Ropen - a Modern Pterosaur
Destination Truth expedition team searching for the ropen
Jonathan David Whitcomb
Eyewitness Brian Hennessy
What is this flying creature called “ropen?”  Countless eyewitnesses, in many countries  across the planet, have pondered what it  was they had seen. But ropens continue to  fly overhead, continuing to shock humans  who had assumed that all pterosaurs had  become extinct millions of years ago.   On Umboi Island, in Papua New Guinea, it  has a name and many native witnesses of  its reality. The ropen is a flying creature of  the night that glow briefly, only about five  or six seconds at a time.   Expeditions by several Americans, from  about 1993 to 2004, revealed many details  in native eyewitness accounts: brightness  of the glowing ropen, consistency of flights  to and from reefs around Umboi Island. It  cannot be dismissed as native legends that  come from shooting stars, for the timing of  the flying light (five or six seconds) shows  us that meteors are unlikely to be involved  and that this deserves attention.   In addition, the two ropen expeditions of  2004 brought to light the long tail of this  huge flying creature. The native Gideon  Koro told the American cryptozoologist  Jonathan Whitcomb that the creature that  he and his six friends saw had a tail that  was seven meters long (twenty-three feet).  It was obviously not a Flying Fox fruit bat  that those islanders saw flying over a lake  in the middle of the day.   Not only natives have seen this “dragon”  or “pterodactyl” in Papua New Guinea. In  1971 (when the islands were known as  “New Guinea”), the Brian Hennessy, of  Australia, witnessed something strange on  the island of Bougainville: a long-tailed  flying creature that had not a feather in  sight. It was also quite large and had the  strangest head that Hennessy had ever  seen. Don’t think that this man, who saw a  “primitive” flying creature, is insane, for  Mr. Hennessy is himself a psychologist.   Also, in Australia, eyewitnesses have seen  these mysterious long-tailed creatures that  fly overhead.
What is this animal?
“The ropen is not confined in Papua New Guinea”
The third edition of the nonfiction book  “Live Pterosaurs in America” proves this is  not a mystery confined to remote tropical  rain forests in Papua New Guinea. Ropens  continue to shock eyewitnesses around the  world, including many common persons in  the United States of America.   Like eyewitnesses in Australia, some of the  eyewitnesses in the United States label the  flying creature “pterodactyl.” Most of these  flying creatures have long tails, and many  of those long tails are seen to have a vane  or flange at the end. This appears to relate  to the Rhamphorhynchoid tail flange that  is known from fossils of some pterosaurs.   From the nonfiction cryptozoology book  “Live Pterosaurs in America” (3rd edition),  we read:   “In July of 2008, I received a phone call  from a man who reported a very large  flying creature, seen one year earlier, in  Orange County, less than one mile north of  the University of California at Irvine. He  described the dark gray or black animal as  30 feet long, with 15-16 feet of that being a  tail. He saw the creature fly “at low  altitude,” in front of his car, over the road  (Campus Drive), into the San Joaquin  Wildlife Sanctuary, in daylight.   “SNW [anon.] . . . noticed that during the  creature’s flight the tail was straight, [as if]  . . . ‘stretched out to be measured.’ A  flange, close to the end of the tail, he  described as “triangle-shaped.”   Also in this book two eyewitnesses saw, in  Texas during daylight, an apparent living  pterosaur. One of the men was interviewed  (some time later) by the cryptozoologist  Ken Gerhard. Whitcomb’s book says:   “The general appearance was ‘leathery’  and it had a pointed beak and head  appendage. The total length, about five  feet, included about two feet of tail, the  end of which had a ‘flange or sail.’” 
An American Ropen
Copyright 2012, 2014 Jonathan Whitcomb
Resources in other languages - modern pterosaurs
The fourth edition of another nonfiction  book “Searching for Ropens and Finding  God” can be classified in cryptozoology,  yet it’s also a spiritual book, not much  about any particular religion but asking  for religious tolerance.  It has less preaching than the two earlier  editions, yet more reaching for friendly  cooperation between investigators and  eyewitnesses of different faiths and belief  systems. In fact, this book about ropens is  also about people. Consider the following,  taken from the Title page:   “Three American Christians—one middle   -aged LDS-Mormon high priest and two  younger Protestant Young Earth  Creationists—explored parts of Umboi  Island in two separate expeditions in  2004, interviewing native eyewitnesses of  the elusive ropen.” 
Some sightings are in the United States. In  fact, a new chapter in this third edition is  100 pages long, titled “Pterosaurs in the  USA.” On page 212, read:   “Of those 128 [more-credible] sightings,  75% were encounters in the USA (not that  most of the creatures live here but that  Americans so often comment on web  pages and blog posts that are in English).”  Indeed, “Searching for Ropens and  Finding God” could be competing with  “Live Pterosaurs in America,” for SFRFG  has sightings reported in Maine, New  York, New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky,  North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,  Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas,  Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and many  other states, especially California. SFRFG,  unlike previous editions, takes you into  many areas of the world where ropens fly. 
One page of the questionnaire given to the eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson, in which he gave us the relative length of the neck of the “pterodactyl” that he and his army buddy saw in a jungle clearing in New Guinea during World War II---this long neck (next to the longest in the image choices given) by itself shows this was not a fruit bat.
For those cryptozoology readers who’d prefer a free digital nonfiction, consider this as a good alternative to the much larger print book Searching for Ropens and Finding God. The shorter one is Live  Pterosaurs  in Australia  and in Papua New Guinea (also by Whitcomb).
The wooden carving shown to the left was  examined by David Woetzel and Garth  Guessman, after their expedition on the  island of Umboi, in 2004. This work of  tribal art was found in a large city on the  mainland of Papua New Guinea.  The two American explorers believe it was  inspired by native encounters with the  ropen, a large nocturnal flying creature the  natives often fear. The depiction seems to be of a creature  that is hairy and has a long tail, biting the  top of a mask that is worn by a native,  perhaps a tribal leader or a spiritual man.  In Papua New Guinea, many villages have  their own languages, and some of the  names they have for large glowing animals  of the night are as follows: duwas, kor,  wawanar, kunduwa, seklo-bali, and of  course ropen. Investigators believe this  creature has bioluminescence. 
Tribal Art in Papua New Guinea
Dozens of sailors on the USS Jouett. many  years ago, saw a “pterodactyl” fly over the  ship. The huge creature had a wingspan  that they estimated at 30-40 feet.