Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another photo of cowboys with a pterodactyl

While this blog is mostly dedicated to Civil War and Old West history, my most popular post is the one I did on the Thunderbird photo and False Memory Syndrome. It's about the enduring mystery over an alleged photo of a giant lizardy bird shot down by some cowboys near Tombstone and reported in the 26 April 1890 edition of the Tombstone, Arizona, Epitaph. Check out the link for more. It includes some fun shots of various cowboys and Civil War soldiers who have downed pterodactyl-like critters.

Now another photo has emerged on the Internet. It's the best quality I've seen so far but with all the Photoshopping going on these days, excuse me if it doesn't turn me into a True Believer. I found this on Reddit from a thread that links to my Thunderbird article. Thanks buddy, hope this post gets you some traffic back! All is connected on the Internet.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree, a bit too crisp for a nineteenth century frontier photograph. And you'd think these guys would have made national headlines!

  2. Compare both photos, in the photo above and the "civil war soldiers". All this is model of a pterodactyl. Not sure of the age, but I'm sure it was like a practical joke back in the day. The "bigfoot" of it's day so to speak. Compare the photos and you'll see that it's the exact same model. The above photo would be a better looking fake than the civil war photo. Any real dead animal is limp until rigor sets in, and even then, it has to wiegh something right? Why is the guy in the center of the above photo not holding up the main weight of the body? He's practically leaning on it. It's because it's a stiff model that supports itself. And I'm willing to bet that if you were to look at some older photos around the turn of the 19th century of some paleontology exhibits, you'd find this exact same model at some point. The Bone Wars started in the 1880s and made dinosaurs all the rage.

  3. Wonderful bat wings - too bad pterosuars didn't have wings like that.

    1. What is alive today that has wings like pterosuars then. We've seen bats fly so we know that design works.

  4. I'm not saying it's real, but comments made for such things are always the same. The know-it-alls come on, decide if they want to believe it or not first, then approve/critique second. Post their superior opinion. walk away patting themselves on the back. Topics like this mostly get the shame side of things because it goes against what they were taught initially: A long time ago, far far away..........

  5. Where are the blood and entry wounds?


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