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Living pterosaur

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Living pterosaurs have been long speculated by cryptozoologists. Although secular paleontologists assume these creatures went extinct along with the dinosaur (approximately 65 million years ago),[1] young earth creation scientists believe they were alive at the time of the Biblical global flood and well known to ancient people. Some believe that Biblical descriptions of fiery flying serpents may have been references to Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaurs.[2] In recent years their possible existence has been substantiated by numerous sightings of flying creatures resembling these "prehistoric" reptiles.

Historical References


"Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent."Isaiah 14:29

"The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them."Isaiah 30:6


The Greek historian Herodotus noted these observations during the 5th century BC.

There is a place in Arabia, situated very near the city of Buto, to which I went, on hearing of some winged serpents; and when I arrived there, I saw bones and spines of serpents, in such quantities as it would be impossible to describe. The form of the serpent is like that of the water-snake; but he has wings without feathers, and as like as possible to the wings of a bat.[3]


As recent as the early 1900s elderly folk in Glamorgan (a historical county of Wales) used to tell of a colony of winged serpents that lived in the woods around Penllin Castle.

The woods around Penllin Castle, Glamorgan, had the reputation of being frequented by winged serpents, and these were the terror of old and young alike. An aged inhabitant of Penllyne, who died a few years ago, said that in his boyhood the winged serpents were described as very beautiful. They were coiled when in repose, and "looked as if they were covered with jewels of all sorts. Some of them had crests sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow". When disturbed they glided swiftly, "sparkling all over," to their hiding places. When angry, they "flew over people's heads, with outspread wings, bright, and sometimes with eyes too, like the feathers in a peacock's tail". He said it was "no old story invented to frighten children", but a real fact. His father and uncle had killed some of them, for they were as bad as foxes for poultry. The old man attributed the extinction of the winged serpents to the fact that they were "terrors in the farmyards and coverts".[4]

Modern Sightings

According to a 2006 press release, "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 not be extinct." [5] Such claims might be bolstered by the discovery of a pterosaur fossil in Queensland, Australia. Palaeontologist Alex Cook made the discovery in 2004, and called it one of the "most exquisitely preserved" specimens in the world. Queensland is just south of the New Guinea area.[Reference needed]

In 2005, a nearly-inaccessible region of the island of New Guinea, the Foja Mountains was the object of a scientific expedition in which scientists documented dozens of new species that were unafraid of humans, and were previously unknown to scientists.[6] Late in 2006, in a remote mountainous area of Papua New Guinea, a creationist explorer, Paul Nation, recorded 17 seconds of digital video of what investigators believe is evidence for the bioluminescence of creatures called "indava" and "ropen." They also believe that these are Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaurs. Early in March, 2007, a physicist completed his report on his findings on this video footage: The lights were not produced through a hoax and they were not of any campfire, airplane lights, or meteors. They were also shown to not be from camera artifacts.[7]

Modern Names

The Ropen - a nocturnal creature seen on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea.


Main Article: Ropen

Ropen is the local name of a nocturnal creature on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea that glows while flying. At least five light expeditions, 1994-2004, were conducted by American creationists, including Carl Baugh, Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel (usually one or two Americans at a time). Only about three sightings resulted from these investigations: only distant, brief views of the ropen-light; essentially no shape was seen by explorers on these expeditions.[8]

Eyewitness testimonies suggest that the ropen is a Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaur. According to the investigators this criteria is based on several consistent patterns such as the featherless appearance, long tail that ends in a flange or diamond shape and fishing habits. Descriptions of a giant size, leathery skin, and a long tail--these cross cultural boundaries: Australians, [9] an American, [10] and natives [11] of Papua New Guinea mention a pterosaur-like appearance; knowledge or ignorance of fossils or Western beliefs about extinction [12] seem to be irrelevant to these eyewitness descriptions: Both Westerners and natives report a giant long-tailed flying creature, either featherless or at least without any obvious feathers.

According to the recent investigators David Woetzel, Garth Guessman, and Jonathan Whitcomb, over 90% of the sightings of the ropen on Umboi Island are of the "ropen light." Whitcomb's book (Searching for Ropens) suggests that most of these sightings are of one giant creature that sleeps in the island interior during the day; at night it feeds on reefs (at least on the northern and southern coasts where the three investigators explored). The two expeditions of 2004 independently interviewed eyewitnesses who reported that the bright glow of the ropen lasts for about five to six seconds.

The few seconds when it glows brightly--This reveals flight patterns, according to the two expeditions of 2004. During the first two hours after sundown, the ropen-light usually moves towards the coast; The one exception was when it seemed to be flying from one mountain to another. (No interview revealed any flight from the coast toward the interior of the island during the first two hours after sundown.) This correlates with some native accounts that the ropen flies to a reef early in the evening to feed at night.

Many of the ropen-light eyewitnesses estimate that the flight altitude is about one hundred meters above the tree tops. Jonah Jim (living near Owongai Village, west of Gomlongon, Umboi Island) was interviewed in both 2004 expeditions. He described the altitude as 500-550 feet. Whitcomb believes that this low-altitude flash of light (100-160 meters above the tree canopy) supports the idea that the creature is using its bioluminescence to orient itself to the terrain as it prepares to land.


