Jumping Fishes Fall Short

How is a jumping Manta ray fish like a flying pterodactyl? How desperate is the critic of living pterosaur reports, the skeptic who suggests people are observing large fish that jump up above the surface of the sea!

Imagine you are in a boat in the Caribbean, and a large Manta ray jumps up out of the water. Would you tell people that you had seen a flying pterosaur? No. Neither would I. Nobody, perhaps, would make that kind of mistake and be mentally fit enough to send an email, reporting a “pterodactyl” encounter, to a cryptozoologist.

But a strange declaration has popped up on two or three blog posts, a suggestion that some sightings come from misidentified Manta rays that leap out of the water and high into the air. The person who suggested that strange idea, however, has failed to follow through: When a Manta ray fish jumps out of the water, it immediately falls back down into the water, and most sightings of flying pterosaurs involve a much longer flight and a much higher altitude than a few feet above water.

In fact, the great majority of sightings of flying pterosaurs have a critical point in common: The pterosaur (or “pterodactyl” or “flying dinosaur”) was not even flying above water, but above land. And those few sightings in which the creature was above the sea or above the ocean—those sightings have critical points that shoot down a jumping-fish speculation.

Sighting From USS Jouett (CG-29)

The USS Jouett (not to be confused with earler U. S. Navy ships with that name) was a Belknap class cruiser, designated “DLG-29” when it was commissioned in 1966. It was reclassified as a guided missile cruiser, CG-29 in 1975.

Garth Guessman and I spoke with one of the men who was a sailor on this ship when a giant flying creature flew overhead many years ago. One or more of the crew on deck at that time had been watching the approach and called for everyone else to come up and look for themselves. The creature flew over the ship before everybody could get on deck. Even if it were not some species of living pterosaur, the crew called it a “pterodactyl,” and it was definitely not a Manta ray fish that flew over the midsection of that cruiser.

Ship that was overflown by a giant “pterodactyl” intruder

Manta Ray Comes Back to Surface

“Again that poor fish is shot down. We now concentrate on the recent blog post by Dale Drinnon.”

Jumping Manta Ray Fish

“The Four Key Sightings in the Southwest Pacific”

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About Jonathan Whitcomb

I'm a passionate investigator of reports of living pterosaurs throughout the world. I explored part of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2004, interviewing many natives who had seen the ropen.
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