A critic has suggested that many stories of extant pterosaurs flying overhead come from misidentifications of large Manta ray fishes that are jumping out of the sea. In other words, it would be a leap of fish that causes us to believe in living pterosaurs. I refuse to take that bait.
Most reports of sighting of flying pterosaurs are far from the sea. That alone repudiates the jumping Manta ray speculation. But even those reports that have a flying creature near the seashore have, in addition, a powerful detail against the flying fish. The flying creatures often fly over land.
What about the 1965 sighting by Patty Carson? This was close to the sea, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the “dinosaur” that Patty and her brother watched on one particular day was sitting upright in tall grass before it flapped its wings and flew away. Manta ray fish don’t do that. If that were not enough, Patty saw clearly a long pointed head crest that was in opposition to a long narrow beak that had teeth. Check out her sketch below.
I don’t know about all the strange fish that some people have seen or imagined, but this drawing, by the eyewitness herself, looks nothing remotely like what any Manta ray fish could look like, even if a giant fish could sit up in tall grass and look around before flapping its wings and flying off over some trees and vegetation.
Hodgkinson and his army buddy, in 1944, were nowhere near the seashore, when they stopped in a small jungle clearing well inland.
All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound . . . and flew to its left and disappeared behind trees and terrain.