Are they still with us?

November 10th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb No comments »

Have you ever reminisced on a person who was famous decades ago? Is that celebrity still alive?

Consider the following and take the test, answering who the person is (or was) and the status: living or deceased. If you believe the person passed away, guess the death year. Test yourself.

Does someone look familiar, but you can’t quite get the name? Hints are found near the bottom of this post; answers, at the bottom.

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1) Who is she? (still living?)

famous person number one

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2) Who is he? (still with us?)

famous person number two

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3) Who is this lady? (still living?)

famous person number three

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4) Who is this man? (still here?)

famous person number four

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5) Who is he? (still here?)

famous person #5

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This is a placeholder, so you don’t accidentally scroll down to the hints or the answers before you’re ready. Anyway, how can anybody get rid of him?

cartoon character Bugs Bunny

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HINT FOR PERSON #1:

A young lady, innocent of the crime for which she is about to be hanged, stands dejected high up on a platform above a crowd. Nothing is above her and her executioner but the heavens. But she is rescued by a man who does not use a ladder to get up to the platform. He uses something to get down to her, knocking over the ladder and executioner in the process. The young lady is rescued, but no lady in that city would think of kissing the hero who rescued her. Does that ring a bell?

HINT FOR PERSON #2:

“Laugh and be happy, and the world will laugh with you.

When people see you smiling, they can’t help smiling too.”

If you remember when this sheriff first began to be famous, you’ve put a lot of candles on a lot of birthday cakes.

HINT FOR PERSON #3:

She was the leader of one of the largest countries in the world and had the same last name as an even more famous person of that same country. But those two leaders were not closely related. They died in somewhat similar ways: not a normal way of passing.

HINT FOR PERSON #4:

As American as mashed potatoes.

HINT FOR PERSON #5:

Since he was a small child, he concentrated on one field of competition. Some persons might think he had a checkered career. Anyway, during the Cold War, he was a pain to the Russians in proving they were not invincible.

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Another placeholder – Are you sure you’re ready for the answers?

cartoon character Mickey Mouse

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1) Maureen O’Hara (born 17 August 1920) – She is the only one of these five who is still with us (at least as of September of 2012). This actress played Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) with Charles Laughton.

2) Sheriff John was played on KTTV television by John Rovick (October 2, 1919, Dayton, Ohio – October 6, 2012) from 1952, one of the early children’s programs. We’ll always keep a candle burning in our hearts for him.

3) Indira Ghandi was the third Prime Minister of India, who served for three consecutive terms (1966–77) and a fourth term (1980–84). She was not closely related to Mahatma Ghandi. Both leaders were assasinated.

4) Harry Morgan (April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011) is remembered by many as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the M*A*S*H television show. For those who memories go back further, he was Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967–1970).

5) Robert James “Bobby” Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was the first American to win the World Chess Championship, defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR in 1972, in a 21-game match (although only twenty games were actually played). But Fischer’s best performances in 1972 were not in the world championship match: They were in the Candidates matches against two of the top grandmasters in the world, Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen. Fischer eliminated both of them with perfect scores of 6–0, an accomplishment never equaled before or since in chess history. Until that time, perhaps no chess expert had even dreamed that any top-ranked grandmaster could be defeated 6-0, even against a world champion. When Fischer was hot, he was astonishing.

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Chess Finesse

As white, your pawn has been advancing up the board. What is your best move in this position?

Pterosaurs are not Manta rays

The “pterodactyl” flew up over the jungle canopy and within a minute or so . . . It had a tail “at least” ten or fifteen feet long. It also had a long neck and a long appendage, horn-like, coming out of the back of the creature’s head.

Do Jumping Fish Look Like Flying Pterosaurs?

November 1st, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 2 comments »

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.

Patty Carson's sketch of the long-tailed pterosaur of Cuba

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.

Manta Rays and Modern Pterosaurs

Hodgkinson and his army buddy, in 1944, were nowhere near the seashore, when they stopped in a small jungle clearing well inland.

Modern Pterosaur in Cuba

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.

Pterodactyls in Australia

September 13th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 1 comment »

According to a newly published ebook, the ropen of Papua New Guinea is not restricted to flying over the tropical islands of that country. “Pterodactyls” have also been reported flying over Australia.

From the 7th chapter of the e-book Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea, “Other Sightings in Australia”:

“After many misgivings about going ‘public’ as it were, I have decided to contact you with my experience of sighting what I believe to have been a Pterodactyl. . . . I cannot be sure of the year of the sighting now as I put it out of my mind for fear of being labelled a nut but I think it would have been around the late 1990’s.

