Regarding potential misidentifications of birds or bats for a pterosaur, how often we have considered long tails! Now let’s look at the other end. When an eyewitness tells me the flying creature had a “horn” or “bone” or “crown” on its head, I consider it a possible pterosaur-head-crest, but a one-word description, at least early in the interview, has limited evidential value. When the eyewitness mentions looking at a book and identifying the creature with an image of a “pterodactyl,” I consider that as a minor contribution but with limited value in itself. But when specially constructed multiple images are compared and the eyewitness chooses one from among several similar images, misunderstanding becomes less likely. Consider images evaluated by the World War II veteran Duane Hodgkinson.
The entire survey was completed by Duane Hodgkinson in 2004. This page was to help in evaluating the length of the head appendage of the “Finschhafen Pterodactyl” that the two America soldiers witnessed in a jungle clearing in 1944. D.H. chose the longest length of head appendage on this page. In his verbal description, recorded in the scientific paper “Reports of Living Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific” (by Jonathan D. Whitcomb, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Volume 45, Winter 2009), the length of the head was estimated to be 3-4 feet, and the length of the head crest was about half of that or about 1.5-2.0 feet. Whatever the nature of that structure on the back of the creature’s head, it was no trivial bump.
As best as I now recall (I created the survey in 2004), this next page was to confirm the general length estimate for the head crest. The different curve in that structure was to throw off the interviewee’s attention, if possible, from the exact nature of what was being evaluated for this page. Hodgkinson again showed that the head crest was long in comparison with the beak.
Note that these sketches are crude and none were drawn by the eyewitness. It was simply a means to get to a general sense of the relative length of the head crest. As an unexpected bonus, we got Hodgkinson’s notes about the positioning of the head and crest during the creature’s flight: more streamlined with the neck, or parallel to it.