I rarely mention this sighting, for it was more of an encounter through hearing. I quote from my nonfiction cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition):
It [an encounter one night in Southern California] reminded me of . . . a man who had a friend living on the island of Spetses, Greece. One night this friend was walking toward a bridge when he heard a loud breathing sound, louder than could be made by a human. As he came closer, he noticed that the breathing, like that of some huge animal that was sick, came from the under-structure of the bridge. After leaving the area, there was a loud screeching and something with a “huge wingspan” flew away.
Well, that’s a brief introduction. Now to more details, quoted from email correspondence:
Hi, I don’t usually devote too much thought to claims that most people would consider fantastic, but this story a friend of mine told me last night was really impressive, and I promised myself I’d do some research and mention it on some online board or something.
My friend . . . occasionally walks around the entire island at night, usually starting around 12 midnight, and arriving back in town at about 6 am. I went on this walk with him and a couple others last night. It was exhausting and we actually took a short cut through the mountains . . .
entire walk is in almost complete darkness. The road is small and the only light comes from the stars and the moon (if it’s out). At one point, at about midjourney, there’s a small bridge. My friend told me that when they were doing the walk about four years ago, they heard a very loud breathing-like sound coming from under the bridge, and they could hear it some 10 or 20 minutes before they even got to it. Apparently it sort of resonated in the small valley-like area. It was constant and sounded like a shushing sound (like putting your teeth together and having the tongue against them and breathing heavily). Of course it was supposedly louder than what a human could do. . . . they were really scared, and they came back with friends and motor bikes the next night . . .
The sound was still there and they went down below the bridge and the sound was coming from behind a wall that had holes in it. They took pictures in the dark though they couldn’t see anything, and when they looked at them later (next day maybe, I don’t know) they supposedly saw eyes glowing from one of the holes in the wall (it had several holes). The same night, one of the guys threw a water bottle inside and the breathing sound stopped, so obviously it was some type of animal. As they continued on the road and got to the other side of the small valley, they heard an extremely loud screaching sound (as well as a loud, deep moaning-sound, which might have been something else though) and something flew out. It was really dark, so all my friend told me was that he saw an absolutely huge wingspan. It was apparently the silouette or the shadow. . . . Also, down below the bridge they saw bird skeletons.
Island of Spetses, Greece
Of course we can’t be sure if this was a ropen or any other kind of modern pterosaur, but it is possible.