail]


“Nightmare” Attack in the Dead of Winter

Remember your worst nightmare? Were you glad to wake up? Be grateful. In the early morning hours of February 23, 2010, a few miles or so southwest of Marfa, Texas, the victims were terrified by what awakened them.


Missing Persons and Pterosaurs

The ropen may grab the person by the coat or pants or shirt or even by the shoes. That is why the body or living person found by rescuers has such clothing missing. It also explains why such clothing is found in other locations and why the pants are sometimes found inside out. The victim falls out of the clothing sometimes but not always.


Sightings in Southern USA

. . . it is a VERY RARE sight, but how can you mistake a pterodactyl? I have [researched this] . . . because I too have seen one, or what I believe to have been one, and there are many people who claim they have seen them. When I was around [ten years old] and on the way to a camp in North Carolina, I saw one soaring high in the sky. It was an amazing sight.


Ropen of the Southwest Pacific

These Americans have gone deep into the tropical rain forests  of Papua New Guinea, in the twenty-first century, to help in the cryptozoology searches for what appear to be living pterosaurs. [Blume, Guessman, Nation, Whitcomb, Woetzel]


Ropen – Modern Pterosaur

A more recent definition, which does not restrict the cryptid to any particular location, is “A modern pterosaur with Rhamphorhynchoid characteristics,” generally meaning a pterosaur with a long tail (from the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition).


More Non-English Sites on Living Pterosaurs

Web sites on modern living pterosaurs have been published in a number of languages, mostly European, including Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Polish, and Hungarian. Much of the content in some of them comes from the research and expeditions of several American cryptozoologists, including Garth Guessman, Jonathan Whitcomb, Paul Nation, and David Woetzel.

We think of Europe as one of the centers for dragon legends, but the following referenced sites say little, if anything, about dragons. Still, those lengendary flying creatures can lurk in the background.



A kritika az ötlet, hogy pterosaurs él – Válaszok

Sok éven keresztül, az emberek azt mondják, hogy most légy pterosaurs, különbözo országokban. . . . Néhány ezek voltak expedíciók 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2004 (ketto), 2006, 2007 (ketto), és 2009.

Hungarian web page image with title "nowoczesne pterozaura"



Zyc Pterozaura

W 2004 roku Jonathan Whitcomb zbadać wyspę. . . . Większość świadków widać tylko światła latające.

Polish language web page "zyc pterozaura" - live pterosaur



Moderne Pterosaur

Maar tussen 1944 en 2014,  hebben veel mensen wonen pterosauriërs gezien. . . .  In 2007,  een man gemeld dat een pterosaur vloog in de  buurt van Amsterdam.

screen print of the web page "Moderne Pterosaur" (in Dutch language of the Netherlands).


Live Pterosaur Web Pages in non-English

. . . cryptozoological pages and posts in other languages have popped up over the past eight years. Many . . . are about the ropen of Papua New Guinea.


Searching for Ropens and Finding God

front and back covers of the paperback book "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" (3rd edition)

From page 284:

I have struggled with two dogmas of Western thought: the assumption that all species of pterosaurs must have become extinct long ago and that all stories about fire-breathing dragons must be completely fictional. Extinction is a deep subject, covered in the next chapter; but the dragon-breath idea we can now touch. To the best of my knowledge and belief, at least one species of pterosaur can defend itself by emitting a noxious mist from its mouth, a vapor dangerous to inhale, looking like smoke that comes from the “dragon’s” mouth. My associates and I believe that this may be part of the origin of “fire breathing.” I have no idea if any flying creature in Texas has this ability, but it explains part of how we got this picture of a dragon. Combine this with a bright bioluminescence, and we have apparent fire. But how few people would think of all that!


Pterosaur Sightings Near Griffith Park

I was delighted to receive an email from a lady who reported three “dragons” gliding over the I-5 freeway, on the eastern border of Griffith Park. I got the email just hours after the sighting, which was on March 3, 2013.

I was also delighted to received an email from another lady just ten weeks later. She had seen one “pterosaur” over that same freeway, but 1.5 miles to the south. This was also between the eastern side of Griffith Park and the Los Angeles River.

I noticed several differences between the two sightings. The first was of three flying creatures, gliding in a triangular formation, if I understand correctly; the second was of one flying creature, gliding in a different direction and at a different time of day. The first eyewitness noticed the long thin tails with a structure at tail-end; the second eyewitness noticed a head crest and was sure the creature had no feathers. I have not doubt that these four flying creatures are of the same species: a ropen (long-tailed living pterosaur).


rugged country of Griffith Park, one of the largest city parks in the western USA - Los Angeles, California

Griffith Park of Los Angeles – one of the largest municipal parks in the USA


These two sightings need to be taken in context with others in California.

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary Pterosaur Sighting

The eyewitness contacted me by phone and we also had email correspondence, concerning his sighting in mid-2007, in which a flying creature flew in front of the car he was driving past an animal preserve in Orange County, near California State University at Irvine. The length of that apparent pterosaur was 30 feet, half of which was a tail. This was no wild guess from looking at something flying far overhead, for the creature was low, just above the road, and the width of that road (also about 30 feet) made it easy to estimate the creature’s size. The eyewitness was certain about the lack of feathers.


looking north on the road just north of California State University at Irvine. Here a huge long-tailed pterosaur flew in mid-2007.

Where the huge long-tailed ropen flew over Campus Drive, in Orange County, in the summer of 2007 (the eyewitness was interviewed by Jonathan Whitcomb)


San Diego Pterosaur Sighting

One of the two eyewitnesses reported to me the two flying creatures that were seen at about 8:00 p.m., on November 4, 2011, over the city of San Diego. He told me the following:

We were standing in the street . . . from the west came this dark object in the sky. It was right over us about, I say, 40 yards [high]. As it got closer we both yelled, “What the hell is that?” It looked like a huge bird. It was gliding . . . I was stuck looking at it the entire time. I began yelling at it, then it turned around and it stood still in the air. It was flapping its wings while it was there. Then outta nowhere here came another one. . . . they both went east [inland].


sketch of the head, with long pointed headcrest, of the pterosaur of Cuba

Some of the apparent pterosaurs seen in Southern California may be related to the “Gitmo Pterosaur” of Cuba. (Sketch drawn by eyewitness Patty Carson.)


Dragons Around Griffith Park in Los Angeles

This morning at about 6 a.m. I saw three “dragons” flying over the 5-North freeway between Griffith Park and Glendale. They appeared to be several feet long, with a head:body:tail ratio that was certainly not that of a bird.

Pterosaurs in Griffith Park

The point about this part of Los Angeles is the two sightings, ten weeks apart, over the Interstate-5 freeway that runs north-south on the east side of Griffith Park and the proximity to the Los Angeles River.

Griffith Park Pterosaurs and Perching

Perhaps many species of pterosaurs could not perch on a branch like many birds now can; but the skeptic said that “no kind of pterosaur could” perch, and that’s another forest altogether. [“Basal” pterosaurs could perch; at least many of them could.]