Intermittent expeditions on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, from 1994 through 2004, resulted in the
compilation of eyewitness testimonies that substantiated a hypothesis that pterosaurs may be still living
Whitcomb, from Long Beach, California, disputes an
old idea that they are misidentifications of Flying
Fox fruit bats, for in an early expedition in Papua
New Guinea, two natives were interviewed and they
described a ropen holding itself upright on a tree
trunk (fruit bats hang upside down from branches).
Whitcomb’s book also describes an apparently
bioluminescent glow that may help the nocturnal
ropen catch fish at night.
The puzzle for some investigators, perhaps even
some of the creationists, is that the ropen is unlike
Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur fossils in some ways:
A few of the nocturnal flying creatures are larger
than fossils of long-tailed pterosaurs and at least
one report suggests dorsal ridges along the back. In
addition, some eyewitnesses report a head crest on
the ropen while few long-tailed pterosaur fossils
have such appendages.
Although Whitcomb admits that nobody has yet
come up with a clear photograph to disprove
textbook declarations that all pterosaurs are extinct,
he disputes the suggestion that the ropen is an
unknown bat. His book examines an investigation by
the explorers Garth Guessman and David Woetzel,
American Creationist cryptozoologists. Their late-
2004 expedition, a few weeks after Whitcomb’s,
uncovered a native tradition about the ropen’s tail:
It moves only near the tail’s base. This, says
Guessman, relates to Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur
anatomy, and Whitcomb agrees.
Before his expedition on Umboi Island, in Papua
New Guinea, Whitcomb questioned the American
veteran Duane Hodgkinson, now a flight instructor
in Livingston, Montana, who maintains he saw a
large “pterodactyl” in 1944, near Finschhafen. The
World War II veteran’s description of the flying
creature resembles that given by a couple who saw
a creature flying over Perth, Australia, in 1997.
Whitcomb also noted similarities to native accounts
recorded by the earlier explorers on Umboi Island in
expeditions between 1994 and 2002.
Copyright 2011 Jonathan David Whitcomb
Pterosaur-Like Creatures in Papua New Guinea
This revised version of the 2006 press release
includes updated contact information and news
about recent investigations in Papua New Guinea
The conflict between evolution and creation took a
new perspective with a recent cryptozoological
investigation of reports of a pterosaur-like creature
in Papua New Guinea. According to popular
standard models of science, all species of pterosaurs
became extinct by about 65-million years ago,
notwithstanding traditional interpretations of the
Bible suggest that they lived in human times.
According to Jonathan Whitcomb, a forensic
videographer who interviewed native islanders in
2004, the “ropen” of Umboi Island is at least similar
to a long-tailed pterosaur.
Several American creationists explored the island
intermittently from 1994 through 2002, searching
for the ropen. Whitcomb believes that they were not
overly imaginative in believing the creature to be a
pterosaur. According to Whitcomb’s nonfiction book,
“Searching for Ropens,” there are many similarities
between the American, Australian, and native
eyewitness accounts. Ropens appear featherless
with long tails, and they eat fish.
Whitcomb found no indication of any hallucination
or hoax with the two Australians and the American
veteran. He also noted that the native eyewitnesses
he interviewed mentioned no supernatural elements
and that their descriptions resemble those given by
Around Manus Island, the wingspan is three to four
feet, according to Jim Blume, a missionary in Wau,
on the mainland. Blume’s investigations indicate that
wingspans may reach ten to fifteen feet in other
areas. Whitcomb’s book mentions a few ropens that
are even larger, including the ones seen by
Hodgkinson and the Australian couple.
The book Searching for Ropens (now in its second
edition) acknowledges differences between the
ropen and Rhamphorhynchoid fossils; nevertheless
it emphasizes that the “diamond” on the ropen’s tail
may relate to the fossil tails.
Whitcomb, who had previously worked as an
independent videographer recording evidence for
attorney firms, completed his book after one year of
compiling and analyzing eyewitness testimonies. He
encourages a major expedition to observe and
videotape a living pterosaur. The upcoming third
edition will have a new title: Searching for
Dragons, and it will be in cryptozoology genre, not
a cross-genre of religious-cryptozoological, as in the
first two versions of the nonfiction book.
Analysis, by a missile defense physicist, of the two lights
videotaped in Papua New Guinea by Paul Nation in 2006,
showing they were not from any commonplace sources.
Why Fight Light?
The original press release was written
in Long Beach, California, (PRWEB)
July 20, 2006; Revised in April, 2011
The ropen flew thirty meters above the
surface of Lake Pung, Umboi Island
flight of the ropen
Since July of 2006, several living
pterosaur expeditions have given us
much new information on these huge
live pterosaurs of Papua New Guinea
The ropen flew to the reef, on the south
coast of Umboi, like it was catching fish
In the Long Beach, California, area code,
Whitcomb can be reached at 277-8180,
for those who have an eyewitness account
to report or for qualified news professionals
Paul Nation (seen here in his 2002 Umboi expedition)
later explored deep in the mainland of Papua New
Guinea, and videotaped two lights on a ridge. He and
other cryptozoologists believe the indava lights her
recorded on video were from a similar type of flying
animal that is called “ropen” on Umboi Island. They
believe these flying creatures are living pterosaurs.
Special thanks to Clifford Paiva, BSM Research Associates