Reports of Live Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific Whitcomb Woetzel Nation Guessman Blume These Americans have gone deep into the tropical rain forests  of Papua New Guinea, in the twenty-first century, to help in the cryptozoology searches for what appear to be living pterosaurs Pterodactyl Ropen Duah Umboi Island Pterosaur Extinction Philosophy Papua New Guinea Opai Gomlongon Galileo Does a live pterodactyl fly over villages of some southwest Pacific islands? Many testimonies suggest nocturnal long-tailed creatures (called “Rhamphorhynchoids” by some) having names like “ropen” and “duwas” (Don’t confuse with “duah,” a Western mistake), live in coastal areas of the mainland of Papua New Guinea, as well as on the islands of Umboi and Manus. A similar one was seen, in 1971, over Perth, Australia. Introduction to the Philosophies Both negative and positive reactions to these living- pterosaur investigations deserve attention. Huge flying pterosaurs, non-extinct, with no photo in a newspaper, no news flash on television—that does seem odd. But it deserves careful attention, not a brusk dismissal. Western cultural/scientific views on pterosaur extinction needs reevaluation. “Standard models” of science are often taught in Americans schools and colleges as if they were unchallengeable fact. In reality,  they are simply the more popular theories or ideas based on the more widely disseminated philosophy. In some educational circles, any idea appearing to contradict “Naturalism” is avoided or ridiculed. That in itself may be a major part of the problem that prevents many professors from investigating reports of apparent living pterosaurs or even just gaining access to those reports. Ancient extinctions of all pterosaurs and dinosaurs, an idea repeated constantly in the media and in education, supports the philosophy of Strict Naturalism. “Living Pterosaur” research is a niche of cryptozoology and is considered non-standard by many biologists, although some Naturalists are involved in cryptozoology. Most of those most active in this research are labeled “Creationists,” although not all of them are as out- spoken as the Young Earth Creationists David Woetzel and Garth Guessman. Although these investigators may have some differences in religious philosophy, they use scriptures, such as the book of Genesis, at least as a source of clues, if not as a complete foundation for their scientific research. The philosophical contest between Creationism and Naturalism should not be confused with any idea of conflict between religion and science. We need to under- stand that every scientist has a philosophy on which to start with: a foundational axiom. Many researchers use Strict Naturalism, or the philosophy that denies any miracles or Divine intervention in the universe. This itself is not scientific but a philosophy on which some stand, in interpreting any data that is observed. Creationism accepts many miracles such as are found in scriptures. It also assumes that natural operation of laws or physical processes are predictable and very consistent, in the present and since the formation of the earth. Many of the most notable scientific advances have been made by those who believed in either Biblical Creation or Intelligent Design, namely: Isaac Newton, Galileo, Johann Kepler, Francis Bacon, Lord Kelvin, George Washington Carver, William Herschel, Michael Faraday, Samuel Morse, Charles Babbage, Wernher von Braun, Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur, etc. Nobody need reject any scientific work only because the scientist believed in the Bible or in some intelligent Designer. Intelligent Design, without organized religion and without scripture, is a recent movement but an ancient philosophy or foundation of belief. Duane Hodgkinson Duane Hodgkinson’s sighting of the “pterodactyl” on the mainland of New Guinea, in 1944, has given us a dramatic source of information on the amazing ropen. During the Second World War, two soldiers, including Duane Hodgkinson, had stopped on a trail west of Finschhafen on the mainland of what was then New Guinea (now Papua New Guinea). Just after entering a clearing, they saw a huge creature take off into the air. It was obvious to Hodgkinson: a “pterodactyl,” with a wingspan of over twenty feet; the other soldier had been a biology student before the war, and he would have preferred to pretent that they had seen nothing at all. The appendage at the back of the head of the huge flying creature caught Hodgkinson’s attention. He was interviewed in 2004, by Jonathan Whitcomb, through emails, phone calls, and a survey form that Whitcomb had prepared. Hodgkinson choose from among various silhouettes of possible head crest lengths (and other variations of appearance), and the final resulting composite of the head was not like any bat. Introduction to the Sightings Native Eyewitness of Ropen Glowing Nocturnal Flying Creatures Many of the eyewitness reports suggest some intrinsic bioluminescent capability in these pterosaur-like flying creatures. The following lists only a few eyewitnesses of strange flying lights in the southwest Pacific (one