Family Reports 2017 Pterosaur Sighting in Arkansas

(Emily Wayland / Singular Fortean Society)

(Emily Wayland / Singular Fortean Society)

The Singular Fortean Society received a report recently from a witness, Diniah, who said she and her family had seen a pterosaur similar to that reported in Wheaton, Illinois earlier this year. Diniah, her mother Gloria, and father Darnell all saw the creature just outside of Pine Bluff, Arkansas in February of 2017.

"I read your article on the sighting of the pterosaur, and I would like to share my story on when me and my family saw the exact same thing a year and a half ago in Arkansas, entering in the town of Pine Bluff," said Diniah.

We were trying to take a short cut to Pine Bluff for a funeral so we took a back road. My mother was sleeping and I was on my phone; my father was driving. As he was driving he saw something, at first he thought it was a bird but he had never seen a bird with that long of a wing span and a long tail. As it got closer, he yelled at me and my mother to look in the sky. We looked and I said, “OMG WHAT IS THAT." My mother was in shock, and me and my father said it looked like it was in the family of a dinosaur...We continued driving, still in awe, as it flew slow into the trees with its long wing span. We went home and researched it, but they're supposed to be extinct, right? Nope. We knew we weren’t crazy! My father looked at it for a long time before telling me and my mother to look up, and he’s definitely not crazy.

Investigator Tobias Wayland contacted Diniah to ask for more details; including the date and time of their encounter, and anything she could remember of the creature’s appearance.

The date was Friday, February 3rd, 2017 in the evening—after 5 p.m., around dusk. The best way I can describe the creature is like a pterodactyl with a long tail. The wingspan looked 30 feet, according to my father, but he said that’s just how it looked. I’m not sure really how long it was, only because we looked from the angle of a car. [I] just know it was very long. It was definitely bigger than a human and bigger than the car we were in, which was a full-size Sedan. Its size was intimidating. Just to give you an image, it was like seeing something out of Jurassic Park. I remember the creature was probably black, and when it was flying it flew slow, not like a bird. Its wings were so big, I think that was the reason for it flying the way it did. We had to keep driving to Pine Bluff and couldn’t stop in traffic because back roads are narrow, and we already had traffic behind us because we slowed down to look at the creature .

Wayland was also able to contact Gloria and Darnell, who agreed to recount the sighting as they remembered it.

"The bird I saw was a very large bird, about 30 feet across," said Darnell.

The creature was low-flying and seemed to be moving as if it was cruising. I saw it as I was driving on a detoured route in Arkansas. At first, I thought it was a shadow crossing over the car, I looked up through the sunroof and wasn't sure if I really saw it. I squinted my eyes to refocus and make sure I wasn't seeing something that couldn't be there. I called out to my wife and daughter to look, they both saw it too. The creature looked like a pterodactyl at first, I know that couldn't be possible. I thought to myself, maybe it's a drone, remote-controlled device or something man-made. We were wondering what could it be?

When they returned home to Chicago, Illinois, the family couldn’t help but tell others about what they had seen.

"I mentioned it to my brother in law after arriving back home to Chicago and left it alone. I knew that I saw something out of the ordinary, but didn't quite know what to do or where to go with the sighting," said Darnell.

Unfortunately, the experience of sharing such a sighting isn’t always positive.

"When we got back to Chicago is when we told people like friends and family—even a doctor," Diniah said. "We told a bunch of people hoping we weren’t the only ones who saw this...When we told people back in Chicago they didn’t believe us."

It wasn’t until they saw the sighting report out of Wheaton that was published in July that they felt relief; somebody else had seen the same thing.

"I wondered about it from time to time and just threw it in the back of my mind, until I stumbled across an article on my phone about a sighting in Wheaton, Illinois and I became excited all over again, feeling relieved that someone else had seen the creature too," Darnell said. "I knew it was really what I saw that evening. I'll never forget it, especially now that others have seen it also."

Pine Bluff is the tenth largest city in Arkansas, with a population of almost 43,000. It is surrounded by natural areas, with the easternmost border of the Ouachita National Forest lying around 60 miles to its northwest. The Ouachita National Forest, known among forteans for its Bigfoot sightings, is nearly 3,000 square miles of wilderness that sprawls over western Arkansas and portions of eastern Oklahoma.

To report a sighting, reach out to us directly at the Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

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