Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flying Pterosaur Reported by American WWII Veteran (video)

During World War II, an American soldier walked into a clearing near Finschhafen (New Guinea) with his buddy. Soon after entering the clearing, a wild pig (probably startled by the men) ran through the clearing and then a large “pterodactyl” took off into the air, probably startled by the pig. The veteran soldier, Duane Hodgkinson, now lives in Montana and has maintained, six decades later, that what they saw was a “pterodactyl.” Could that creature really have been a living pterodactyl? (The correct term is “pterosaur.”) Could those creatures be non-extinct?

Since 1994, a few Americans have explored, intermittently, a few areas of Papua New Guinea. Their research indicates that the apparent pterosaur seen by the two soldiers may be the same kind of creature called “ropen” on nearby Umboi Island. And yes, it does seem to be a living pterosaur.
Hodgkinson was, at first, a replacement, being assigned to an Australian military unit near Finschhafen in 1944. He was later in the 43rd Artillery. He has also had extensive experience with airplanes, including the Piper Tri-Pacer.

Here is some of what he related to Whitcomb in 2004:

“Hi  Jonathan,

 . . . as I remember it was in 1944 that I was stationed in Finschafen [Finschhafen] New Guinea with the U.S. Military. While there I made several trips into some of the surrounding native villages with a friend of mine and a native guide (provided by the Australian government.)  On this one particular trip we had the wonderful opportunity to witness a pterodactyl take off from the ground and then circle back overhead and to the side giving us a perfect side view which clearly showed the long beak and appendage protruding from the back of its head (just like the ones that Fuzzy used to ride in the comic strip Ally Oop). It was a big one! I have a Piper Tri-Pacer airplane . . . and it appeared to be about that size. The frequency of it's wing flaps was estimated about 1 or 2 seconds. With each flap we could hear a loud ‘swish, swish’ and the plants and brush immediately beneath its take off path were deflected by the down rush of air.”

After the “pterodactyl” flew away, the men remembered that they were carrying a camera. It’s not surprising that they forgot about the camera, as they were shocked: Their attention was riveted on the creature.

Hodgkinson later added:

“. . . my attention was concentrating on his head, the beak and the unique appendage extending from the back of his head . . . To answer your question about the neck, it was long.”

The pterodactyl’s tail was “at least” 10-15 feet long. The length of the head, not counting the appendage, was about three to four feet; the neck was similar in length. The length of the appendage at the back of the head was about half the head length.

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