 

“What I saw was what I first thought was a pelican flying about 3000 feet high but realised pelicans at that height did not look as large as this.

 

“I was standing outside about nine o’clock one night. It was full moon and very bright with a cloud bank to the south east extending to and over the Ranges. . . . I glanced to the south and something caught my attention. It was something flying that appeared to be at the height of light planes that fly around here . . . This thing was at least as large as a light plane, say a Cesna.

 

“It was about 5 klms away and was lazily flapping it’s wings, flying to the east in, at that point, a clear sky. It appeared to be lit up by the moonlight and shining as if it had no feathers. . . .”

Pterosaurs in Australia

My American associates and I have explored remote jungles in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs and interviewing native eyewitnesses. Most expeditions were led by one or two Americans, with one or two native interpreters.

Tale of the Pterosaur Tail

June 30th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 2 comments »

Contrary to what some paleontologists believe, the orientation of the tail vane, in the “basal” pterosaurs, now appears to be horizontal. Two eyewitnesses, both living in California, have made this clear: Patty Carson, of Riverside; and an anonymous eyewitness living in Lakewood. Each had her own clear daylight sighting of a living pterosaur at close range.

Rhamphorhynchoid (“basal”) Pterosaur in Cuba

Carson observed a long-tailed featherless flying creature at the Guantanamo Bay military installation in Cuba, in 1965, and was able to concentrate on the appearance of the “dinosaur” for many seconds. Here is her sketch of the head:

Patty Carson's sketch of the long-tailed pterosaur of Cuba

Why show a sketch of the head, when the tail vane is in question? This lays aside any doubt about misidentification. It was no featherless bird or long-tailed bat with a long head crest that was observed in Cuba by Patty Carson.

Carson watched the creature for a short while before it flew away, revealing its long tail and the vane at tail-end. Carson saw the orientation, a structure that could have been seen well from above or below the creature but not nearly as well from the side.

Southern California Sighting

In the second sighting, a lady was sitting in her back yard, typing on her computer, when she heard a strange noise. The dog had been barking for awhile, but that usually did not mean anything special, for many animals like rats and possums creap around the neighborhood, coming from the nearby storm channel, which was directly behind the lady’s back yard.

She finally became upset at the dog’s barking and the strange noises and walked out from under the gazebo, talking loudly to the dog. That is when she say what caused the barking. Only about twenty feet above her head, a large creature sat on the telephone line. It was facing away from the lady, whose loud talking scared it into flying off to a tree on another street.

The lady was able to see the tail, which she estimated was at least four feet long, and the orientation of the tail vane. It was horizontal.

Pterosaur or Ropen Living in Lakewood, California

On June 19, 2012, over a storm drain in Lakewood, California, in clear daylight at about noon, a long-tailed featherless creature sat on a telephone line.

Pterosaur Tail Vane Orientation

How is the Rhamphorhynchoid tail vane oriented, horizontally or vertically? According to at least a couple of key eyewitnesses, it is horizontal.

What is a Basal Pterosaur?

The word “basal,” when referring to a general type of pterosaur, relies on the popular belief in the basics of Darwin’s idea of evolution. For those who believe that long-tailed pterosaurs evolves into the Pterodactyloid type, this refers to the idea that the Rhamphorhynchoid type was mostly earlier and that one or more species of the long-tailed types had descendents that evolved into that short-tailed pterosaur. “Basal” relates to the word “base,” meaning foundational.

Statistics Show no Hoax in Pterosaur Sightings

March 5th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb No comments »

Recent statistical analysis of ninety-eight sighting reports of apparent living pterosaurs shows that there could have been no major involvement from hoaxes. Wingspan estimates were given by fifty-seven eyewitnesses, with the data showing no reasonable possibility that hoaxes accounted for any more than a maximum of 20% of those sightings, and probably much less.

In addition, the degree of certainty of the featherless appearance of the flying creatures independently indicated no hoax or combination of hoaxes could have created that data, provided it was obtained from those who had made sighting reports.

Why a Hoax Fails

What about tail-length in relation to wingspan? Many sightings include descriptions of long tails that suggest Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs, and those long-tailed species are believed to have been much smaller, according to fossil records. But the estimates shown above, for wingspan, shows nothing even remotely like any peak related to those fossils.

Modern Pterosaurs in Southern U.S.

February 27th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 1 comment »

The big pterodactyl-sighting year, at least in Texas, was probably 1976, when many newspapers covered the strange encounters. Some of these are compiled in the cryptozoology book by Ken Gerhard: Big Bird. Other pterosaur encounters are reported in other states: Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, in particular.

