Pterosaur Seen by Brian Hennessy

Brian Hennessy is an Australian author, commercial consultant, and psychologist, working in China for the past five years. His present home is in Chongqing. Being self-employed, he has been a visiting lecturer in Psychology to the Chongqing Medical University in China; more recently, he has been a commercial consultant to the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, and psychological consultant to the foreign community in Chongqing.

Hennessy Account of Pterosaur Sighting

It was so unusual. I actually heard it before I saw it. A slow  flap…flap…flapping sound. The air was still, and our truck had stopped on our downward journey from the top of the range to the coast way below. The sound was amplified by the road-cutting into the mountain . . . bare red/orange clay, rather than the surrounding jungle. . . . on the road from Panguna down to loloho on Bougainville Island in 1971.

I saw a very unusual creature . . . very big (wingspan at least 2 metres, probably more . . . possibly much, much more). . . . It was black or dark brown. . . . It certainly looked prehistoric, in that it did not look like any other bird that I have seen before or since. . . . I recall seeing this creature with a longish narrow tail . . . the head was disproportionately large compared to the body (no feathers in sight). The wingspan was large. The head had no ‘normal’ beak. Rather there seemed to be (and this is difficult to describe) a kind of beak that was indistinguishable
from the head, and the head seemed to continue this ‘point’ at the back of the head. . . .

Jonathan Whitcomb, a cryptozoologist who specializes in this sort of sighting, interviewed Hennessy in 2006, by emails, and he has compared this Australian’s sighting with those of other eyewitnesses.

Hennessy and Kuhn Pterosaurs Compared

Brian Hennessy was on Bougainville Island (north of Australia), at about the same time as Eskin Kuhn’s sighting in Cuba, and saw one large flying creature that had a long tail. Like the apparent pterosaurs in Cuba, this one had a pointed head crest and no sign of feathers.

We could note differences between the sightings in Cuba and Bougainville, Papua New Guinea: Kuhn was alone but immediately drew sketches of two flying creatures; Hennessy was not alone, but the other eyewitnesses may no longer be available for questioning. The Australian did answer a sketch-survey, given him by Whitcomb, and the resulting head-sketch does relate to the sketch by Kuhn, with perhaps a more-pointed head crest on the Bougainville creature.

Hennessy and Hodgkinson Pterosaurs Compared

Both Duane Hodgkinson and Brian Hennessy had their sightings in the same area of the southwest Pacific: DH on the New Guinea mainland, near Finschhafen, and BH about 850 kilometers to the east. Both men saw no evidence of feathers but noticed an obvious long tail. Both men saw a pointed structure coming out the back of the head.

Both men were impressed with the sound of the wing flapping. Hodgkinson estimated the flapping frequency at one or two seconds per cycle; Hennessy, at two seconds. Both noticed a general dark coloring of the flying creature. Both men referred to the creature with the word “prehistoric.”

Both men described the flying creature with more than one detail that ruled out any large bird or large bat: head crest, lack of feathers, very long tail, and long straight beak-like mouth. Hennessy did not have any reference point to make size-estimation accurate, but Hodgkinson saw his creature as it was taking off into the air, on the far side of a jungle clearing that was about one hundred feet in diameter. Hodgkinson’s estimate of tail length, “at least ten or fifteen feet,” rules out any known bird or bat.

Marfa Lights and Skepticism

Reasonable skepticism seems to have flown out the window in regard to reactions to suggestions that some of the Marfa Lights may be the glow of a group of unknown bioluminescent flying creatures. Some blog posts are positive, others negative, and one or two are purely sarcastic.

How could the ghost lights around Marfa, Texas, be related to dinosaurs or pterosaurs alive? Some of the flying lights suggest a relationship to the ropen lights of Papua New Guinea, and those lights have been tied to sightings of giant long-tailed featherless flying creatures that are said to be pterosaurs.

The problem with some of the comments from skeptics relates to simple reasoning, or rather the avoidance of reasoning. Sarcasm is the least scientific way to address a subject, however controversial, yet some critics use this exclusively. Others just assume that care headlights explain away any unusual lights around Marfa. Those critics have missed the point: Scientific analysis of data compiled by the scientist James Bunnell shows clearly that some lights are nothing like car headlights, even when night-mirage phenomena are considered.

Scientific Skepticism and Marfa Lights

This post is not actually about scientific skepticism; it’s more about the unscientific skepticism of a writer named Brian Dunning. There seem to be a number of problems with his logic.