kind of flying night light is called, on Umboi Island, the “ropen.”) Jim Blume “Blume has spoken with about 70 natives who have seen apparent giant living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea. Much of what extant-pterosaur investigators know about Blumes native-interviews comes from the telephone interview by Guessman.” Leonard of Opai Village, Umboi Island “He sees the ropen fly over Opai about once a month. Jonathan Whitcomb, another ropen investigator, noted that these villages have no . . . electricity and so most of the people . . . [at night are] indoors.” Luke Paina, interpreter for Whitcomb “. . . saw the ropen briefly as it flew across the western side of Mount Bel on the evening of October 5, 2004 near Gomlongon Village.” American Explorer David Woetzel “. . . was so quick that it was impossible to get a video— maybe 2 seconds  . . . almost golden and shimmering around the edges. It looked like an old-fashioned street light in the fog.” [Whitcomb interviewed Woetzel] David Moke (interviewed by Whitcomb) “ . . . without warning or sound, the sea was lit up with a brilliant light. . . .  The light source was unseen. After about five seconds, it gradually became dimmer until all was again dark.” (Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea) Mark Kau (interviewed by Whitcomb) “. . . Of his several sightings in 2002, once, the creature was flying towards Mount Bel and once, away from it.” Jonah Jim near Owangai, Umboi Island He was interviewed by Jonathan Whitcomb and, a few weeks later, by Guessman and Woetzel. “The young native was shown many silhouettes of birds, bats, and pterosaurs. . . . he chose the Sordes Pilosus as the closest to what he had seen.” Steven Cottingham, government official “Steven Cottingham was the government's Officer-In- Charge (Kiap) of Umboi and surrounding islands in 1972, when he saw, near Lab Lab, a strange light.”             Lights and Creatures The great majority of ropen sightings involve the “ropen light.” Most of the witnesses get no clear view of any form though many can give some description of the colors or the direction of light's flight. The natives' testimonies of the ropen light were found to be very credible, in late-2004, by the forensic video- grapher Jonathan Whitcomb, finding the mannerisms and composure of the villagers strongly supporting what they told him. Had they had any desire to promote any tourism or to attract researchers to their village, they surely would have given some detail other than just a moving light at night. If they had any inclination to lie, they would have said something about a dragon or a flying animal or a flying man (their supersitions or traditions may include reference to a flying man-like spirit). But the vaste majority of eyewitnesses see only a flying light, which would be expected of villagers who live on an island mostly covered with tropical rain forest that has a large bioluminescent nocturnal flying creature. The honest native eyewitnesses report nothing but lights. But a minority of eyewitnesses have seen a large or giant flying creature, something differing greatly from the Flying Fox fruit bat. Jonah Jim is an important witness in tying the flying- light phenomenon to those sightings of creatures that strongly resemble living pterosaurs. He noticed both the glow and the form of the creature, including a long tail: a pivotal testimony in this investigation. Several things distinguish shooting stars from ropens. The ropen lights: 1. Fly at low elevation, just above tree canopy 2. Fly close to horizontally 3. Fly to and from particular mountains & reefs 4. Sometimes light up a beach or village 5. Consistently last for 5-6 seconds 6. Rob graves, when wooden coffins are not used 7. When close, are seen to have wings & long tail Whatever produces this light has characteristics that suggest a biological origin. In former times, when the human burials involved wrapping bodies with leaves instead of using secure wooden caskets, the lights were sometimes seen close to or at the grave sites at night. The bodies would be found missing from their graves the next morning. In more recent years, burials with caskets, which are difficult to open, are common. The grave robbery problem seems to have greatly declined. The light seems to be produced by a scavenger or by a creature that scavenges when it can. There have also been reports of attacks: large or giant flying creatures attacking natives in Papua New Guinea. Some of the encounters have caused human deaths, in particular on the mainland west of Finschhafen. Pterosaurs are not “Flying Dinosaurs” A common misunderstanding involves calling pterosaurs “flying dinosaurs.” They are quite a different kind of animal, not a type of dinosaur. They are portrayed together in films and on television, as if all species lived anciently and became extinct before humans existed. No! Paul Nation and Carl Baugh, in the 1990’s and in 2002, interviewed native eyewitnesses of the ropen of Umboi Island. Making friends with natives on this island of Papua New Guinea helped prepare the way for the two expeditions of 2004, in which both