If you're interested in the subject of cryptozoology, you'll know that a wealth of coverage has been given just recently to a controversial piece of footage that alleges to show nothing less than a living, breathing, and flying pterodactyl. In the skies of Idaho, USA, no less. People have asked me what I think it shows. Well, I think it's a great piece of film. It's very interesting. And it makes for deep debate. But, I don't think it shows a pterodactyl. I do think it's a fine and entertaining piece of work though! And hats off to whoever made it!
It's important to note, however, that one of the reasons why the footage has generated so much interest is because sightings of creatures that appear to be pterodactyls are surprisingly common. This, despite the fact that the beast is supposed to have become extinct millions of years ago. In other words, just because someone may have produced a fairly impressive piece of special-effects footage, doesn't necessarily mean that such things don't still exist. Or does it? Well...that depends to what extent you are willing to believe that creatures from the (very) distant past may still be with us.
Certainly, there's one thing we can all agree on when it come to this debate, and regardless of which side of the fence we sit on. Namely, there's no shortage of reports. In fact, within the field of cryptozoology they are overflowing.
In 1975, Puerto Rico was plunged into a state of fear when the people of Moca began talking about a terrifying monster that became known as the Moca Vampire. It was in March 1975 that creature was first seen, up close and personal. The witness was a woman named Maria Acevedo, who caught sight of a monstrously-sized, screaming and screeching winged beast that landed atop her home, and which clambered about her zinc roof, making an almighty racket in the process. And it was clearly no normal bird: around four to five feet in height, it was described as being similar in appearance to a pterodactyl.
From 1982 to 1983, a wave of sightings of such a creature – presumed extinct for million of years - occurred in an area called the Pennines, better known as the “backbone of England” and comprised of rolling hills and mountains. So far as can be determined, the first encounter occurred at a place with the highly apt name of the Devil’s Punchbowl, on September 12, 1982. That was when a man named William Green came forward with an astonishing story of what he encountered at Shipley Glen woods. It was a large, grey colored creature, that flew in “haphazard” style and which possessed a pair of large, leathery-looking wings. The closest thing it resembled was a pterodactyl.
There’s no doubt that the most credible and enduring cases come from east of Papua New Guinea, specifically the islands of Rambutyo and Umboi. Locally, the beast is known as the Ropen. Its name translates to “Demon Flyer,” a most apt title indeed. Unlike the vast pterodactyls of yesteryear, today’s Ropen appears to be a scaled-down equivalent of its ancient ancestor. Its wingspan is often described as being in the region of four to six feet, which is not large for a pterosaur, since they were immense creatures. That does not stop them from being formidable predators, however. By all accounts the Ropen has a mouth filled with vicious-looking fangs, and a tail that is reptilian in appearance. And it can fly at fantastic speeds.
So, what's going on? Are pterosaurs still with us? As unlikely as it all sounds, that's what many witnesses have said and are still saying. And, even though I don't think the new footage shows a real pterodactyl, it's definitely helping to keep the debate of "living pterodactyls" alive.