Regarding the sightings by Hodgkinson and Hennessy, misidentification of a Frigate bird or a Flying Fox fruit bat seems practically impossible; those two flying creatures were anything but birds or bats. But critics have also used the word “misidentified” (or “misidentify”) for reports of living pterosaurs in the United States.
Before getting into details about that kind of supposed misidentification, what about Marfa Lights? The common rebuff, “car headlights,” comes from either ignorance of careful observations and scientific work on CE-III mystery lights around Marfa, Texas, or from just plain careless thinking. When that type of light flys around southwest Texas, and it is examined carefully (through photographs or video from cameras set up by the scientist James Bunnell), it is found to be very unlike any car headlights, even when the night-mirage phenomena is taken into account.
About Marfa Lights, I see two ways to relate the word “misidentification.” Many visitors at the Marfa Lights Viewing Park see car headlights and assume they see “Marfa Lights,” and critics of the idea that anything strange exists near Marfa, Texas, think that any reference to any strange light there must be misidentified car headlights. The critics are also guilty of misidentification.
In that post, Hodgkinson and Hennessy make the case for a living pterosaur, with little, if any, chance for misidentification.
So what do critics mention about eyewitnesses? They mostly mention theoretical sightings or two or three that are more than a hundred years old. What a problem! Critics often ignore critical witnesses, those whose credibility has attracted cryptozoologists who interview them. So why do critics mostly ignore those important eyewitnesses? What other explanation but the obvious? They do not have any reasonable reply to the testimonies of Duane Hodgkinson and Brian Hennessy . . .
Pterosaurs Alive Today
Darren Naish has said that “sightings of pterosaur-like animals that have been reported appear to be a combination of hoaxes and misidentification of large birds and bats.” On that web page, however, he said nothing about Hodgkinson or Hennessy or any of the other eyewitnesses who have enlivened the living-pterosaur investigations since the 1990’s. His evaluation is nothing like a scientific examination; it is more like the simplistic verbage of common politics, with “a combination of” signaling to the more-wise reader that Naish has nothing particular to prove his point about the nonexistence of modern living pterosaurs.
Across the New Zealand, North Islands farmland and countryside, there have been for almost a century tales from farmers and hunters, of a horrid winged beast, with long sharp fangs lining its narrow, beak-like jaws. Its eyes gleam in the night, where it can be seen flying overhead, shillouted in the moon. Farmers despise it because it tears chunks from their cattle in the nightime. It is called The Flying Slasher.
One commenter remarked, “The ‘pterosaur’ of NZ is probably a megabats (like flying fox etc).” One of the problems with that conjecture is that the Flying Fox fruit bat eats fruit, not chunks of flesh from cattle.
Another commenter remarked, “I have a feeling it may be the hast eagle that was once thought to be extinct.” The problem with that conjecture is that the post refers to “a very dangerous flying reptile, with . . . abnormally long, razor-like teeth.” The Haast’s Eagle was a feathered bird, not a reptile, and it had no teeth. Whether extinct or not, the Haast’s Eagle really was an eagle, not a reptile with teeth.
From the Introduction in the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (second edition):
“Those who’ve been shocked at the sight of a flying creature that “should” be extinct—those eyewitnesses, more numerous than most Americans would guess, need no longer be afraid that everyone will think them crazy, and no longer need they feel alone. Those of us who’ve listened to the American eyewitnesses, we who have interviewed them, we now believe. So, if you will, consider the experiences of these ordinary persons (I’ve interviewed most of them myself) and accept whatever enlightenment you may.”