Several North Carolina residents are reporting sightings of a strange winged creature, or possibly multiple creatures, that has piqued the interest of local cryptozoologists. North Carolina newspapers are reporting multiple sightings of some sort of large flying beast which sounds straight out of the Triassic period. One witness, Cynthia Lee of Raleigh, North Carolina, says she’s seen the animal multiple times. Based on the way Lee and other witnesses have described the creature, some cryptozoologists believe it (or they) could be a pterosaur:
It had a long tail with a diamond-shaped bulb on it. It was dark brown. It had this weird crest. I drew a picture of it. My mother and uncle saw one too while they were playing outside of my grandma’s house when they were really little. They told grandma, but she didn’t believe it. I thought they were extinct.
Cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb says he’s not alone in believing that there may still be living pterosaurs in North Carolina. “My associates and I believe that these are non-extinct pterosaurs,” Whitcomb told the Raleigh-based The News & Observer, “what many persons would call ‘pterodactyls’ or ‘flying dinosaurs.” Whitcomb even claims to have a Civil War-era photograph which shows a group of soldiers posing with what he claims is a dead pterodactyl.
However enticing these eyewitness accounts sound, area zoologists aren’t convinced. When asked for a response, the head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science Lindsay Zanno replied only that “pterosaurs are extinct and have been for 65 million years.” Other local wildlife experts suggest that these sightings were likely great blue herons, a large native bird.
Still, given other recent sightings of similar anomalous-looking winged creatures, these do sound a bit strange. Could these sightings be related to the large winged beasts seen above Chicago? Has the mothman migrated south for winter? Or, more likely, has increasing urban expansion forced the blue heron into new areas?