Yorkshire Pterodactyl

SoundDust

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#1
Never heard about this before:Link Here

Readers with long memories and an interest in odd phenomena might recall that in 1982-83 there were some startling sightings around the district of what observers described as a “Big Bird”.

According to descriptions of it, it was a heavy brute with a massive wing span which bent television aerials and tree branches when it landed on them and was known to screech alarmingly.

It was initially suggested that it could be a heron, although there was also a strong body of opinion that it was a large bird of prey – an eagle, perhaps, or even a condor.

That was a theory I subscribed to after staking out this bird for three weeks, during which time I scoured the skies above North Bradford (which was where many of the sightings took place). I was rewarded by several times seeing a large bird circling in the high distance, much too far away for a photograph.

But once, just once, it came lower down and I was able to take a dim, distant, fuzzy shot of it with a borrowed 300mm telephoto lens – an event which Jenny Randles records in her new book Supernatural Pennines.

It looked to me through my binoculars, then through the lens, and finally on the indistinct photograph, like a massive bird of prey. That was how it moved too – circling like a raptor.

However, according to Jenny Randles, who has had many years of exploring the unknown and the unexplained, it was understandable that some of the people who had seen this creature at closer quarters should have described it as a sort of pterodactyl (although I have to confess that no-one described it that way to me during the months we were investigating this strange story, which just fizzled out towards the end of 1983).

But if it was a pterodactyl, it would fit nicely into the theory explored by the writer and researcher in this entertaining and sometimes intriguing book: that the Pennine area is some sort of “window” into another sort of reality created by electrical forces, which are themselves generated by the pressure on, and shifts in, the underground rocks.
 
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Anonymous

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#2
I find the idea of a prehistoric bird flying about Yorkshire a pretty unlikely explanation for what you saw, I have to say.

Although, I once read somewhere about some railway workers in France (possibly) in the 19th century breaking open a rock face and finding a still-living pteranodon. I find that even more unlikely, but if anyone has any more details on this I would be interested for curiousities sake.

Going back to the Pennines, it seems to me that any large bird of prey is a candidate. A buzzard is the most likely, as it is seen throughout most of the UK. A golden eagle is also a possibility. although they are rare outside Scotland, but they are bigger than buzzards. White-tailed sea eagles are sometimes seen around the Scottish coast I believe, but this is less likely inland I would think. There are plenty of zoos and private owners with vultures etc, and the odd one may well escape from time to time. This strikes me as more likely than a condor as these are probably less widely kept, although I believe that Flamingoland Zoo in North Yorkshire had and may still have Andean Condors, which are pretty huge (largest wingspan of any bird of prey I think).
According to my admittedly ancient bird book, cranes have also been seen in the UK, although they probably don't soar on thermals like the bird you saw.

I guess, all in all, that there are plenty of things it could have been other than a pteranodon, but as they say, anything is possible (well actually, no it isn't......)

Thanks,
 
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Anonymous

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#3
Which rather oddly ties in with the Spring Heeled Jack seen in Sheffield around that time; didn't some of the reports also mention a giant bird seen in the Attercliffe area, as discussed elsewhere (can't find the link)?
 

JamesWhitehead

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#4
The French pterodactyl story is a good one. The English source is
The Illustrated London News of 9th February 1856 and they cite
the French paper Presse grayloise as the origin.

Here is the paraphrase as given by Rickard & Michell in Phenomena,
1977:

"In France, early in 1856, workmen were blasting a tunnel through solid
stone as part of the Saint-Didier to Nancy railway. While they were
Breaking a large boulder, a monstrous form emerged from the cavity
within it, ahook its wings feebly and died with a hoarse cry. It was
about the size of a large goose, with a hideous head and sharp teeth.
Its four long legs were joined by a membrane and terminated in long
and crooked talons; its body was a livid black; its skin thick and oily.
This living fossil was taken to the town of Gray, where a naturalist
'versed in palaentology, immediately recognized it as belonging to the
genus pterodactylus anas'. The stone was 'lias' (Jurassic limestone),
which accords with the era of these creatures, and the rock cavity formed
an 'exact hollow mould of its body, which indicates that it was completely
enveloped within the sedimentary deposit'."

Beat that! :)
 
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Anonymous

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#5
Very interesting. The thing I remember reading was a less full account and may have been in the Readers Digest Book of the Unexplained now I come to think of it.(I can no longer find this wonderful tome, which is probably no great loss).

How the thing would have made it alive from the Jurassic to then stuck in a rock I don't know, but that still doesn't make the account any less fascinating.

Cheers,
 

JamesWhitehead

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#6
Well the context of both accounts - I have the RD tome in front of me
now - is a chapter about toads being found live inside rocks.

Actually the RD account is very similar to that in Phenomena, adding
that the wingspan was 10 feet 7 inches.

Now there are so many accounts of the toads-in-stone phenomenon
that I am inclined to believe it is true, though very very strange.

