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1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?

 
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04/05/2005 11:52 AM
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1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
UFO ROUNDUP
Volume 10
Number 14
April 6, 2005


1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?

The Gunfight at the OK Corral isn´t the only famous event in the history of Tombstone, Arizona. The "town too tough to die" emblazoned its name in the annals of Forteana, as well.

In April 1890, two cowboys encountered "a large but exhausted pterodactyl in the Arizona desert. After a brief chase, they shot and killed the creature, whose wingspan proved to be 160 feet (48 meters)."

Here is the actual news story as it appeared in the Tombstone Epitaph of April 26, 1890:
FOUND IN THE DESERT

A Strange Winged Monster Discovered
and Killed on the Huachuca Desert

"A winged monster, resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings, was found on the desert between the Whetstone and Huachuca Mountains last Sunday," April 20, 1890, "by two ranchers who were returning home from the Huachucas."

"The creature was evidently greatly exhausted by a long flight and when discovered was able to fly but a short distance at a time."

"After the shock of wild amazement had passed, the two men, who were on horseback and armed with Winchester rifles, regained sufficient courage to pursue the monster and, after an exciting chase of several miles, succeeded in getting near enough to open fire with the rifles and wounding it."

"The creature then turned on the men but, owing to its exhausted condition, they were able to keep out of its way and, after a few well-directed shots, the monster partly rolled over and remained motionless."

"The men cautiously approached, their horses snorting with terror, and found that the creature was dead. They then proceeded to make an examination and found that it measured about ninety-two feet (27.6 meters) in length and the greatest diameter was about fifty inches (1.25 meters). The monster had only two feet, these being situated a short distance in front of where the wings were joined to the body."

"The head, as near as they could judge, was about eight feet (2.4 meters) long, the jaws being thickly set with strong, sharp teeth. Its eyes were as large as a dinner plate and they protuded about halfway from the head. They had some difficulty in measuring the wings as they were partly folded under the body, but finally got one straightened out sufficiently to get a measurement of seventy-eight feet, making the total length from tip to tip about 160 feet (48 meters)."

"The wings were composed of a thick and nearly transparent membrane and were devoid of feathers or hair, as was the entire body. The skin of the body was comparatively smooth and easily penetrated by a bullet."

"The men cut off a small portion of the tip of one wing and took it home with them. Late last night (Friday, April 25, 1890) one of them arrived in this city (Tombstone) for supplies and to make the necessary preparations to skin the creature, when the hide will be sent east for examination by the eminent scientists of the day."

"The finder appeared early this morning, accompanied by several prominent men who will endeavor to bring the strange creature to this city before it is mutilated."

There was no follow-up story in the Epitaph, and the "winged alligator of the Huachuca Mountains" was gradually forgotten. But not by everyone. The story stuck with Harry McClure.

Harry was a boy living on a ranch in Lordsburg, New Mexico when he heard the original story. And he met the two cowpokes when they came to town.

"When the Epitaph story was published again in 1969, Harry McClure chose to tell his version of the story to the Summer 1970 issue of Old West Magazine. McClure saw the cowboys and had friends who knew them personally, and said that he and other people who resided there did not think the story was a hoax."

So, what really happened out there in the Huachucas?

Flash back 65 million years to the Jurassic Period...

A male pterodactyl with a 160-foot (48-meter) wingspan soars over the tropical rain forest that will someday become southeastern Arizona. His stomach is rumbling, and he´s looking for his midday meal.

Suddenly, he sees a gleaming silver disc hovering above a grove of Lepidodendra trees. Tilting his wings, he lets out a fearsome hiss and dives to the attack. The aliens aboard the saucer see him coming. They´ve dealt with Earth´s savage dinosaurs before. Buttons on a console are pushed. Instantly a protective bubble--a shimmering bluish-white sphere of energy--envelops the UFO.

The pterodactyl plunges into the luminous Xendra (pronounced Shenn-drah --J.T.)...and vanishes.

Sixty-five million years later, on April 20, 1890, a starburst of intense white light flashes in the blue Arizona sky. Displaced air creates a noisy thunderclap. The disoriented pterodactyl tumbles through the air. Then he instinctively recovers and soars through what to him is an alien sky. No thick cloudy gray overcast. No wisps of fog rising from the swamps. Looking down, he sees the rain forest gone, replaced by slickrock canyons, rugged arroyos and sparse, weird-looking vegetation--catclaw, ocotillo, barrel and Saguaro cactus.

His stomach is still rumbling. He´s still hungry. So he flies on and on, searching in vain for his familiar Jurassic rain forest and something to eat.

On the other side of the planet, at the little border town of Braunau in Austria-Hungary, a birthday party is in progress. It´s little Adi´s birthday, and he´s sitting in his high chair in the upstairs dining room at the Gasthof zum Pommer at Vorstadt No. 219, not quite sure of what´s going on. Mutti is there, and his Aunt Johanna, and his older siblings, Alois and Angela, and they all clap and cheer when their housekeeper, Rosalia Schichtl, brings in the small chocolate cake with its single blazing candle.

Alois and Angela crowd either side of the high chair. "Blow it out, Adi. Blow it out. Like this..."

And so, Adolf Hitler--born in this very house one year earlier, on April 20, 1889--leans forward and blows out his birthday cake candle, unaware of the strange drama now underway in the Arizona desert. (See Fortean Times No. 105 for January 1998, "Thunderbirds are go" by Mark Hall, pages 34 to 37. Also Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, N.Y., 1998, pages 10 and 11.)
The Angel (OP)

12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: 1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
Oh, no. Those bastards shot my canary.

I´ve read about this before from several places. The first time I read it was in Living Wonders, can´t remember who wrote it. They also had a section on winged cats, the kraken (giant squid, giant octopus), and several other cryptozoological discoveries.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: 1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
Badly carved vulture.

And those newspapers back then (or now, for that matter), really didn´t give a crap about "accuracy in reporting."
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:06 AM
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Re: 1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
Not the first.
[link to www.s8int.com]
No way!
User ID: 54677951
Finland
02/27/2014 05:11 AM
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Re: 1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
The width of wings just can not be 48 meters. Perhaps an object these guys shot down was a liner during its flight Tucson to Paris ;)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 53076413
United Kingdom
02/27/2014 05:21 AM
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Re: 1890: A PTERODACTYL OVER TOMBSTONE?
Not the first.
[link to www.s8int.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 0


Nor the last.
[link to www.viral-trap.com]

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