What a far cry from scientific skepticism! How convenient, when “hundreds” of witnesses experience something contradicting ones idea, to say it came from drinking whiskey!

To be fair to Mr. Dunning, we need to remember that some of these sighting reports are quite strange: flying lights that seem to fly in ways related to each other. These flights are too complex–I believe “complex” is the word used by James Bunnell–to be easily explained as an ordinary phenomenon. But the strange reactions some person might have to consuming alcohol does not mean that all strange experiences should be dismissed with “whiskey.” We can admit that not-yet-explained things may exist.

Marfa Lights Still in the News

. . . both the original Marfa Lights press release and the Houston Chronicle article need to be read by the reader who would be well informed in this matter. I recomment chronological order: first read the press release and then the Houston Chronicle article. But neither the blog post nor the press release nor the newspaper article mentions an important name: Peter Beach, a biologist who has taught biology at the college level. We need to pay attention to his experience with flying lights and a strange flying creature seen over the Yakima River in Washington state . . .

Marfa Lights “Flying Predator” Press Release

. . . the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, have entertained residents with their strange dancing. On some warmer nights, a ball of light seems to split into two, which will separate and fly away from each other before turning around and flying back together. They have recently been linked to flying lights in the southwest Pacific, lights that natives of Papua New Guinea testify are from large flying creatures.

Pterosaurs at Home in North America

For those who have spent much time hiking wilderness areas in North America, the places where a rare nocturnal predator might hide is beyond description. One researcher once dressed up in a Bigfoot costume and stood just inside some underbrush, for a long time, gazing at an evening outdoor party; even though all a person needed to do was look in that direction, nobody saw that “Bigfoot.” When a large flying creature flies around at night, well, that’s different. The only problem eyewitnesses have is trying to convince people that they’ve seen a large pterosaur flying overhead in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

Talk about North American living pterosaurs, Jonathan Whitcomb has a new web site, with pages about the Marfa Lights of Texas and the 1971 pterosaur sighting in Cuba (as if he hasn’t already written enough about living pterosaurs). He does not exactly compare the glowing lights of southwest Texas with Eskin Kuhn’s sighting at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but for those who are aware of the cryptozoology studies, the hypothesized connection is now well known.

How can pterosaurs live in North America? What can they eat? Well, what about carrion? The ropen of Papua New Guinea sometimes goes for dead things, as does the kongamato of Africa, at least according to some reports. Regardless of whether or not Marfa Lights are from bioluminescent pterosaurs, if a ropen-like or kongamato-like nocturnal flying creature can smell dead meat at night, in other parts of the world, why not in North America? There may be a sufficient niche there, even if pterosaurs in North America are rare.

I am aware that a certain cryptozoologist, with a name like mine although we are not related, has criticized the concept of living pterosaurs in the United States. I suspect he has not been sufficiently exposed to the reports of those who have seen those flying creatures. I HAVE been sufficiently exposed to them. I believe.

Spanish Pterosaur

¿Es extinto, señor Pterosaur? Reports of a giant bird or “pterodactyl” in Spain made news some time ago. This was mentioned on the Cryptomundo blog.

Our astonishment was immense when we stepped out to the balcony to see the black silhouette of a bird of tremendous size. It perhaps measured between 3 and 5 meters, and I am not exaggerating. Numerous residents saw it and numerous comments were made the next day.

The word “pterodactyl” came up and one eyewitness, at least, estimated the wingspan at much greater than other estimates: 15 meters.

Pterosaur at a Music Festival

In Spain, “near los desert del palmas,” at a music festival one summer night in 2007, flying about 30-40 feet over the heads of a few music fans at the edge of the festivities, was a creature that had, instead of feathers, the color and apparent texture of suede. The eyewitness saw that it was unlike a bat for it had a long thin tail. He told me, “I haven’t been able to find any species of fruit bat ANYWHERE that has a long, straight tail . . .”

The eyewitness was sure that it was not a fruit bat.


Spanish language, including excerpts of the above:

Los avistamientos de Pterodáctilos

En 2004, viajé de los Estados Unidos a Papúa Nueva Guinea. Encontré a un intérprete en la ciudad de Lae. Mí y mi intérprete viajó, por buque, a la Isla de Umboi. Más tarde, encontramos muchos nativos que habían visto el ropen.

Pterodáctilos en España

Cierre al un festival de música en España, en 2007, un hombre inglés vio un pterodáctilo aproximadamente once metros alto.

Otro informe, de un tiempo diferente: El tamaño de dos alas: tres a quince metros.