And if a toad, why not a pterodactyl? :)

The problem is that nobody seems to have any other record of this
amazing event, which seems a mighty shame. :(
 
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Anonymous

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#7
With the Toads in stones thing, that is a recognised natural phenomena where some Toads in the Australina desert I think sit out the dry season buried in the sand in a sort of dessicated state, and are revived and re-hydrated when the rain comes.
Like a pot noodle but it tastes better, I guess.
Lungfish in Africa also do this.

For millions of years however, I am rather sceptical.......

How would it get nutrients to sustain even very low levels of circulation and respiration etc for that time. What would preserve it alive for such a long time?

A possible (although very far-fetched) alternative is that the things did not die out in the Jurassic era, and that it was only recently buried.

Interesting.......
 

JamesWhitehead

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#8
A quick Google has thrown up this page:

http://www.users.bigpond.com/rdoolan/pterohoax.html

Was the “living pterodactyl” report a hoax?

There have been strong claims that the Illustrated London News report about the discovery of a living pterodactyl in the 1800s was a hoax.
We have been told that it has been fairly well established that the article was a newspaper hoax. After looking into the matter ourselves, we at Creation Tips now believe that the claim was a hoax. It came at a time when hoaxes were commonplace (see our article Was Charles Darwin a victim of his own hoax?).
In Dr. Karl Shuker's book, From flying toads to snakes with wings, published in 1997 by Llewellyn, St. Paul (Minnesota), the author says there is no such species as Pterodactylus anas, and points out that anas is Latin for “duck”. The French word for duck is canard, which in English is a word used for an unfounded or fabricated story.
We have been unable to establish any authenticity to the story, and now happily admit that our early willingness to accept this report as genuine was probably an error.

All together now Awwwww! :(
 
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Anonymous

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#10
Have to awaken the thread again. Dont want it to go the way of the Pterodactyl!

Does anybody remember the Photograph?

It was a sepier picture which featured some American Civil War soldiers standing proundly over a seemingly dead, Pteranodon.

No one knows if it was real and I think it has been lost.

I have a copy that I could mail to anyone interested.
 

TVgeek

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#11
Sorry to bear the bad news, St.Clair ...
that photo was a hoax for the TV series/website "Freakylinks".
The ptero model was purchased from the production
company by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman.

I still have the photo which I occasionally use as
my Windows Desktop Wallpaper.

Pity.
TVgeek
 
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Anonymous

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#12
Not that the original story sounds at all plausible... but the link above is from a rather typical creationist website... I wouldn't use it as expert evidence. The whole site is pretty zany.
But yes, I do have a horrid bias against creationist websites.

But Dinosaur cam is pretty strange. A couple famous pics and a couple bad hoaxes not worth discussing. But they discuss them. Their explanation of the Surgeon pick is bizzare.

It is actually not a bad fake. It is impossible to identify the scale of the photo, so the object could have been small or huge. The use of a “real” shadowy object meant that the photograph could never be proved to have been touched up. There is good rippled wash around the “monster,” genuine reflection in the water, and an elongated neck reminiscent of a plesiosaur.

But there may be a major giveaway in this photo. Plesiosaurs and marine creatures generally have flippers or paddle-like limbs. The “monster” in this photo seems to have a cylindrical “paw” raised out the water … not really the right implement for surviving full-time in the loch!
 

evilsprout

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#13
The Yorkshire Pteradactyls fascinate me (I've posted about them Here before.

Some say it was "merely" a condor, but that's almost as weird.
 
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Anonymous

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#14
Indeed Attercliffe and Redmires Reservoirs in Sheffield were areas which had quite a few Pterodactyl sightings in the 1970's and 1980's.

One of the sightings in Attercliffe centred on a young girl playing in her backyard when she noticed a very large shadow go across the yard. Thinking it was a low-flying aircraft she looked up and saw a large bird/pterodactyl. Her mother came outside (after her daughter screamed) and saw the bird circle round and fly past once again.

In Redmires most of the sightings were explained away by herons - which have amazing pterodactyl type similarities, to the untrained eye (or over imaginative) at least.

Also - didn't Condorman, the Michael Crawford movie come out at the same time?
 
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Anonymous

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#15
A gargantuan heron occasionally peers in through my office window. I can indeed confirm that they look absolutely astonishing if you aren't expecting to see one. And frankly, I rarely walk into the office and think 'I SHALL SEE A HERON', in capital letters and everything.
 

avondrow

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#16
Herondactyls

My ex girlfriend once insisted she had seen a Pterodactyl when I was sure it was a Heron - they are indeed strange looking birds in flight, esp in the twilight. (But hey, she might have been right and I wrong!) This was, oddly enough, on the Derbyshire / Yorkshire border.

Reg the lost photo theme - this featured in an FT article some time beck on Thunderbirds, didn't it? There is the established fake of overweight modern Americans pretending to be 7th Cavalry men, but that was supposed to be a recreation of a lost original.

The idea of a surviving Pteradon is exciting, but given the precarious state of large raptors today, it seems unlikely.:(
 
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