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!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Pterodactyl sightings in America
We all remember the pterodactyl from when we were kids, that weird birdlike creature with the funky head. It died out with the dinosaurs, right?
Wrong, say some true believers. Pterodactyls have been spotted all over the world, especially in Texas, which has had several waves of pterodactyl sightings. Pterodactyls have landed on mobile homes, buzzed schoolteachers on their way to work, and generally caused mayhem across the state.
Native Americans believed in the Thunderbird, a giant bird seen in the skies of the American Southwest. Cryptozoologists (people who study unexplained animal sightings) claim the Thunderbird legend may be evidence of pterodactyl sightings. Of course the legend recounts a big feathered bird and not a reptile, but whatever.
Creationists have also gotten into the game. Many of the "pterodactyls are alive" websites use the sightings as evidence that the Earth couldn't be millions of years old, otherwise these creatures would have died out.
The sightings have been happening for some time now and even the Tombstone Epitaph got into the game back in 1890, claiming that some cowboys bagged one. Many photos of the supposed creature have arisen. This is just one of them.
While I have a hard time believing in the Thunderbird/living pterodactyl, I do find the idea charming. Perhaps I'll write a story about it one day!
I took this photo from the Texas Cryptid Hunter blog, which has a refreshingly skeptical take on the phenomenon. The image is not original to them. While I'm careful to use only public domain photos in this blog, I'm not sure this one is. If it's really as old as it appears, then it's public domain. It could simply be an old fake. If it's modern, then I'm in breach of copyright, but the only way the creator could sue me is if they admitted faking the photo! I'll take that chance. :-)