SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A minister claims she and her daughter saw an unidentified flying creature that looked like it was “straight out of Jurassic Park”.
The minister, a 50-year-old Texas resident and avid bird watcher, said they were at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, south of Sacramento, when the creature showed up on a clear spring day.
“We were hiking and looking for Blue Herons and other migratory birds,” the woman told Cryptozoology News on Thursday. “My daughter and I saw the bird first and we both pointed to it, stunned and in shock as we tried to come up with a logical explanation for what we thought we were seeing. It was not a kite, it was a real animal,” she added about the alleged 1994 encounter.
The eyewitness says they observed the animal for about 20 minutes as it circled an area and then veered off in a different direction. She explains that even though it makes her “nervous to have to admit it”, the bird was “very pterodactyl in shape”.
“That is the only point of reference I have for it. I remember I said ‘that’s impossible… they are an extinct species’. My daughter, who was well read on extinct birds, kept pointing out the unusual features of this animal.”
She says her daughter described the creature has having a featherless, long thin tail and a “pterodactyl-like head”. Its wings, she explained, were “not shaped like a bird’s wings”.
“It had a long neck, long head and long pointed beak area. It had a large wingspan, bigger than a blue heron. It was gliding very high up, with very little flapping movement of its wings.”
The minister admits to being “a little freaked out” at the time and wondered whether the creature would attack them.
“I couldn’t wait to get back to the car. When we got back we couldn’t stop talking about it.”
The two family members say that, even though to this day they can not positively identify the bird as a “dinosaur”, they know what it resembled.
“While on the phone with my daughter tonight we both Googled photos of pterodactyl sightings and some of them are similar to what we saw,” she confessed. “Being birders, we were familiar with most birds. I didn’t think I could call Audubon Society and tell them about the sighting, because this bird was not on their checklist. They would have likely told me that I miss-identified it because it was up in the air, and that it was probably a crane or heron. Believing that would certainly solve things, but my brain wouldn’t rest. What we saw was neither a crane nor a heron. We saw a real living animal that was not familiar to us and looked like it was straight out of Jurassic Park.”
And the sighting, she explains, also carries social problems and the risk of ostracization, so they have kept it pretty much a secret until today.
“I did tell a couple of people… I told them factually and they just stared at me saying ‘hmmm wow‘. I do not want to be exposed to the ridicule and have to defend my story, which I finally got brave enough to share. My daughter and I talk about it sometimes. Discussing it is like self-counseling, it gives us an opportunity to share that experience again and validate each other. At least we know what we saw and discussing it is one way to try to keep the story alive, unravel the mystery in our heads and find some kind of understanding and clarity as time passes. It does help to read online that others are seeing these animals also. This is what gave me the idea to come forward and share our sighting,” said the minister.
Reports of unidentified birds have been numerous this year. Just last week, two people in Nevada reported seeing a creature that reminded them of a pterosaur, a flying reptile believed to have gone extinct about 65 million years ago.
In 1890, Arizona newspaper The Tombstone Epitaph wrote about two ranchers killing a “winged monster” similar to an “alligator” in the desert between the Whetsone and Huachuca mountains.
The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta and serves as a protective habitat to thousands of migratory birds.