Books on Living Pterosaurs

By modern-pterosaur expert Jonathan David Whitcomb

Let’s divide these cryptozoology books into three types:

  1. Worldwide sightings in general
  2. Pterosaur encounters in North America
  3. Sightings in the Southwest Pacific

In addition, some of the nonfiction books are entirely about these featherless flying creatures and others include cryptids of other types or even are mostly about paranormal events in general (with non-extinct “pterodactyls” making up only a small part).

Sightings of Apparent Living Pterosaurs Worldwide

This actually appears to have the least number of nonfiction books, at least for those publications that are entirely about these non-bird/non-bat flying creatures. The obvious one that fits here is my Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition.

Quest for discovering modern pterosaurs

“The Bible of modern pterosaurs”

Notice some of the locations where people see apparent living pterosaurs (SFRFG):

  • Africa (in general, for several nations are mentioned)
  • Australia
  • Antarctic NOT, which is not surprising
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Cuba
  • England
  • Greece
  • Indonesia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Pacific Ocean, central-eastern
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Samoan Islands area
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • USA
  • Venezuela
  • Wake Island area

Be aware that the above are only from the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, and some of these areas (especially the United States) have a great number of sightings.

Books With Accounts of Non-Extinct Pterosaurs in North America

The obvious choices for North America are the following three:

  1. Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition, by Whitcomb)
  2. Bird From Hell (by Gerald McIsaac)
  3. Big Bird (by Ken Gerhard)

Less obvious is The Van Meter Visitor, for the three authors seem reluctant to mention the possibility that a small group of nocturnal modern pterosaurs were involved.

Sightings in the Southwest Pacific

I recommend Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea, for it’s a free pdf book available online. It may be one of the best books for explaining why some species of pterosaurs are still living and why that may not be as shocking as people think it is.



Books on living pterosaurs

Mini-reviews of five nonfiction books about modern pterosaurs:

  • Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition, by Whitcomb
  • Bird From Hell, second edition (only partially about extant pterosaurs)
  • Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition, by J. D. Whitcomb
  • Modern Pterosaurs, the shortest paperback cryptozoology book by Whitcomb
  • Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea (free online pdf book)


Books for LDS readers

How can faith relate to science? Read Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition, to find how faith in the Bible led a number of Americans to search for non-extinct pterosaurs in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.


Living pterosaurs

  • “Civil War” pterosaur photo
  • Ropen sighting in Pennsylvania
  • “Big Bird” in Draper, Utah
  • Living pterosaurs and skepticism
  • Modern Pterosaurs and Confirmation Bias
  • A reply to an attack against the Ptp photo
  • Scott Norman and the “pterodactyl” photograph
  • Book about the “Pteranodon” photo
  • etc.


Non-extinct pterosaurs

The popular textbook declaration that all species became extinct millions of years ago, universal pterosaur extinction—that concept itself is approaching extinction.” Jonathan Whitcomb


I saw a pterodactyl

Interview of the World War II veteran Duane Hodgkinson by the cryptozoologist Garth Guessman (Youtube video)


Pterosaur sightings

Look at the statistics on pterosaur sightings. Three factors in the statistics have spoken out loudly against any general hoax-speculation, and potential hoaxes need to be addressed first. (Misidentification possibilities are an important part of credibility issues, but that needs its own space, its own post.)


Books on modern pterosaurs

  • Don’t Shoot Down That Pterodactyl
  • New Book on Living Pterodactyls
  • Honest Skepticism Regarding Live Pterosaur Reports
  • New Cryptozoology Book: Pterosaurs in Australia
  • Live Pterosaurs in America – third edition
  • and more


Cryptozoology books

Book review by an Amazon customer:

“This is a fascinating chronological and eyewitness account of finding ‘Ropens’ (pterosaurs) . . . The book is replete with eyewitness sightings of the creature. In Papua New Guinea the natives saw a huge [pterosaur] with a 7 meter tail and 15 meter wingspan. . . .”


