Another eyewitness has given his name to the world; for an American to admit observing an apparent living pterosaur, that is news. Tom Carson, brother to the “Gitmo Pterosaur” eyewitness Patty Carson, had no knowledge of his sister’s 1965 sighting until he spoke with Patty a few weeks ago (the flying creature seen by her was an apparent Rhamphorhynchoid). His three-second encounter was about a year later, in 1966, but in the same area of Cuba: Guantanamo Bay. I’m very grateful for his report and his willingness to allow his real name to be used. The flying creature he saw seems to have been the same species as the one his sister had seen and the one Eskin Kuhn would see in 1971. Tom told me it appeared to have no feathers and was bigger than a pelican. The tail was odd, like one would expect of the shaved tail of a dog. That was how Tom described it.
Two things, before leaving the Cuban pterosaurs: Patty Carson’s sketch of the flying creature she saw is soon to be on the cover of the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America. She feels the beak is not quite right and not connected to the skull quite right, for how she remembers the creature, but the book publication needed to proceed well before Christmas, and it was waiting only for improvements in that sketch. It will have to do.
While talking with Patty on the phone yesterday, she remembered how many large rats were in the coconut trees at Gitmo, when she and her family was there. She now believes that the creature may use its long beak to get into the foliage and snatch rats for snacks. Yummy!
In a 2009 press release, Whitcomb declared that at least 1400 Americans have seen a living pterosaur between 1980 and 2008. After a number of cryptozoologists objected to the speculative nature of his estimate, Whitcomb maintained that sightings are far more common than the few news reports, in the late twentieth century, would suggest. He emphasized that many of those Americans are reluctant to tell anyone that they have seen a living “pterodactyl.”
“In the summer of 2009, I saw something that I didn’t quite understand, in the pinelands of New Jersey. . . . The following year, on the same stretch of highway, I definately saw something clearly and without doubt. . . . I saw a giant bat-like bird, dark brown without feathers, something prehistoric . . . a long thin head, a long tail, [and a] kind of leathery dark brown skin. The body seemed to be the size of a good-sized man; the wind span, maybe 12-15 feet across.”