Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur sketch

Flying Dinosaur

Posted on Posted in Australia Sightings, Papua New Guinea

Of course we mean “pterosaur” when we say “flying dinosaur,” but people use various words and phrases when they refer to this featherless flying creature, and “pterosaur” or “pterodactyl” can be hard to spell. Other common words and phrases people in English-speaking countries use are these:

  • dragon
  • dinosaur bird
  • prehistoric bird

Here is a living-pterosaur sighting report in which the phrase “flying dinosaur” was used:

Pterosaur Sightings in Georgia (USA)

Let’s consider some sightings mentioned in the second edition of the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens. (The 4th edition of this nonfiction book is shown below:


Whitcomb's nonfiction "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" 3rd ed.

Fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God


Funeral Gathering Included a Ropen

Eunice, a school teacher’s wife, described to Carl Baugh [who led at least two ropen expeditions, in the 1990’s, in Papua New Guinea] an attempted grave robbery. One night, in April of 1993, near the northwest coast of Umboi Island, after a large funeral procession arrived at the burial location, a creature with a glowing red tail came from the sea. . . . About two hundred mourners were awake when the creature flew overhead. The villagers banged pots and yelled, whereupon the intruder flew into a nearby swamp and the light disappeared.

Ropen Said to Live in Caves on Umboi Island

[A man] interviewed by Jim Blume, examined a magazine-cover illustration of a pterosaur. [The missionary James Blume has interviewed many eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea.] The man said that he had seen those creatures himself and that they eat fish “out of the water.” He estimated their size (either wing or wingspan) at six to seven feet, “bigger than a man,” and said that they live in caves (on Umboi Island).

Duane Hodgkinson’s 1944 Sighting

“. . . it was in 1944 that I was stationed in Finschafen, New Guinea, with the U.S. military. While there, I made several trips into some of the surrounding native villages with a friend of mine and a native guide (provided by the Australian government). On this one particular trip, we had the wonderful opportunity to witness a pterodactyl take off from the ground and then circle back overhead and to the side, giving us a perfect side view which clearly showed the long beak and appendage protruding from the back of its head.”

Perth, Australia, Sighting

“We had been walking in the evening and had just crested a hill . . . In the distance, I perceived an object in the sky. . . . I watched it as it approached. Soon I was able to determine that it was some sort of flying creature, and my first thought was that it must be some very large bird. . . .

“By this time, its progress had brought it closer and while its shape did resemble a bird, I thought by now that from its apparent distance, it must be the largest bird I had ever witnessed. . . .

“Within a minute or so it had reached our position and was about 250 or 300 feet above us and slightly inland. The area was moderately well lit and I saw that it seemed to be a light reddish-tan color. It did not appear to be covered with feathers but had a leathery texture.

“Soon after it passed us, it flew over a more brightly lit sports area which highlighted even more the leathery appearance, also bringing more detail to view. The wings were the most definite leathery feature. They were shaped in a triangular arch, similar to a very elongated shark fin. The body also still appeared leathery, though textured as though possibly covered with fine hair or small scales . . .

“The head was close to the body, though whether from a short neck or from having its head drawn in, in the manner of some long-necked water fowl, I cannot say. . . .

“The creature, during the time we observed it, was mostly gliding. There was some wing movement as in a hawk or other bird controlling its flight path, but did not flap as a sparrow or other small bird. . . .

“Size is, of course, hard to determine accurately at a distance, since even a small miscalculation in distance can magnify any error in the estimate. I, at the time, however, estimated the size to be in excess of thirty foot, possibly as great as fifty foot. My eyes told me it was nearer the greater of these, my rational mind wants me to believe the lesser, since either of these is astounding for a flying creature . . .


Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur sketch

A long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid (“basal”) pterosaur


Flying Dinosaurs (for mobile devices)

Two sightings of pterosaurs in Cuba and one sighting in New Guinea


Ropen Eyewitnesses

Credibility of natives on Umboi Island in Papua New Guinea


Flying Creature Like a Dinosaur in U.S.A.

Sightings in many U. S. states, including Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and Virginia, etc.

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