posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 01:05 AM
Here's another section of the article in strange 22, that I think you'll find interesting..
Another is the use of the word "canard" (French for "duck"). John Michell and Robert J. M. Rickard's book Phenomena (Thames and Hudson,
London, 1977, p. 71) included a case of a supposed living pterodactyl that they described as "perhaps the damnedest piece in this whole book."
Phenomena is packed with strange material, so this is really saying something. The authors write that in early 1856 French railway workmen blasting a
tunnel cracked open a boulder from which a pterodactyl-like creature emerged, cried out, and died. The account, filled with all kinds of wonderful
detail (sharp teeth; thick, oily skin; crooked talons), was taken from the Illustrated London News of February 9, 1856. This paper quoted the Presse
grayloise. This case was most certainly a hoax. Had the authors either a better grasp of Latin or knowledge of the use of code words like canard
throughout the history of journalistic hoaxing, they might have thought twice before including it in a book of supposedly true phenomena.
Nevertheless, it is a good story. In 1985 British author-researcher Michael Goss exposed this entombed pterodactyl case in the skeptical UFO-oriented
publication Magonia. Goss noted that in the Illustrated London News article the winged monster was taken to a naturalist in the town of Gray, France,
and that this paleontology expert identified the beastie as none other than a Pterodactylus anas. Readers with some knowledge of Latin would have
known that anas is Latin for "duck." "Duck" is English for "canard." [Michael Goss, "'The French Pterodactyl' a Fortean Folly," Magonia 21
(December 1985), pp. 7-8, 11]
I think it's interesting because it's the exact article seen on the page of the book we've been looking at, about the pterodactyl in france.
Do I personally think it's a hoax?. It's possible. The writer of the article in strange certainly makes a good case for it. The lack of further
articles especially is telling.. No other newspapers picked it up, the same paper didn't print any further updates on the story, etc.
This is not to say that the creature doesn't exist, but the epitaph article is almost certainly a hoax, at the very least not the source of the
I do think it's possible that people have simply believed there's a picture, been tricked by their brains into thinking they saw it. Part of my
belief for this is the fact that different artists renditions show the bird in different orientations - if everyone was referring to the same picture,
sure, something simple like the number of people might change, but I'm pretty sure beak up, beak down would be something people would remember
clearly. Our visual memories can confuse number, but I think it's a lot harder to mis-remember orientation. But if you're just visualising a photo
in your head, thinking of something described to you, we all see these things differently..
Of course, the only way to *truly* test this, would be to start such a hoax yourself.