What follows is speculative and I’ll be honest about my motivations. In living-pterosaur investigations over many years, I have tried to reassure eyewitnesses that they were not crazy for seeing a flying creature that we’ve been taught can no longer fly because of extinction. I now approach a painful problem in our American society: missing persons. I really want to help in any way that I can, but I also need help in tying together two disjointed concepts, if they can honestly and objectively be tied together. I don’t know how to proceed without speculating, so let’s just jump in.
I’m about halfway through my reading of the nonfiction book Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada. (By December 2, 2014, I had finished page 173.) I will not now give many details about this paperback by the investigator/author David Paulides, but it deserves attention. Here is part of what’s on the back cover:
Major news organizations do a deplorable job of covering stories and issues which are deemed too unusual or too far outside the box. . . . David Paulides [is] a former lawman turned investigative journalist. . . . People are vanishing without a trace from our national parks and forests, yet government agencies are saying nothing. . . . something very strange is unfolding in our wilderness. George Knapp, Host, Coast to Coast AM.
I do not have any new information about the disappearances of the two ladies Nita Mary Mayo and Patricia Sue Tolhurst. Even the new perspective that I do have is highly speculative in regard to Mayo and Tolhurst. Yet even if their cases turn out to be unrelated to any ropen or any other kind of modern pterosaur, perhaps some other missing-person case may turn out to be related.
Plea for help
If anyone knows of any report of an attack on a human, from an apparent ropen or from anything like a strange large bird, please let me know: Contact Whitcomb. I have recently found a number of missing persons cases in a nonfiction book: Missing 411 – United States & Canada. Some of them suggest the possibility that a large ropen may have gone bad and attacked people. I have very little evidence, and it’s only indirect for the most part. The great majority of these flying creatures keep away from humans. Indeed, they are nocturnal (at least for the most part) and usually reclusive.
Nevertheless, we have some disconcerting reports from northern British Columbia regarding what some of the native people call the devil bird. I suspect it is a species of ropen. At any rate, it does not need to be very large, apparently, to be a danger to humans. At least one species, including the nocturnal kind in British Columbia, can emit a noxious mist or vapor that is harmful if inhaled. This can probably be used for both defense and subduing prey.
Yet that too is speculative regarding the species that live south of Canada. We really need many more eyewitnesses to come forward and report encounters to me or to one of my associates. The investigators include David Woetzel, Garth Guessman, and Paul Nation.
Open vista areas in wildernesses
Those who know about eyewitness reports of ropens need little persuasion to be careful in open areas of wilderness. The automobiles of both Mayo and Tolhurst were found at or near the Donnell Vista, an open area overlooking a lake. Especially do not allow children to ever be alone in such an open area above a body of water. In addition, adults should be aware of anything that might be flying overhead.
Donnell Vista Point appears to be one of those open areas where people need to look not just down to the lake but up at the sky. We need to be aware of what’s overhead, not just in a wilderness in Papua New Guinea but in remote areas of California.
Nita Mary Mayo
This lady went missing around early August, 2005. Her car was found locked, with purse and cell phone inside; this was at the Donnell’s Vista lookout on Highway 108, about 80 miles east of Sacramento, California. She was never found.
Patricia Sue Tolhurst
The second lady became missing in April of 2014, with her car found at about the same location as the one of Nita Mayo. It seems that Patricia Tolhurst is still missing as we near the end of 2014.
Within the past few weeks, three web sites have caught my attention, each with a page accusing me of dishonesty. Two of them appear to be based on the other: the one first published online, a post by the biology professor P. Z. Myers; at least the other two writers appear to have been influenced by that professor before they wrote their own accusations against me.
In South Carolina, Susan Wooten’s sighting of a giant pterosaur was shocking. It was between Columbia and Florence, in about 1989, on a remote highway surrounded by some swamps and wooded areas.
These are obviously not books on flying dinosaurs kidnapping people, and I’m not suggesting that most of the cases involve modern pterosaurs. Paulides does seem to have investigated the cases objectively, with no obvious sign he intended to point a finger in any particular direction. Countless persons go missing from national parks in mysterious circumstances.