By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb
The following eyewitness report I received in 2010, from a man in Michigan, and I believe it may have been a large ropen:
I just discovered your website and wanted to pass on a sighting to you that happened to me when I was a kid. I was about 12 years old so this would have been 1975. I admit I could be off by +/- a year or two so lets just call it mid-seventies.
I used to spend all my summers at my cousins farm near the small town of Bad Axe in Michigan’s Thumb. Their farm was comprised of a large farmhouse and a huge barn and several other small sheds and chicken coups, etc. Behind their house was a vast wheat field (at least I think it was wheat) and beyond the wheat field was the woods.
I remember one day I was playing in this old trailor in their driveway, running back and forth and making the trailor rock back and forth. I glanced up towards the woods and saw this huge, immense creature flying directly at me. It was coming from the woods and was about halfway across the wheat field when I saw it.
It was the biggest flying creature I have ever seen in my life before or since. It was dull grey in color and had NO feathers. Being a typical boy of that time I knew what it was. It was a pterosaur.
I freaked out and jumped out of the trailor and ran as fast as I could to the farmhouse screaming bloody murder. When I got inside I yelled what was out there and the adults just laughed but my cousin, Martin Brandt, (same age as I was), ran outside with me.
When we got outside the pterosaur had gone into a banking turn and was heading back towards the woods. The creature was so big and so immense that it was actually creating a wake of turbulance in the wheat as it flew over it.
My cousin began to scream as I did and we both ran back to the house. I remember him tripping and I stepped on him as I ran. None of the adults or my other cousins believed what we had seen.
I have since drifted apart from my cousins but I saw him in the late 80’s at a family reunion and I asked him if he remebered that incident and he said he does. He said he tried to tell people about that story and gets the same responses that I have gotten over the years: Everything from casual polite semi-believe to accusations of downright lying.
But I know what I saw. I can still see the image in my mind and replay the whole sequence of events as though it were yesterday. It was a pterosaur. Can you tell me are there any new sightings of pterosaurs being reported in the U.S.? And where are they being reported?
Thanks for listening.
Bad Axe is in the “thumb” of Michigan.
I’ve gotten many living-pterosaur reports from 2004 to 2017, and this was is not nearly as shocking to me as it would be to most Americans. Most of them have been shorter than this one, but a few eyewitnesses have actually communicated with me over a period of years, making extensive information available to the public, regarding their encounters with apparent living pterosaurs. Most reports suggest that a ropen was encountered.
I’ll now give an answer to this man’s question about pterosaurs being reported in the USA:
This downloadable pdf web page contains the following (as of November 2, 2017):
- 170 references to sightings of living pterosaurs
- 136 of them being in the United States of America (some of them in Michigan)
- 31 links to more information on sightings
Encounters outside the USA, referenced on this site, are as follows:
- Papua New Guinea
Not all reports suggest a ropen but those that do not have a long tail appear to be some other kind of modern living pterosaur.
What a controversy this old photograph seems to be stirring up! I’m talking about the photo with six soldiers standing over what appears to be a recently shot Pteranodon . . .
The testimonies of the above nine men shoot down the assumption that all species of pterosaurs are extinct.
A few Americans, over a period of many years, have used personal funds to go on expeditions on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, searching for a nocturnal flying animal . . .