The 19th Century Illustrated London News article is irrelevant to the many modern reports of live pterosaurs
Refutation of the Pterosaur-Hoax Idea
By Jonathan Whitcomb

A hypothesis of a hoax (or hoaxes)
fails against modern evidences
Forget about the article in The Illustrated London News (1856) about workmen in a railway-line tunnel in France. It is commonly accepted that the "pterodactyl" that stumbled out of the stone was a hoax.  What is less
well known is that eyewitness accounts, with very little or no newspaper coverage, come from several areas of the world. And they're unrelated to the 19th Century hoax.

Interviewing eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs, over the past five years, I know that a hoax (or a number of hoaxes) could not have produced the answers they have given me. While writing my book ("Live Pterosaurs in America," predicted to be in print around early June, 2009), I saw that the data accumulated from descriptions of apparent pterosaurs in the United States showed characteristics not to be expected from a hoax or hoaxes. Choose a link (upper right) for more hoax information.
Three separate indicators demonstrate that no hoaxes played any significant part in the over-all eyewitness testimonies: See the press release including "pterodactyls are more likely living creatures than hoaxes."
Contact Jonathan Whitcomb
Hoax ideas Disputed
Living Pterosaurs email newsletters ("Elimination of Hoax-Explanation")
Hoax Explanations for Living Pterosaurs
"Whitcomb's  book, Searching for Ropens, asserts 'pterodactyl' reported in Papua New Guinea" (press release)
Cliff Paiva, a physicist, certifies that the Paul Nation video was not created by any paste-on hoax of the video
"Pterodactyl" seen by Duane Hodgkinson
(Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea area)
Sketch chosen by the eyewitness Brian Hennessy (a professional psychologist)--
who saw what was probably a ropen.
Susan Wooten described the giant featherless creature that flew in front of her car in a remote area of South Carolina. This is her sketch.
Cryptozoology books
Perth pterosaur sighting
Indonesia pterodactyl
In the News: Reports
of Modern Pterosaurs
Non-Hoax HOME
The hoax refutation includes three things: estimates-of-wingspans have a peak at 8-10 feet; long tails predominate; feather-less assurity is often admitted to be probable, not usually definite, as would be given by hoaxer
to bolster the idea of "pterosaur."