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Living Pterosaurs and 10-Year Anniversaries

By living-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

In the first half of the year 2017 the Ptp photograph, with apparent Civil War soldiers standing over an apparent recently shot-down Pteranodon, dominated news in the living-pterosaur investigations. We now look at ten-year anniversaries.

Ropen Sighting Near University of California at Irvine

In the summer of 2007, a man was driving northwest on Campus Road, from the direction of the state university in Irvine, when he saw a gigantic flying creature pass in front of his car, at low elevation. As it flew over the road, he could see that the total length of the featherless animal was close to the width of the road, in other words about 30 feet.

A year later, he phoned me to report the sighting. I’ve agreed to keep him anonymous, but I can say that he appears highly credible to me. Why would he lie? He works in a profession that requires a high degree of credibility (a medical doctor or an attorney, I’ll not say any more because I need to protect his anonymity).

More than once, I’ve phoned him at his work, verifying that the one who reported to me the huge ropen in Orange County is the professional man himself, not someone impersonating him. One year after the sighting, he would not consider going with me into the wildlife sanctuary into which that creature had been flying.

Near where ropen sighting took place in 2007

A long-tailed pterosaur flew over the road

Skeptics may dismiss this report of a giant pterodactyl flying over a street in Orange, California, but what was it? The most outspoken critic in the world, regarding accounts of living pterosaurs, Glen Kuban, mentions this report: He refers to birds that hold their legs out while flying, mentioning a heron. Yet the largest one in the USA, the Great blue heron, has a total length of less than five feet. The eyewitness in Orange County told me that the creature he saw was as long as the road is wide. I walked across that road myself, in 2008: It is close to thirty feet wide. That flying creature observed in 2007 was no heron.

“Pteranodon” Sighting in Central California in 2007

Here’s a bit about the pterosaur sighting by Scott Norman, taken from my nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition):

Chad Arment reports that Scott said, “[I was] very skeptical and didn’t think we would see anything. . . I stayed up till 4:00 a.m. Here’s the kicker, the skeptic, between 1:30-2:30 a.m., has a sighting! . . . I was sitting in a chair, sideways towards the shed, looking up at the starry skies, when this animal came gliding just over the shed and into the field . . .”

The creature’s wingspan was roughly nine feet. Scott described the wings: bat-like, because of a “wavy” appearance. He felt that the body could have been over five feet long, with the neck at least a foot long, and the head about four feet. The head crest was about two feet long; it reminded him of that of a pteranodon . . . (Others verified Scott reported similar details.)

This is the ten year anniversary of the sighting by the late Scott Norman.

Scott T. Norman - cryptozoologist and explorer (March 15, 1964 - February 29, 2008)

Eyewitness Scott Norman



Pterosaur Sightings in Southern California

  • Lakewood (2012)
  • Los Angeles (2013)
  • San Diego (2011)
  • Pico Rivera (2006)
  • Long Beach
  • Altadena (about 1968)
  • Irvine (2007)
  • Sherman Oaks (2009)


Pterosaur Photo – Civil War

Two old-looking photographs are often confused, both appearing to have several Civil War soldiers standing over something lying on the ground. The one on the left is the older genuine photo . . . “Ptp.” It has been verified by the missile defense physicist Clifford Paiva and cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb to have an image of an actual modern pterosaur, maybe related to the Pteranodon.


Civil War Pteranodon Photograph Ptp

I do not proclaim that the animal in the Ptp photograph must have been a species of Pteranodon very similar to what has been already discovered, in pterosaur fossils, before 2017.


Ropen in a Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County

We might doubt that size of a ropen in Orange County (I believe it), for the estimated size is astonishing. But similar creatures, huge flying creatures, have been reported flying over San Diego and near San Diego. . . . apparent Rhamphorhynchoids . . .


