On September 25th, I was interviewed, by telephone, by Aaron Wright of Mysterious Universe, in Australia. It was not a live radio show but was audio-edited and broadcast (or published) on a podcast around September 28th.
The interview lasted about an hour, as I remember, but because of audio problems only a fraction of it was used in the podcast (online radio broadcast). Here is part of the beginning:
Aaron: Joining me today is Jonathan David Whitcomb, author of Live Pterosaurs in America and a new book which has just come out: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Thanks for joining us, Jonathan; how are you today?
Jonathan: Oh, great! Thanks very much for inviting me.
Aaron: Oh, you’re very welcome. So let’s just talk about ropens . . . and pterosaurs. What are these creatures? I thought they were extinct.
Jonathan: Most species of pterosaurs have become extinct at some time in the past . . . What we’re trying to portray to the world is that we’ve discovered a large number of eyewitnesses, from different parts of the world, who testify of something that couldn’t be anything other than one or more species of living pterosaur.
I’ll give you an example. In Papua New Guinea, some of the villagers, the language that they speak, they have a word called “ropen,” and that designates a large nocturnal flying creature. And we know from eyewitnesses that it has a long tail, and it has a bioluminescent capacity. It glows for a few seconds at a time at night, as it’s flying.
Aaron: So how large are these creatures?
Jonathan: The largest ones are very rare. But they’re so large that they cannot be mistaken if a person sees one. I’ll give you an example. In Perth, Australia, (I believe the year was 1997), it was in December, a couple was taking a walk. . . . They saw a creature flying up, and eventually they came to the conclusion that it could be as large as fifty-foot wingspan, from tip-to-tip of the wings.
Aaron: Fifty foot!
Jonathan: But we have a number of other sightings across the southwest Pacific and in other parts of the world, including California in the United States, in which there are rare cases of a very large creature being sited in the daytime.
Just a few years ago, a man was driving in the daylight, in clear daylight, in Orange County, in Southern California, and he was startled to see this creature fly up from the marshy area on his left. It flew over the road—it’s . . not too far above the road in front of him. And he says that the length from the nose (the front of the beak or whatever it was) to the end of the tail was the same as the width of the road. Now I went out there and I measured it: It was thirty feet. And he said about sixteen feet of that length was tail.
For many years my associates and I have searched for living pterosaurs and interviewed many eyewitnesses. . . . Those who believe in modern pterosaurs have been ridiculed for years, with no end in sight for the ridicule. But cutting down ridicule by cutting down one of these amazing animals [shooting an animal for evidence] would be wrong. We need to protect precious life, not destroy it.