Two of the more common words used to describe flying creatures that look like pterosaurs are “dragon” and “pterodactyl,” at least in the United States. But the details in the descriptions, not the labels chosen by eyewitnesses, determine how likely it is that a person has observed a live pterosaur.
The following is taken from the book Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition:
I cannot prove all the accounts were genuine, for they were recorded secondhand in the early 1890’s. I suggest that at least some eyewitnesses were telling the truth, regardless of the opinions of the news reporters of that time, and that at least some eyewitnesses may have seen a living pterosaur.
In the summer of 1891, southeast of Fresno, several eyewitnesses reported two featherless flying creatures with wingspans of fifteen feet . . . two “dragons” [described] for the newspaper: broad heads, long bills, and large eyes.
“On the night of July 11 . . . their peculiar cries and the rustling of their mammoth wings were heard as late as 10 o’clock.” Two nights later, the “monsters” were held responsible for attacking chickens, with “many of the hens being bitten in two and left partly devoured.” On the following week, a carriage of picnickers saw the creatures “plainly circling in the air.”
“Dragons” in Georgia, USA
The first two sightings in the Winder, Georgia, area have been covered in various blogs. We now consider the third sighting (perhaps not yet covered anywhere else).
It was around October of 2008, just weeks after the two better-known sightings near Winder. The eyewitness was again Sandra Paradise; here is part of her account, in her own words:
I was driving the same road, had just passed the point of my second sighting. Looking ahead and up a hill, I saw a flock of crows cross the road, from right to left, followed by—yep, you guessed it. The pterosaur was in perfect silhouette, wings outstretched, distinctive head in full view, pad on the tail. I drew level to the place they crossed . . . I slowed down and as I was looking the birds suddenly BURST from one of the trees! I figured that’s where it had landed, startling the birds.
I hit the brakes, pulled over hard and sat there with the camera I’d been carrying with me for months saying, “where ARE you??? WHERE ARE YOU???”
I waited and looked and stared for probably a good ten minutes . . . and I had to move on. the place where I was parked was the far back entry of a very small airport (and yes, I am very sure it was no plane I saw).
Sandra had to drive on. In that country, snooping around on private property might get you on the wrong side of a gun.
After her second sighting, she told me:
“The world is now totally different. I feel blessed that God has allowed me to see this creature that should not be here, and yet is, this strange dragon-like thing that lives somewhere in the woods in this redneck little town.”
Highway near Winder, Georgia
Except for its size, this flying creature resembles the ropen seen flying into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County, California, in 2007.
A lady reported observing a “huge dragon pteradactal” that had been perched, at about noon on June 19, 2012, on a phone line or cable company wire over her backyard
Sandra Paradise has seen a long-tailed flying creature at least three times during the past four years. She has recently agreed to come out of anonymity, and she has revealed details about the third and fourth sightings, with the last one somewhat uncertain.