I know that a few hoaxers pretend to have seen or videotaped a living pterosaur and a few others have been mistaken through misidentification. But most of the reports that I received are credible, for jokesters prefer Youtube, where they are not directly confronted by questions and where they may get a shock-response.
I proclaim that no combination of hoaxes made up any significant portion of the sighting reports that I have personally received. You don't need to rely only on my word, however, for the overall data confirms the credibility of those eyewitnesses.
Most of the 98 reports that I have compiled are of eyewitnesses whom I have personally communicated with. We have 57 of those 98 (58%) who gave some numeric estimate for wingspan, and there we see why hoaxes could not have been many, in fact perhaps not even one hoax was involved.
Two kinds of wingspan value are predicted with hoaxes: "estimates" based upon a concept of long-tailed pterosaurs and one of short-tailed pterosaurs. Neither one shows up in the actual data.
Wingspan estimates from 8-13 feet accounted for 30% (17) of those 57 reports, far too many if any significant number of hoaxers were involved with faking long-tailed pterosaur sightings, for 8-13 feet of wingspan is too big for Rhamphorhynchoid-type pterosaurs. On the other hand, 47% (27) were of estimates less than 13 feet, too small for Pterodactyloid-type pterosaurs, for people would think that there may have been misidentifications of birds.
It is possible that 2-4 of those 57 sightings (in which wingspan estimates were given) may have been hoaxes ( I suspect that it's zero), but that leaves us with dozens of sightings that could not have been from hoaxes.
In the spring of 2009, after I had analyzed similarities between the many reports of sightings in the United States, it became obvious that no hoax (or combination of hoaxes) was involved. Pterosaurs live in the United States, not as migrants or stragglers: They live here as residents.
When Hennessy reported his experience, in 2006, he was a professional psychologist. I believe that he still is. But why would he agree to have his real name be used in cryptozoology literature, if he was playing a hoax? It would likely come back to haunt him in his profession.
Duane Hodgkinson, an experienced plane pilot, immediately ran into flak, in New Guinea in 1944, when he used the word “pterodactyl” for the “huge” flying creature that he and his army buddy had seen take off into the air from a jungle clearing. He never denied his account of the encounter . . .