I [Jonathan Whitcomb] interviewed Susan Wooten,
by email in 2007, about her sighting of an apparent
pterosaur that flew over a highway that ran by a
swamp in South Carolina. She told me “It looked as
big as any car, and had NO feathers, not like a huge
crane or egret.” With a wingspan that she estimated
at 12-20 feet, the creature glided over the highway,
passing close to her car: about twenty feet high and
twenty-five feet in front of her car.
The sighting by Wooten was at about 3:00 p.m.
between Greenville and Florence, South Carolina.
The visibility was clear. She was following a friend
who was driving in a car ahead (the second woman
did not notice anything, for the apparent pterosaur
had flown behind that second car).
Several things caught my attention. Wooten’s sketch
of the pterosaur (“pterodactyl” is the common word)
showed a very long tail and legs. She was sure that
what she interpreted as a tail was indeed a tail and
that she saw the legs separately. She was also sure
of a head appendage and showed it in her drawing.
She also noted that other drivers pulled over after
the creature flew over the highway. This is another
clue that Susan saw something strange flying over a
remote area of South Carolina. The description itself
shows it was a living pterosaur.
When I brought up this sighting on a cryptozoology
internet forum (cryptozoology.com), skeptics were
quick to offer alternate explanations: anything
except a pterosaur. It seems to me, however, that
the skeptics failed to read or consider the testimony
itself, offering suggestions that contradicted what
was in the report. (Why not read it first? Really!)
The first comment included “how good a look can
someone get of something in a moving car?” This
skeptic seems to have only scanned the report or
only read my brief comment on it, for the
eyewitness described the creature: “as big as any
car.” She also estimated that it flew about 20 feet
high and about 25 feet in front of her car. And the
description itself (it includes many details) shows
that she did indeed get a good look at the creature.
Not all comments were from skeptics but the
general tone from most of them was that no
pterosaur can live anywhere in South Carolina,
therefore there must be a problem with a sighting
report that suggests a large pterosaur flew over a
highway in South Carolina. They rejected the report
because of their preconceived ideas about pterosaur
extinctions. It was almost like they said, “Nobody’s
seen a pterosaur or somebody would’ve seen one,”
which would have been obvious circular reasoning.
Pterosaur Seen in South Carolina
Copyright 2007-2016 Jonathan David Whitcomb
River in South Carolina
(Photo by “Let Ideas Compete”)
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern California
Introduction to the sighting and the controversy
Whitcomb is a living-pterosaur expert and author of the nonfiction books Searching for Ropens and Finding God and Live Pterosaurs in America (both in revised editions)
Consider Paul Nation’s 2006
expedition on the mainland
of Papua New Guinea. He
saw the indava-light several
times and videotaped two
indava lights on a ridge.
First Nonfiction Book
Jonathan Whitcomb wrote
"Searching for Ropens"
(now in its fourth edition)
after he traveled to Papua
New Guinea to interview
credible native eyewitnesses
on Umboi Island. This book
is nonfiction: a true story.
The revised book title is
Searching for Ropens and
Finding God (4th edition).
Deep in the oceans, many
creatures [fish, squid, etc] use
bioluminescence for various
purposes. On the land, perhaps
the best known case is in the
abdomen of the firefly. . . .
About two thousand species of
fireflies [fly] in the world. Each
bioluminescent species has its
Wooten wrote under her sketch “Definitely no
feathers -- this thing was not only huge but was
practically on top of me -- maybe 20 ft? above &
25 ft? in front of me > crossing highway”
The above sketch is by Susan Wooten, eyewitness
of the South Carolina pterosaur. Note similarities
to the Hodgkinson “pterodactyl” sighting (1944,
Finschhafen area of New Guinea).
This South Carolina sighting may relate to the
Marfa Lights of Texas, but as of late 2010 the
evidence for Marfa Lights being nocturnal
bioluminescent flying predators is only indirect,
even though the circumstantial evidence has been
accumulating dramatically through March, 2011.
Nevertheless, the creature Wooten saw flying over
the highway was nothing like any “huge crane or
egret.” Common sense insists it was a pterosaur.
Learn more about living pterosaurs, what some
eyewitnesses might call “dinosaur birds.”
Expedition of 2006
Learn much more about the South Carolina sighting.
Read the non-fiction cryptozoology book by Jonathan
Whitcomb: Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition).
Delight in details: many sightings across the United
States of America: astonishing true accounts of
living pterosaurs in many states of the USA.
Cryptozoology & Pterodactyls
“People think that these are flying
dinosaurs, but scientists notice they
differ from dinosaurs.”
Ropen and South Carolina Sighting
This flying creature resembles the ropen
of Papua New Guinea, at least
somewhat, but this “pterodactyl” is also
called the “South Carolina pterosaur.”
Sketch by the eyewitness Eskin Kuhn: one
of two pterosaurs he observed in Cuba
The original version of this web page was on prodigy.net,
before the host discontinued PWP support. The word
“prodigy” is continued in this URL. We honor child prodigies.
Consider these book reviews on strange and paranormal phenomena:
near death experiences (NDE) and eyewitness accounts of living pterosaurs
and dinosaurs (books by George Ritchie, Betty Eadie, F. Silcock, and Whitcomb).
By the end of the 20th Century, the living Coelacanth was
no longer considered very strange. The origin of the idea
of the ancient Coelacanth, however, is strange. Believing
in a living Coelacanth, why should we not consider a
living pterosaur? And if these two kinds of creatures
still live, why consider them “ancient?” Consider that.