Pterosaurs in Georgia

She had driven less than ten miles, just leaving an area of pasture, entering an area of thick woods, around a mild downhill curve, with high banks and brush on each side of the road, when an animal suddenly flew from the right, just over the front of her car. . . .

On the Track of Pterodactyls

“Jonathan Whitcomb is actually based in Long Beach, where as a cryptozoology author he offers an explanation of the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, and Papua New Guinea. Human inhabitants in both places have observed in the sky balls of light . . .”

Pterosaur in South Carolina

From the book Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition: “Susan Wooten was driving east on Highway 20, to the town of Florence, on a clear mid-afternoon in the fall of about 1989 . . . Where the road was surrounded by woods and swamps, Wooten saw something flying from her left, then passing in front of her . . . ‘It swooped down over the highway and back up gracefully over the pines,’ but its appearance was shocking: ‘It looked as big as any car . . . NO feathers, not like a huge crane or egret, but like a humongous bat.'”

A Different Kind of Pterodactyl Attack

February 23rd, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 1 comment »

It was not an eyewitness being attacked by a large flying creature in the dark of night. The victim was a cryptozoologist—Jonathan Whitcomb—who was attacked in the words of an online forum discussion. Whitcomb believes the words of eyewitnesses of living “pterodactyls,” and that seems to upset skeptics. The point is this: Is Jonathan Whitcomb a pterodactyl expert?

Paleontologists have long assumed that all species of pterosaurs, both Rhamphorhynchoids and Pterodactyloids, have been extinct for many millions of years. Whitcomb has proclaimed, in his nonfiction books and in his blog posts, that both long-tailed and short-tailed pterosaurs still live in different areas of the world, although he believes that they are mostly nocturnal. This annoys skeptics.

Attack on the “Pterodactyl Expert”

In the sense of being a paleontologist, I am not a pterosaur expert; but many paleontologists do not seem to even consider the possibility that any pterosaurs are extant. “Ape man” seems to rebel against any idea involving any modern living pterosaur. But in that sense—some living pterosaurs (AKA “pterodactyls”)—I am probably one of the leading “pterodactyl experts” in the world.

Pterodactyl Expert

He is a cryptozoologist who interviews eyewitnesses of what many call “pterodactyls,” which is simply the name many non-paleontologists use for “pterosaur.”

Pterodactyls in San Diego

January 23rd, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 1 comment »

According to one of the two eyewitnesses of the large flying creatures, they had long tails and wingspans around 20-30 feet, as they flew only about a hundred feet above San Diego, California, in November of 2011. The tails were long and straight. The first creature was flying only about 30-40 yards high. No sound was heard from the creatures but the sighting may have been too near a freeway for the eyewitnesses to have heard anything from the two apparent pterodactyls.

Two Pterosaurs in San Diego

The men first noticed just one long-tailed creature, as it came gliding in from the direction of the ocean, but it was soon met by another one. . . . Although the moon helped light up the creatures, it was not possible to be sure whether or not they had feathers. The color was like golden brown, where color was discernable.

Lest we Forget

January 5th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb 2 comments »

With special thanks to the blog The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs, for “Don’t Forget to Think.”

Kindergartner to a grownup: “How much is a hundred plus a hundred plus a million plus a hundred plus a million.”

Grownup, after using his hands to keep track: “Two million, three hundred.”

Kindergartner: “How did you do that?”

Grownup: “I used my hands.”

Kindergartner: “This time, don’t use your hands. How much is a million plus a million plus a hundred plus a million plus a hundred plus a hundred?”

Grownup makes an estimate.

Kindergarner: “How did you do that?”

Grownup: “I used my head.”

Kindergartner: “This time, don’t use your head.”

This happened in December of 2011, at the BurgerKing at 2438 East Carson Street, Lakewood, California. The driver was Jonathan Whitcomb, of Long Beach, California.

The original publication of this true story was in the blog “The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs.” The version above is offered for publication without restriction, although a link to “Knowable News” or the other blog will be appreciated.

Death of North Korean Leader

December 19th, 2011 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb No comments »

Kim Jong Il, leader of North Korea since 1994, has died at the age of 69.

KSN News:

During his 17 years in power, the country suffered a devastating famine even as it built up its million-strong army, expanded its arsenal of ballistic missiles and became the world’s eighth declared nuclear power.

The news of his death spurred South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North more than five decades after their 1950-53 conflict, to put its military on high alert.