Feeling certain about both eyewitness credibility and about correct identification—that appears more rare than the ropen itself, when I interview eyewitnesses by email, by phone conversation, or in person. But yesterday I read an email from an eyewitness who had seen a flying creature in Lakewood, California, only one day earlier, and our subsequent conversations by phone and in person verified her credibility. Details in her description also verified the high probability that it was an American Ropen (a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur).
At mid-day, in the backyard of her home in Lakewood, the lady at first paid little attention to the barking of her nearby dog. She was focused on her computer until she heard a strange noise. She looked up to see a strange winged creature that immediately flew off, startled by the human who had suddenly come out from under the nearby gazebo.
As the creature unfurled its wings, the lady was surprised by the loud noise, like “heavy fabric.” The long-tailed creature flew off to a large tree in a neighbor’s yard, whereupon the lady ran into her house to tell her husband. The two of them then drove around the neighborhood, camera in hand, searching for what the lady later referred to as a “dragon pteradactal.”
The ropen, with a wingspan estimated at 5-6 feet, was perched over a storm drain in Lakewood, California, a part of which canal appears very similar to this (also in Lakewood):
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.
“I couldn’t put this book down. It is absolutely fascinating to read about eyewitness accounts of the people who have seen these creatures. To learn about these testimonies from such an open minded perspective is refreshing in the extreme! . . .” [a review of the book Live Pterosaurs in America]