Giant Bat or Pterosaur?

 Flying Fox fruit bat in flight

Too often have I encountered a generalization that is too convenient, an explanation not for any particular sighting of an apparent pterosaur in Papua New Guinea but for sightings in general: a misidentified Flying Fox fruit bat. The Hodgkinson sighting alone, perhaps the most important pterosaur sighting in history, repudiates the “giant bat” misidentification explanation. Note the following points, taken from my

Garth Guessman’s videotaped interview, in 2005, with the World War II veteran Duane Hodgkinson, made plain critical points about the encounter in a jungle clearing west of Finschhafen, New Guinea, in 1944.

No Hoax

A number of additional points show why a hoax explanation is also untenable, but that is beyond the present subject.

Sighting by Gideon Koro

From the same scientific paper “Reports of Living Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific,” is recorded what the native Gideon Koro and six other young men encountered at Lake Pung (Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea) around 1994:

According to Gideon Koro . . . a few minutes after they had arrived at the lake, “it came down.” I tried to ask about wingspan but at that point had to rely on an interpreter . . . and only later did I realize that he probably thought that I meant the length of one wing. In either case, his answer is astonishing: “seven meetuh” (seven meters). When I asked about the tail length, he pondered, seeming to recall and estimate; then he said, “seven meetuh.”Eyewitness Gideon Koro of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea

 

Brief Comparison of Two Sightings

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