Pteranodon Sighting in California

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.




cryptozoology book, nonfiction, "Modern Pterosaurs"

The truth about what two scientists have discovered in this old photo of a pterosaur

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Bias in Criticizing the Civil War Pterosaur Photo

By modern-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

I do not condemn objective scientific criticism, but how often have I seen critical comments that are unscientific! Any person can potentially have a bias, including those who support standard models of science and are defending old established points of view.

The 19th century photograph “Ptp”

The physicist Clifford Paiva started examining this photograph many years ago, and has fully supported its authenticity. I have also known about Ptp for many years, offering some corrections, in 2013, for criticisms of it that I felt were unjustified. Yet it was not until January of 2017 that I was able to look at the photo more objectively, having been informed by a canoe expert that the wings of the animal were definitely not canoes. That’s when I talked with Paiva and examined the evidences he had found that it was genuine. Before January of 2017, I was practically unaware of the work this scientist had done in examining and analyzing Ptp.

Ptp is a genuine photograph of a modern pterosaur

The photograph declared genuine by two scientists: evidence of a modern pterosaur


Take this photo in context. Before 2017, one of the primary criticisms of living-pterosaur investigations was the apparent lack of photographic evidence for the existence of those animals in modern times. We now have a photograph to support the testimonies of the many eyewitnesses who see these flying creatures, with sightings around the world.

Bias in a long online criticism of living-pterosaur investigations

I won’t here dwell much on brief careless remarks by skeptics. One critic said, on encountering Ptp, that Mathew Brady was the only person who photographed scenes of the American Civil War (Look at “Photographers of the American Civil War” on Wikipedia, however, and you’ll see the names of dozens of photographers). Another critic found it suspicious that none of the men in Ptp has any shirt button unbuttoned.

Much could be said about confirmation bias regarding those kinds of short careless remarks, but we now look at a long online article that appears built up to destroy confidence in all investigations that support the possibility of an extant pterosaur.

I won’t mention the name of the author or the name of his long article here. Much in his online page seems extremely misleading, to me, although I do not accuse him of any deception or any desire to deceive. I think it’s more likely that he himself has been deceived and is trying to defend traditional ideas about geology. I’ll call him “the critic.”

How long is his article? Considering the average English word is 5.1 characters in length, his article has close to 12,890 words. Obviously, I’ll not be commenting on all of it in this post, but I will comment on some of what he says about Ptp.

Is it a Pteranodon?

In the third paragraph of the Civil-War-photograph section of the article, it mentions, “a giant Pteranodon-like pterosaur carcass” in Ptp. Those are his own words, verifying what other persons have said about that apparent pterosaur. In other words, the head of that animal brings to mind a Pteranodon, even if only some persons think of that word when they see the picture.

In my Youtube video “Introduction to the old photograph Ptp,” I clearly state that Paiva and I are not declaring that the pterosaur seen with those six soldiers must have been a species of Pteranodon (it just gives that impression). The critic, however, gives two lists of reasons why it is not that type of pterosaur, as if that were some kind of evidence that it was not any kind of pterosaur. Much could be said about those two lists, for they are full of mistakes, but let’s move on, for the Pteranodon question has little relevance.

Is it a Hoax by Photoshop?

The critic says that “Loren Coleman, a renown [sic] American cryptozoologist” rejected Ptp with the words “Verdict: photoshopping” (quoting Coleman). I can verify that Loren Coleman did use those two words, in a post in 2007, in his evaluation of what we now call “Ptp.” In fact, those two words were all that he said about his evaluation of the photo.

Yet the critic who wrote the long online article rejects one of my points as “irrelevant,” because “the shadows are equally consistent with an actor standing on a model pterosaur.” Here is the point I was making:

The physicist Clifford Paiva found that shadows under the shoe of a soldier (on the beak) were consistent with other shadows on the animal.

In other words, no Photoshop hoaxing was involved there: a real object making a shadow on another real object. If the critic were being objective, he would acknowledge that direct evidence (by a scientist) shows Loren Coleman was wrong in the Photoshop conjecture.

