Mar 07, 2015 I Nick Redfern

Pterosaurs of the Ghostly Kind

Imagine crossing the moors and hills of England and encountering what looks like nothing less than a living, breathing pterodactyl! Think it couldn’t happen? It already has. From 1982 to 1983, a wave of sightings of such a creature – presumed extinct for tens of millions of years - occurred in an area called the Pennines, better known as the “backbone of England.”

So far as can be determined, thanks to the research of Jenny Randles, the first sighting occurred in September 1982. That was when a man named William Green encountered at Shipley Glen a large, gray colored creature, which possessed a pair of leathery-looking wings. The latter point is notable, since it effectively rules out a significantly sized feathery bird, and does indeed place matters into a pterodactyl category.

Perhaps inevitably, the local media soon heard of the sightings, as Randles notes in her book, Supernatural Pennines. While the theory that a large bird of prey had escaped from a menagerie or zoo may have satisfied the skeptics, it did not go down well with the witnesses, who were sure that what they had encountered was something straight out of the Jurassic era.

Rather notably, the media attention brought forth additional witnesses, including Richard Pollock, who said he encountered a monster that looked like a cross between a crocodile and a bat. Needless to say, the matter was never satisfactorily resolved. But, it's hardly a case that stands alone.

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Joshua P. Warren - ghost hunter

Joshua P. Warren is a highly respected ghost-hunter from Asheville, North Carolina. Amongst his many investigations of the spooky kind, one in particular stands out. In the mid-2000s, Warren documented a huge amount of supernatural activity at the Jackson Farm, Lancaster, South Carolina. Ghostly apparitions were commonplace on the property, and particularly so late at night. One of them, amazingly, was described in Warren's 2006 book, Pet Ghosts, as being a spectral, winged animal that “had a wide wingspan and a long neck with some kind of huge bird head.” It gave all the indications of being a pterosaur.

And, in our 2010 book, Monsters of Texas, Ken Gerhard and I detailed a number of such cases. Specifically from Ken's files came the report of a woman named Debbie Fisher, who had an encounter with such a creature - one with a ten-foot-wingspan - in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1980s. In Ken's own words: "The silhouetted outline of its wings appeared to be 'more bat-like than bird-like' to her, and it made her feel both 'creepy and uncomfortable,' as if she was in some kind of vampire movie. Overall, Debbie felt that the thing resembled a pterodactyl more than anything else she could think of."

A similar case, from 2004, and also from San Antonio, reached Ken. The witness, Mary, told him: "I really believe that this was not a bird. It looked more bat like, especially the wings and tail. I know for a fact that what I saw was not a bird...prehistoric."

It seems absurd to believe that pterosaurs might still be amongst us, but never, ever get captured or killed. Could it be that, as Joshua Warren's research suggests, we're dealing with the ghosts of long dead pterodactyls? It sounds bizarre, but if people live on after physical death, then why not animals, too? There are, after all, numerous cases on record of animals returning from the mysterious beyond.

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Loch Ness Monster

This brings us to something else which is supportive of this theory. While digging into the world of U.S. Government research into remote-viewing and psychic-spying, author Jim Marrs learned that elements of the official world had attempted to focus their skill upon solving the riddle of what it is that lurks within Loch Ness, Scotland.

It was no easy task, however, as Marrs noted. Several remote-viewing sessions that targeted the creatures, said Marrs, actually revealed physical traces of the beasts – such as wakes in the water, or the distinct movement of large bodies beneath the surface of the loch. Significantly, those involved in the remote-viewing of Loch Ness even made drawings of long-necked, humped animals that eerily resembled the presumed extinct plesiosaurs of times past.

As Marrs noted, however, when the government’s remote-viewers attempted to dig further into the puzzle, they hit upon a startling discovery: the creatures – if that is what they really were – seemed to have the strange ability to appear and vanish into thin-air, just like classic, chain-rattling spirits, one might very well suggest.

Marrs, in his book, Psi-Spies, commented thus on this curious development in the affair of Nessie: “Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness Monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.”

The ghost of a creature long extinct? Don't bet against it. It just might be a viable explanation for why people can have incredible encounters with pterosaurs in both England and the United States, in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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