By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
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Baugh is gregarious and generous with his time to the few who come in. He says he has had to confine much of his speaking activities to within driving distance of the museum. The work he's doing is too important to neglect for more than a few days.
His life in Glen Rose so far has been a series of scientific discoveries, each more spectacular than the last. And he remains in a constant struggle to up the ante.
This past year, he's journeyed to Papua New Guinea in search of "living pterodactyls." Baugh says these giant prehistoric flying reptiles have been spotted by locals for years. In the three trips he's made to the country, he's seen evidence of them--scratch marks, feet and tail imprints, even their "glow." Pterodactyls apparently glow at will, like giant fireflies.
"We cannot verify they exist," he says. "But we know that some creature does."
As he says this, Baugh becomes animated, even wide-eyed. At 60, he hasn't gotten a chance to slow down yet. He has big plans for his museum, including a new multimillion-dollar building shaped like Noah's ark. The building will house his Acrocanthosaurus--fully assembled--along with all the other artifacts that don't fit in the current museum space. He's been trying to raise money for the new museum for the last 10 years, with little success. Right now, he's concentrating on donations to buy the land. He still needs about $450,000.
The new museum will also have an expanded biosphere housing plants as well as mammals, birds, and reptiles. No people just yet, Baugh says. But he'll have to check on the experiments daily, and believes he'll reap some of the benefits. He hopes that the large biosphere, which now sits unused beside the doublewide trailer, will eventually extend his own life.
"There's no reason why I shouldn't live another 60 years," he says.