Following is the main part of our correspondence with Phillip's messages set apart in blue and mine left in black print:
Here are the photographs I mentioned on your blog. The close-up Heron shots are from a science center near Lake Erie in Ohio. The remaining illustration below (the result of a collaborative effort) is the creature I saw. Please note that I am unable to recall most anatomical features below the neck, so here I am relying on two other witnesses (my attention was drawn to the most outstanding feature - the region of the head).
Here are some additional details from a draft of (Survival of Greater Mesozoic Organisms Hypothesis, Dec. 2009)
“In March of 2003 I observed a large winged animal perched in a fir tree in Northwest Oregon. My brother, Timothy also witnessed this creature. We both looked at this creature with binoculars and we could clearly see a protuberance extending from the back of its head at an angle of 15-20 degrees. The head, neck, nor the protuberance contained any noticeable colors, excluding a grayish tone. Unfortunately, note-worthy observations were not made concerning features below the neck. It certainly did have a good sized body. I would estimate the overall height was approx. 3 feet. Later, on April 30, 2004 we saw it again, this time in a nearby field. As it spread its wings (approx. 7-10 ft. spread) to lift off the ground, I was struck by the fact that its wings were reflecting sunlight intensely. The wings bent near the middle and they also seemed to contain what I and Timothy identified as red veins. There was no visible plumage in either of my observations. Most assuredly I am not claiming with certainty this animal was a living pterosaur, yet I must admit that it contained several features of Pteranodon. Since then I have interviewed approx. a dozen eyewitnesses to similar flying creatures. I have traveled to some locations where they were seen very recently. After making some observations that collaborated with the accounts I was given, I am convinced that some remnants of Pterosaurs still exist. I intend to publish the details of my research on Pterosaurs at a later date.”
The most recent nearby sighting took place in Nov. 2010 (Rainer, WA).
-Phillip [Phillip O'Donnell]
Hello, actually I was basically in my email account right now just hoping you would write. I am very interested in this matter and of course I would very much like to discuss it in my blog.
Actually I had heard of "Pterodactyl" reports originating in Michigan in the mid-1960s, a creature the size of a big eagle and with several of the features you noted, but I never was able to get a good complete report nor was I able to contact any of the witnesses directly. None of the reports described the head in any detail and none specified the long crest as you described.
I am going to assume you did NOT see the neck curved into an S-shape as I described in my blog, is this correct? Also, it seems that you saw this creature in heavy vegetation, is it possible that the appearance of some nearby branches or shadows from them exaggerated the apparent size of this crest? Forgive me, I have got to ask these questions, you know.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
I have also heard of a few reports from Michigan, but haven’t spoken with anyone directly as of yet. Yes, I do not recall the neck being in an S-shape. It may be been a bit longer than the illustration depicts, I certainly do remember seeing a neck. Thank you for asking questions, I’ve also thought about the illusion factor. It fails on two counts:
1. At the beginning of the sighting, its beak was facing us and we could see no crest, only after it turned its head we could see the crest.
2.With binoculars, Timothy watched it turn its head and the crest move with it.
Though the crest was the most distinguishing feature, it was not entirely isolated. Something was different about this animal from the usual Great Blue Herons that frequent our area. Fortunately there were no noticeable branches obscuring our view of the creature.
For the past several years I have kept “tabs” on the sightings of this animal in the Pacific Northwest. The investigations and reports are filed with all available information. As you might have already gathered, the creature has a 7-9 foot wingspread, a crest is mentioned in the majority of reports, some reports mention a long thin tail terminating in a diamond shaped flange and has bat-like wings with no feathers.
Have you considered that an ivory-billed woodpecker at doubled the dimensions, elongated crest on head and an additionally elongating the tail, and at a more muted colouration (?female) might look very much like what you are describing? (see attached)
There are several kinds of different birds with crests on their heads, you know.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Best Wishes, Dale D..