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A Real Image Of An Pterodactyl? The Mystery Behind The Civil War Dinosaur Photo

civil war pterosaur

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So, is this just another result of Hoaxed content on the internet, or could this be a real image of a pterodactyl?

Quite possibly the most famous photograph in history related to the existence of Pterodactyls is an image that allegedly dates back to the American Civil War in 1864.

According to the story behind the mystery image, a giant flying creature was shot down by soldiers during the American Civil War in 1864 near the city of Vicksburg.

The story says that the soldiers said that the creature was like “some kind of unknown bird or a monster.”

In a surprising twist of the story, a second photograph appeared on the Internet that showed a similar scene.

This picture was created for a television program called FreakyLinks, which aired on the Fox network from 2000 to 2001.

The fake image showed soldiers standing on the body of another pterosaur.

There are two versions of the image

There are numerous forums on the internet that have tackled the mystery behind the image which allegedly shows a creature which, according to mainstream scientists, has been extinct for at least 65 million years.

Many experts in photography claim that the real civil what photo, the one FreakyLinks copied, is, in fact, the authentic version and not photoshopped one, while the one from FreakyLinks is clearly a reenactment of the original image.

civil-war-pterosaur - A Real Image Of An Pterodactyl? The Mystery Behind The Civil War Dinosaur Photo
Two images of the alleged Pterosaur

The photo has become so popular, that there is an entire website dedicated to it.

Called Live Pterosaur, the website offers an adventure in Cryptozoology.

According to the website, “the  ideas presented  in this “Live  Pterosaur” site  relate  mostly  to  eyewitness accounts: real-life encounters with creatures called “prehistoric” or “pterodactyl-like.”     Expect few references to fossils. Enter these pages with an open mind and compare points of view. Whether you consider yourself an evolutionist or creationist, or just a  curiosity, you might find yourself sympathizing with at least one of the ideas. If you leave this site disbelieving in living pterosaurs, however, know that some people do believe in living pterosaurs: Intelligent, educated people, can disbelieve in total extinction of pterosaurs.

The website mentioned above was created by a man named Jonathan Whitcomb who is a cryptozoologist and “dissenting scientist,” as described on his website.

Whitcomb offers a great deal of information about the extinct creatures and a number of stories of alleged sightings of Pterosaurs.

Ok, so we know there are two images of the American Civil War Pterodactyl, and an entire website dedicated to Pterosaur’s, but is the image real or not?

According to the website Modern Pterosaur, the first image, the one FreakyLinks chose to falsify is real for a number of reasons explained again by Whitcomb.

According to the author, at first the wings of the Pterosaur looked way off, and some people said that they looked like parts of a canoe. However, a man who supposedly knows about Canoas contacted Whitcomb via email to speak about the Civil War image saying:

I’m 67 years old and remember this photo from when I was young. . .  I’ve canoed all my life. I’ve owned several of them. Those aren’t halves of a canoe! Too narrow, too shallow. And not a dugout canoe!

Furthermore, as noted by Whitcomb; “The solar shadows tie the soldier’s boot to the animal, and a number of details in the head, neck, and other areas—those correlate well with the anatomy of a Pteranodon.”

However, numerous skeptics like Loen Colman, an American cryptozoologist who has written over 40 books on a number of topics, including cryptozoology. According to Colman the image of the Pterosaur is clearly a fake.

Others seem to agree with Colman.

Another man who talked about the civil war image was Glen Kuban who concluded like Colman that both the image by FreakyLinks and the one it was copied from are a hoax and most likely the result of photoshop.

But, despite the heavy criticism it has received, the old photo, now called “Ptp,” was supposedly declared genuine by two scientists, in January of 2017.

However, Skeptoid seems to have solved the mystery behind the image.

As noted by Brian Dunning, in his article titled “The Civil War Pterosaur,”  “For it turns out — drum roll please — that the mystery of the PTP photo is one that has a verified solution, one which so many of these people struggling to prove it or disprove it overlooked. While they all agree that the PTP’s photo’s twin was staged and shot for the TV show FreakyLinks, very few of them seem to have gone to the trouble to actually watch the episode in question, episode 4, called “Coelacanth This”, directed by Jeffrey Levy. They probably should, because that’s where the PTP photo itself appears. In one scene, the characters are discussing an old photograph that they suspect might be connected to some recent attacks by what seems to be a giant bird”

“We’ve all seen the picture. All right, it’s coming through.”

And the PTP photo, in all its glory, comes up on their computer screens.

“Derek, this is impossible.”
“What, a pterodactyl?”
“A pteranodon, actually, they’re much bigger.”
“Hold on, Derek, this whole Civil War thing could just be a hoax.”
“Or we could prove these soldiers existed. Check their regiment markings against troop whereabouts or movements, or whatever in that area, you know?”

Both Civil War pterosaur photos: copyright 2000, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Regency Entertainment.

In addition to the above-discussed image, there are several other curious images which, according to many authors, are evidence that Dinosaurs and Humans once coexisted.

For example, take a look at the Stegosaurus carving on ancient Cambodian Temple. 

khmer-angkor-dinosaur - A Real Image Of An Pterodactyl? The Mystery Behind The Civil War Dinosaur Photo

If we take a look at a carving found on the Cambodian Ta Prohm temple, we will notice a supposed carving of a Stegosaurus or at least something that eerily resembles it. The temple was built around the 12th century prompting many authors and researchers to suggest that dinosaurs and mankind coexisted not long ago.

Then there’s this image:

Triceratops-Horn-dinosaurs - A Real Image Of An Pterodactyl? The Mystery Behind The Civil War Dinosaur Photo

Discovered in Dawson County Montana, a Triceratops brow horn has been controversial dates back to around 33,500 years, officially challenging the idea that dinosaurs went extinct some 66 million years ago.

This discovery, like many others, suggests that mankind coexisted on Earth with dinosaurs in the distant past. The Triceratops Horn is currently stored at the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum.