I recently did a Google search with my name, Jonathan Whitcomb, and found a post written, on November 24, 2014, by a paleontologist well known in his field of science. But this particular post contained nothing scientific, with not even once using the word fossil. Paleontologists are well known for talking about fossils, but no, not this time. Strange.
Dr. Donald Prothero did mention my name, eleven times by my count, and he used the word deception three times, always referring to me. I respond to that by denying it, yet this paleontologist links to some of my pages, one of which states a small part of my case for my honesty. In other words, the post that he links to, supposedly in support of his accusation, in actuality explains my case, and it answers his accusation well enough. How did he miss that point?
He seems oblivious to my explanation for my honesty, and did not respond to my comment on his own post, concerning my honesty. He also states that I admitted a deception, but that accusation I also deny; he seems determined to avoid admitting that I have repeatedly denied his accusations (at least as of early Dec 15, 2014). Strange.
“Fake Pterosaurs and Sock Puppets”
This post by Prothero begins with a promotion for his book, Abominable Science. The first paragraph ridicules those who write about monster myths; the rest of the post is an attack against me. I suggest he would have done better by sticking to his specialty: fossils.
I suspect that he is unaware of the concept of bulverism. The word was invented by C. S. Lewis and refers to the act of avoiding the subject at hand by trying to make one’s opponent look too silly to listen to. The nonscientific post written by Prothero, “Fake Pterosaurs and Sock Puppets,” seems to me like the worst case of bulverism: libel. I doubt that any major newspaper in the country would print anything like it, for libelous writings can get a writer into trouble.
Prothero complains about how certain ideas (which he dislikes) keep getting repeated online “no matter how doubtful or discredited” those opinions may be. I suggest that this paleontologist should have done much more research before accusing me of deception, for his sources include libelous online posts that I had previously answered in many of my blog posts.
I suggest that Dr. Prothero has himself participated in repeating discredited ideas online. I explored part of Umboi Island in 2004, interviewing native eyewitnesses. My main purpose in that expedition was videotaping a living pterosaur. I failed in that attempt and returned home to the United States admitting I had seen nothing like any pterosaur. Does that sound like I was being deceptive? Since that expedition, I have written three nonfiction books on the possibility of modern pterosaurs, always admitting that I had failed to see such a creature. How was I deceiving people? Why does Prothero insist that I have used “deception?”
“Fake Pterosaurs and Sock Puppets” says nothing about Umboi Island, not mentioning the word Umboi even once. Strange, as that has been such a major point of my online publications, the expeditions that several of my associates and I have undertaken over a period of years.
Dr. Prothero does mention religion, devoting a large paragraph to things like my belief in the Bible and my disbelief in the General Theory of Evolution. . . . still failing to mention a word like fossil.
The Point is Modern Pterosaurs
My associate David Woetzel and I have each written a scientific paper on extant pterosaurs, both articles published in a peer-reviewed journal of science. Prothero, however, fails to mention the names of my associates in cryptozoology:
- David Woetzel
- Garth Guessman
- Paul Nation
Perhaps any mention of those cryptozoologists might hurt the cause that Prothero seems to have undertaken: to concentrate on discrediting the one person who has written the most material in support of the concept of living pterosaurs: me.
I do not accuse Dr. Prothero of using deception, for I cannot see into his heart and judge his intention. But I declare my own continuous intention to give readers the truth in what I have learned from many eyewitnesses worldwide. People of different languages, different cultures, and different religions have seen a featherless flying creature bigger than any known bat.
Imaging universal ancient extinctions, Dr. Prothero, and accusing one’s opponent—neither of those is scientific, and neither one is nearly strong enough to overpower human experience with a real living animal.
A different kind of attack has been launched, as an American paleontologist has dismissed the ropen as a “fake” pterosaur and dismissed me, Jonathan Whitcomb, as one who practices deception. He also ridicules my belief in the Garden of Eden and in the Flood of Genesis. If I were a paleontologist who had a valid point to make about pterosaur fossils, I hope I would not respond to a misguided cryptozoologist by ridiculing that person’s religion or assuming the worst regarding honesty.
The oldest online attack against the honesty of cryptozoologists who publicized their belief in living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea—that site may have originated as early as mid-2005 or as late as late-2008; I don’t recall. I do remember, and recorded in my file, one original page on Stupid Dinosaur Lies, and it had at least five errors in one sentence.
The “ghost” lights that fly in and out of mud caves in a desert in California—they could be related to the ropen lights of Papua New Guinea, the Marfa Lights of Texas, and the glowing objects entering and exiting caves near a river in Oregon.
Not all eyewitnesses of these featherless flying creatures would call them “flying monsters,” of course, but they can sometimes terrify people who see them. Westerners who have been raised under the universal-extinction indoctrination can be perplexed at encountering living creatures that they assumed could not possibly be still living.