Set aside any independent reports that I, Jonathan Whitcomb, may have personally received from eyewitnesses; we have two authors whose books either imply or describe apparent modern pterosaurs (AKA “pterodactyls”) in British Columbia, and those two nonfiction books include reports relating to possible attacks on humans:
- Missing 411 Western United States & Canada – by David Paulides
- Bird From Hell (second edition) – by Gerald McIsaac
Be aware that I have so far found nothing in the book by Paulides (missing persons) that gives any hint that he knew about living-pterosaur investigations when he wrote it. As of December 17, 2014, I have read through half of his book. The “pterodactyl” interpretation is my own, so please don’t hold that author responsible for this unorthodox view of missing persons on Vancouver Island (or anywhere else people disappear). The authors who have written from this perspective are me and Mr. McIsaac.
Since the Bird From Hell book mentions a lack of feathers and that eyewitnesses describe a tail that is six feet long, I believe that this is a species of ropen.
Two missing toddlers on Vancouver Island
These two children were only two years old when they were tragically lost, on Vancouver Island, to what seems to have been the same kind mystery. One little body was found three-and-a-half miles away and the other, four miles away; both of those distances were too far to be reasonably ascribed to toddler wandering.
To learn the details of these and many other cases of missing persons, refer to the book Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada. The critical point is how these two disappearances of children in western British Columbia relate to other cases in the western United States: When the body or living victim is found, the discovery is often too many miles away from the location where the person became missing and often too much higher in elevation.
Two-year-old Yehudi Prior and his father were four miles north of Wild Duck Lake, on September 23, 1974, when the toddler disappeared. The body was found six days later, “near Hope Creek in the next valley north of Wild Duck Valley . . . a fantastic long distance . . . It seemed impossible that he could go that far.”
Two-year-old Lynn Marie Hollier left the family cabin on July 24, 1986, at Horne Lake (also on Vancouver Island), just west of Spider Lake Provincial Park and Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Tracking dogs were not successful. Twenty-six days after the toddler became missing, two hunters found the child’s body under a fallen log, over three miles from the family cabin. The mother later responded to the suggestion that her two-year-old had walked that far uphill: “There’s no way . . . It just doesn’t seem possible.”
Take the above two cases in context. Many similar missing-persons tragedies involve the later discovery of scattered bones or no evidence of what happened. This leads to the distinct possibility that an animal predator is involved. Yet when a body is found intact or a victim is found alive, odd assortments of clothing are missing, including one or both shoes. We now have an explanation, but it is shocking.
More research is needed, but the overall evidence seems to be pointing at a flying predator and one that is larger than any extant bird known to western science. It seems that the body of Lynn Hollier was found because the child was under that fallen log, where the flying creature could not locate what it had dropped.
That is why tracking dogs are so often unsuccessful: The victim had been carried away through the air, not dragged over the ground.
How does a flying predator drop a human prey? It’s when clothing or a shoe or two is mainly what is gripped by the animal: The person falls out of the clothing that is then left in the claws of the creature. That is why clothing is found maybe hundreds of feet away from an intact body or living victim or the clothing is never found, for the animal soon realizes what happened yet cannot find the human to eat it. The body of a missing person, or a living victim, is often found in thick bushes where the predator could not find what had been dropped.
I hope that knowing details about such tragedies can help us avoid other similar tragedies in the future. My condolences to the family members who could not have been expected to have known about these normally-nocturnal flying creatures and the dangers a few of them may pose on rare occasions. These apparent modern pterosaurs seem to be mostly fish-eaters or they often hunt bats or birds.
“Bird From Hell” of Northern British Columbia
It’s known as the “Devil Bird” by elders of the First Nation people in the area where the author Gerald McIsaac has lived for many years. He believes, as I Jonathan Whitcomb believe, that this is a species of pterosaur. To quote from McIsaac’s book Bird From Hell (second edition):
The public is well aware of [some] predators . . . but they are not aware of the pterodactyl [as a living animal]. That is the reason so many people are killed by this animal [in British Columbia].
One of the girls in the village was recently attacked by a pterodactyl. She had a campfire burning in her backyard and was attacked in the darkness. . . . She called me up, very upset, as people are laughing at her.
Not all human encounters with live pterosaurs are a pleasant surprise. On rare occasions, a ropen, or kor, or indava . . . will attack somebody, and the results are sometimes tragic . . .
These weird disappearances are not confined to Yosemite, nor even to the United States. Several factors do seem to tie together cases that are separated by long distances and sometimes separated by decades. To understand what may be happening in Yosemite National Park, we need to see in a broader sense. Look to Canada and to Mexico.
As this interview became publicized online, another biology professor, this one in Minnesota, became upset and wrote his own blog post, ridiculing the idea of modern pterosaurs. The content of the post by the skeptical professor, however, was weak.