The indava is local name of a giant nocturnal flying creature in a remote mountainous area of Papua New Guinea (northwest of the capital, Port Moresby) around Tawa Village. In November, 2006, the American living-pterosaur investigator Paul Nation (of Granbury, Texas) found what at first appeared to be a colony of the creatures (in March, 2007, another expedition revealed that the creatures change daylight sleeping locations, probably depending on the weather).[13] He videotaped what appeared to be two of the bioluminescent indavas as they were on a ridge and about to take off into the air. On returning to the United States, Nation was interviewed by Jonathan Whitcomb (author of Searching for Ropens) who made digital copies of the seventeen seconds of video. One copy was given to Cliff Paiva, a missile defense physicist, who analyzed the video over several weeks. He concluded that the two lights were not from any hoax or camera artifacts; they were also not made by any airplane lights, automobile headlights, lanterns, meteors, or camp fires.[7]

The 2006 expedition was the first living-pterosaur expedition to result in a daylight sighting of a giant creature with wings. While Paul Nation was in Tawa Village, his interpreter and fellow-explorer, Jacob Kepas, hiked up to a higher elevation where a local man, Joseph, was observing an indava. (Joseph and Kepas had been in radio contact, and Joseph requested assistance with the camcorder.) Kepas failed to get any clear video image of the creature they saw. The adjacent mountain ridge was distant and the viewing angle was too great. He believed that he could make out the wings and thought he saw the head covered by a wing but he was unsure. Joseph, however, had been to a higher location and was sure of what he saw: He described the "indava" as being the size of a small airplane.

Living-pterosaur investigators believe that the indava is similar to the ropen of Umboi Island. In daylight, they look like giant pterosaurs and at night they glow brightly as they fly just above the tree canopy.

Sightings, by Westerners, of these glowing flying objects in this area of the mainland of Papua New Guinea are not restricted to creationists. The British entomologist Evelyn Cheesman observed the strange lights just north of Tarawa Village, and concluded that they could not have been of human origin.


According to Gibson Kuvurio, from Pilio Island (off the southwestern coast of New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea) the wawanar is said to be a dragon that "owns the land and the sea." The islander was interviewed, in 2004, by American living-pterosaur investigator Jonathan Whitcomb (author of Searching for Ropens) who believes that the legend originated from sightings of the creatures called "ropens" on nearby Umboi Island.

Critics may regard the wawanar legend as just another dragon tale. But Umboi Island, where the ropen investigators have explored, is only a few miles northwest of the islands that include Pilio Island, and the relationship between common ideas about "dragon" appearances and ropen descriptions may be significant.


Among hundreds of languages and dialects in Papua New Guinea, in one area "duwas" refers to the same creature called "ropen" on Umboi Island. Contrary to earlier assumptions, the general consensus, among the most recent investigators who have explored in Papua New Guinea, searching for evidence of living pterosaurs (Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel), is that these two words refer to the same general kind of creature: a featherless giant, flying at night. The difference is in language, not biology.

"Duah" is most likely another misunderstanding, probably from an assumption that "duwas" is plural (it is not). Recent investigators know of no creature locally called "duah."

Hoax Claims

After the two ropen expeditions of 2004, a few critics suggested hoaxes were the cause of reports of apparent living pterosaurs. But in early 2009, Jonathan Whitcomb found evidence against hoaxes through analyzing data from many eyewitness reports. The hoax hypothesis cannot explain why, with a group of eyewitness reports, those who are somewhat uncertain about non-feathers (for the creature observed) are at least equal to those who are certain about non-feathers.[14]

In addition, Whitcomb's analysis of data from many eyewitness reports (of sightings in the United States) shows that many estimates for wingspans are concentrated around nine feet, far from where hoaxers would be expected to state a wingspan. This is because the sensational reports of ropen sightings are dominated by reports of wingspans greater than twenty feet and the standard-model ideas about Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs (most modern-eyewitness reports suggest this type) include many wingspans of less than seven feet.

Critics of living-pterosaur investigations, however, generally fail to provide any details to support the idea that a hoax or number of hoaxes are involved with eyewitness sightings.


  1. Pterosaur by Wikipedia
  2. The Bible and Pterosaurs: Archaeological and Linguistic Studies of Jurassic Animals that Lived Recently, John Goertzen, Revolution Against Evolution, 09/30/1998
  3. Herodotus, Historiae, tr. Henry Clay, 1850, pp. 75-76.
  4. Trevelyan, M. 1909, Folk-Lore and Folk Stories of Wales, (cit. Dinosaurs from Anglo-Saxon and other Records Chapter 10, After the Flood by Bill Cooper.)
  5. Pterosaur-like Creatures Reported in Papua New Guinea PRWeb. July 20, 2006
  6. Science team finds 'lost world' BBCNews, February 7, 2006.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Results of Investigations Concerning Pterosaur Sightings In Papua New Guinea
  8. Ropen Light Sighting by David Woetzel By Jonathan D. Whitcomb, Science & Origin.
  9. [1]
  10. [2]
  11. [3]
  12. [4]
  13. Indava and Ropen of Papua New Guinea
  14. Hoax of Pterosaurs, Jonathan Whitcomb, 2008

Further reading