This deserves a closer look. Before 2017, most criticisms of Ptp were based on the idea that digital image manipulation (like Photoshop) was used. Loren Coleman is perhaps the most famous of cryptozoologists, and he rejected Ptp based upon the Photoshop conjecture. In other words, direct evidence that shots down the Photoshop idea is NOT irrelevant.

The real history of two scientists with Ptp

The critic says, “after receiving some communications from YEC physicist Clifford Paiva in early 2017, Whitcomb and Paiva evidently put aside any initial concerns. . . .” That can mislead people. After my doubts about the animal’s wings were overturned by a canoe expert—that is when I called Paiva. After my communications with Paiva—that is when I became convinced that Ptp had a genuine image of a modern pterosaur.

The critic seems to think that Paiva “put aside any initial concerns,” but that is incorrect. He had no problems, for years, with the idea that this photograph has a genuine image of a real pterosaur. The critic is also incorrect if he assumes that new evidence is no longer accumulating in favor of the extant-pterosaur interpretation of Ptp. Paiva and I keep making new discoveries that support the authenticity of this old photograph, although I need to acknowledge that most of the discoveries are by my friend and associate, who has great skill in analyzing photographs.


The critic who wrote that article of over 12,000 words was far from objective, probably writing under the weaknesses of confirmation bias and belief perseverance.


folded wings correlate with what is known from fossils of pterosaurs

Folded wings (wing-inversion): evidence that this was a real pterosaur


copyright 2017 Jonathan Whitcomb


Evidence of a modern pterosaur

Partial list of evidences that it is a modern pterosaur

  1. Both wings are folded in a way consistent with some pterosaurs (wing inversion)
  2. The wings have both apparent biological-general-symmetry and differences in detail
  3. The scientist Clifford Paiva has found apparent blood effusion areas on the animal
  4. The neck curve is consistent with what would be expected of some pterosaurs
  5. The neck shows apparent muscle structure
  6. Although the wings show some interesting structure, it has no feathers
  7. The shoulders have lit/shade details consistent with a real animal (not Photoshop)
  8. Some of the head has structures correlating with what is known about a Pteranodon


More evidence for the “pterodactyl” photograph

I’ve written about the tree-branch prop used when this “Ptp” photo was recorded, indicating it was probably before about 1870 when those six men were standing over the body of the pterosaur. . . . The scientist Clifford Paiva has recently found another prop, this one under the left wing of the animal.


Photo of a modern pterosaur

This is not about the hoax-photograph, with Civil War reenactors, done for the Freakylinks TV series that was on the Fox Network from 2000-2001. That photo shows a similar scene: apparent 19th-century American soldiers standing over the body of some apparently dead animal with apparent wings.  . . . [The Ptp photograph, however, has a genuine image of a real pterosaur, declared authentic by two scientists.]


cryptozoology book, nonfiction, "Modern Pterosaurs"

Cryptozoology book with much evidence for the Ptp photograph

First edition – This fully supports the literal Flood of Noah in the Bible, although the genre is nonfiction cryptozoology.


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Genuine Image of a Pterosaur in a Photograph

By the modern-pterosaur expert Jonathan Whitcomb

Introduction to the Ptp “Pteranodon” Photo

This is not about the hoax-photograph, with Civil War reenactors, done for the Freakylinks TV series that was on the Fox Network from 2000-2001. That photo shows a similar scene: apparent 19th-century American soldiers standing over the body of some apparently dead animal with apparent wings. The Feakylinks hoax photo, however, shows a soldier on the far left who appears to be so heavyset that his military shirt could not be buttoned (a very uncommon build for a common soldier in the Civil War). In addition, the thing on the ground is unconvincing: more like a shaped canvass than an actual animal. That fake-photo has very limited relevance to the Ptp photo.

The photograph we’re examining here is called “Ptp” and has been around much longer. It was surely used, by the producers of Freakylinks, as a model for their crude imitation.

sic soldiers and one "pterodactyl" in a photo

Figure-1: Ptp photograph, now declared to have a genuine image of a modern pterosaur


What is That “Monster” in the Civil War Photograph?

