An 1891 issue of the Los Angeles Herald newspaper had an article from an earlier California news publication, about reports of “dragons” flying over an area south of Fresno, around Selma. The main headline of the article read “pterodactyls.”
(“stewn with feathers” refers to the place where “dragons” attacked birds)
According to the Los Angeles Herald version, several men, including J. D. Daniels of Sanger, spent two nights trying to catch the flying creatures. According to Daniels, on the first night they enountered nothing unusual. Daniels reported on what happened the second night:
“About 11 o’clock the cries were heard in the direction of King’s River, seeming two or three miles away. The ominous yells drew nearer, and in a few moments we heard the rush and roar of wings, so hideous that our hair almost stood on end. The two dragons came swooping down and circled round and round the pond in rapid whirls, screaming hideously all the while. We had a good view of them while [they were] flying. Two or three times they passed within a few yards of us, and their eyes were plainly visible . . .”
[FRESNO, July 31, 1891] The report that two strange dragons with wings have recently appeared in the swamps east of Selma was at first regarded by many as a sensational story without foundation in fact, but after different persons at different places had claimed to have seen the strange creatures it began to be thought worth investigating.
. . . the flying creature she had recently observed had a long tail and a horizontal tail vane at tail’s end.
(The Lakewood sighting, 121 years later, was in June of 2012, in a different part of California, much further south.)