professional and scientific interview methods were employed by the American cryptozoologists Jonathan Whitcomb, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel. Eyewitness describes flight path of the ropen that flew over Lab Lab village on the coast of Umboi Island Composite sketch from Hodgkinson’s detailed multiple-sketch questionnaire (2004) Jonathan Whitcomb “My living-pterosaur research began in 2002, when I communicated with a missionary in Venezuela regarding natives living near the Erebato River. I became fascinated by his account of why those natives never drink the water from that river. “Long ago the natives in that area were some- times attacked by a “giant bat." On at least one occasion, it killed somebody. Once, it was seen, soon after a killing, defecating into the river. (’Erebato’ means bat feces.) This may have happened many generations ago, but the people still remember it to the extent that they do not drink the water from that river. “In 2003 I began communicating with Paul Nation, of Texas, who had explored in Papua New Guinea twice before, including in 2002. We planned on exploring Umboi Island some time in 2004, to search for the creature called ropen (also known as “duwas”). Unforeseen circumstances left Paul out of the expedition, so I traveled to Papua New Guinea alone, in September of 2004. “I have interviewed many eyewitnesses in the villages of Opai, Gomlongon, and Owangai. There did not appear to be any ulterior motives with those natives, only the simple desire to help me by answering my questions. I found almost all the testimonies very credible. “Two other American cryptozoologists, David Woetzel and Garth Guessman, traveled to Papua New Guinea a few days after I had returned to the States. They also interviewed important eyewitnesses of the ropen on this remote island of Umboi.” David Moke, of Opai Village, was fishing with a local magistrate one night. Without warning a brilliant light flashed above their canoe, lighting up everything around. After about five seconds, it gradually became dimmer until it was dark. 2002 Expedition of Paul Nation Paul Nation (shown crossing a stream) and his son Nathanael (taking the video of this crossing) searched for the elusive nocturnal ropen, on Umboi Island, in 2002, without any direct success. Joshua Gates Ropen Episode of Destination Truth Late in 2006, the Mandt Brothers production team consulted with Jonathan Whitcomb on their upcoming 2007 expedition to Papua New Guinea. In that expedition, the American team was shocked at the ropen light, but not too shocked to videotape it for the TV show. But Destination Truth was not the first team to videotape the ropen light, for just a few weeks earlier, late in 2006, Paul Nation had videotaped the same kind of light, deep in the interior of mainland Papua New Guinea. Five-second Bioluminescent Flash Pterosaur sketch by Eskin Kuhn: Cuba, 1971 Indava Lights videotaped by P. Nation Paul Nation had searched for creatures that he was told were described like huge pterosaurs. Local natives call it "indava" (deep in the remote mountainous mainland interior of Papua New Guinea). In two previous expeditions, Nation had failed to see any bioluminescent ropens on Umboi Island; but on his third trip to Papua New Guinea, he tried another location and so became the first American explorer to videotape this kind of glowing creature: the mysterious nocturnal indava. Scientific Analysis by a Missile Defense Physicist: Clifford Paiva Giant Pterosaur Over Perth, Australia In Perth, southwest Australia, at about 10:30 pm, in December of 1997, a couple was taking a walk when they noticed a “huge creature flying . . . it had a ruddy reddish brown leathery skin . . . . a long tail and a wingspan that we estimated at between 30-50 feet across . . .” Not only are both those testimonies credible in themselves but several details correlate with eyewitness testimonies of local people in Papua New Guinea. Two Indava Light near Tawa Village From video by Paul Nation, 2006 Sketch by Eskin Kuhn, eyewitness of two pterosaurs he saw in daylight, in 1971, at the Guantanamo Bay military installation in Cuba. Another eyewitness, Patty Carson, has reported the same apparent species at that location but about six years earlier. Copyright 2011, 2012 Jonathan David Whitcomb Pterosaurs in Georgia, USA: A lady in the state of Georgia has reported at least two creatures that are probably the same species, flying in daylight Jonathan Whitcomb was interviewed by the radio- television host Richard Syrett, in May of 2012, in Long Beach, California. Other cryptozoologists interviewed for this episode of the television show include Garth Guessman and William Gibbons. This episode should air in October. “The Conspiracy Show” and Pterosaurs “With all the negative reactions to reports of living pterosaurs, how refreshing to have a television talk show about the subject, with interviews of those who support the research and investigations!” Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition - the best-selling cryptozoology book about reports of modern living “pterodactyls”  Copyright 2010 Sandra Paradise