The Ptp photo has been around for a long time, apparently long before Freakylinks episodes and decades before Photoshop existed. The physicist Clifford Paiva (California) has examined this older photo in detail, finding a number of clues that this was a real man with his foot on the beak of a real animal. The scientist found a number of details in the head and neck that point to the shocking conclusion that this is a genuine photograph of a modern pterosaur, with details strongly suggesting a Pteranodon.

That means it is probably not a ropen, which is a modern Rhamphorhynchoid (“basal”) pterosaur. Pteranodons known from fossils are of a different type: Pterodactyloids. With that said, we cannot be absolutely sure this is not a ropen, for the framing of the photo does not reveal a tail or lack thereof.

All of those non-bat featherless flying creatures have been presumed extinct, by many paleontologists, with their presumed extinctions coming many millions of years ago. My associates and I, however, have received eyewitness reports from around the world, many accounts of pterosaurs that are very much alive.

I’ve written much about the Ptp Civil War photo, on many blog posts, so I’ll not repeat many details here, on why Paiva and I are convinced this is a genuine image of a modern pterosaur. We instead answer a question.

Why Don’t we Have More Photos of Modern Pterosaurs?

I’ve often answered a similar question, by book or blog post, over the years, but here’s another man in Arkansas who agrees with me. Two years ago I got his email, which included the following (he did not see a pterosaur but another kind of unusual animal):

. . . I have searched on the internet for others who have seen things that shouldn’t exist, and one of the things I see sceptics ask is why has no one . . . taken a decent picture . . . every cell phone has a pretty good camara.

Well I know why I didn’t get a picture. My cell phone was in my pocket and I was standing there with a sandwich in one hand and a coke in the other. When this thing stuck its head up I just froze. I grew up in the woods so when a critter pops up I instinctively freeze so as not to scare it away. My first reaction was HUH???!! Is that what I’m seeing?? WHAT THE???!!!

People see car wrecks all the time and no one denies that car wrecks happen. But when you see a car wreck your reaction is WHOA! Did you see that?! Only after the initial shock wears off do you reach for a camera.

When I saw that thing rise up out of the lake, just feet in front of me, my first reaction was not, “oh look at that, I think I’ll take a nice picture” it was unbelief at what was right in front of me.

After a few seconds I slowly put my sandwich down and reached in my pocket for my phone. The thing saw me moving and looked right at me. As soon as it made eye contact it flinched and then dissapeared into the lake. When most people see something like a ropen or something that is not supposed to be there, The first reaction is either they think they are mistaking it for something else or if they see it well enough to be beyond doubt their mind is mostly likely trying to make sense of it rather than thinking about getting out a camera. Then the opportunity is gone. . . .

I think that sums up the answer well.


Copyright 2017 Jonathan David Whitcomb


Modern Pterosaur in a Civil War Photograph

Notice the Civil War reenactors in Figure-1. This is an early-21st-century hoax photo for the Freakylinks television series produced by Haxan Films . . . Now I recommend you look at the original photograph [the one declared genuine in January of 2017]

Are all Pterosaurs Extinct?

“Do nothing to refute mainstream geology” are the words  of Glen Kuban. This phrase, however, is a clue that he is  actually protecting a philosophy, for science, by its nature,  is expected to bring about changes in opinion about what we used to think: changes.

Old Photo of a Pterosaur Declared Genuine

This photo is not to be confused with the hoax-image said to have been created by an American film and television production company named “Haxan” (possibly a “Freaky Links” episode for Fox TV in 2001). The Haxan-photograph is indeed a hoax, probably influenced in its fabrication by the earlier photo that is now declared authentic.

Ropen Observed in Alberta, Canada

. . . the flying creature appeared to have been a ropen. According to the mother of the children (who were with her in their backyard) . . .


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