I was stationed in an infantry unit at Schofield Barracks on Oahu from 1996 through 2000.
Our company was conducting a training excercise in what we called the Kahuku range which is a mountain range on the North East side of the Island. It’s roughly ten miles inland from where the Turtle Bay Resort is for anyone familiar with the area.
I’m not positive of the exact month but I’m pretty sure it was October or November of 1999. We had just completed a night excercise and it was about 1:00 a.m and we had bed down for the night.
It was a full moon and there were only a few small clouds high in the sky so we opted not to build shelters and just roll our mats out and go to sleep. As I was laying there looking at the sky I noticed a huge bird like creature hovering way up in the sky amongst the clouds apparently riding thermals or something.
It right away struck me as odd because it was flying at around the same altitude that the passenger jets traveled at and was still easily visible to me. I only knew this because it flew through the same little set of clouds that a jet had flown through not five minutes earlier.
This “bird” had very long angular wings that swept out and away from its body. A long body and either a long neck with a pointed head or a very elongated head on a shorter neck it was hard to distinguish that feature.
It’s tail was about one quarter the size of it’s body and apeared theat it might be feathered.
I would estimate the wingspan at 20 feet and that is only using the plane that was in the same clouds to reference against. I know commercial planes have wingspans between 130-195 feet and this “bird” was roughly 1/8th that size. It must have been about 8-10 feet from beak to tail.
It’s body was aerodynamic and well proportioned to it’s wings. It’s flight seemed effortless, only flapping it’s wings once every 30 to 40 seconds. I could not distinguish any color as it was night time. I watched this thing hover and dive around the clouds for about two minutes in awe and totally confused.
At that time I looked over to my buddy lying on the ground next to me an noticed him still awake staring into the sky. I asked him “Do you see that?” and I remember his reply exactly, he said “Yeah, what the hell is that thing, it looks like a pterodactyl.”
I said “I don’t know but that thing is massive.”
He even reinforced my thoughts on it’s size by noting it was flying in the same spot as the jet as I had noticed. We watched it for about another 3 minutes until it flapped it’s wings a few times gaining more altitude and departed in a southerly direction.
We discussed what it could be for about an hour. He swore it was a dinosaur and made jokes about Jurassic park being filmed in Hawaii. We finally concluded that it looked like a cross between a modern bird and a pterodactyl. It didn’t seem like it was conclusively one or the other.
I know this account is a little winded and I still feel foolish telling it sometimes but I wanted to give as much detail as I could remember. I called the university of Hawaii two days later when we got back to base and asked a biology professor there if he knew what it was that I saw and he pretty much laughed at me and told me that maybe my eyes were tired from training in the dark because birds that size don’t exist.
He suggested a number of large migratory oceanic birds none of which even closely resemble what we saw. I’ve looked in a ton of books and all over on-line and have not found a bird or reptile, modern day or extinct that matches the silhouette of what I saw that night.
I was hoping someone in the cryptozoology community may be able to give me some insight as to what it may be. Again I know this story is long so feel free to edit where needed.
Source: Aaron Sanchez; Cryptozoology.com