Are Dragons Pterosaurs? Dragon-Pterosaur Link Why connect the dragon of myth  with the pterosaur of science.  Were not all  dragons fictional  but pterosaurs real? We have  fossils to distinguish between  reality and fantasy, do we not?  Or is it so simple?  Are all fictional stories based  upon people or animals that  never existed? Let’s be careful  not to rush to conclusions about  dragons, for fantasies, though  fictional, are often based upon  some truth. The story of Little  Red Riding Hood is fictional,  but grandmothers and wolves  are both real.  What do old dragons and old  pterosaurs have in common?  Celtic dragons had arrows at the  end of their tails; they may  relate to pterosaur tails. What  about those Rhamphorhynchoid  pterosaur tails? Are not dragon  tails also long? Perhaps most  noteworthy  are the wings: both  pterosaurs and common artistic  portrayals of big flying dragons  have featherless wings.  Cryptozoology Book  Spring of 2007: the second  edition of the book Searching  for Ropens was published. In it,  the author examines the  eyewitness testimony of Brian  Hennessy, a psychologist who  works in China, sometimes at a  medical university. He saw, in  Papua New Guinea, in 1971, a  creature fly overhead. It looked  “prehistoric.” South Carolina Sighting  Late  2007:  A  lady from South Carolina came forward with  her  report: a giant pterosaur-like  thing flew in front of her car on a remote highway in South Carolina. There were definitely no feathers, according to the eyewitness Susan Wooten. Failing Paleontologist Glen Kuban  has  written a web  page trying to discredit the idea  of living pterosaurs. As of late  2011, however, he still fails to  mention many critical details or  to acknowledge their supreme  importance to investigations.  That is not to say that Kuban is  wrong about everything he has  written on his web page. But he  emphasizes far too many  irrelevancies such as obvious  hoaxes. He tries too hard to  protect standard assumptions.  Kuban says nothing about the  1944 Finschhafen, New Guinea,  sighting by Duane Hodgkinson.  That World War II soldier saw  what he called a “pterodactyl,”  as it took off running to get  airborne, just a short distance  away in a jungle clearing. How  convenient for a paleontologist  to leave out that critical sighting  when he is trying to protect the  dogma of universal extinction of  all species of pterosaurs!  He acknowledges that some of  the reports of pterosaurs or  apparent pterodactyls in Papua  New Guinea include strange  descriptions: very long tails,  bright glowing appearance at  night, and grave robbery. It  seems the best explanation that  Mr. Kuban can come up with is  the old standby: the Flying Fox  fruit bat. That kind of bat is  large  but has almost  no tail, is  not bioluminescent, and never  robs graves. How critical!  Bioluminescent Pterosaur  February, 2007: a physicist  confirmed the possibility that  the video footage of two lights,  recorded deep in the mainland  of Papua New Guinea, in  November,  2006, might be  large bioluminescent creatures.  Investigators maintain that they  are pterosaurs (consistent with  David Woetzel’s account).  Papua New Guinea According to the nonfiction book  Searching for Ropens, there is a  native tradition, around some  small islands in Papua New  Guinea, about a dragon they call  “wawanar.” It is said to own “the  land and the sea.” The old sailor  who told the tradition to the  author of the book, in 2004,  used the English word:  “dragon.” Northwest of the small islands is  the larger island of Umboi. Here  there are more than legends  about giant flying creatures. Of  the three American explorers  who visited Umboi Island in  2004, one of them saw a glowing  object unlike any meteor he had  ever seen. David Woetzel, of  New Hampshire,  said, “I . . . .  saw some meteors  while on  night watch. They were whitish  in color and had a tail. But this  thing was different . . . almost  golden and shimmering around  the edges. . . There was no tail  and it was flying horizontally.”  What were the three Americans  watching for at night? It was the  ropen of Umboi Island, a large  nocturnal flying creature that is  described as a giant featherless  animal. According to the book,  three native young men or boys  saw a giant ropen flying over a  crater lake (Pung) around 1994,  where Woetzel saw the ropen  light. When asked about the tail,  they said that it had a  “diamond.” The tail was “long.”  An old legend of a dragon differs  from recent eyewintess accounts  of large or giant flying creatures.  Although the ropen does not  destroy villages with its fiery  breath, it does glow brightly as it  flies at night. The investigators  call this kind of light  bioluminescence.” Could Woetzel be mistaken  about what he saw? Could the  islanders’ accounts of the ropens  be just native fictions or  superstitious legends? The  problem with that idea is that  the American World War II  soldier, Mr. Duane Hodgkinson,  also  saw a giant “pterodactyl” in  New Guinea in 1944. What he  described is similar to the ropen  of Umboi Island. Why would  everybody be wrong in the same  way? No, there was no mistake.  Whatever Americans or natives  or others want to believe about  dragon legends and accounts of  modern pterosaurs, the creature  called “ropen” seems to be real,  although still a cryptid.  Sketch by eyewitness Patty Carson (”Gitmo Pterosaur” of Cuba) Many details turn the “flying fox” fruit bat idea upside down