All Press Releases for 10/26/2011

Author Jonathan Whitcomb Asks If Tales of Dracula Come From an Animal

A nonfiction author suggests that the European Dracula legend may have originated from observations of a large nocturnal pterosaur. Jonathan Whitcomb, who writes cryptozoology books, relates that legend to sightings of apparent pterosaurs in Texas.

LONG BEACH, CA / PR FREE / Oct 26 2011 --
In his book "Live Pterosaurs in America," Whitcomb included a report from a lady in San Antonio, who described what she and her brother encountered one night in 1986:

"Neither my brother or I was prone to being scared by anything outside at night. This night was different. We noticed something flying around across the road . . . the creature was flying just above the phone lines. It would go one direction, turn, and swoop back. The shape was wrong for any large bird of the area, and the size was much too large to be any bat I have ever seen . . . anywhere from 6-10 feet across.

"The longer we watched, the more spooked we became. It was as though a giant vampire bat (like Dracula-style) was there, but neither of us thought it really looked like a bat, either, even a big one."

In the same book, Whitcomb included a report from a lady who, when twelve years old, encountered a large flying creature in Brownsville, Texas, around 1995:

"Next door, in the neighbor’s backyard, was what she first thought was a tall man . . . He was 'draped in a long black coat or cape,' facing away from her. 'Dracula' came to mind as GR tried to understand what she was looking at. The 'man' turned, and revealed a face that terrified the child: It was non-human.

"Her mind still raced for an explanation . . . A large bird, maybe? No, it was nothing like that: too big, and without feathers. The girl was frozen in fear, watching what the thing would do.

". . . Distracted by some noise, fortunately, the creature turned away from the girl, revealing to her another perspective of its head. 'Pterodactyl' came into her mind, although it seemed a crazy idea. . . . She slowly crept backwards towards the back door, hoping to get inside in time. The creature then gently lifted up off the ground, floating or gliding at her, but the girl just managed to dive through the door, slamming it behind her."

According to most paleontologists, all pterosaurs, often called "pterodactyls" by Americans, became extinct millions of years ago. But Whitcomb disputes the idea that all species became extinct, citing recent eyewitness reports from Africa, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and North America. He maintains that at least two species survive, although they seem to be uncommon and mostly nocturnal.

Whitcomb has also received eyewitness reports of apparent pterosaurs in Europe. He suggests that the European Dracula legend may have originated from observations of a large nocturnal pterosaur standing upright on the ground.

The third edition of his book "Live Pterosaurs in America" is about to be published.

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