There are lots and lots of really real winged creatures – birds, bats, insects, and in prehistoric times flying reptiles like pterosaurs/pterodactyls. One might even count ‘flying’ fish or ‘flying’ foxes or squirrels if one had a broad enough definition of ‘flying’. But just because you have wings of course doesn’t of necessity mean you can fly. There are lots of terrestrial flightless birds for example yet they still have wings.
There are also a lot of mythological creatures that fly – the griffin (or gryphon – alt spelling), the dragon, and on and on and on. One can’t of course forget Pegasus, the flying winged horse as one of those.
Now perhaps these are real terrestrial animals. Alas, despite lots of eyewitness accounts, there are no dead bodies available for examination or any other fossil evidence for them.
Or perhaps they are misinterpretations of real, or once real, terrestrial animals. In that latter case, dragons or griffins are misinterpretations of fossils. That’s highly unlikely IMHO. Perfectly intact, fully articulated, fully exposed large winged reptiles from the Age of Dinosaurs are as rare as hen’s teeth. Any vertebrate palaeontologist would probably sell their soul to the Devil for such a find. The norm is for much of any vertebrate fossil skeleton to have substantial bits missing; what remains is usually in a jumbled state; and near all of it is buried and out of sight.
Perhaps they are really real, but not of this Earth, that is to say, they are extraterrestrial, or in other words, alien life forms. That’s the most likely scenario IMHO.
But of course the most logical explanation is that they are, as common knowledge has it, entirely mythological – that is purely fictional with as much reality as a $7 bill!
One facet in particular leads me to suggest that such beasties were considered a